Festival of Friends
Ocean Sciences Centre
The term "logy" means heavy and sluggish, and may have been applied
to this community to refer to cod made "lazy" from eating caplin. The
community had a population of 200 people in 1869, with 21 farming families and
10 engaged in the fishery. Farming was initially done on a haphazard,
subsistence basis, but by the late nineteenth century people were selling milk
and vegetables door to door in St. John's. During the nineteenth and early
twentieth centuries fishing rooms were built at the base of the cliffs, and in
summer entire families moved into these temporary dwellings along with their
farm animals. Catches had to be hauled with winches as much as 300 feet up the
In the mid-1800s a freshwater spring high in iron concentrates was discovered
and won some recognition for its supposed medicinal qualities. Advertisements
appeared in local papers in 1888 inviting the public to visit a spa built at the
spring, but the venture soon collapsed. In 1942 an American artillery battery
was built and manned for the duration of the war at Red Cliff and during the
Korean War a radar station was erected at the site. In 1967 Memorial
University's Marine Sciences Research Laboratory was built in Dyer's Cove.
This community was smaller than its
neighbors, the 1869 census listing 80
residents. At that time Middle Cove had eight farming and three fishing
families, although it is unlikely that people relied on just the one occupation.
Prior to World War II there were three commercial dairy farms and 15-20 fishing
stages at Middle Cove. When the U.S. armed forces arrived in the 1940s fishing
activity ceased as the older men worked on the American base in Pleasantville,
while many of the younger men from the area went to bases in Greenland and
Frobisher Bay. Following the War, farming largely died out, although a daily
farm operated by the Kelly family was still active in 1991. In 1979 Middle Cove
beach became a Provincial park. It is a favorite site for the annual Caplin
Scull, attracting thousands of people each June.
In 1836 there were 58 houses and 62 boats in Outer Cove, and a population of
305 -- the majority of the people being Roman Catholic. The population was 246
in 1869, consisting of 32 farming and three fishing families. Locally produced
fresh milk was sold in the 1830s according to members of the Pine family whose
ancestors still raised dairy cattle in 1991. Outer Cove has gained a degree of
fame for its rowing crews. A men's crew established a record at the 1901 St.
John's Regatta on Quidi Vidi Lake which lasted until 1981.