The town was incorporated in the mid 20th century, but records indicate the community's history can be traced back to the late 17th century when English fisherman began using its sheltered harbour. A map dated 1693 shows a small settlement named "Holly Rode" near the current townsite.
During World War II personnel stationed at the nearby ARGENTIA Naval Base built a large wooden cross above the town on Georges Cove Mountain. The original cross eventually blew over in a gale, but it had become a local landmark. It has since been replaced twice, most recently in 1992.
For most of its history Holyrood was primarily a fishing community, though some residents also engaged in farming. Holyrood was also home to one of the first refineries built in Atlantic Canada. The Ultramar refinery operated from 1961 to 1983 and at its peak processed 15 000 barrels of oil a day. In recent years residents have found employment in a nearby hydroelectric plant, while many others commute to work in St John's and MOUNT PEARL. Holyrood is also a recreational centre with BUTTER POT PROVINCIAL PARK and Salmonier Nature Park located nearby.
Author DEBORAH WELCH and MICHAEL PAYNE
Links to Other Sites
A visitor's guide to the idyllic community of Holyrood. Features local history and attractions.
Atlantic Provinces Chambers of Commerce
The website for the Atlantic Provinces Chambers of Commerce (APCC), formerly the Maritime Board of Trade. Formed in 1896, this organization promotes and supports business and economic development in Atlantic Canada. Click on "Chambers" for links to local Chambers of Commerce.