Great Canadian Parks / Newfoundland

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The Parks / Newfoundland & Labrador / Terra Nova National Park



 

Artifacts place the first inhabitants - Maritime Archaic Indians, and Paleo and Dorset Eskimo - in the park area over 5000 years ago. They hunted and fished along the coast in the summer months. Some historians believe that John Cabot first landed here at Cape Bonavista in 1497, but Newfoundland was certainly one of the first areas in North America to be discovered by Europeans. The abundance of cod attracted seasonal fishermen who returned to Europe in winter. Permanent settlement would come later with Bonavista being one of the earliest settlements, opening the first school on the island in 1728. By the 18th century, people living here year round were logging the forested inlets during winter. The use of timber in boat building led to the development of a lumber industry. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries the steam engine and advancements in sawmill technology made logging an essential aspect of the economy. Between 1925 and 1936, five schooners were built near the present park’s wharves. The resources of land and sea had provided cod fishing, hunting, trapping for furs, the seal fisheries, lumbering and boat building. In 1957, when the park was established, much of the wood was ącut over® and the federal government acquired the very few mills still operating.

 

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