Place:Argentia, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada

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NameArgentia
TypeCommunity
Coordinates47.303°N 53.989°W
Located inNewfoundland and Labrador, Canada
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names


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Argentia is a community on the island of Newfoundland in the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador. It is situated on a flat headland located along the southwest coast of the Avalon Peninsula on Placentia Bay. It is within the municipal boundaries of the Town of Placentia.

Originally settled by the French in the 1630s that fishing settlement was called Petit Plaisance, meaning "Pleasant Little Place". The name was retained in English (Little Placentia) when the French lost control of the area following the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713. The census of 1706 records 149 individuals in 14 habitations. The community adopted its present name (unofficially in 1895 and officially in 1901) for the presence of silver ore in the Broad Cove region of the community. The name "Argentia" is Latin, meaning "Land of Silver" and was chosen Father John St. John, the parish priest at Holy Rosary Parish from September 18, 1895 to February 11, 1911. The Silver Cliff Mine operated until the early 1920s but was never profitable. Through most of the 19th century, the fishery was the lifeblood of the community; the Commission of government built a herring factory at Argentia in 1936.

The first church and school were established by Father Pelagius Nowlan in 1835. He was from Ireland and moved to Newfoundland as a missionary priest. In 1836, population was made up 484 people in 76 houses.

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