A sunken whaler, San Juan, one of the oldest-known and best-preserved shipwrecks of the postmedieval period, yielded information about some of the estimated 2000 men who caught and processed whales at Red Bay at the peak of the fishery. Several other sunken ships have since been discovered in the area.
The community, settled by Newfoundland fishermen from CONCEPTION BAY by the early 1800s, originally alternated between winter and summer sites, but now occupies the former summer harbour year-round. Red Bay was the site of the first co-operative store in Labrador, the second such venture in the colony.
Author JANET E.M. PITT AND ROBERT D. PITT
Links to Other Sites
Red Bay National Historic Site of Canada
Parks Canada website for Red Bay National Historic Site of Canada, Newfoundland and Labrador.
Basque Whaling in Red Bay
An illustrated history of Basque whaling in the region of Red Bay, Labrador. From the Newfoundland and Labrador Heritage website.
This site highlights Newfoundland's rich maritime heritage found along the Viking Trail, a tourism route that extends from the province's west coast to Southern Labrador. Includes the popular UNESCO World Heritage sites at Gros Morne National Park of Canada and L'Anse aux Meadows National Historic Site of Canada.
The website for Arctic Mission, a scientific voyage through the Arctic’s fabled North-West Passage. Features interactive maps, videos, photos and written observations about the landscape, climate, and wildlife that inhabit this region. From the National Film Board.
Whaleships and Whaleboats
View images of Basque whaleboats called "chalupas." From the website "Lifelines - Swales and Whales: Atlantic Canada's Sea Mammal Harvest," Canadian Museum of Civilization.
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.
Another 16th century galleon found at Red Bay Harbour
A 2004 news release about the important discovery of a 16th century Basque galleon shipwreck in Red Bay Harbour. From the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador.