Grey River, Newfoundland and Labrador
|This article does not cite any references or sources. (June 2013)|
|Province||Newfoundland and Labrador|
|• MLA||Andrew Parsons (Burgeo-LaPoile)|
|• MP||Judy Foote (Random—Burin—St. George's)|
|Time zone||Newfoundland Time (UTC-3:30)|
|• Summer (DST)||Newfoundland Daylight (UTC-2:30)|
Grey River is a small remote fishing community located on the south coast of the province of Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. Grey River was first settled in the early 1800s by English 'youngsters' brought to Newfoundland via great merchant houses based at Ramea, Burgeo, and Gaultois. James Style(s) was the earliest known resident reported in 1835.
Originally, the settlement was named Little River. A severe measles outbreak occurred in the early 1900s. Settlers wired a doctor at St. John's to request advice and medical supplies. The dispatch was sent to Little River on the north-east coast instead of this settlement on the south-west coast. As a result, there were quite a few deaths and the name was changed to Grey River to prevent similar happenings.
Fishing has long remained the main industry in Grey River with the salmon fishery becoming an economic backbone for the community. Since the 1960s and 1970s, residents have increasingly returned to the salmon fishery for income. The scallop fishery also proposes a viable fishing alternative.
Sawmill, Mine, and Bunkhouse
The sawmill in Little River was built in 1955 by Tom Young who owned it back then, but now Garfield Young owns it. It became a gas pump in 1988 because the sawmill wasn’t in use at the time and they needed a place to store their gasoline and fuel. Fuel oil used to be storeed in the big blue drum outside. They used to sell the lumber they made in the sawmill to outside places.
Grey River Tungsten of Buchans, NL (now Playfair Mining, Vancouver, BC, Canada) started the mine because they found lots of tungsten. They used to dump the leftover dirt about a hundred meters from the mine entrance by using a little cart run by a diesel motor. The mine went in the cliff about a mile and a half. A few people who used to work in the mine are Robert Lushman, Ronald Lushman, Henry Rose, Joshua Rose, and Victor Rose. The mine shut down because the price of Tungsten dropped on the world market. Today, the stock price lists at a penny or two per share. The property is located adjacent to the fishing village of Grey River.
The miners built the bunkhouse in 1962. Some miners stayed there while others stayed in their homes. An American company named Carco owned the mine and the bunkhouse, but now Liberty Resources does. Inside the bunkhouse, there was just a straight hallway with sleeping quarters on each side. Today, teachers stay in the bunkhouse.
A 6,300 foot long (1,920 metre) adit has been driven into the Main Vein from near the village of Grey River at approximately 40 metres above sea level. Docking and wharf facilities existed at the Asarco adit but the present conditions are not known.
A large government-owned wharf in Grey River is serviced by coastal boat from Burgeo, a coastal port about 40 km to the west. Burgeo is linked by Route 480 to the Trans-Canada Highway and Stephenville airport approximately 125 km to the North. The claims are accessed by foot and helicopter while the Main Zone adit is within 150 metres by gravel trail from Grey River village. A local diesel supplies electricity to Grey River.
The population today reaches only about 160 residents. The first reported census of 1857 reveals a population of only thirteen citizens. The community offers breathtaking scenery as a narrow passageway leads into the settlement from the bay. Nestled between two mountains, a very sheltered basin offers protection from the raging winds which often stop the ferry service from running on schedule. These hills reach an elevation of 199–305 meters or 1000 feet.
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