Drogheda (Valley of Hope) (Clarke's Beach)

Located near Clarke's Beach, Drogheda (pronounced drog-a-dee) was first settled in the early 1800s by the Coveyduck family. Today, descendants of that family still live on the land they cleared and in the house that they built more than 160 years ago.

Drogheda, Clarke's Beach, NL
Drogheda, Clarke's Beach, NL
Drogheda is representative of the building style used in the Clarke's Beach, and Conception and Trinity Bay areas
© 1998 Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador

There is a dispute over the origins of the word Drogheda. Some argue that early English and Welsh settlers named it for a mountain in Wales and that it means "Valley of Hope" in Welsh. Others have argued that it is a Gaelic term referring to a bridge at a stream, ford or pond.

The Coveyduck family moved to the area in the early 1800s and originally used it as a winter house. As was the custom at the time, many families moved inland during the winter. The land at Drogheda was valued because it was sheltered, had a good water supply from a nearby stream and was surrounded by white spruce and eastern pine.

After spending a few years living in a tilt, a small cabin made of wood and covered in sods, the Coveyducks built their house in 1830. The house and the surrounding lands saw a lot of activity during the next century. Much of the surrounding land was cleared and used for farming; a sawmill was built and much of the wood was used for the construction of schooners, a business the family started.

While the schooner business eventually collapsed, Drogheda has continued to be involved in farming and woodcutting. Currently owned by Melvin Morgan, a descendent of founder John Coveyduck, the area is remarkably preserved. The original wood shingles were only recently replaced on the farmhouse, having lasted 160 years.

The rest of the house is similar in style and construction to houses described in Trinity Bay and on the Southern Shore. It is a salt box built of vertical pine board. There are no studs in the house, and it features open beams that show the original square-cut nails. The corner castings and eaves were all sealed with ochre and seal oil, which makes the family boast that the house has never had a leak. Considering its age, it is in excellent shape, owing to its constant maintenance by the family. Melvin Morgan has been working to restore the house and property to its original glory.

Drogheda became a Registered Heritage Structure in May 1997.

Registered Heritage Structures Table of Contents

Also view Drogheda (Valley of Hope) Registered Heritage Structure on the Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador web site. The Newfoundland and Labrador Heritage Web Site has on its site only a portion of the registered heritage structures in Newfoundland and Labrador. To view a complete list or search for a particular structure visit the Heritage Foundation's Property Search page.