Newfoundland historic sites, visitor centres open

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Terry French. — File photo

Provincial historic sites throughout Newfoundland and Labrador are open to the public for the 2013 season, beginning Saturday.

The sites provide visitors the opportunity to learn about the province’s culture and heritage.

“Our Provincial Historic Sites offer an interactive history lesson on the many influences that have shaped who we are today as a people, including the lives of the Beothuks and the history of lighthouses,” Terry French, minister of tourism, culture and recreation, said in a news release. “You can experience Christmas in the Library at Mockbeggar; Voices on the Wind at the Beothuk Interpretation Centre; Jam and Jammin at Point Amour; or Cultural Company at Heart’s Content, to name a few. I invite visitors from home and abroad to explore our unique culture and heritage.”

 Provincial Historic Sites include: the Commissariat House and the Newman Wine Vaults in St. John’s, as well as the Colonial Building (which is currently closed for renovations); the Cape Bonavista Lighthouse and Mockbeggar Plantation in Bonavista; Hiscock House Visitor Centre, and the Mercantile Premises in Trinity; the Heart’s Content Cable Station; the Beothuk Interpretation Centre in Boyd’s Cove; the Cupids Cove Plantation; and, Point Amour Lighthouse in Labrador.

Residents and visitors are invited to check out the provincial historic sites demonstrations series in July and August, including a new culinary series at Commissariat House and Newman Wine Vaults, a concert series at Commissariat House and Mockbeggar Plantation, as well as "See the Sites at Night" series at Hiscock House and the Mercantile Premises in Trinity, Mockbeggar Plantation, Heart’s Content Cable Station, Cape Bonavista lighthouse and the Newman Wine Vaults.

For more information on these and other programs, visit or

The provincial government has also announced that visitor information centres around the province opened today.

The centres provide information to the travelling public such as directions, advice and local knowledge, and also assist with booking reservations.

Provincial visitor information centres are located in Port aux Basques, on the Deer Lake Highway, Notre Dame, Clarenville, Whitbourne, and Argentia. The Argentia location is currently undergoing renovations and an update on its opening will be provided at a later date.

There are two other visitor information centres in the province that are operated in conjunction with a regional authority and/or municipality. The Deer Lake Airport visitor information centre is operated in partnership with the Deer Lake Regional Airport Authority. The St. John’s Airport visitor information centre is operated in partnership with the St. John’s International Airport Authority and the City of St. John’s, and is open year-round.



Organizations: Commissariat House, Beothuk Interpretation Centre, Newman Wine Vaults Hiscock House Content Cable Station Cultural Company Deer Lake Airport International Airport Authority

Geographic location: Newfoundland and Labrador, Bonavista, Trinity Port aux Basques Notre Dame

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Recent comments

  • Sylvia J.
    June 28, 2013 - 08:40

    Four million cut from Tourism Advertising in the 2013 Budget. Considering how reliant Newfoundland and Labrador are on the tourist industry, can you tell me how that makes sense?

  • DON II
    May 24, 2013 - 10:20

    It appears that Minister French is reluctant to undertake an independent investigation to locate the original site of the Cupers Cove Plantation. It appears that an independent investigation would require the Minister to admit that the department of Tourism expropriated the land, approved funding to build the site, entered into agreements and designated the expropriated land in Cupids as a Provincial Historic Site without having undertaken any due diligence or an independent investigation to confirm where the original Cupers Cove Plantation was actually located in 1610! It appears that it is much easier to just accept the unsubstantiated claim that Cupids is Cupers Cove and to continue to promote Cupids as being the place where John Guy established the Cupers Cove Plantation in 1610! It appears that the site in Cupids had not been independently verified as the authentic site of the Cupers Cove Plantation prior to being designated and funded as a Provincial Historic Site and the fictional name of the Cupids Cove Plantation was substituted instead! The historical maps and documents clearly show that there was no place called Salmon Cove located near to Cupids Cove in the 1600's! John Guy clearly stated in his letter dated October 6, 1610 that Cupers Cove was a branch of Salmon Cove. The historical maps clearly show that the Salmon Cove referred to by John Guy in 1610 was located near to Avondale and not near Cupids! It appears that the Minister of Tourism was not interested in confirming these facts and chose instead to create the fictional Cupids Cove Plantation, a place which is NEVER mentioned in the entire historical record of Newfoundland! It appears that the Government of Newfoundland does not want to admit to having made a mistake in Cupids!

  • Philip Bishop
    May 22, 2013 - 13:39

    An interesting exercise is to read Henry Crout's journal 1612-13 and attempt to overlay the sites and activities of the plantation as described by him onto the main site of the archaeological dig in Cupids. For me, it just doesn't fit. Gilleon Cell admitted that she was not aware of the change in Salmom Cove location but yet she did say that most likely the 'Avon' referred to in Guy's and Crout's documents is present day 'Avondale'. I know that even with the available documents kept by Guy, Crout and others, that, because of the millions spent to develop and publicise the earlier John Guy story, an open minded study will not take place and the real historical facts will remain undisclosed. It will take good archaeological findings from the site to convince me that John Guy spent any time in what is now Cupids. By now Mr Gilbert should have some of this evidence.

  • concerned citizen
    May 19, 2013 - 13:33

    Don ll certainly has a point here. if you visit the memorial university archives site and go to digital maps you'll find maps of Coupers Cove near todays Avondale as late as 1719. Avondale was incorropted in 1901 and renamed from Salmon Cove to Avondale . John Guy wrote he landed in a place called Coupers Cove near Salmon Cove . Back in 1910 information was not available as it is today;but there's no excuse for such confusion today, unless there,s a hidden agenda. I,ve heard of a masterplan, could this be an excuse to acquire land for this purpose???? Who knows. I've heard the Municipal Plans are being re-written and I can almost bet the area around the dig site will be deemed as hertitage,making it worthless to the landowners.

  • DON II
    May 17, 2013 - 13:41

    When is Minister Terry French going to provide information to the public and to tourists that explains why the Department of Tourism established and named the Cupids Cove Plantation Provincial Historic Site in Cupids which commemorates a place that is never mentioned in the historical record of Newfoundland? Why is the Cupids Cove Plantation being commemorated as an historic site of significance when it is never mentioned anywhere in the entire historical record of Newfoundland? Similar remains of 17th century homesteads can be found almost anywhere in longstanding inhabited areas of Conception Bay, Trinity Bay, Placentia Bay and the Southern Shore. It appears that the Cupids Cove Plantation site in Cupids is also being portrayed as the site of the historic Cupers Cove Plantation? Which is it? It appears that the site of the historic Cupers Cove Plantation was originally claimed to have been located in Cupids. It appears that the Government of Newfoundland had no evidence which conclusively proved that the Cupers Cove Plantation ever existed in Cupids and decided to create the fictional Cupids Cove Plantation instead. It appears that the Government of Newfoundland ignored the existence of numerous historic maps, letters and documents in the historical record of Newfoundland which show that the authentic historic Cupers Cove Plantation was originally located near the modern day town of Avondale! If the Government of Newfoundland could conclusively prove that the authentic historic Cupers Cove Plantation actually existed in Cupids it would have established the Cupers Cove Plantation Provincial Historic Site in Cupids and not a fictional replacement!