History – Little Heart’s Ease

Reprinted from Decks Awash, Volume 15, Number 6
November – December 1986
Photographs from MUN Digital Archives

(Click on photos to enlarge)

Little Heart’s Ease, 1986

Little Hearts Ease and Little Hearts Ease West straddle the main highway having water access to both Southwest Arm and Trinity Bay.

According to local resident Theodore Martin, the earliest settlers at Little Hearts Ease were all from Grates Cove on the northeasterly tip of Trinity Bay. John Martin, Theodore’s grandfather, was the first of the Martins, arriving some time before 1886. At that time fish was plentiful and the land was well wooded, some of the trees being in excess of two feet across.

In 1884 the population numbered 136 in 25 families consisting of 75 Wesleyans, 36 Roman Catholics, and 25 Church of England. Two schools were listed. Fishing was the main occupation with 74 people recorded as fishermen, 39 of them employed as crew members on Labrador schooners. Some 65 acres were under cultivation.

Little Heart’s Ease, West

In 1898 the most common name was Drodge—there were 30. Other names were Jacobs, Martin, Norris, Shaw, and Stringer with Peddle and Soper appearing around 1900.

McAlpine’s Maritime and Newfoundland Gazetteer for 1898 describes Little Hearts Ease as a fishing, farming, and lumbering settlement with a safe harbor and a good entrance. The nearest money order office was Britannia Cove (presumably on Random Island) while the closest telegraph and railway station was Clarenville. The closest coastal boat stopped at Trinity, 25 miles away. At that time Little Hearts Ease contained 3 stores and 1 church. The population was 175.

Old United Church at Little Heart’s Ease West

By 1935 the population had reached 264 in 55 families, being 131 United Church, 30 Roman Catholic, and 103 Salvation Army—the latter the largest Corps in the region. Whether the Church of England contingent converted or left is unknown, but by this time they seem to have quite disappeared. Four schooners were recorded, two large 170-ton vessels and two smaller 109-ton Labrador schooners. There were also four sawmills in operation.

Today Little Hearts Ease has the area Integrated High School, the expanded former Salvation Army School. It also has two United Churches, an older building in Little Hearts Ease West that was closed a few years ago, and a new building by the main road. The population in 1981 was 467.

Little Heart’s Ease Intergrated All Grades School with Salvation Army Citadel in foreground.



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.