Community of the Month – Little Heart’s Ease

Reprinted from The Downhomer,
January 2000, Volume 12, Number 8


“A beautiful place to live in” is the way resident Obediah Spurrell describes Little Heart’s Ease and, since he’s lived in the Trinity Bay Community all of his 56 years, it would be reasonable to believe Spurrell is correct.

“We have a great harbour, Grandy Cove Arm is part of the town and is also well protected, and the area around us is just beautiful. With good neighbours, it’s a fine place to live.” Spurrell elaborated.

Located on the south side of Southwest Arm in Trinity Bay, Little Heart’s Ease has a population of “about 500” with 130 or so households. “I’m not certain about the numbers.: Spurrell explained, “but they’re pretty accurate.”

There’s no council or service committee in the community but “our waste disposal committee does a good job,” says Spurrell. The committee arranges garbage collection with customers charged a monthly fee.

“Pole lights are a personal responsibility with Newfoundland Power and that system works pretty well.”

Spurrell is quick to talk about the “attractive and bright” houses that make up the community and points out “we have a large number of people under 50 years and many of them are getting married and building new homes. That may be different from other rural communities in this province.”

He explains that, “There are pretty good working chances here. We have many construction workers and, in addition to the fisheries, our people are employed at Bull Arm and Come by Chance.

“Of course, there are people who go to the mainland for work but most of them come home in the winter. We also have some loggers.”

Fisherpeople from the town fish out of Gooseberry Cove and sell much of their catches in Clarenville or to truckers who come to the community.

While Little Heart’s Ease was used by English fishermen as far back as 1600, its permanent settlement dates from 1790. It had a population of 35 in 1836 and its population in 1986 was 510.

Coming from Grates Cove, members of the Shaw family were the earliest settlers, followed by Bensons, Drodges, Stringers, Martins, Jacobs and Spurrells. New residents came from a variety of locations due to 1960s resettlement program which included House Cove, Clay Pitts, Loreburn, Deer Harbour and Random Island.

Southwest Academy provides kindergarten to grade 12 education for “about 250 students” and the Salvation Army, United Church, Pentecostals and Roman Catholics have churches in Little Heart’s Ease.

With one convenience store located in the town, Little Heart’s Ease people depend on Clarenville for many of their needs, including general shopping, health and some recreation requirements.

“Going to Clarenville is not a problem,” Spurrell said.

Like other communities in the general area, Little Heart’s Ease is close to good hunting and fishing spots with food from the ocean easily obtained. “We have plenty of berries close by.” Spurrell offered. “It’s not hard to pick buckets of blueberries, partridgeberries and bakeapples.”

Mainly an accountant, Spurrell says he’s a “jack of all trades” who is confined to a wheelchair with muscular dystrophy. He married Selma Lambert of nearby Southport. Their son lives in Little Heart’s Ease while their two daughters are in Ontario.

“I guess we’re like a good many families with children going to the mainland for work.” Spurrell lamented.

He’s correct about that and also about the fact that Little Heart’s Ease is a “beautiful spot to live in.”

Copy of the original clipping with colour photos


Transcribed by Wanda Garrett, May 2020

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