Henley Harbour, Labrador

Practicing witih sonar in the abandoned ghost town of Henley Harbour, Labrador.

Devil's table, Henley Harbor, Labrador

Henley Harbour on the coast of Labrador is what we expected to see a lot more of – a ghost town.

abandoned buildings Henley Harbour

The entrance had this truck-sized chunk of iceberg (what is called a growler) sitting in the middle, with smaller bergy bits scattered around for garnish.

chart plotter, RADAR, SONAR nav data

The chart does not have a lot of detail, and the harbor is very tight, so we used our Furuno CH270 SONAR to watch for obstructions (right hand monitor).


Here is the Coastal Explorer view of the Canadian HO chart of this area. You can see our position (yellow "boat") just off a shallow spot (depths are in meters).


Check out the rock off our starboard beam on the chart, and then on the SONAR (red mass to starboard). The SONAR is set to a 600 foot (180m) scale. Although the rock is shown accurately on the chart, sometimes rocks are missed, or misplaced – or there are no soundings – which is why we use the SONAR as a quality control check. Playing with it now also increases our skill level for later on when we are cruising in areas with few or no chart details.


Here we have turned 70 degrees to port, and are entering the very narrow confines of the harbor. The SONAR range has just been changed to 400 feet (120 m).


This photo with a wide angle lens makes the shore look a long way off. But we are in the center of a 400-foot (120m) area of deep water, about to anchor.


RADAR image (left) and SONAR (right) now at anchor. You can see by the track (white line) on the SONAR where we have dropped the hook, and then backed down to set it.


This SONAR image is a vertical slice through the harbor (previous were horizontal) and it is looking directly aft. We have 165 feet (50m) until shallow water with the chain stretched out. We rotate the SONAR antenna in this vertical mode to check the shape of the bottom on all sides.

welcome to Henley Harbour

Henley Harbour was once a flourishing fishing village. But the cost of maintaining "civilization" for these outports was high and the Canadian government offered incentives for residents to relocate to centralized villages where services could be efficiently provided (at least, that was the theory). You can tell by the new timber on this section of dock that someone is making at least part time use of the area.

andoned buildings Henley Harbour

The harbor is surrounded with abandoned buildings, some with curtains still in their windows.


For now, however, the inhabitants appear to be just us and the minke whale who is working the entrance.

You could easily spend a week in a spot like this, exploring ashore, and checking out the adjacent harbors. Maybe we’ll have to come back one of these days.

Posted by Steve Dashew  (June 28, 2008)

5 Responses to “Henley Harbour, Labrador”

  1. Ray Stone Says:

    I was borned in Corner Brook, Nfld.I lived in Henley Harbour from age 5 months to age 16 having moved to St.Anthony for higher education.I worked all over this world and now live in Toronto Canada.It is good to see the old houses and the abonded town
    again in pictures.I have been up on Devil’s table land many times when I was young.My younger brother has a house there
    and visits once a year for wild berries and game.He just got back Sept 14th ,2010 from there and spent a week.He lives in St.Anthony just across the Straits of belle Isle.

  2. Valerie Henley-Newell Says:

    Thank you so much for posting this. My 3gr grandfather came to Nfld in the early 1800s and was part of the Henley’s that came from Devon, England. It is so nice to see a picture of a place that he sailed for many years.

    Valerie Henley-Newell
    Windsor, Ontario

  3. ray stone Says:

    Hi Valerie Henley-Newell
    Windsor, Ont
    Re:Above comment
    My Great Grandfather came from Dorsetshire, England at 15 years of age and is buried in Henley Harbour,Labrador.
    His head stone/monument show that he died on Jan 19th,1888.The head stone/marker/monument is still very visable.
    He spent 70 years of his life in Henley Harbour. In the the cemetery at Henley Harbour their are over 50 markers/monuments
    with all the name of stone.
    Their are pictures on the internet showing these pictures.The town that is abandoned.Old properties and the church still exist.

  4. Robert (Bob) Stone Says:

    I was born in Corner Brook, NFLD in 1948. I am the eldest son of Charles and Ina Stone (White) and the grandson of Henry Kish Stone and Maud Stone (Hunt). Henry Kish is the son of Charles and Betsy Stone (Parsons) and Charles is one of son of Charles Stone who came from England in 1803. I spend considerable time on the Labrador coast with my grand parents in the early 1960s at Camp Islands. I never had the chance to visit Henley Harbour but did visit Cap St Charles and Lodge Bay.

  5. Ray Stone Says:

    I have been to Henry Kish Stone and Maud Stone’s house on Dorman’s lane in Curling.I was very young at the time.I worked in Corner Brook when I was 19.Dad’s two sister’s lived in Corner Brook.Aunt Eddie Pye and Dorcas Thistle.I think Guy and his brother still live there. Sylvia is also my first cousin.
    Haven’t been back there for many years but still remember Curling/East/West Highway and also Shellbird Island. What a beautiful
    sight to visit. Margaret’s Bowater park is also a good area to see.