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Cupids

People have been finding and falling in love with Cupids for centuries. It was the first English colony in Canada, and turned 400 years old in 2010.

You might think Cupids has a history reminiscent of a certain February holiday, but John Guy would tell you otherwise. In 1610, he brought a boatload of settlers and established a plantation in what was then known as Cuper's Cove. It was the second English colony in North America after Jamestown, Virginia, United States, in 1607.

The people of Cuper's Cove built a settlement out of nothing. They cleared the land and constructed dwellings, fortifications, and boats. They fished, farmed, and explored for minerals and tried to establish fur trading with the Beothuk, the now extinct aboriginal people of Newfoundland and Labrador.

The colony was plagued by pirate attacks and the harsh conditions of early settlement. "Pirate Admiral" Peter Easton relished looting in Cupids and other colonies like Renews, before he bought a title in Europe and lived happily ever after.

Squanto lived in Cupids from 1616-1618. The famous Native American was captured by the English, learned the language, and ended up greeting the Pilgrim Fathers at Plymouth Rock. And the first recorded birth of an English child in Canada took place here. It's no wonder really, considering Cupids is located in Conception Bay.

Around the year 1700, settlers abandoned the Cuper's Cove (Cupid's) plantation, and the secret of its location was lost for more than 250 years. Today, not only can you visit the original site, you can watch historians and archaeologists uncover it piece by piece. The Cupids Legacy Centre is home to many exhibits, and the Methodist Church is one of the oldest in Newfoundland and Labrador.

As part of the Cupid 400 celebrations, a beautiful performance space called The New World Theatre was built. Meticulously remodelled after Shakespeare's famous Globe in London, England, the theatre's performances feature some of the provinces best stage actors and capture stories reminiscent of John Guy's England, particularly what the settlers may have seen, heard, or written about in the London of 1610.

What you'll notice as you explore this town is the heart, soul, and spirit of the people of Cupids. Maybe the memory of those who lived here – John Guy, John Mason, Squanto and others – inspired a sense of pride and strength that has since lived on. For 400 years, our people have persevered in the face of incredible, unique challenges. And we think that's something worth celebrating.

Getting Here:

Cupids is located on the coast of Conception Bay on the island of Newfoundland. It is approximately a 1-hour drive from St. John's along the scenic Baccalieu Trail near Brigus.

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Driving distances and calculations derived using Google Maps. Actual driving times may vary. GPS coordinates have been provided by tourism operators. Please confirm location with operator before departure.

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