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Before 1922, the community of St.Thomas,Conception Bay was called Horse Cove. It was changed, at that time, by a petition to the Newfoundland Government, from the local people of the area.
During my research in my home community ,which mainly took place in the 1970's,while I was a student at Memorial University of Newfoundland, I had the good fortune to visit and speak to many of the seniors, who peopled my early years growing up on the eastern shore of Conception Bay. During those visits I was given two different expanations to the earliar name of Horse Cove.
One being that, as one travels out the bay from Horse Cove, now St.Thomas Cove, one can see the outline of a resting horse, with a large black rock near the shore helping to form its head. I have looked at it and can attest that the various rock formations in the area do give one this image, when looked at from the southwest towards the northeast .
Secondly, I was informed that for years area fishermen had built large wooden structures, near Lower Horse Cove Beach, known by the local people as a "seine horse". It was used by the fishermen to dry the seines (nets). When a net like a cod net, caplin seine, etc. was taken to the shore for cleaning, from either various sea algea or kelp, the fishermen allowed it to wash first in the wave action, in what we locals called "the landwash". Then it would be hung in the wind to dry. Afterwards, the fishermen then could easily remove the now dried" sea growth".The fishermen would now either reset the net in the ocean or store it in the net loft. In many parts of Newfoundland these homemade wood net dryers were known as gallows, in my area of the island these structures, built of slight "wooden longers", were called "the seine horse".
People believed that the community of Horse Cove got its name from one of these.
Additional information on the origins of Horse Cove by Michael Laurie
Up till Paradise was initially incorporated as a community in the early seventies, St Thomas Line and St Thomas were two distinct communities. St Thomas Line till the amalgamation of St Thomas with Paradise by the Wells administration, was part and parcel of Paradise.
Since the Roads Board set up under Section 57 of the Highway Traffic Act statutorily stated it was the lowest form of incorporated community in Newfoundland and since both communities were under the same Roads Board because both lay within the Electoral District of Harbour Main, one of the first acts of the newly-elected and first Town Council of St Thomas (both my brother Philip Laurie and myself were elected as one of seven councillors from l5 candidates in April of l978), was to ask government to restore our community. The Gullage Commisssion was set up and though government chose not to communicate its findings (Eric Gullage is now dead and later was a Liberal Cabinet Minister and proved himself to be a person we supported, a nuisance and we defeated him in his re-election bid for Waterford District), we knew he chose to restore the town. Had we chosen the Supreme Court route, it is most likely St Thomas would have won since the inclusion of St Thomas Line as part of Paradise was not conducted in the manner prescribed by the then Local Government Act respecting incorporation. The only reason these communities divided near now Picco Drive was: the Roman Catholic and the Anglican Parishes of Portugal Cove had their western limits at now Picco Drive and St Thomas Line. It was called "St Thomas" and had its own one-room, all-grades Catholic school at 630 St Thomas Line, where the RC cemetery of St Thomas now is situated; the back part was a cemetery from l907 while the half acre portion of this one full acre bought by Father Ashley, the PP of Holy Rosary Parish in Portugal Cove, NL from Miss Mary Travers for $50 for this land in l907, fronting on St Thomas Line was the site of the school. In St Thomas Line near the junction of Plateau Park road and at about 150 St Thomas Line now, was the site of St Thomas Line School; it was a Catholic school under Topsail parish. Sometime in the sixties the schools were united and Mrs Mildred Jenning, nee Everson, of St Thomas Line, paradise, NL. taught in the St Thomas Line School from about l946 retiring in the eighties in the Catholic School midway between both schools at another one under Portugal Cove Parish. She is still living.
It might be prudent to show some explanation why the 1945 census might show two communites. They were within Harbour Main Electoral District which ran from St Thomas around Conception Bay South to Marysvale. The communities were divided however due to the respective Anglican and Roman Catholic parishes of Portugal Cove and of Topsail. They bisected St Thomas Line as aforesaid.
This page Contributed by Philip Laurie (March 2007)
Additional information supplied by Michael Laurie (May 2008)
Page Last Modified Wednesday March 06, 2013 (Craig Peterman)
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