Biscay Bay

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Not to be confused with Bay of Biscay or Biscayne Bay.
Biscay Bay
Country Canada
Province Newfoundland and Labrador
Region Southern Avalon
Population 65 (2,006)

Biscay Bay is a town in the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Origin of Name[edit]

This name appears as early as 1675 in The English Pilot, a guide to navigation. At the time, Basques were called “Biscayans,”[citation needed] and the bay was used by the early Basque fishermen.[1]


There is very little known about Biscay Bay before 1845, but most of the land area of Biscay Bay was owned by William D. Jackson, an English merchant, when Thomas Ryan of Trepassey (originally from Ireland) went to live there in that year.[citation needed] Other families at the time were the Easemans and Whites.


The census of 1857 shows Biscay Bay with 4.5 acres (18,000 m2) of improved land producing 20 barrels of potatoes and three tons of hay.

When Jackson died, his daughter Caroline decided to go back to live in England so she sold the land to Thomas Ryan and Richard Hartery for 150 pounds.

Residents farmed root crops and hay, raised sheep, cattle and pigs and also fished for cod inshore. It was not until the early 1930s that the road made much difference to the community and most transportation was by water. The community averaged 600 quintals of saltfish annually in the late 1930s and early 1940s, but 1943 was a good year when 970 quintals were made and sold for $12.50 per quintal.

Very heavy timber grew along the shore of Path End but as the years went by, it became necessary to go farther and farther inland to get wood. Today, Biscay Bay is almost void of trees. The area boasted abundant partridge berries, bakeapples, rabbits, partridges, eider duck, fox, beaver, muskrat and weasel. The coming of the branch railway in 1913 added extra impetus to the area, as it had a sawmill in 1920.


The principal names were Ryan, White,Coombs and Shea[citation needed]



  1. ^ The Basque History of the World, Mark Kurlansky, 1999, ISBN 0-8027-1349-1

Coordinates: 46°44′35″N 53°17′31″W / 46.743°N 53.292°W / 46.743; -53.292