The Community of Blaketown, NL

History of Blaketown: Timeline

From 1612 - 2000

1612- Newfoundland's first Governor, John Guy sails into the bottom of Dildo Arm and follows a Beothuk trail inland for a mile to Dildo Pond where he finds a Beothuk camp consisting of three houses. Archaeological work conducted at this site between 1994 and 1997 indicates that this was a fall and winter hunting camp used by the Beothuk since about A.D. 1000.

1884- Railway line between St. John's and Harbour Grace is completed. The line runs along the eastern side of Dildo Pond. Several years later a railway station is built.

1886- A road is built between Dildo and Harbour Grace Junction (i.e. Whitbourne). Originally called the Dildo Agricultural Road, it is the road which now extends from South Dildo, through Blaketown and on to Whitbourne.

1887- The land along the west side of the Dildo Agricultural Road is surveyed, divided into seventy-five lots and designated an Agricultural District by the Newfoundland government. On December 24 an advertisement is published in the Royal Gazette requesting that people submit applications for these lots.

1888- By the end of the year thirty-two families are settled at Blaketown. Twenty come from Upper Island Cove and the remainder from Bishop's Cove, Bay Roberts and Spaniard's Bay . Family names include: Anthony, Barrett, Brown, Church, Cram, Drover, Gosse, Jones, Kierley, Lundrigan, Lynch, Mercer, Osbourne, Pike, Russell, Sharpe, Shoot and Smith.

Circa 1889 - A Church of England school/chapel is built under the direction of Mr. William Drover.

1891- Census lists a population of 282. A Church of England school is opened.

1892 – Blaketown is quickly rebuilt after a fire destroys all but one of the buildings in this year.

1911- Census lists only three full-time farmers. A Salvation Army School is built and also used as a chapel.

1920 – A new school is built by the Colonial and Continental Church Society.

A one room school is built.

1930’s – More attempts are made to expand the economy of Blaketown.

1955 – "Report of the Royal Commission on Agriculture" recommends that mink-ranching, be centralized for the training of mink ranchers through the setting up of an experimental mink ranch.

The Newfoundland Fur-Farmers Co-operative is formed, members in Blaketown are responsible for running the plant which produces fishmeal for mink food. New families move from Placentia Bay and Green Bay increasing the population of Blaketown to about 400.

1960’s (early) – New services such as paved roads, electricity, telephones and a new church are established in Blaketown. A hennery is open. Some pig farming is also tried.

1965 – Dildo Boatyard Limited is established in Blaketown to build wooden longliners.

1966 – Under the Community Consolidation Program twenty people in three households resettle to Blaketown from Spread Eagle.

1968 – Some residents find employment in Long Harbour with the opening of a ERCO phosphorous plant.

1970 – Blaketown school is closed.

1971 - Only one full-time mink rancher remains due to the decline in the mink industry in the 1960’s.

1980 – Dildo Boatyard Limited employs about four people each year (seven during the peak season). Other residents find employment commuting to St. John’s and other communities on the Avalon Peninsula.

1981 – One full-time mink rancher who started in 1979 with 3400 mink remains in Blaketown. Elementary and high school students attend school in Dildo, Green’s Harbour and New Harbour.

2000 - Crescent Collegiate opens in September, Grades 7-9 and Level's 1-3. Students attend from Chance Cove - Chapel Arm, Fair Haven - Mount Arlington Heights, Markland to Hearts Desire. Over 800 students attend. St. Georges Senior High, Woodland and Ridgewood Junior High closes.

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