From mine closure to reinvention: A story of Bell Island Newfoundland

Feb 4, 2017

early 20th Century Bell Island Miners in Newfoundland, Canada

Bell Island is located in Conception Bay, Newfoundland. It has a real outport feel to it--sleepy and intimate. It’s the kind of place that still has radio bingo, and where people know each other by name.  From 1895 to 1966 Bell Island was one of the world’s largest suppliers of iron ore. In the spring of 1966 the mines were closed for good, devastating the island’s economy. In the late 1990’s Bell Island turned to tourism as a way to revitalize its economy.

In its 71 years in operation the men of Bell Island pulled over 78-million tons of ore from its depths. The iron was then shipped all over the world, including to the US, Belgium, and Germany.

Associate Producer Rebekah Nolan visits with Teresita McCarthy, manager of the Bell Island Mine Tour and Museum, and Gordon Scanes, a retired electrician who worked in the mines as a young man.

The story of Bell Island and its resilient residents is a touching tale of hope in the face of despair.

Music Credits: “Juliett” by Podigton Bear“Dark Matter” by Podigton Bear“Epiphany” by Podigton Bear


From mine closure to reinvention...Winner of the 1017 Lowell Thomas Award


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Journeys of Discovery with Tom Wilmer winner of the Lowell Thomas Award 2017, 2016, 2015, 2013
Credit SATW Foundation