Conception Bay Museum
The building which now houses the Conception Bay Museum was built in 1870.
At that time the brick and stone structure served as the customs house and it replaced the
wooden building that predeceased it. The first recorded structure on this particular site
was the pirate fort of Peter Easton constructed in 1610.
It is believed that the first customs house in Harbour Grace was located
near the two sisters rock formation but the Water Street location served as the site of
the customs house at the least from the turn of the century.
The building was presumably constructed by George Tapp, who was sent to
Harbour Grace in the 1860's to build such a structure. The Gordon family who were reported
to be living upstairs in the building immediately after its completion are supposedly the
first inhabitants of the building.
The interior of the Conception Bay Museum contains a pirate room which
includes a fully dressed Peter Easton mannequin who recounts many of Easton's experiences
during his stay in Harbour Grace, ten locally handpainted history boards depicting the
history of the piracy in Harbour Grace, a model of Easton's ship- The Happy
Adventure- as well as a model of Easton's fort. There is also an aviation room
depicting the history of the Harbour Grace Airstrip. The room contains a model of the 1927
gravel airstrip as well as relics of the Pioneer Trans Atlantic Aircrafts who used the
airstrip as a mini exhibit devoted to Amelia Earhart.
In addition to these two rooms there is a period setting room adorned with
furniture from approximately 1853, a sewing corner, a fisherman's room depicting the
history of the fishery in Harbour Grace and an attic area which contains old photographs
of the town as well as various artifacts from the area.
Located on the museum grounds is a monument to the role of Harbour Grace
in the history of transatlantic flight. In the summer months the flags of prominent
Harbour Grace Merchant firms and the solid black pirate flag of Peter Easton are flown
from the poles next to the building. The skull and crossbones flag was adopted by later