Colston’s Cove Steps Now Open

On the anniversary of John Guy’s last day in Harbour Grace – October 7, 1612 – we’re pleased to announce the recently restored steps to Colston’s Cove are now open! They’ll remain open until late fall, close for the winter, and reopen spring 2020.

According to Guy’s October journal, he and his men “land[ed]…salt upon the highest part of the ground and there put it in a round heap and burned it to preserve it. The quantity of salt was fifteen tons.” Guy christened this beach Colston’s Cove, after his brother-in-law, William Colston.

In W.A. Munn’s history, he notes this beach was later known as Bradbury’s Cove:

“We now come to where Isaac Bradbury had his fishing stage, right in front of where we now find the Methodist Church stands at the present time. This property was purchased from the Garland family. The Bradbury family had aristocratic connections in the Old Country, and have always held a high name in Harbour Grace. Bradbury’s Cove is still known by that name, although the fishing stages have vanished long ago. Tradition says that this was originally Colston’s Cove, and this name dates back to 1610 when William Colston was right hand man with our first Governor John Guy…and where the salt was landed in 1612.”

Harbour Grace Notebook: September

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2 Sept. 1889: The first Immaculate Conception Cathedral burns. Although valued at $350,000 in 1889, the church carried no insurance for damages.

3 Sept. 1799: Father Patrick Phelan drowns off Grates Cove; he is later buried at Bennett’s Lane Roman Catholic Cemetery, Harbour Grace. He would be one of the cemetery’s earliest internments. Phelan, a Franciscan or Friar Minor, headed the Harbour Grace mission under Bishop James O’Donel (O’Donnell), travelling around Conception Bay to deliver mass to its Catholics. Although the date of his arrival is unknown, Phelan was in Harbour Grace by 1794, making two visitations to his parish annually.

3 Sept. 1856: Harbour Grace Turf Club holds a meeting at Connell’s Hotel. The Club names Capt. Samuel Gordon chairperson, J. Fennell secretary.

3 Sept. 1906: Sir Thomas Roddick marries his second wife, Amy Redpath, in Chislehurst, London.

4 Sept. 1860: Volunteer Fire Brigade reorganizes: a new fire bell is erected, and a new engine purchased. Henry T. Moore, Michael Hartery and others are appointed to the committee.

5 Sept. 1830: Beginning of Harbour Grace Volunteer Fire Brigade.

5 Sept. 1927: Pilots Terrence Tully & James V. Medcalf arrive at the Harbour Grace airstrip in their plane, the Sir John Carling.

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James V. Medcalf and Terrence Tully, pilots of the Sir John Carling

7 Sept. 1927: The Sir John Carling leaves the Harbour Grace airstrip. Pilots Duke Schiller and Phil Wood arrive at the airstrip in the Royal Windsor.

9 Sept. 1935: The Northrop Alpha, a pleasure aircraft piloted by Frederick D. Lee, arrives in Harbour Grace.

11 Sept. 1854: Harbour Grace’s ‘Beacon Light’ first exhibited.

11 Sept. 1935: The Northrop Alpha leaves Harbour Grace for Saint John, New Brunswick.

12 Sept. 1927: SS Kyle recovers the wreck of the Old Glory, with the crew nowhere to be found. Fred Koehler, instrumental in creating an airstrip at Harbour Grace, was on board.

13 Sept. 1851: Magistrate Robert John Pinsent lays the cornerstone at the Temperance Hall on Victoria St.

14 Sept. 1614: Henry Mainwarring, a pirate who frequented Harbour Grace’s shores, leaves Newfoundland.

14 Sept. 1927: Royal Windsor leaves Harbour Grace for Windsor, Ontario, its planned transatlantic flight cancelled after the fates of the Old Glory and Sir John Carling.

15 Sept. 1936: Beachcraft newsplane, carrying Carl Chader and passengers, arrives in Harbour Grace to cover the rescue of the Lady Peace, then stranded in Musgrave Harbour. Also, the Great Silver Fleet aircraft arrives in Harbour Grace as part of the rescue. It is the largest plane to visit airstrip in its nine-year history.

16 Sept. 1936: Beachcraft aircraft, with pilot Johnny Schobe, arrives in Harbour Grace and leaves the same day for Musgrave Harbour.

18 Sept. 1936: Lady Peace aircraft, piloted by Dick Merrill and Harry Richman, arrives at Harbour Grace from Musgrave Harbour, having been rescued by Ed Rickenbacker, the famed World War I flying ace.

20 Sept. 1842: Diomede Falconio Born in Pescocostanzo, Italy, in the region of the Abbey of Monte Cassino.

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Thomas Eakin’s portrait of Diomede Falconio (Source: National Gallery of Art)

20 Sept. 1936: The Great Silver Fleet and Lady Peace aircrafts leaves Harbour Grace for New York, USA.

21 Sept. 1833: First Presentation Sisters arrive in St. John’s. Sisters from the Order would come to Harbour Grace in 1851.

21 Sept. 1837: Rev. William Ellis dies at Harbour Grace. He is the first British Methodist missionary to die and be buried in Newfoundland.

23 Sept. 1930: Errol Boyd and Harry Connor arrive at the Harbour Grace in the Columbia. This trip would be the plane’s second to Harbour Grace in two years. (Originally the plane carried Broadway actress and socialite Mable Boll to Harbour Grace in 1928.) More info: Harbour Grace Airport Trust Co. Logbook

25 Sept. 1730: George Garland is appointed Justice of the Peace for Harbour Grace.

29 Sept. 1879: John Munn dies in Southport, Lancashire, England, at age 72.

29 Sept. 1881: Bishop Ronald McDonald arrives in Harbour Grace.