St. Jones Without

Painting by Marie Cook of St. Jones Without

St. Jones Without, painting by Marie Cook.


Lying on the south side of Trinity Bay is a long narrow fiord that offers shelter from the winds of Trinity Bay. This inlet contained an abundant wood resource, harvested seasonally by settlers from Scilly Cove (known today as Winterton). It came into permanent existence with the arrival of John and Levi Green circa 1870 and it was recorded in the 1884 census with a population of 33 people. It was permanently abandoned by its residents in the 1950’s. The community was called St. Jones Without and consisted of three smaller settlements known locally as The Beach, Ferry’s Cove and Stanley’s Cove. It appears that Levi chose to settle at The Beach, whereas John took permanent residence at Ferry’s Cove.

The majority of the people pursued a meager subsistence living from the cod fishery that existed close to the shores and harvested the forest located at the end of the fiord and at nearby Upper Deer Harbour. The fertile soil, also located at the end of the fiord, was used to supply the families’ need for root crops.

In 1869, St. Jones appears to have become an established community. In the 1869 Newfoundland Directory, it is listed as having four adults and 10 children. However, the writer can only account for nine children during this time period. Levi Green with his wife, Rachael Adey and their five children, Samuel (1853), Mark (1856), Mary Jane (1861), Jehu (1867) and Caleb (1867), settled the area known as The Beach. This family was Church of England. John and Ester Green, along with their children Jasper (1849), Charles (1857), Caroline (1861) and Jessie (about 1863), were listed as being Methodist.

In McAlpine’s Newfoundland Directory 1870-1871, St. James is listed as being 134 miles from St. John’s. Researchers tend to agree that St. James is more likely to be St. Jones because the settlers listed are Levi Green and John Green.

By 1884, according to the census, St. Jones population had grown from 14 to 33 people and could be considered a permanent settlement.

The population fluctuated from 105 (1921 census) to about 130 (1945 census). St. Jones Without existed from 1860s to 1950s and spanned a time period of about 180 years of permanent settlement. The population consisted of people from two denominations, Church of England and Methodist, reflecting the two earliest settlers Levi and John. Both religions had established churches, congregations and schools.

The established surnames that would carry-on through the history of the community included Green, Pitcher, Hiscock and Banton. Other surnames which appear briefly in records are George, Seward, Dodge and Benson.

Today, little remains of the permanent settlement, except a few headstones that record some of the settlers who were born, raised and/or died in this fiord that they called home. These graveyards exist at The Beach, Ferry’s Cove and Stanley’s Cove.



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