Maberly, Newfoundland and Labrador

Maberly, Newfoundland and Labrador

Maberly (pronounced /ˈmæbərli/ by its inhabitants) is a tiny coastal hamlet (called an outport in Newfoundland) at the end of route 238-II on the Bonavista Peninsula on the island of Newfoundland with a permanent year-round population of about 20. In the 1921 census, there were 83 inhabitants.[1] It has long been associated with nearby Elliston, being about 3km from Elliston Centre by road, and was officially annexed by that town in the 1960s. Driving from Elliston Centre to Maberly, you pass through Sandy Cove and the Neck.



Maberly is located by sea between the towns of Little Catalina and Elliston. Among the named coves in Maberly as you enter the community are Thomas' Cove (48°37′14.43″N 53°00′51.48″W / 48.620675°N 53.0143°W / 48.620675; -53.0143), Chris' Cove (48°37′13.26″N 53°00′48.05″W / 48.62035°N 53.0133472°W / 48.62035; -53.0133472) and Charlie's Cove (48°37′10.99″N 53°00′44.92″W / 48.6197194°N 53.0124778°W / 48.6197194; -53.0124778). There is a small cove between Chris' Cove and Charlie's Cove which never seems to have been named (48°37′13.05″N 53°00′45.19″W / 48.6202917°N 53.0125528°W / 48.6202917; -53.0125528) — at least not a name which stuck.

The coves and roads of Maberly

Thomas' Cove, just off the coast of which lies South (Suder) Bird Island (48°37′29.59″N 53°00′35.61″W / 48.6248861°N 53.0098917°W / 48.6248861; -53.0098917), is the broadest of the coves and its shore is covered with relatively large beach stones; between Thomas' Cove and Chris' Cove there are cliffs and a small gulch; Chris' Cove, into which Muddy Brook empties, has a broad, flat bedrock formation which slopes into the ocean and received a government-sponsored slipway which fell into disrepair in the 1990s and has been removed; the aforementioned 'nameless cove' is on the other side of a tiny point of land; then there is a headland between this nameless cove and Charlie's Cove called The Gaze or often just over below. A gravel road climbs a much larger headland to the other side of Charlie's Cove, passing a steep-sided gulch and then peters out into the wilderness after several hundred metres and several houses. It is this road which now forms the beginning of the Little Catalina-Maberly walking trail. The coast rises to relatively steep cliffs with no harbour possibilities for several kilometres. Another rough road leaves the community on the inland side and quickly branches, the shorter branch being the gravel pit road in whose gravel pit several demolition derbies have been held and a much longer road which brings you out into Duke's Land (named for a man by the name of Marmaduke, not a nobleman).

Muddy Brook: the brook and the pond

The brook which flows through the community is still called Muddy Brook, reminiscent of the community's former name, and the brook flows from Muddy Brook Pond just below which is a wide steady which looks almost like another small pond. The road to Duke's Land brings you here. (48°36′26.35″N 53°01′35.32″W / 48.6073194°N 53.0264778°W / 48.6073194; -53.0264778)

Regional Geography

Flowers Cove (48°36′32.17″N 53°00′22.59″W / 48.6089361°N 53.006275°W / 48.6089361; -53.006275), named for the treacherous maritime rock shallows known as the 'Flowers' is within easy walking distance from the community along the Little Catalina-Maberly walking trail through some very productive and picturesque berry-picking grounds. Northern (Noder) Bight is an abandoned community between Maberly and Little Catalina most of whose former inhabitants moved to Maberly or to Catalina from the 1850s to the 1890s. Residents of Maberly themselves mostly resettled to more central parts of Elliston or to Bonavista during the 1950s and 1960s.

Settlement and early history

Maberly was originally called Muddy Brook and was first permentantly settled by John Chaulk and his sons in or around 1806.

Former Provincial Park

Just inside the entrance to Maberly, there is a look-out for the Bird Islands which was originally constructed as Maberly Provincial Park in the same category as Dungeon Provincial Park in Bonavista i.e. a day park for picnicking and, in Maberly's case, bird-watching. Elliston town council has assumed responsibility for the park and now there is a demonstration garden there and tourist poster boards describing topics such as root cellar construction and gardening in the area.

Fishing grounds

Historically, the shoals in the area of Maberly were highly productive.



  • We hear this spoken by some folk
  • Maberly soon will be
  • A ghost town with its industry
  • The Salt Cod Fishery.
  • No stages, boats nor fishing gear
  • Are seen along the shore
  • The old folks that once caught the cod
  • Are gone for evermore.
  • A lovely spot is Maberly
  • This hamlet by the sea
  • In summer when the tourist come
  • They love its scenery.
  • The marshes and the barrens too
  • Abound with berries wild
  • A source of income for the folks
  • And every boy and child.
  • People come from near and far
  • Those berries for to pick
  • With bakeapples in the early fall
  • They fill their buckets quick.
  • The partridgeberry industry
  • Alike for rich and poor
  • Is better here than anywhere
  • Along the Eastern shore.
  • The blueberry is scarce in quantity
  • Is still a source of wealth
  • And makes sweet wine for Christmas time
  • It's good too for one's health.
  • The folks grow all the crops they need
  • The land is fertile here
  • Potatoes are as good as seen
  • At any country fair.
  • Two miles of road connect this place
  • To the town of Elliston
  • Its upkeep by the government
  • Is very small when done.
  • The school bus no doubt cost a bit
  • Of dough to make it go
  • And then there is the snow plow
  • That clears the road of snow.
  • The electric lights along the road
  • And in our homes likewise
  • Are paid when due, we never fink
  • Though some say people try.
  • The facts that's stated here are true
  • We never will agree
  • To end our days away from home
  • In some locality.
  • We have good water near at hand
  • The best that can be found
  • And grazing land is plentiful
  • For cattle all around.
  • There's tons of hay that could be cut
  • For grass is plenty here
  • Enough to feed a thousand sheep
  • The people do declare.
  • Nature has provided us
  • With codfish in galore
  • And berries that are plentiful
  • No distance from our door.
  • Some of the folks that once lived here
  • Have settled now in town
  • They thought electric lights
  • Would never get around.
  • Now when they come to visit here
  • And see the old homestead
  • They view with envy those who stayed
  • Although they were in need.
  • Centralization may be best
  • When things are handled right
  • But dumping people everywhere
  • Is sure an awful sight.
  • What good is it to leave a place
  • Where plenty can be found
  • And live one's days in poverty
  • Within some busy town?
  • To move the houses from this place
  • Much money would be spent
  • Enough to buy an airplane
  • And cross the continent.
  • They say this twentieth century
  • Will see the end of time
  • If this is so we then will be
  • Within some other clime.
  • So when you look at it this way
  • And others stated here
  • Let us enjoy our heritage
  • The place we love so dear.
  • If Joey and his government
  • Would lend a helping hand
  • We'd make this place a paradise
  • The best in Newfoundland.
  • Canon Bailey named this place
  • From Bonavista town
  • A Godly man who loved to preach
  • To people all around.
  • We love it more because of him
  • And all of us agree
  • There is no better place to live
  • Than here in Maberly.
  • Aubrey Pearce (1894-1977)
  • Maberly Resident

Taken from with permission.

See also


  1. ^ A list of the inhabitants of Maberly as recorded on the Newfoundland census of 1921 can be found at The GenWeb Project's NLGenWeb 1921 NF Census page

Coordinates: 48°37′12″N 53°00′51″W / 48.62°N 53.01417°W / 48.62; -53.01417

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