Resettlement

 

Dover was first settled in the early 1890's by people from island communities located in Bonavista Bay such as Shambers Cove, Silver Fox Island, Burnt Island, Shoal Bay Island, Newport and Braggs Island.

 

In the 1950's and early 60's many remote Newfoundland outport communities were forced to move accessible locations under a government program called Resettlement. Hundreds of Newfoundlanders who had built their homes alongside their grandfathers and fathers, refused to abandon them and rebuild. So by barge, boat, blood and sweat they moved across bays and around capes; family homes were floated to theirnew foundations and new beginnings.

 

Shoal Bay was settled in the early 1890's by people from communities of Bonavista Bay who were drawn  to the north shore by the fishing and lumbering potential. The first census of the community taken in 1891 reported a population of 17 people. The first settlers were from Shoe Cove approximately 32 km away. By 1901 the population grew to 66 people.

 

The resettlement photos pictured above was taken right here in Dover. The house belonged to Mr. Malcom Rogers who used empty oil drums to relocate his family from Silver Fox Island during the government's 1960 resettlement program. These images depicts a common scene during the Newfoundland Resettlement Program of the 1950s and 1960s. Many Newfoundlanders living in outport island communities accepted the government offer to move to more centrally located towns. For many, this meant the heartache of leaving their ancestral home and the end of a self-sufficient way of life.