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Bell Island

(170+ reviews from 2 attractions)
Museums Historic Sites
Bell Island is a Canadian island located off Newfoundland's Avalon Peninsula in Conception Bay. Measuring 9 km in length and 3 km in width, it has an area of 34 km². The subsurface is composed of Ordovician sandstone and shale with red hematite. It was once the site of large iron ore mines.It is home to three communities, the largest of which is the incorporated town of Wabana. The provincial government operates a ferry service from Portugal Cove to Bell island daily. It is primarily used by commuters who work in the St. John's metropolitan area.HistoryProbably settled by Maritime Archaic and/or Dorset people, Bell Island, as with the rest of the island of Newfoundland, was probably inhabited by the Beothuk Nation at the time of European discovery.The first European inhabitants settled during the 18th century and attempted to farm and fish, with the island having a subsistence economy throughout much of the 19th century. The first recorded settler was an Englishman, Gregory Normore, in 1740.The economy expanded tremendously during the 1890s when iron ore mining began near the community of Wabana.
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