Mr.Edward Ward's house is the oldest standing house at over 100 years old.
South East Bight was originally settled by the Handlins in 1835. By 1836 the population
had risen to about 30 people, all of Roman Catholic religion. A census taken in 1871 showed that the main families were Dunphy, Hayne, Hefferon, Hunt, Pitman, Reddy, Ward, and Wight.
Most of these names, or variations thereof, are still common in South East Bight today, howerer there are variations in spellings. This could be due to the manner in which the census was taken years ago and the amount of traveling the papers done before they were actually recorded.
South East Bight once had a small slate mine operating but the venture was not feasible and was quickly closed down. Years ago the men traveled to the lumber woods and to mines in places like St. Lawrence, to work in the fall to get extra money to supplement the fishing income.
This is a photo of the home of Jack and Mary Lake. Mr. And Mrs. Lake moved this home from Darby's Harbour when they moved here in the 60's.
In the early 1900's the population of South East Bight was approximately 150-160 people.
By 1945 it had decreased to 51. In the 50's and 60's it again started to grow until resettlement,
when it plummeted to only two families, the Ward's and the White's. In the next few years families like the Lakes, Murphys and Powers moved in from Darby's Harbour, Murphys Cove and Clattice Harbour, and young people began to marry and settle here. We saw surnames like Brewer, Hefferan, Jones and Hepditch return to restore our community. The fishery has grown and today is a prosperous enterprise with many people employed in the industry.
Odds & Ends
- Registered midwives of earlier times were Mary Dunphy and Mary Ward.
- The first mobile phone was installed in 1942, the first modern phone in 1980.
- School and church burned down on March 24, 1954.
- New church built in 1986.
- Government wharf built in 1981.
- Electrical power hooked up on December 20, 1974.
- Power lines connecting South East Bight to main frame installed 1998.
- Breakwaters tore down and new road constructed in 1993.
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