Biscay Bay, Newfoundland and Labrador

Biscay Bay, Newfoundland and Labrador

Biscay Bay is a town in the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Origin of Name

This name appears as early as 1675 in The English Pilot, a guide to navigation. At the time, Basques were called “Biscayans,” so the bay was probably used by the early Basque fishermen.fact|date=August 2008


There is very little known about Biscay Bay before 1845, but most of the land area of Biscay Bay was owned by William D. Jackson, an English merchant, when Thomas Ryan of Trepassey (originally from Ireland) went to live there in that year.fact|date=August 2008 Other families at the time were the Easemans and Whites.


The census of 1857 shows Biscay Bay with convert|4.5|acre|m2 of improved land producing 20 barrels of potatoes and three tons of hay.

When Jackson died, his daughter Caroline decided to go back to live in England so she sold the land to Thomas Ryan and Richard Hartery for 150 pounds.

Residents farmed root crops and hay, raised sheep, cattle and pigs and also fished for cod inshore. It was not until the early 1930s that the road made much difference to the community and most transportation was by water. The community averaged 600 quintals of saltfish annually in the late 1930s and early 1940s, but 1943 was a good year when 970 quintals were made and sold for $12.50 per quintal.

Very heavy timber grew along the shore of Path End but as the years went by, it became necessary to go farther and farther inland to get wood. Today, Biscay Bay is almost void of trees. The area boasted abundant partridge berries, bakeapples, rabbits, partridges, eider duck, fox, beaver, muskrat and weasel. The coming of the branch railway in 1931 added extra impetus to the area, as had a sawmill in 1920.


The principal names were Ryan, White, Coady and Shea.fact|date=August 2008


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