Bonavista Courthouse

The current courthouse building, the third one to occupy the site overlooking what is now the inner harbour, was built in 1900 under the supervision of the Strathies. The previous structure had been destroyed in a disastrous fire three years earlier.

Bonavista's first Justice of the Peace had been appointed by the Governor Captain Henry Osbourne in 1729. It may be assumed that the town was served by a system of justice from this date which has been administered from this very site to present day.

On the grounds of the courthouse in full view of the inner harbour may be seen a plaque commemorating the defense of Bonavista on August 18, 1704 by Captain Michael Gill, a New England trader who was in port at the time, against a combined force of French and Canadian Indians.

Also to be viewed on the grounds is an old carriage gun from World War I plus replicas of the whipping post and a set of stocks, both frequently used in the earlier days in the punishment of the law.

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