Long Beach

(Click on photo to enlarge)

Long Beach

Long Beach

Long Beach appears on a map entitled Movements To and From Trinity 1761-1770 in Gordon Handcock’s publication The Story of Trinity. This map was first recorded in Benjamin Lester’s Diary. Even though Long Beach was named as early as 1761, there is no record of any permanent settlers until about 1865.

Fishermen travelled across Trinity Bay from Grates Cove to South West Arm in search of timber as early as the 1840s or 50s. About 1865 James and Lavinia (nee Stoyles) Vey, along with most of their seven living children and Granny Elizabeth Vey made the permanent move from Grates Cove to Southwest Arm. James and Lavinia’s youngest child, Elizabeth Jane, was born at Southern Bight [Queen’s Cove] on 5 January 1867. According to James Vey’s headstone at Long Beach, he died in February 1869 but according to his daughter’s baptism records, James died in 1867.

There are only three land owners recorded at Long Beach in the 1873 voters’ list – Elias Avery, George Barfoot [Barfitt] and James Vise [Vey]. It is interesting to note that both Elias and James were listed at SW Random in the 1870 voters’ list. This list is not broken down into the different communities. It was also noted that James Vey had a sawmill.

George Barfoot [Barfitt] is listed as a resident of Long Beach in both the 1873 and 1884 voters’ list. George was a resident of Grates Cove when he married his first wife, Catherine Brewer, in 1859. When he married his second wife, Sarah Selina Rose in 1867, his residence was listed as Salmon Cove, Trinity Bay. George and Sarah Selina’s daughter, Catherine, was born November 28, 1870 and their son Stephen, born November 17, 1872 and they were both baptized at Grates Cove on September 26, 1873 – at that time (1873) their residence was listed as Long Beach.

Elias Avery and his wife Lucinda (who is believed to have been a sister to James Vey’s wife Lavinia) came from Grates Cove. Elias Every [Avery] is listed at Random Sound in both the 1870 voters’ list and Lovell’s Province of Newfoundland Directory for 1871. At that time Elias and Lucinda were living at Northern Bight [Hillview] as their son John Robert was born at Northern Bight in 1872. Elias is listed at Long Beach in both the 1873 and 1884 voters’ list. Elias and Lucinda’s sixth child, Elizabeth, was born at Long Beach in January 1874.

Other males listed at Long Beach in the 1884 voters’ list are William Drover, John Verge [Vey], Alfred Verge [Vey] and William Verge [Vey]. John, Alfred and William were sons of James and Lavinia Vey.

The first time Long Beach was recorded separately in a census record was also in 1884. At that time there were 69 residents (10 families – probably Elias and Lucinda Avery, George and Sarah Selina Barfitt, William Drover, Robert and Sarah Ann (nee Vey) Gosse, James and Elizabeth Jane (nee Vey) Gosse, Thomas and Harriett Gosse (parents of James and Robert – Thomas and Harriett’s son Bertram was born at Long Beach in 1875), John and Mary (nee Meadus) Vey, Alfred and Maria (nee Day) Vey, Nicholas and Mary Jane (nee Meadus) Vey, and William and Sarah Jane (nee Puddister) Vey). There were 10 houses in the community and three houses were either being built or were built in the last 12 months. The community had four fishing rooms in use and one school house. A total of 46 men were fishing and 17 lumbering. At least 12 residents (nine men, two women and one child) travelled to Labrador, and the small-boat fishermen operated 10 boats.

Long Beach relied heavily on the Labrador fishery for a number of years, as the community was located some distance from the fishing grounds. Lumbering and sawmilling also began to increase in importance.

By 1901 the population went up to 78 residents (15 families) which included one minister, one teacher and 19 fishermen. At this time there was one school, 13 houses (with one new one being built) and two saw mills in the community. There were eight vessels from Long Beach that participated in the Labrador fishery with 65 men and five women. There were also 28 inshore boats at Long Beach.

According to The History of Methodism, “Long Beach was an Anglican community until Elias Avery went there to live. He was also a Grates Cove man and like all the men of that generation at once raised the flag for service in his own home. Presently Alfred Vey, a man of considerable means, was converted and at once, largely from his own resources, built a school chapel and invited the Methodist minister to come and take charge and himself led when the minister was not there. This was about 1901.”

There was an interesting remark made about the school children of Long Beach in the 1905 Report of Public Schools of Newfoundland under Church of England Boards. “Six schools conducted by three teachers each in alternate periods of about three months were operated in this District [Random], and one hundred and fifty eight children benefitted by the instructions given. At Long Beach the children are smart beyond the average and make good progress while school is open.”

The fishery declined somewhat by 1911 as there were only five large vessels at Long Beach and only one of these participated in the Labrador fishery (with nine men and one woman). The population went up to 100 residents in 17 families. According to the census records, there was a Church of England church building as well as a school, 17 houses (with one house vacant and two new houses being built) and five saw mills.

In 1935, the fishery was still the main economic activity for the population of 132 (24 families). A total of four vessels went to Labrador and there were 17 inshore motor boats. The community had 23 houses (with one vacant) and six barns.

In 1985, a marina was built in Long Beach. [click here to read more about the marina].

The population of Long Beach peaked in 1945 with 156 residents in 30 families. Since that time the population, for the most part, has continued to slowly decline with 142 residents in 1981, 133 residents in 1986, 115 residents in 2001 and 100 residents in 2011.


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

NOTE: See also information from Decks Awash, Volume 15, Number 6, November-December 1986