Vitter’s Cove Beach is located in a relatively unprotected inlet within the community of New Perlican, NL. Located in the southern end of the town and accessed by Vitter’s Cove Road, the Beach is comprised of stones and cobbles. The designation is confined to the area of land known as Vitter’s Cove Beach.
Statement of Significance
Formal Recognition Type
Municipal Heritage Building Structure or Land
Vitter’s Cove Beach has been designated a municipal heritage site by the Town of New Perlican due to its aesthetic, historic and cultural value.
Vitter’s Cove Beach has aesthetic value due to its environmental setting. Situated to the south of New Perlican’s main harbour, this relatively unpopulated area offers an expansive view of Trinity Bay and features a long, stone beach. The Beach is a recognized landmark in the community of New Perlican and has been valued for its natural features for centuries. It remains an important component of the community’s landscape.
Vitter’s Cove Beach has historic value as a physical reminder of a way of life once vital to the community. One suggestion for how the cove got its name is that it was from the family name Vitter. The cove had also been known as Fitter’s Cove. An article in the 1863 edition of The Merchants’ Magazine and Commercial Review refers to Fitter’s Cove in New Perlican. It has been suggested that this earlier name may have originated from the historic use of the beach in the cove. During the era of the Grand Banks and Labrador schooner fisheries, schooners were brought to the cove each spring and maneuvered over the beach at high tide. When the tide went out the schooners were inspected, any necessary repairs completed and the schooners would be outfitted for their voyages. The name Fitter’s Cove may have originated with this practice and the pronunciation gradually changed over the years.
Vitter’s Cove Beach has cultural value because of the traditional community use of the area. Residents have a sentimental attachment to this place that was once lined with fishing stages, flakes and wharves. The cove was a busy place during the fishing season as fished was landed, cleaned, salted and dried in the cove. When capelin came to the beach to spawn each summer, residents would scoop them up using casting nets or a dip-net. The capelin were cooked fresh, salted or smoked for winter use and used as fertilizer for vegetable gardens. On Guy Fawkes Night (November 5th) a huge bonfire held on the beach. Fishermen had to watch their gear as it could end up in the fire. Potatoes were thrown in the fire and when cooked were eaten – soot and all. All the community would celebrate this special event.
Source: Town of New Perlican Regular Council Meeting Motion #2017-071 July 4, 2017.
Character Defining Elements
All those elements which represent the aesthetic, historic and cultural significance of Vitter’s Cove Beach, including:
– the name Vitter’s Cove Beach,
– association with the fishing industry;
-unobstructed view planes to and from Vitter’s Cove Beach;
– the untouched, natural landscape of Vitter’s Cove Beach, and;
– continued public access to Vitter’s Cove Beach.
Location and History
Town of New Perlican
Vitter’s Cove Road
2017 - 2017