History – Queen’s Cove

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

(Click on photos to enlarge)

The first to settle in Queens Cove was Richard Goobie who came from Old Perlican in the 1860s and set up a sawmill with two sons, Newman and Simon. Two more sons followed later. The next settlers were the Gregorys from Old Shop, who also came for the logging. Reuben Butt followed from St. John’s. By then, the six families were large enough to justify a volunteer schoolteacher, Joseph Goobie, and build a school.

Queen’s Cove United Church

Among early settlers, most came from Old Perlican. The name Gooby (or Goobie) came from Guppy in Dorset. James Gooby was listed for Trinity Bay in 1773 and James Gooby and Son operated as fishing merchants at Old Perlican in 1800. The Ash family also operated out of Old Perlican and Trinity in 1800. In both cases, the sons moved to Queens Cove. James and John Jacobs were listed for Random Sound in 1871.

All these names appeared in the 1884 and 1904 Newfoundland Directories. Gooby was still the most common name, with eight fishermen shown in 1904. The Wesleyan population had reached 43 in 8 families by 1884. Of these residents, 29 were fishing and 8 lumbering. The fishermen operated 19 boats, 9 nets and seines and 4 traps and landed $748 of fish. The first church meetings were in the Wesleyan school and this continued until at least the 1880s. The Church of England arrived later.

St. Aiden’s Anglican Church

The schooners went to Labrador until the early 1930s, but the community was mainly involved in logging. The Goobies of Queens Cove set up the sawmills at Goobies. Most of the local timber was destroyed in two big fires before the 1920s. Queens Cove was a commuter community for the Little Hearts Ease-Southport area. Everything arrived by train at Northern Bight and was taken to Queens Cove where it was picked up by boat. The traffic was brisk enough that Eldred Goobie states, more in fact than jest, “More cups of tea were given away in Queens Cove than any other community in Newfoundland.” The mail came from Hillview by boat or dog team. The road was put through all the way to Southport before the Trans-Canada Highway was built. Queens Cove was the first community to have pavement—the pavement now runs from the TCH to Hodge’s Cove.

By 1935, the population had doubled to 99 in 20 families. Most families were still members of the United Church, but there was a small Church of England congregation, and the first two Salvation Army members were noted in the census. St. Aidan’s Anglican church was started in January 1956 by the Gosses, Spurrells and Smiths. Until then, services had been held in the United church, from whom the Reverend W.J. Taylor purchased land. The foundation for the Anglican church was laid in February 1958. Contributions from neighboring churches, a donation of windows from the church at St. Jones Without, and furniture from the church at Island Cove, both resettled communities, reduced the financial burden. The font came from the Goulds and the altar from Clarenville. The Reverend G.W. Ethridge held the first service in the church on Christmas Eve 1961, and it was dedicated on October 22,1962, and consecrated on October 25, 1964. By 1981, the church required extensive renovations, which were completed within two years, and the church was rededicated on October 9, 1983.

Queen’s Cove ballfield and children’s playground.

Queens Cove residents are proud of the fact that the community did not receive any government funding until 1978. It has always been a very independent community with a high number of tradesmen working throughout the province. It is the only community on the peninsula to have a town water supply from a reservoir above the town. The water pressure is so great that a pressure-reducing valve has had to be installed.

The 1981 population was 123 in 35 families. Several residents are employed in marine engineering, while others work for Goobies Contracting and Rentals, which remains the largest employer for people on the peninsula.


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.