Human History of Cape Spear
Cape Spear National Historic Site is the most easterly point of land in Canada. Because of its strategic location, many people lived and worked here for various reasons.
Navigation of the rocky coastline brought the first people to the site in the mid-1800s, building what is now, the oldest surviving lighthouse in Newfoundland and Labrador. The year 1836 marked the beginning of more than a century of light keepers and their families calling Cape Spear home.
The Second World War brought many new people to the Cape, including members of the Royal Canadian Artillery and various American forces. These soldiers were based at Fort Cape Spear, a coastal defense battery which played a major role in the Battle of the Atlantic.
Since the early 1900s, the people of St. John’s and the surrounding communities have used Cape Spear as a family gathering place to have picnics, pick berries and watch for whales and icebergs.