The History Of Baytona
Most Newfoundland communities had their first
earlier than 1901. It seems Baytona is one of the newest
communities on the island. Some settlements may be proud of being
old, but problems such as: not being able to trace early settlers,
old buildings being run down, etc... are some of the disappointments
that exist. Another factor making this community very unique is
that after only a short period of time after settlement (1958) the
old name was Birchy Bay North was changed to Gayside and then later
(1985) the name was changed from Gayside to Baytona.
Across Canada, as well as across the world, areas
so fast that nearby towns are combining and renaming the joint
places by one name. Here the opposite was done. In the early days more
people lived on the Birchy Bay side. When some moved across the bay it
was called to the North Side of Birchy Bay or Birchy Bay North. In
1958, however, the name of Birchy Bay North was changed to Gayside.
The main reason for this change was because the mail would go
Birchy Bay instead of Birchy Bay North. By the time it went back to
Lewisporte and came back again a week or more would be passed. The
people were upset about this and as a result changed the name to
Gayside. Another reason for the name change is because the
population was large enough for a name of their own.
Mrs. Violet Lewis who kept a tilt owned by Mr.
Henry Combden was the
first teacher. That was in 1923. The first person to be buried in
Baytona was Selinia Lewis in 1931. The first radio and store was
owned by William Lewis in 1936. He also owned the first sawmill in
1942. The first C.N.T. phone was installed at William Jones' house.
This was after 5 years of writing and asking about a phone. The
government sent out wires, etc., for Mr. George Lewis and the
ranger from Lewisporte, Mr. Dwyer, to set up the telephone. (free
labour). This all happened on 1947. The road was built in 1959.
Before the road, travel was done by foot, horse, passenger boat in
the summer or by horse or snowmobile in the winter. Mr. William
Lewis owned the first car in Baytona. It was left at Comfort-Cove
until the building of the road.
In the early 1960's John Lewis and Nehemiah Pope
weekly garbage collection. At the end of every month they would
collect a dollar from everyone in the community. The community
council started in the fall of 1975 and in February, 1976 it was
incorporated as a council. From 1975-1991 the mayor of Baytona was
John Lewis. The second was Jerden Bennett from 1991-19??.
In 1985, the name was changed from Gayside to
reason for this change was the people from other communities would
laugh at the name. The younger people were teased and this caused
a lot of embarrassment. For this reason the name was changed.
Every settlement starts for some reason. Here, it
several had winter tilts. Fishing and lumbering were the main
attractions. The first settler to move here was Mrs. Jessie Mews in
1901. The next people to move to Baytona were James Lewis, Silas
Lewis and Joseph Lewis. William Blake, Frank Blake and William Dove
were the next three residents to settle here in 1914. The first
baby born was Stella Lewis in 1915. The first horse was
owned by Silas Lewis and Sons in 1916. The first amalgamated school
was done by volunteer work in 1920. It received a loan of $200.00
from the United School Board. However, due to the war in 1939 this
loan was never paid off. The first person that die was Patience
Blake in 1922. She was buried in Birchy Bay. The first marriage was
Dorothy Blake and Roland Lewis. They were married by Reverend
Stanley Tiller in the school.
Source of information:
The text for this section of our page was provided
by The Community Council of Baytona.