Point Verde, located 2 km south-west of Placentia and 25
miles northeast of Cape St. Mary's, has a population of approximately
300 people. While Placentia was built upon a stoney beach, Point
Verde ("green point") has many fine grasslands. Its coast consists of
grasslands known as the "bar (barachois) meadow", "the downs", and a
main beach (Point Verde beach) which reaches to Woody Point. Point
Verde Pond is another striking feature of the community. This pond is
separated from the ocean by slender bars of land and is often used by
local residents for fishing. Pt. Verde has a lot of open spaces, tree
covered hills and a good beach for catching capelin. There are no
registered A.T.V. trails in Pt. Verde, but there are lots of trails
in the woods which can be used for nice walks and hikes.
Point Verde is mainly a residential area and thus people travel to
Placentia for services. Most houses are bungalows and are built on
very spacious lots, have front and back yards and allow for plenty of
privacy. People of many different occupations reside here. Some of
these occupations include teachers, beauticians, mechanics, postal
workers, business people, fisher people, musicians, construction
workers, tour guides, reporters, health care workers, pharmacists,
security guards and receptionists.
Every spring there is a Pt. Verde Improvement/Clean-Up Day. On
this day all the residents get together in the morning and clean up
their property, the ditches and roadsides and the yards of people who
cannot do their own. Once the entire town has been cleaned up
everyone gathers for a barbeque at a local outdoor area known Glen's
Cove Pond less than a kilometer away. This is a naturally occurring
scenic area with an open meadow next to a rattling brook.
Historical Information 1
Point Verde was once the site of fortifications that
protected the southern entrance to Placentia Harbour. Continuous
settlement in the community dates from the arrival of the Greene
family, John and Robert Greene having acquired the peninsula from
Placentia merchants Saunders and Sweetman in 1803. The Greenes fished
herring, capelin and cod, which was sold to Placentia merchants. They
cleared the land themselves, built gardens and had a variety of
livestock. By the first census in 1836 the community had a population
of 72. Other families had arrived by the 1870's, including the
Carrolls, Crouchers, Rowes, and Walshes, but the Greene family was
most common at the time.
In 1874 Point Verde had 138 people in 26 families, approximately
half of whom were primarily engaged in farming. On 120 acres of
cleared land farmers produced oats, wheat and barley, and kept 158
sheep. Through the first half of the twentieth century the population
of Point Verde numbered about 220. In 1941 when the naval base opened
many people left farming and fishing for wage labour. In subsequent
years most people continued to work away from the community, at the
base, at Long Harbour or Come by Chance, or in fish plants or service
industries in Jerseyside and Placentia. In the 1950's and 1960's an
influx of new families arrived from islands in Placentia Bay,
particularly Merasheen. By the 1970's few people did any farming and
much of the soil was sold for fill. In 1992 only four or five people
fished out of Point Verde.
Lighthouse at Point Verde
Point Verde is known for its lighthouse which was established in 1876 and was manned by the Crouchers and other local people. Sailing vessels still use it as a guide in times of storm and fog. A stoney shoal, known as The Bar, extends nearly half a mile northeast. History records many incidents when ships have been wrecked off the Bar.
The lighthouse was operated by people living in the house
on site until the early 1970's, when the lighthouse became
automated and people no longer needed to live there.
Legendary Tale - Letter Rock
The origin of Letter Rock, a large stone embedded in the earth, is probably one of the best examples of legendary tales in the Point Verde area. It is situated on the Gallows Point just off what was formerly known as the " short road", a path used by the people to travel between Point Verde and Placentia.
One story tells that Letter Rock had its origins when an Irish priest, disguised as a ship mate, entered port. A sailor on the same vessel recognized him as a priest and bringing him home, both he and his wife befriended him. When the neighbors realized that this couple were harboring a Catholic priest they " took an unfriendly attitude." During this time the man and his wife, who were relatively wealthy, decided to take their money and jewels and hide it somewhere in the woods. From that day seekers have dug for the treasure without any record of success.
Another tells of the secret use of the flat topped stone by Catholic priests for saying Mass. Many of these priests would disguise themselves as sailors or deck hands in order to receive a clear passage into Placentia Harbor. Once assured that they were safe they would resume their original identities.
1 Historical information taken from: Smallwood, Joseph R. Encyclopedia of Newfoundland and Labrador. St. John's: Newfoundland Book Publishers.
This Page is part of a Historical and Cultural Web Site created by students of Laval High School, Placentia, NFLD (A0B 2Y0) Edited March, 2000