The Gillespie House is one of the original historic
properties in Fortune Harbour, and the Gillespie
family played an integral role in forming it’s rich
The house was originally built by Captain John
Gillespie who, with his wife, Mary Catherine
(Byrne), raised seven children. Tragedy struck in
the early 1900’s when Captain Gillespie died while
fishing in Labrador. As it was early in the fishing
season, his body was preserved in salt. When the
fishing season ended his vessel entered the
Harbour half masted announcing the tragedy.
In the early spring of 1917, Mary Gillespie, a
Telephone: (709) 485-2552
Pte. Samuel Gillespie’s Monument
Original Gillespie House circa 1900’s.
where he restored the old Gillespie house down by
the sea. Fortune Harbour would always be 'home'
In Pat's 'home' today, with the glistening harbour
waters in the foreground and St. Anne's Church in
the background, a small stone monument marks
tribute to the young Gillespie brother, Pte. Samuel
Gillespie who's life was taken in the horrors of war,
and whose remains still lie under French soil.
widowed mother of seven, living in Fortune
Harbour, NL, received the telegram that would
change her life. Months before, her two young sons
had enlisted and were both stationed in France.
The dreaded news had sanctioned that only one of
her beloved sons would return home. Pat, the
unpredictable, restless son, though wounded in his
thigh and right arm, would return to his family and
the harbour waters of his youth. His brother, Sam,
the more serious and careful of the two, had fallen
under German artillery and was now buried miles
away from home near Bailleul, France.
When Sam had heard of Pat's injuries, he acquired
leave to visit his brother in a London hospital. This
would be the last time the brothers saw each other.
Young Sam would go on to fight again in the most
crucial battle of the war. Here, in the black muddy
trenches, he would lose his life.Pat would
eventually end up in Brooklyn, New York, working
in a shipbuilding plant, where, after becoming
supervisor, he would stay for thirty years. After his
retirement, he and his wife, Sadie, would often
return to Fortune Harbour in the summertime,
More than a Tourist Home Experience … next stop Ireland
As we all work with the authorities to flatten the curve
of this pandemic by enforcing social distancing, we are
taking the unprecedented step of making our 2020
season - Vacation Home Rental ONLY. Please check
the Booking Tab for more information.
Please note: Cafe closed for the 2020 season.