Finding Grenfell is an initiative that recognizes the widespread, diverse and long-lasting impact of the Grenfell Mission in southern Labrador, Canada. Follow a series of interpretive panels along Labrador Coastal Drive to explore firsthand this unique chapter of British North American history.
This website presents these panels along with expanded text, archival references and additional photographs.
Dr Wilfred Grenfell first came to Labrador in 1892 on behalf of the Royal National Mission to Deep Sea Fishermen to assess the living conditions and needs of remote fishing communities.
From this came the Grenfell Mission — a team of skilled workers in health, education, industry and agriculture that, over the next half-century, substantially improved the well-being of the people of southern Labrador.
Travel to Labrador and embark on a Finding Grenfell journey, or start your virtual excursion below...
Welcome & Introduction
L'Anse au Clair
Beginning in 1892, British missionary-doctor Wilfred Grenfell brought aid to the people of southern Labrador and devised unique ways for them to help themselves.
Forteau Nursing Station
Established in 1908 and evolving over time, the Forteau Nursing Station provided professional health care services to southern Labrador.
L'Anse au Loup
Volunteer teachers attracted by Grenfell to Labrador during their summer break brought additional education services to Labrador communities.
Recognizing dietary deficiencies amongst the people, the Mission encouraged gardening and introduced agricultural techniques such as hot bed heaters.
The Red Bay Co-op
In 1896 Grenfell led the fishermen of Red Bay to form a co-operative in order to break the cycle of poverty caused by the merchant credit system.
Locally made crafts such as hooked rugs were exchanged for clothing and then sold on distant markets. Profits were used to support Mission activities.
Grenfell's first hospital was established at nearby Battle Harbour in 1893, and the following decades saw a growth of medical and educational services in the Mary's Harbour area.
People of the Mission
The women and men associated with the Grenfell Mission provide a rich lore of long-standing service, adventure and even romance.
Port Hope Simpson
Summer stations were focal points during the peak season of the commercial fishery. The Mission built facilities at these stations and provided nurses and teachers.
A new hospital and school were built at Cartwight to replace earlier facilities. The community also became a hub for Industrial work and famous for its exceptional embroidery.