This is the official website of the Placentia Area Historical Society (PAHS) and the O'Reilly House Museum. The site has been set up to provide information about the Society and the Museum and to promote the history of the Placentia area (Ancient French Capital). Here you will learn about the region's history, the O'Reilly House Museum and other projects to promote that history. You will also become aware of what is available in the way of historic sites, materials or artifacts.
Placentia (or Placencia and Plaisance as it was once called ), a community on the east side of Placentia Bay and west side of the Avalon Peninsula in the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada, has a great history of occupation going back to the 1500s. There are reports of early visits from the Basque, Portuguese, Spanish, aboriginals and others. Besides being a onetime capital (1662 to 1713) for the French in Newfoundland it also has an interesting history associated with the English (who also used it is as their capital), the Irish and, in more recent times, the Americans. There are a number of locations of old forts, one of which has been developed as theCastle Hill National Historic Site.
When we talk about Placentia or Plaisance, in history, we are frequently referring to a larger area that probably included Point Verde, Townside, Jerseyside, Ferndale, Freshwater, Argentia (Little Placentia), Southeast, Bond’s Path and Dunville (Northeast Arm). With the exception of Point Verde, these were all amalgamated into the Town of Placentia in 1994. (Population was at 3643 in 2011.)