Placentia - Newfoundland and Labrador

Route 100
Coordinates: 47.2534° N, 53.9618° W

Placentia describes different areas. First there is the Town of Placentia which includes the amalgamated Towns of Freshwater, Jerseyside, Dunville and the former Town of Placentia made up of Townside, Southeast and Bond's Path and Argentia where the United States occupied a Military Base for fifty years and before that where there had been a community. Second, many people are really referring to Townside when they speak of Placentia. And Third, when people refer to the Placentia once having been occupied by the French they are speaking again about the larger area. That includes Townside, Jerseyside and Mount Pleasant where there were once fortifications but it would also include, Freshwater, Argentia and probably Point Verde. Undoubtedly this could also include Dunville and Southeast where early settlers would have gone to cut wood, fish for salmon or trout, hunt and to enjoy the woods.

The present amalgamated Municipality of Placentia is a modern community with paved roads, developed playgrounds, a stadium and regatta site and high speed internet. It has a medical centre, schools, RCMP Detachment, various government offices, a shopping mall, two libraries, fire department, a number of churches of different denominations, two drug stores and various other small businesses.

There is industrial development at Argentia and a port which accommodates the East Coast Ferry from Nova Scotia (in summer). Placentia is the site of Castle Hill National Historic Site that recognizes both the French and English history of the community. There are other memories of the Irish which became the dominate population after the expulsion of French by the Treaty of Utrecht and several years of English dominance. There are also mementos of the Basque who were part of the early history. Although the area grew to about ten thousand, by the late 1990s it has diminished to less than five thousand. Archaeological digs have been ongoing to reveal more of the history.

Significant historic buildings include an old stone convent, the RC Church, Courthouse, the Anglican Church, Murray Property (formerly the Anglo Newfoundland Telephone Company property), O'Reilly House Museum, and Wakeham's Sawmill all in Townside. At Argentia there is an old large gun that has been declare a heritage site and other indications of the one time military base. During 2006 a new modern town hall was opened.

Placentia is also know for its Ambrose Shea Lift Bridge connecting Townside and Jerseyside and the Orcan River that flows in two directions. It also has a kilometer long wooden walkway along the ocean side that compliments other hiking trails in the area..

Genealogy Information

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