Resettled Community of La Manche
La Manche, Placentia Bay
**Not to be confused with the provincial park containing a resettled community of the same name located south of St. John's
A grassy hillside is the only remaining evidence that the area was once a small fishing community on the shore of Placentia Bay. The community is located 4 km south of Southern Harbour and while the date of establishment is not known the first census taken in the area of La Manche and Little Harbour East showed 20 people living in the area in 1833.
The community thrived on the inshore fishery making it like many others in Newfoundland. But in 1855 while surveying possible routes for the Trans-Atlantic cable to be laid, prospectors came across a body of galena (lead ore). By 1857, Ripley and Company began mining the ore creating a small economic boom in the town.
In 1874 the community had a population of 142, almost all of which were dependent on the mine. Shortly after, the mine closed and although it reopened several times over the next 50 years, the population of the town slowly declined until everyone was resettled in the 1950s and 60s. In 1966 the last census of the town showed one remaining person still living there.
Today all that is left to the community is a large grassy hillside. The area is popular for hikers, ATVs, and snowmobilers. Beautiful seaside landscapes, sea arches, and a nearby abandoned mine makes La Manche a must see place for adventure seekers.
La Manche, Placentia Bay
Located on the North side of Placentia Bay is the long forgotten La Manche Lead Mine. Not to be confused with the Provincial Park south of St. Johns with the same name, the mine was named after the nearby resettled community of La Manche. The Lead Mine was discovered in 1855 by the Telegraph Land Company while surveying a route to place the trans-Atlantic cable which was planned to enter Trinity Bay and cross into Placentia Bay.
Sources & Further Exploring
Smallwood, J. R., & Pitt, R. D. W. (1981). Encyclopedia of Newfoundland and Labrador. St. John's, N.L.: Newfoundland Book Publishers. (Article: “La Manche”. Available online through the Centre for Newfoundland Studies collections database).
White, J. (2008). Fourth Year Assessment Report of Prospecting on License 10108M, La Manche Property, NTS 1N/12 La Manche, Newfoundland. Mineral Lands Division, Department of Natural Resources, Government of Newfoundland and Labrador. Retrieved from https://gis.geosurv.gov.nl.ca/geofilePDFS/ReceivedBatch63/001N_0857.pdf.