Long Island

Long Island is situated very close to Heart’s Ease Beach, Trinity Bay, Newfoundland. Being close to the best local fishing grounds, such as Random Head Ground and Heart’s Ease Ledge, and its relatively sheltered location offered Long Island as a suitable place to prosecute the fishery. Heart’s Ease Beach had been used as a prime fishing area from the 1500’s-1600’s and by the early 1800’s there was limited or no additional space there for new settlers. So, Long Island became an alternative location.

The earliest censuses/voters lists have Long Island lumped in with Heart’s Ease Beach, so it is difficult to tell when and who the earliest settlers were who resided on Long Island. There were at least four fishing rooms/gardens on its northern side that were occupied at different times by different individuals. The largest fishing room, still called Joe Baker’s (Room) Garden was likely named after the Joseph Baker who died there c. 1839 (a son of John Baker (Jr.). Joseph married Betsy Brine (O’Brien) of Cape Broyle at Trinity (RC Records) in 1830. After Joseph died his widow married a Sullivan of East Random Head Harbour.

Other early temporary residents at Long Island in 1835 included Thomas George, and Thomas Hiscock (a bachelor and not the same Thomas Hiscock who moved to Ganny Cove, Butter Cove). During the winter months Thomas Hiscock occupied a tilt near the eastern side of Bluff Cove Pond and the place became known as Tommy’s Tilt. Thomas Hiscock was still residing on Long Island until circa 1854 when he died there.

James Vick (originally of Christchurch, Dorset) from Trinity was also living at Long Island in 1835. At Trinity in 1836 he married Sweet Sevior of Silldown (near Rider’s Harbour). She died at Long Island on October 8, 1843 at the age of 61 years and was interred at Trinity. There is also a James Hiscock living on Long Island in 1835. This is likely the same James Hiscock who married Johanna Brinnick in 1813.

The Thomas George of Long Island may have been the same one who had 5 children baptized at New Harbour in 1823 ( Elizabeth, Johannah, Martin, Sarah and Susan). He was likely originally from the Heart’s Content family of Georges. On the 1846 Voter’s Lists Thomas is shown at Long Island, and the 1852 Voter’s List shows that he is an owner, with 3 in family, living on Long Island, but ‘not well off’. By 1855 he appears to have left Long Island, but still living in the area, possibly George’s Cove. It is assumed that George’s Cove was named for this Thomas. He died in 1860 and was interred at Trinity.

John Farrell from Placentia Bay arrived in the Gooseberry Cove area around 1837 and married Elizabeth Langer, (of Thomas and Elizabeth). John and Elizabeth likely moved to Long Island around this time. The 1852 Voter’s List indicates that he has left Long Island and possibly resided at Heart’s Ease Beach for a while. There is a cove on Heart’s Ease Beach Peninsula called Farrell’s Cove. Records indicate that by 1865 he was back residing on Long Island. John and Elizabeth had 3 children (Martin, James and Hannah c. 1837-1841) who resided at Long Island with them.  The 1845 Voter’s List shows William Welsh also living on Long Island. Indications are that he only lived there temporarily. He was likely the son of John Welsh of Trinity.

No one is certain when the last settlers left Long Island, but it was likely around 1875. However, several of the gardens were still used for growing potatoes into the first half of the 1900’s.