Caplin Cove

Stewart-Drodges-house-Caplin-Cove-001

Home of Stewart Drodge in Caplin Cove

 

The name Caplin Cove seems to suggest that the community was called so because of the abundance of caplin that came to its beach. Interestingly, in its earlier days the community was referred to as Swearing Cove.

Earliest Settlers

To use the birth year of the family’s first child born at Caplin Cove as an indicator of the approximate time when that family settled here, the following order is likely:

The family of Edward Thomas Whalen (1832-1891) from Bradley’s Cove, Conception Bay, were the first permanent settlers at Caplin Cove. The first three children were born to him and his wife, Clementina (nee Janes), at Bradley’s Cove and Grates Cove. Their first child born at Caplin Cove was Josiah in 1866, suggesting that they had already constructed their residence here by then. The Whalens chose the heart of the hinterland at which to clear the land and erect immediate infrastructure.

It is a toss-up as to who the next surname/family was to settle at Caplin Cove, since both the Drodges and the Stringers had their first Caplin Cove born child in the same year.

Eliza Ann Drodge, daughter of Josiah and Annie (nee Langer) Drodge, was born at Caplin Cove in 1875. This was one of the many South West Arm families who had come from Grates Cove. They chose the property to the immediate west of the Whalens upon which to develop their homestead.

Josiah Stringer, son of Nathaniel and Amelia (nee Drodge) Stringer, was born at Caplin Cove in 1875. This family also came from Grates Cove. The Stringers chose the land immediately east of the Whalens as their lot.

William George Shaw from Grates Cove, through marriage to Mary Jane, daughter of Nathaniel and Amelia Stringer of Caplin Cove, later arrived and settled at the extreme western part of the community. This was in the late 1880s at the earliest.

When George Baker, of Heart’s Ease Beach, died in 1874, his widow Annie (nee Langer) in late 1875 married Josiah Drodge, bringing with her to Caplin Cove her two Baker children. From one of these children, William George, the Baker line is established at Caplin Cove. The first Baker child born at Caplin Cove was Mary Louisa, in 1900.

Religious Denominations

Methodism was, and remains, the predominant religious denomination in this community. Indeed, for a couple of decades the church served the Methodist population of Hodge’s Cove as well, until the latter had its own church/chapel constructed. In later years a Pentecostal church was built at Caplin Cove, but it does not exist anymore.

Occupations

The occupations of those at Caplin Cove in its earlier years were much the same as those of neighboring communities. There was the standard subsistence farming that all families did. The men of the community took part in ‘woods work’, as well as at the inshore and Labrador fisheries.

 

Note: This article is subject to further correction and revision.