We’re short on historic sites but long on history. People have lived in the area for more than 5,000 years and some very significant events have taken place here. Visit Truce Sound Lookout, just 1 km off the Trans Canada Highway, to learn about our fascinating history.
At Truce Sound Lookout, you can look across the harbor and see a white mamateek (also called a tipi) on Frenchmen’s Island. This is the closest we have to an actual historic site. The community created it in 2012 as a memorial to the ancient peoples that once roamed our shores. A friendly meeting between Beothuk Indians and English colonists took place on Frenchmen’s Island in 1612. The island was also used by the French to hold English prisoners in 1696-7 and 1705, making it an early prison colony for a few months.
Truce Sound Lookout has a number of story boards that tell you more about our community and the events that have taken place here:
- Ancient Peoples who lived in the area – every group that has inhabited the island has lived in this area, with the possible exception of the Norse
- The Beothuk Indians, who were here when Europeans first arrived. The Beothuk are now extinct but we are proud of the fact that the only friendly meeting between English colonists and the Beothuk took place in our harbor on or near Frenchman’s Island.
- An Early Winterhouse – people were beginning to settle here in the mid-1600s. Archaeologists are currently trying to uncover this unknown aspect of our history.
- The Role of Frenchmen’s Island in French-English Conflict – 1696-7 & 1705. The French held English prisoners on this little island during those conflicts.
- The First Transatlantic Cable was landed here in 1858. A cable office was built on a ridge overlooking the harbour and the foundation still exists today. The cable worked for a few weeks, proving the concept of transatlantic communications and ushering in the world of real-time communications that we know today. Unfortunately, the voltage was too high and the cable burned out after a few weeks. Eight years later, a new improved undersea cable was laid across the Atlantic this time it was landed at Heart’s Content, on the other side of Trinity Bay.
- Modern History – just like the Ancient Peoples who lived here, oil companies find this area an attractive location for their activities. They are attracted by ice-free ports, easy access to sea routes and the Trans-Canada Highway corridor.