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Rock with 19th Century Graffiti Carvings Municipal Heritage Site

Fermeuse, Newfoundland and Labrador, A0A, Canada

Formally Recognized: 2006/03/08

Inscriptions on Rock with 19th Century Graffiti, Blacksmith, Fermeuse, NL. ; Peter Pope 2000
Rock with 19th Century Graffiti Carvings
Archaeologists conducting a survey of the shoreline at Blacksmith, Fermeuse, NL. ; Peter Pope 2000/ HFNL 2006
Archaeological survey of rocks in Blacksmith
View looking north from Blacksmith across Fermeuse Harbour, NL. Photo taken May 2006. ; HFNL/Andrea O'Brien 2006
View from Blacksmith

Other Name(s)


Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2006/09/28

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Rock with 19th Century Graffiti (Borden # CfAf-26) is located in Blacksmith, Fermeuse, NL. Located on the southern shore of Fermeuse Harbour along the rocky waterfront below the abandoned settlement of Blacksmith, this rock bears inscriptions dating to 1817 and 1818. The designation is confined to the rock itself and five metres of land extending form the footprint of the rock.

Heritage Value

The Rock with 19th Century Graffiti has been designated a municipal heritage site by the Town of Fermeuse because of its historic and aesthetic values.

The Rock with 19th Century Graffiti has historical value as a physical record of the area’s history, serving as both an historic record and an artifact on the landscape. Names inscribed on the rock read “PATRICK MOLLOY 1817" and "ANDREM HEART 1818.” Records from this time are very few, but an Andrew Hart is listed in area court records from 1797 as a "dieter" or fishing servant under master Dennis Brothers in the winter of 1799 and the spring of 1800, and in a census of 1800. By the late 17th century, Fermeuse Harbour saw year-round settlement, with census reports from this era showing many English surnames. The 1800 census tells a different story, as Irish surnames gain prominence. This shift was the result of movement away from a planter controlled fishery, employing a large number of Irish fishing servants, to a resident fishery prosecuted by newly settled Irish immigrants. The men who inscribed their names on the rock in Blacksmith may well have been among these newly settled Irish servants. Irish immigration along this coast steadily grew throughout the late 18th and early 19th centuries, changing the ethnic composition of what had been known as the English Shore.

The Rock with 19th Century Graffiti has aesthetic value as a unique visual reminder of the human exploration and settlement of Fermeuse Harbour and environs. The rock is situated along the rocky shoreline below Blacksmith and towards the mouth of Fermeuse Harbour. Blacksmith is one of several abandoned communities in Fermeuse Harbour and the carvings in the rocks are a lasting physical testament to the human occupation of these places. The Rock with 19th Century Graffiti has further aesthetic value as its positioning in Blacksmith provides a commanding view of the entrance to Fermeuse Harbour, the community of Port Kirwan on the northern side of the harbour and the abandoned community of Clear’s Cove also to the north.

Source: Town of Fermeuse Regular Council Meeting March 8, 2006.

Character-Defining Elements

All those elements which represent the historical and aesthetic value of the Rock with 19th Century Graffiti, including:
-original inscriptions on the rock;
-location, orientation and dimensions of the rock, and;
-unobstructed view of the north side and entrance to Fermeuse Harbour.



Newfoundland and Labrador

Recognition Authority

NL Municipality

Recognition Statute

Municipalities Act

Recognition Type

Municipal Heritage Building, Structure or Land

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)

2006/01/01 to 2006/01/01

Theme - Category and Type

Peopling the Land

Function - Category and Type



Undetermined (archaeological site)
Exposed Site

Architect / Designer




Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador 1 Springdale Street St. John's, NL A1C 5V5

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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