Placentia, Newfoundland and Labrador

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Placentia
Pleasure
Plaisance
Town
Panorama of Placentia
Panorama of Placentia
Official seal of Placentia
Seal
Placentia is located in Newfoundland
Placentia
Placentia
Location of Placentia in Newfoundland
Coordinates: 47°14′45″N 53°57′40″W / 47.24583°N 53.96111°W / 47.24583; -53.96111
Country  Canada
Province  Newfoundland and Labrador
Settled early 16th century
Government
 • Mayor Wayne Power Jr.
Population (2011)
 • Total 3,643
Time zone Newfoundland Time (UTC-3:30)
 • Summer (DST) Newfoundland Daylight (UTC-2:30)
Area code(s) 709
Website Official Town Website

Placentia is a town on the Avalon Peninsula, Newfoundland and Labrador, consisting of the amalgamated communities of Jerseyside, Townside, Freshwater, Dunville and Argentia. Common family names include Caul, Nolan, Power, O'Keefe, Wyse, Collins, O'Reilly, Murphy, Williams, Gambin, Hatfield, Wadman, Barry, Mooney, and Careen.

In the 2006 census, Placentia's population was reported as 3,898, down significantly from the 2001 figure of 4,426.[1] This population decline has been ongoing since the early 1990s; in the 1996 census, Placentia was, proportionately, the 2nd fastest shrinking town in Canada,[2] dropping from 5,515 to 5,013 between 1991 and 1996.

History[edit]

It is unclear when Placentia was first settled by Europeans, but Basque fishermen were fishing in the area as early as the beginning of the 16th century, using Placentia as a seasonal centre of operations. "Placentia" may be derived from a similar name of an old Basque villa called Placencia de las Armas (Basque: Soraluze), which is located in the Gipuzkoa province of the Basque Country. Placentia may also be derived from the Latin placentia, a name also probably given by the Basques.[3] Placentia's large, rocky beach meant that fish could be salted and dried on the beachrocks rather than on a constructed wooden fishing stage, saving both time and effort.

In 1655, the French, who controlled more than half of the island of Newfoundland, and most of Atlantic Canada, made Placentia (French: Plaisance) their capital. They built Fort Plaisance in 1662, which was followed by Fort Royal in 1687, and Fort Saint Louis in 1691. The establishment of a fort with a garrison allowed fishermen to pursue their activities with greater safety in neighbouring harbours. The French garrisons at Plaisance were small, but despite that fact, the soldiers and French privateers managed to hold their own in the face of numerous English attacks during the two major conflicts of the Nine Years' War and the War of the Spanish Succession, which marked the colony's history.

Demographics[edit]