Trinity - Newfoundland and Labrador

Route 239
Coordinates: 48.3683° N, 53.3589° W

Welcome to one of the oldest communities in North America. Here, history is brought to the present, with provincially and federally declared historic sites, restored buildings, and natural scenic beauty. Many tourists come to Trinity, not only because of its history, but because of its ideal location from which to tour the Bonavista Peninsula.

There is no documentation showing the origin of the name, It may be from a reference by Sir Richard Whitbourne to the three arms within the harbour or may have been named by the Portuguese explorer and navigator Gasper Corte Real, who sailed into the harbour on Trinity Sunday, 1501.

The first settlers are believed to be ten families from the English brig Hawk who settled here in 1583. In the 1700's Trinity became an important fishing and mercantile centre. Many prominent merchants from the south of England, especially Poole, established businesses that continued to operate well into the 1800's. The English considered it so valuable, that in the mid 1700's they went to the expense of building a fort here to protect the harbour from the French. Some of the cannons are still there. This was a prosperous and progressive town.

Trinity can lay claim to number of important first events. Sir Richard Whitbourne held the first court of justice in the New World in Trinity in 1610. It was here that Dr. John Clinch, a doctor and minister, administered the first smallpox vaccine in North America.

Take a ten minute walk up Ryder's Hill, known more commonly as "Gun Hill" for one of the best views of Trinity. Reaching the first plateau via military road, look out to historic Fort Point and the ocean beyond, then continue on to the very top of Ryder's Hill for an outstanding view of Trinity Bight.

The town itself hosts a variety of services and attractions. The biggest event that takes place annually is the Summer Theatre Festival, organized and performed by Rising Tide Theatre. Their most famous performance, the "New Founde Land", portrays the history of Trinity in live, colorful splendour; moving from specific locals throughout Trinity to present the past in a way only Rising Tide can.

Take a walking tour of the Green Family Forge, Interpretation Centre, the Hiscock House and the newly restored Ryan Building.

Walk Church Road and behold St. Paul's Anglican Church. The first St. Paul's was built in 1734 and burned down in 1820. Work started that same year on the second church and was torn down in 1892. Again construction started on a third church, which still stands today. Then visit the Holy Trinity Catholic Church, the oldest wooden church in North America.

Trinity is a haven for photographers and artists, and is an excellent place to spend a family vacation.

Genealogy Information

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