The Gillams Historical Society was established in March 2008, with the
purpose of bringing together people interested in history, especially in
the history of Gillams, Bay of Islands, Newfoundland and Labrador.
Understanding the history of our community is basic to our democratic way
of life, gives us a better understanding of our province and nation, and
promotes a better appreciation of our Newfoundland and Canadian heritage.
The Society's major function is to discover and collect any
material which may help to establish or illustrate the history of the
area: its exploration, settlement, development, and activities in peace
and in war; its progress in population, wealth, education, arts, science,
agriculture, manufactures, trade, and transportation.
Events and Picture
was one of the first - if not the first settled community
in the Bay of Islands. Historical documents suggest that the
first recorded European settlers in Gillams were named Blanchard,
and that they established a homestead in Gillams around
1780. Conflict between Britain and France over fishing
rights along the western coast of Newfoundland during the 1700s and
1800s resulted in very slow population growth compared to other
regions of the Island. While permanent residence was
officially discouraged by the "home government", the
herring, salmon and lobster fisheries, the bounty of
the surrounding forests and the relatively rich soil found in the
community all provided those determined to stay the means by which they
extensive documentation of the history of Gillams and the Bay of
Islands was compiled by Richard (Rich) Park of Gillams. Mr.
Park's 1968 baccalaureate research outlines the growth of the
community and the Bay of Islands and includes an interesting
discourse of the economic, social and political history of the
town from 1780 to 1968. Mr. Park's extensive Bibliography
provides a wealth of resources for historians of all levels.
Read Mr. Park's paper,
HISTORY OF BAY OF ISLANDS WITH SPECIAL REFERENCE TO GILLAMS, ONE
OF ITS FIRST SETTLEMENTS.