Bonavista Peninsula Attractions
The best-known peninsula in Newfoundland is Bonavista, where John Cabot is thought to have sighted the "New World" for the first time in 1497.One of the most impressive pieces of scenery on this peninsula so rich in forests and waterways and with its rugged coastline is to be found by turning off Road 230 onto the 235. The beautiful smaller places should also not be missed; these include Plate Cove and King's Cove, one of the oldest settlements here and founded by fishermen from Bonavista in the middle of the 18th c.
Cape Bonavista, Canada
A very beautiful stretch of road leads to Cape Bonavista which is probably that sighted by John Cabot in 1497 and which he named Bonavista, or "beautiful view". The cape is quite magnificent with its breakers, clear blue sea and interesting rock formations. Here stands a statue of Cabot in memory of the first man to discover North America, although more recent research throws doubt on the authenticity of his claim.The old lighthouse, a Provincial Historic Site, dates from 1843 and was restored about 1870; it is open daily in Jul. and Aug.; guides wear historical costume.
Picturesque Trinity, from which the offshore bay gets its name, is an old fishing and trading town which still has its wharves. The historical character of the town has been well preserved. Ryan Premises, which are privately owned but may be visited on request, The Society of Fishermen's Hall and other 19th c. buildings have remained almost unchanged in appearance. Trinity is one of Newfoundland's oldest settlements, having been founded in 1615 as the seat of the first maritime court.A number of companies in Trinity offer whale watching tours during the summer months.
Over 1000 items are on display in the historical little Trinity Museum and Archives, built in 1880 and open every day in summer; these include models of ships and items connected with whale-catching and with handicrafts such as shoe-making and barrel-making.
Hiscock House - renovated in 1910 - is also a Provincial Historic Site; guides in contemporary dress explain how life was in a typical local household in the early 20th c.
Above the Trinity marina can be seen the remains of the Battery at Admiral's Point, which was destroyed by the French in 1762. It had been surrendered by the British garrison in the middle of the 18th c.
The fishing-town of Bonavista is one of the main towns on the peninsula. Its port was used by European fishing fleets back in the 16th c. Around 1600 Bonavista was a British settlement and remained so in spite of attempts by the French to take it in the 18th c.Bonavista Museum in Church Street is open in summer and in winter by prior arrangement. It explains the history of the area by means of exhibits collected by the inhabitants.The Mockbeggar Property is made up of a number of buildings which reflect various aspects of the traditional Newfoundland life-style.
Ryan Premises National Historic Site
The Ryan Premises National Historic Site was opened in 1997. This was originally the headquarters for the James Ryan Ltd. This company began operations in the late 1869s trading salted fish caught off Newfoundland.Many of the buildings on site have undergone extensive renovations and contain informative displays on the history of the company and the industry, dating back to the 16th Century.
Port Union, Canada
Port Union is named after the first Newfoundland fishermen's union. Here will be found an impressive memorial to William Coaker, the organizer of the union and founder of the town.The old railway station now houses the Port Union Museum with maritime exhibits.Campers can spend the night in Lockston Path Provincial Park on Route 236. From the view-point above the lake there is a spectacular panorama of the surrounding countryside.The town of Port Union is in the process of restoring many of its old buildings.
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