Rose Blanche is a small community located on the south west coast of Newfoundland, about 45 kilometers east of Port-Aux-Basques on route 470, Trans- Canada Highway. This small community is located in a rugged, barren area on the east side of a small bay. In this bay there are two harbours that were mainly used to provide shelter for fishing vessels, so today the community it built around there rocky shores.
Rose Blanche used to mainly be a fishing community, until the Moratorium on Cod Fish was brought on in 1992. Though Rose Blanche seems to be an old, worn down community, it has some of the greatest scenery and tourist attractions on South West Coast. Some of the scenery includes the rugged coastline (most easily viewed in an area that the locals call "The Neck") the amazing white and rocky cliffs of "Diamond Cove". The restored light house is also a great attraction.
There are many sights to see here. And with a moderate climate with warm summers and cool winters it is great all year round.
The first permanent settlers in Rose Blanche probably arrived was first settled in 1810 , though the French had probably held seasonal premisses in the area in the 1700's. Rose Blanche was first settled because of its sheltered harbours and its close location to fishing grounds. Locals have it that the first few families that settled here were Currie, Caines, and Payne. These families fished of the coast of present day Burgeo for a number of years until later, they moved to either Burnt Islands or Isle aux Mortes.
By the 1869 census, the population had grown to 663, and the area continued to attract new settlers from England and the Channel Islands to participate in the fishery. By the 1870's the community had a number of businesses which participated in the local winter fishery and the Labrador fishery. The community continued to flourish through 1921 as the population reached over a 1000.
The 1950's and 1960's brought significant changes to the community with the opening of a fresh-frozen fish plant , resettlement of outlying communities in Rose Blanche., as a result of the road connection that was completed between Rose Blanche and Port aux Basques in 1961.
Statistics show that in 1991 the population of Rose Blanche was about 900 people, this dropped down to about 800 in 1996. Now Rose Blanche is mainly an area of retired fishermen with grown up families. In fact, now there are less then a hundred students in its Elementary School. The majority of the people in Rose Blanche over the age of twenty five have a education of under grade nine. This is because most people grew up as fishermen and didnít see the need for it. However, the new generation is a bit different, there are over 50 students attending high school from Rose Blanche (this is nearly all the youths living there).
In the past, the mean economic and traditional activity of Rose Blanche was fishing. This remained the same from the first settlement in 1810, right up to the collapse in Cod stocks in 1992. Now the main jobs of the locals are in the tertiary industries. Many residents are employed in service industry in the nearby town of Port aux Basques while others have been forced to leave their community for work shipping on the Great Lakes.
Despite the failure of the fishery, some still manage a living harvesting different species of fish and selling to nearby fish plants while hoping the the once rich fishery will return.
A Major piece of Rose Blanche history still remains today. This would be the light house. First constructed in 1873 (they began building it in 1856 and never completed it until then) ,it went years through weather, vandalism and other things that what you would think would demolish this building. But the tower and part of the living quarters were still standing even in 1997 when the town started a project of restoring it. This project cost a total price of 1.5 million dollars. Now it stands a full structure again and is a major tourist attraction of the south west coast of Newfoundland.
The Name Rose Blanche is said to have come from either itís french meaning "white rose", or some say that is was once "Roche Blanche" and was probably over a period of time changed through speech of locals and foreigners. The name Roche Blanche means "white rock". This name is reasonable for the area due to the high concentration of the mineral "quartz" around its shore. This crystal-like mineral is a white colour and can be viewed in areas around Rose Blanche such as "Diamond Cove" and "The Neck."