Harbour Grace got its name from “Havre de Grace,” which the French gave it in the early 1500s, after the French fishing port Le Havre. Harbour Grace was the headquarters of the famous early seventeenth century pirate Peter Easton, who’s pirate fort was on the site of the old Customs House (in the eastern section of the town) which is now the Conception Bay Museum.

Beginning in 1919, Harbour Grace was used as the departure point for many pilots’ early trans-Atlantic crossing attempts. In August 1927, the first successful flight by William Brock and Edward Schlee of Croyden, England marked the first civilian airport in North America opened here. In 1932, Amelia Earhart left Harbour Grace to become the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic.

Harbour Grace was once the second largest town in Newfoundland, but a series of seven major fires between 1814 and 1944 drastically impeded the town’s progress, though many of its historic buildings and fine residences survived. Of special interest is the 1835 St. Paul’s Anglican Church, the oldest stone church in Newfoundland.

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Harbour Grace Attractions

Conception Bay Museum

Harbour Grace, Route 70
P.O. Box 298
Harbour Grace, NL, A0A 2M0
Contact Suzanne Williams
709-596-5465 Fax 1-709-596-5465

Museum housed inside 1870 former customs house, featuring 1610 Peter Easton Pirate exhibit, Fisherman’s Room, Aviation Room, Communications exhibit, old photographs & equipment. An unusual element in the museum’s collection is a group of family portraits painted by an unknown artist in the early 19th century. Photographers will be thrilled by the collection of glass plate negatives. Artifacts from early 1800’s, 1850’s Period Setting Room.

Harbour Grace Tours

Great Easton Boat Tours
P.O. Box 84
Riverhead, Harbour Grace, Newfoundland, A0A 3P0
(709) 596-2172
Experience the rich & unique history of Harbour Grace & area over the past 400 years (including that of pirate Peter Easton) and see Whales, icebergs, eagles and a kitiwake nesting colony with on board multi-media presentations.
From May 01 – Sep 30

Harbour Grace Newfoundland Area Map