Trepassey was first settled in 1617, 400 years ago this year. Started as a colony by Welshman Sir William Vaughan, we lay claim to a vibrant history and a picturesque landscape; and we can say with confidence that we are one of the best kept secrets in all of Newfoundland.. The word ‘Trepassey’ is said to have originated from the french word ‘trepasses’, meaning ‘dead men’. Although we have many local ghost stories (and ghostly experiences here), the name actually comes from the amount of shipwrecks that littered the area at the time. Located on the southeastern coast of the Avalon peninsula, Trepassey’s sheltered harbour was very attractive to explorers coming from France, England, Spain, and Portugal; and to fishermen, as a retreat from the fishing grounds. And not just fishermen. Black Bart, the most famous pirate in the world, sailed in with his black flags flying, terrorizing the local captains for a time. So keep your eyes open, you just might see a pirates flag blast through the fog some day …
Fishermen still come to the harbour to offload fish or replenish supplies. Many sailors look to us for safety from storms. Trepassey is also close to Cape Race, the first place to receive the news of the Titanic, which sank just off the coast of Newfoundland. Tragedies such as the Titanic sinking and the many stories of shipwrecks that fell claim to the ocean, tell us just how important a safe harbour like Trepassey was, and still is today.
Trepassey was also the place where Amelia Earhart began her first transatlantic journey–the first female to do so. The Inn once served as a clinic, operated by Nurse Abarnathy, a pioneer in her own right. For the longest time there were no roads into Trepassey and the only medical help folks could get was from this strong, stubborn Scottish woman, who also had a big heart. There is a sense of history in not only our town but between our own walls at Edge of the Avalon Inn.
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