HISTORICAL SOCIETY

 

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.

 

Society Constitution

Town History

Notices   (Updated 13-July-2010)

Events and Picture Gallery (Updated 13-July-2010)  


 

Town History

Gillams 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  Historical documents suggest that the first recorded European settlers in Gillams were named Blanchard, and that they established a homestead  in Gillams around 1780.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 could prosper.  

An 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, A HISTORY OF BAY OF ISLANDS WITH SPECIAL REFERENCE TO GILLAMS, ONE OF ITS FIRST SETTLEMENTS.