All Aboard! Exploring the Newfoundland Railway

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Harbour Breton

The S.S. Glencoe at Harbour Breton.
Harbour Breton is one of the oldest and largest fishing centres on the south coast of the Island. The early history of the old "Capital of Fortune Bay" goes back to the Bretons (from Brittany, France) based at Placentia, who fished from Harbour Breton in the 17th century. During the 18th and 19th centuries, Harbour Breton served as a base for English colonial fishing and settlement in Fortune Bay. Several merchants established premises here, amongst them William Waldren of Poole. In the 1820s these premises were acquired by Robert Newman and Co., a London based firm and made into its Newfoundland headquarters. The Newman Premises in Harbour Breton consisted of impressive brick buildings, and wood stores, warehouses, retail stores, workshops for carpenters, blacksmiths and coopers. The premises also contained a doctor's residence and a church. The famous Newman's Port was stored on the premises for aging and maturing before being shipped to the markets of Europe.Doug Wells Collection.
View of Newman's Plantation, ca. 1899.
Harbour Breton was an important stop on the route of the coastal boats. It was usual for this wharf to see one of the coastal boats more often than scheduled since the community was one of only two places on the southern south coast with a hospital. Doug Wells Collection.

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