The community of Harbour Main-Chapel's Cove-Lakeview has a population of 1303. These three towns are an amalgamation of three formerly separate communities situated at the bottom of Conception Bay. The old community of Harbour Main is spread out along the east and south shore of an 8 km (5mi) long Northeast-southwest oriented inlet, while Chapel's Cove is located in a small cove with the same orientation approximately 6.5 km (4mi) to the east, on the west side of the mouth of Holyrood Bay; Lakeview, a more recently settled community is found inland, 1.6 km (1 mi) southwest of Harbour Main on the Conception Bay Highway. The area in which the community is located is part of the Carbonear-Harbour Main shoreline, an area which has long benefited from prolific inshore fishing grounds and relatively rich agricultural soil. It is because of its resources that the area of Harbour Main was one of the earliest utilized and settled on the east coast of the island.
According to M.F. Howley, the name Harbour Main comes from the Breton name St. Mein, while E.R. Seary (1971) believes it originated from the French family named Maine, which has also become a place name in France. The name Harbour Main appeared first (as Harbour Maine) in a map believed to have been completed in the 1630s or 1640s. Chapel's Cove appears in print first in 1836 and is believed by Seary to have received its name from an English family name, Chappell or Chapple. The name Lakeview appeared first in 1935. The community may have been known earlier as Wicklow (E.R. Seary: 1971).
Of the three communities which make up the modern-day community of Harbour Main-Chapel's Cove-Lakeview, Harbour Main is the oldest. Chapel's Cove with its small cove and Lakeview which is inland were not settled until later although Chapel's Cove was not much later. One of the earliest, if not the earliest residents of Harbour Main, was a Jeremy FORTUNE, a planter recorded first in 1675. He was apparently quite prosperous, conducting a fishery out of Harbour Main with the aid of 20 servants and 4 boats. Although FORTUNE was the first named resident, there were undoubtedly many others who had used the harbour as a fishing station before 1675. Being located along the shoreline, which was well known for many decades to the West of England adventurers as an excellent base for conducting a fishery, Harbour Main was frequently visited by the West of England fishing trade.
A note here that the word Planter is not a farmer, but a man who owned a fishery.
At one time Harbour Main was referred to as "Rogues Roost". The reason for this was that it was the safe haven for many Irishmen who escaped harsh service in St. John's and made their way to "Runaway Rock" near Duffs. Duffs is at the bottom of a hill to the water on the way to St. John's. I visited this area on my trip in August and September. CORBETTS live at Duffs and there were Christmas Tree lights strung in the area in the summer. These CORBETTS are descended from Edward (1810). At Duff's there were signal fires which brought friends who hid them away in Harbour Main. These young Irishmen would have been designated "Rogues".
The parish of Sts. Peter and Paul was established in 1857. Unfortunately the parish records for this parish prior to this time were lost in a fire at Brigus in 1913. There are about 25 years of missing records.
Sometime between 1811 and 1818 the chapel was built. In January of 1818 a dispute about payment for the work arose among members in the committee of Harbour Main who had undertaken the job of having the chapel erected. Apparently Mary KENNEDY, (my fourth great grandmother, mother to Joanna who married Vincent COSTIGAN), the widow of John KENNEDY (my fourth great grandfather), had advanced monies to the committee for the building of the Church and, although a number of credit notes had been presented to the parish priest at Harbour Grace, Father EWER, and his assistant, Father HERRON, the money had not been credited to Mrs. KENNEDY.
Judgement was made in Mrs. KENNEDY'S favour and also in favour of Patrick COLEMAN who had been the builder of the Church. Patrick COLEMAN appears in other records of this period and indicates he was a resident of Harbour Main.
The evidence produced in court shows that the following names donated for the building of the Church by firms operating in the Harbour Main area at the time: GOSSPACK and FRYER, ELSON, Alexander CAMPBELL, FORMAN and KEATING and William WOODFORD.
The altar for this Church was designed and carved by Nicholas LACOUR who was a legend in his own time. The original altar still stands in the Church even after it was renovated.
It appears that this Church was standing at the beginning of the 1900s and was replaced by the present Church.
