Amelia’s Harbour Grace

From the south of Newfoundland’s Avalon Peninsula, I drove north to Harbour Grace, a small town with a five-hundred-year European history. Originally founded by the French in 1517, it became a thriving fishing community because Channel Islanders fished off Newfoundland’s coast. Cod and seals were caught in abundance. But like other maritime provinces, squabbles between the French and English were common. However, I hadn’t come to Harbour Grace for this history but for its connection to Amelia Earhart. 

At the entrance to the town stood both her statue and a plane to remind the visitor that, in 1932, Amelia Earhart left from Harbour Grace to fly across the Atlantic. The famous aviator chose this place because of its easterly location. 

In the town’s modest Conception Bay Museum, a room was dedicated to her. I scanned memorabilia from the famous aviator who was the first woman to fly across the Atlantic Ocean. However, on her adventure to fly around the world, she mysteriously vanished somewhere in the Pacific. Speculation on her disappearance was rife. When the Nikumarora bones were first discovered on an uninhabited coral atoll, they were thought to be from a male. But later examination revealed they were from a woman the same size as Amelia had been.

Before leaving Harbour Grace, I found the airstrip where Amelia had left from to fly over the Atlantic. Perched above the town, the bumpy grass strip was a little precarious by today’s standards and not very long, but obviously it worked for Ms Earhart.