What to KNOW
One of the safest harbours on the Coast, Bradore (or Brador as it is occasionally spelled) is protected by an endless maze of low-lying rocky islands. The high hills behind the community provided shelter for early settlers. Bradore’s rich supply of cod, herring, mackerel, salmon, seals and whales made it a hub for fishing, hunting and trading. Archaeologists have uncovered ancient Aboriginal burial sites nearby. Basque fishermen caught seals and cod and hunted whales in a major post on the west side of the bay. The name Bradore began appearing on maps at this location at the end of the 18th century, possibly from the French term bras d’or, or golden arm, referring to the rich marine resources.
During the French regime, hundreds of schooners assembled in Bradore Bay in the summer. After passing into British hands, the LaBradore Company ran a lucrative seal fishery at Bradore for decades. In 1820, an English settler bought the bankrupt post and re-established a fishing and seal fishing enterprise. Bradore Bay became a major meeting place for fleets from Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, the United States and the Jersey Islands. During the second half of the 19th century, many settlers arrived from Newfoundland.