Heart's Content - Newfoundland and Labrador

Route 80
Coordinates: 47.8689° N, 53.3638° W

The town is connected directly to Victoria and Carbonear in Conception Bay by Route 74. The town is peaceful and beautiful fishing community with one of the deepest natural harbours in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Heart's Content became world famous in 1866 when Cyrus Field chose the town as the landing site for the first Transatlantic Cable. In July 1866, the Great Eastern landed the cable, which marked the beginning of almost instant communication between Europe and North America.

Other cables were laid in the following decades and the Heart's Content station remained in continual service, becoming a focal centre of the Western Union international cable system. By 1965, trans-ocean telephone cable and satellite communication has taken over and the station was closed after almost 100 years as a pivotal point in international communication.

Although the most famous event in the town's history is the landing of the first transatlantic cable, the town's harbour was well know to early settlers and migratory European fishermen in the 17th century. John Guy's colonists mention the harbour by name in 1612 when they traveled to Trinity Bay. On September 8, 1612, Henry Crout wrote that 14 Beothuk houses had been seen recently about eight miles from Heart's Content.

Heart's Content was attacked by French forces led by Pierre Le Moyne d'Iberville on February 9, 1697. Abba Baudoin, who accompanied d'Iberville during the attack, called the place Havre Content and reported there were four planters living there and that they employed 20 male servants, owned four boats, and had 2400 cod. The French made a number of trips overland to Carbonear on a well established trail between the two communities to harass the English planters who had escaped to Carbonear Island.

Today the trail that d'Iberville and his men used is Route 74 between Heart's Content, Victoria, and Carbonear.

The Cable Station Museum houses a visitor information center and equipment displays explaining the important role Heart's Content played in Transatlantic Communication for over 100 years.

It boasts an intriguing cable operating room in pristine condition, and houses a series of displays on the history of telecommunications, including a replica of the original Victorian cable office and details of the problems encountered during the laying of the first telegraph lines.

Across the street from the Cable Museum is a area with park benches and a History Board displaying the history of Hearts Content. The board was donated to the town by the Johnson Family Foundation during the "Come Home Year" celebrations held in 1997.

The Mizzen Heritage Society produces various exhibits every summer which aim to educate and to promote the heritage of the community. The collection, which includes artifacts and archival materials outlining the community's early occupational heritage, encompassing the seal, inshore cod and Labrador fisheries, and the ship building industry of the late 1700's, is housed in the Mizzen Hall.

SUF Lodge #1 in Heart's Content was built by the original Society of United Fishermen, a society founded in 1862 by Rev. George Gardener, a Church of England clergyman. Other locals adopted the basic design of the building as the association spread throughout Newfoundland and into Nova Scotia. The SUF Lodge has received a Manning Award from the Newfoundland Historic Parks Association.

Heart's Content
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