At the time the Church was built until 1833, Harbour Main and the area at the head of Conception Bay bounded approximately by Brigus and Holyrood was still serviced by the priest from Harbour Grace. We know that as early as 1807 Harbour Main had its first Episcopal Visitation. In a letter written to the Archbishop of Dublin, in 1807, Bishop Patrick LAMBERT, successor to Bishop O DONEL, states that he had recently visited Conception Bay for Confirmation and alludes particularly to two communities which he considered as having somewhat odd names for a Bishop to be visiting; Gallow's Cove and Rogue's Roost. Rogue's Roost makes it certain that the Bishop had indeed visited Gallow's Cove and Harbour Main.
In 1833 the Parish of St. Patrick's at Brigus was established and Harbour Main became part of it until the parish of Sts. Peter and Paul was established in 1857.
Unfortunately, the parish records of St. Patrick's in Brigus were lost in the fire which destroyed the Church there in 1913. However, it is believed that some time after 1833, a curate, operating under the parish priest at Brigus, resided in Harbour Main. Until 1857 Harbour Main was a part of the parish in which Brigus was the center. It was during this time and tenure of Fr. O'Keefe, that the convent was built. Also the priest's house and the sisters of the Presentation Order were introduced into the schools.
On July 9, 1853, Mother Mary Xavier Maloney, Sister M. Francis Mullally, and Sister M. Joseph Maher, a novice, arrived at Harbour Main by steamer. With them had come Mother M. Magdalen O'Shaughnessy, Superior of the Presentation Convent in St. John's. Bishop Mullock and the Bishop's father from Limerick. The visiting party was taken ashore from the steamer by boats from the community directed by Fr. O'Keefe. The nuns were carried out of the water to the convent doors on the shoulders of the men. The first nun to be professed took the name Sr. Gabriel. She was Sister M. Maher. Also, Mary Ann Murphy of Dublin was professed on the 21st of November, 1859. She took the name Sr. Joseph Gonzaga.
The school operated by the sisters was a big boon to Harbour Main. The sisters brought the traditional teaching of the three "R"s as well as music, art and fancy needlework into the curriculum.
Fr. Kyran Walsh, native of Kilkenny, came to Harbour Main and was made parish priest when the parish of Sts Peter and Paul was established in 1857. Fr Walsh was a fluent speaker of the Irish language.
Fr. Walsh was replaced by Fr. William Walsh since he had compromised himself in an election and political situation. Fr. Kyran Walsh died on the 4th of September 1868 at 60 years of age in Harbour Main. Fr. William Walsh, who had come to Harbour Main, during the political problems, died in 1866. Fr. Jeremiah O'Donnell had been now took over as parish priest. His brother, Fr. Patrick O'Donnell has been an assistant to Fr. Walsh since 1863. They were natives of Cahir, Tipperary.
The parish of Harbour Main stretched from Turk's Gut to the South Side of Holyrood for most of the period between the death of Fr. Kyran Walsh and those of the two O'Donnell brothers.
The present church of Sts Peter and Paul was built in 1917 and was built completely by the local talent in the area. Its designer was Nicholas LaCour who had a reputation in his day as one of the best builders anywhere in NFLD.
He designed and built the three altars which are still in the church. These were erected in 1934. The three men who actually did the work were Nick LaCour, Nick LaCour Jr, and Charlie Furey. During the pastorate of Monsignor M.P. Dwyer (1927-1953) the beautiful altar rail was built, by Edward LaCour, brother to Nick LaCour Senior.The cost of the rail was $200 and was paid for by the donors whose names appear on the marble top.
The priests who served in Harbour Main throughout its history are clearly reflections of the ages in which they lived.
Before Catholicism was able to be practiced openly, folks used the Anglican Church to have Baptisms and Marriages performed.
Here is a list of sacraments which were performed in the late 1700s. Early Sacraments
Click" here for links to Avondale Cemetery, , Kennedy Baptism and Marriage Records 1, Kennedy Baptism and Marriage Records 2, , THE CRAIG FAMILY, , THE CORBETT FAMILY, , THE COSTIGAN FAMILY, , Sts Peter and Paul, and my main page, Judy Barker's Genealogy Site