Chart Color Legend
Documented Settlement - Red | Probable Settlement - Blue | Seasonal Settlement - Green
Along the south side of Caplin Bay, about half way between The Beach and the southeastern headland of the bay (Scoggin's Head) is a small cove known as Deep Cove. As its name suggests, this cove takes its name from a topographical feature, the deep valley that extends from the shoreline up the slopes of the surrounding hills. This valley, with a river at the bottom, eventually leads to a large pond, known as Deep Cove Pond, about a mile from the shoreline. The voters lists of 1840 to 1859 reveal that three families, the Houlahans, Kavanaghs, and Haydens occupied the land around Deep Cove.
It is not known for sure which family settled there first, but it is likely that it was the Houlahans. When the census was taken at Caplin Bay in 1800, no Houlahans were listed as part of a resident family, but, in other documents, a Lawrence Houlahan is listed as a master, and a David Houlahan is listed as a dieter working for Michael Power. In the later voters lists, a David Houlahan is listed at Caplin Bay from 1840 to 1859. His residence is sometimes listed as Deep Cove, but usually just listed as Davies. However, on one voters list, his residence is given as Vally Crodic. This name is probably a corruption of Ballycraddock, the name of a townland in southeastern Co. Waterford. Since the Irish were inclined to name property in their new homeland, after places back in Ireland, this may have been the townland from which David Houlahan's family originated. The exact location of the old Houlahan home has not been determined, nor do we know who claimed the property after the death of David Houlahan. It appears that David Houlahan died in the 1860s.
The next family to settle in this area was the Kavanaghs. Patrick Kavanagh and his descendants have been associated with property on the northwest side of Deep Cove since the early 1840s. In 1847, Patrick registered his claim to this land in Crown Land grant number 610. The land is described as being on the "western side of shore of Caplin Bay". In 1866, Patrick's son, William Kavanagh, registered another piece of land (Crown Land grant number 2278) in the same area that was described as being "west of Caplin Bay Harbour on old road to Ferryland". It is not known exactly where the first Kavanagh home was located. However, an old map (circa 1910) shows that there was a cluster of Kavanagh homes directly in the path of the proposed railway right-of-way. We can speculate that one of these may have been the original homestead. I have been unable to determine if these homes were torn down, relocated, or if the railway line was rerouted to avoid the homes.
In the early 1850s, the Hayden surname appeared at Deep Cove. Thomas Hayden, who was born in Ireland, about 1822, is first recorded in the Caplin Bay voters list in 1852. It has not been determined if the property on which he settled had previously been occupied by earlier settlers. The property may have belonged to his wife's family, but since we don't know her name, this possibility is speculative. The land was never registered in the Hayden name. The Hayden property was on the southeastern side of Deep Cove. It appears that Deep Cove served as a natural boundary between the Hayden and Kavanagh properties.
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© Kevin Reddigan (2002 - 2017)
Page Last Updated: Tuesday, December 27, 2016 - 02:33:30 PM EST