Botwood is a town in north-central Newfoundland, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada in Census Division 6. Take a look below for 24 interesting and awesome facts about Botwood, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada.
1. It is located on the west shore of the Bay of Exploits on a natural deep water harbour used by cargo ships and seaplanes throughout the town’s history.
2. In 1908, construction began on the Botwood Railway; the railway ran between Bishop’s Falls and Botwood.
3. It was a joint effort between the A.N.D. Company and the A. E. Reed Company of Bishop’s Falls.
4. It was to be the transportation link for the export of pulp and paper from the newly built mill at Grand Falls, NL.
5. The railway became operational by the fall of 1909, and the first shipment of paper from the new mill was sent in February 1910.
6. The A.N.D. Company took control of the railway operation in 1910, just a year after the line was completed.
7. The first aircraft facility to be established in Botwood was by Newfoundland born Captain Sydney Bennett (1897–1945) and Australian-born Major Sidney Cotton (1894–1969).
8. It became host to many dignitaries and celebrities, some as part of official delegations and others who were stalled there waiting out inclement flying weather.
9. Among those were Charles Lindbergh and his wife Anne Morrow Lindbergh in 1933.
10. From 1937 to 1945, both Pan Am and the British Overseas Airways Corporation used Botwood as a terminal for their Atlantic crossings.
11. On June 27, 1939 the Yankee Clipper left Botwood for the first Trans-Atlantic passenger flight to Foynes, Ireland.
12. During World War II (1940–1945), the Royal Canadian Air Force changed Botwood into a patrolling and bombing seaplane base, home to two squadrons of PBY Canso flying boats equipped with torpedoes and depth charges.
13. A large concrete slipway, two hangars, a tarmac and four bunkers were constructed.
14. The Canadian Army was garrisoned in the town, and built barracks, a water system, and a full-scale military hospital.
15. The army was responsible for the manning of gun batteries at Philip’s Head and Wiseman’s Cove that protected the entrance to Botwood Harbour with 10″ guns, as well as numerous anti-aircraft batteries throughout the community.
16. During the war Botwood was home to approximately 10,000 Canadian and British personnel, and became Canada’s most important over-seas base.
17. In 1942, 11 United States military personnel died when their Sikorsky VS-44 flying boat, the Excalibur, crashed and sank in the Bay of Exploits shortly after takeoff from Botwood.
18. In 1943 Bob Hope and his troupe were stormbound in Botwood and performed for the RCAF Coastal Command. Both Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Winston Churchill also overnighted in the town.
19. Military personnel left Botwood at the end of World War II. Military buildings were sold, demolished or relocated.
20. The commercial seaplane service ended in 1945 as land-based aircraft became more popular.
21. Botwood continued to ship paper from the Grand Falls-Windsor paper mill until its closure in 2009. It also shipped ore from Buchans until the mine closed in 1984.
22. In 2010, a mural to celebrate the Botwood Cottage Hospital was commissioned by the Botwood Mural Arts Society.
23. It was entitled Pulse of the Community and was painted by Manitoban artist Charlie Johnston. It is located on the previous site of the Botwood Cottage Hospital, now the site of a grocery store.
24. This was the beginning of an ongoing project of by the society to commission murals throughout the town to celebrate its unique history and increase tourism.