Battle Harbour – Peace and History

walked 5.4 km around Battle Island

Today feels more like a vacation day than a rest day. That may be because we didn’t actually ride to get here, or it may be because of the location. Battle Harbour is certainly in the middle of nowhere. To get here, you need to follow the Trans Labrador Highway either 180 km northwest from the Blanc-Sablon or 240 km south from Cartwright. In both cases, there is at least 90 km of gravel highway. Then you need to take an hour long boat trip. If you are looking for a place to get away from it all, this is a great place!

Battle Island is very quiet and peaceful because it is so remote, and is also an interesting historic site. In the 1850s, Battle Harbour was the most populous and important settlement in Labrador. It was the hub of the Labrador fishery until the closure of the fishery in 1993, and many of the buildings date back to the 1800s. It was converted to a historic trust in 1993, and restoration and interpretation of the site has progressed since then. There are daily tours where you can learn about the historical significance of the place and how the fisheries worked in Labrador until the early 1990s.

We spend much of the day lazing about in the cozy wood-heated bunkhouse. Scott attended the full tour and Becky the first half of it until it got too cold and rainy.

Battle Harbour had one of the first Marconi stations in Labrador, and also one of the most long-reaching, so Robert E. Peary stopped here to give a news conference in 1909 where he claimed to have reached the North Pole.

We had some nice visits with various other tourists that were staying and got to know a few of the staff – many of whom grew up in Battle Harbour.

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