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Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Placentia Old and New

Not a lot changes in Placentia, at least not at first glance.  Sacred Heart Church underwent some much needed improvements over the last few years, it was built in 1886 after all, with the stained glass added in the early 1900's.

Across the square the town added the Placentia Bay Cultural Arts Centre in 2009 which not only was the venue for my niece's recent wedding but holds some great artwork, books on the region that are available for purchase, an archaeology display and the Voices of Placentia Bay exhibit which catalogs video and audio biographical information including much about the local music.

My favorite painting that was on display

Last year my grandmother stopped by my mother-in-law's home in Placentia for a quick visit.  These ladies went to school together 80 years ago!  Not in Placentia though, they were from St. Leonard's and St. Kyran's, a story I still haven't gotten around to telling.

Annie Griffin age 88, Nell Leonard age 94

Even though our families weren't part of the Placentia story from the beginning it is a fascinating tale.  Basque fishermen (from north central Spain and southwestern France) were here as early as the 16th century, where the large rock beach meant the codfish could be salted and dried right on the beach rocks.  And then for almost a hundred years the French and the British fought over control of this bountiful harbor.  Of course the cod moratorium changed everything for this area.  Check out the link and read the story if you don't know about it.

Drying fish on Placentia Beach from the Placentia Area Blog website

The latest update in town has been the building of the new lift bridge. We watched the progress every time we visited, and this visit happened to coincide with the bridge's completion just a few weeks before our arrival.

Bridge progress August 2015

The old Ambrose Shea bridge that was built in 1961 is still there for the time being.  My husband climbed to the top of that bridge about 10 times in his life, including taking Cory up there a few years back.  I'm glad they have those memories because the new bridge looked harder to scale!  And here is my picture from Jerseyside hill with the new Ambrose Shea bridge finished and fully operational.

Placentia is just a 10 minute drive from the Argentia ferry dock and is the gateway to the Cape Shore including Cape St. Mary Ecological Bird Sanctuary though I recommend leaving your camper back at the campground and taking your vehicle on those shore roads!  Beautiful scenery around every turn, friendly folks, and even a place to stop for coffee and a donut at Tim Horton's in Placentia before you hit the road!


  1. That is a very nice looking church I see from the photo. The new bridge looks nicer than the old one for sure

  2. My family is from Bar Haven and many of them settled in Placentia.