Bell Island

Location

Bell Island is an island located off Newfoundland’s Avalon Peninsula in Conception Bay. A 20-minute ferry sevice runs from Portugal Cove to Bell island daily, allowing people who work elsewhere to go to work every day.

History

Bell Island was initially settled by farmers in the 1700’s. The discovery of iron ore in the late 1800’s resulted in Bell Island becoming a thriving mining community with the third largest population in the province.

Unique Characteristics

On a visit to the Island, you’ll see the giant murals that were painted to commemorate the Island’s rich heritage. Visit the museum and discover the many historic artifacts including samples of the iron ore that made Bell Island one of the richest and oldest mining operations in the world. Or for the ultimate experience, take the underground mine tour. Officially opened in 1998, this tour is already being touted as one of the best of its kind. It will truly give you an appreciation of what it was like to work underground.

Population

Since the mines closed in 1966 the population has declined. In 1961 Bell Island had a population in excess of 12,000 while the 1996 Census placed it at under 4,000. Most of the population lives in incorporated Wabana, with the rest living in unincorporated Lance Cove and Freshwater.

Other Things of Interest

You can visit the town website for more information at www.bellisland.net/