Witless Bay - Newfoundland and Labrador
Coordinates: 47.2776° N, 52.8307° W
Folklore states that one of the original European inhabitants of the
area was a Captain Whittle and his family from
Dorsetshire, England. The area was originally
named after them, Whittle's Bay. Upon the death
of Captain Whittle, his widow and her children
decided to return to England. Hence, the
remaining settlers referred to Whittle's Bay as
Whittle less Bay and eventually, Witless Bay.
First settlers were migratory West Country
fishermen from England. In the latter part of
the 1700s, large numbers of Irish began settling
in the area.
- 1675, the population of Whittlless Bay is 34.
- 1700s, Irish fishing servants begin arriving
in the area and quickly start to outnumber the English
- 1755, as Roman Catholicism is still outlawed
in Newfoundland, priests disguised as fishermen,
minister to the spiritual needs of the community.
- 1836, the first official census of
Newfoundland puts the population at 542, of
which 540 were Roman Catholic.
- 1845, Roman Catholic Church opens.
- 1860, the Presentation Sisters open a convent and a school for girls.
- 1871, population reaches 928.
- 1960s, people are re-settled from Gallows Cove
at the southern headland of Witless Bay to the community of Witless Bay.
- 1986, Witless Bay is incorporated.