History – Heart’s Ease

Reprinted from Decks Awash, Volume 15, Number 6
November – December 1986

This abandoned community is of historical importance as it was probably one of the first places in Southwest Arm systematically visited by European fishermen. Sir Richard Whitbourne who visited Newfoundland several times between 1579 and 1620 mentions “Harts Ease.” The English fishing vessel Edward was operating from Heart’s Ease in 1675 and itinerant scribe Abbe Jean Baudoin (who accompanied D’Iberville) recorded 12 fishermen with two boats landing 1,000 quintals of fish at Heart’s Ease in 1697.

What made Heart’s Ease attractive was its location near prime fishing grounds, its sheltered inner harbour, and a pebbled beach ideal for drying fish.

John Baker, his wife and three children were the first permanent residents at Heart’s Ease. Thomas Baker was born there in 1794. In 1806 there were eight or nine families resident. The population peaked around 1874 at 68 and was reduced to seven by 1901 and abandoned some time after.

Heart’s Ease lies between Gooseberry Cove and Southport and may be reached by a footpath that runs by St. Alban’s Church.



See also the community history under Communities


Transcribed by Wanda Garrett

These transcriptions may contain human errors. As always, confirm these as you would any other source material.