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Stephenville is a town in Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada on the west coast of the island of Newfoundland.The town functions as a local service centre for the southwestern part of the island, serving a direct population of 25,000 people from surrounding areas and over 90,000 people along the entire west coast of the island.Stephenville has a modern 40-bed hospital, schools, stores, banks and government institutions. The provincial community college system, College of the North Atlantic, is headquartered in Stephenville and maintains a campus there for students from the southwestern region of the island. A provincial minimum security jail is also located in the town.HistoryThis place was formerly known as the Acadian village, between 1848 and 1870. The populace of the village consisted of Roman Catholics who eked out a living, farming and fishing. The town's population continued to grow because of the stable economy. It was also formerly home to Ernest Harmon AFB, which was operated by the United States Army Air Forces and later the United States Air Force from 1941 to 1966.The base precipitated an economic boom of sorts on Newfoundland's southwest coast during the 1940s. Corner Brook to the northeast had been considered the major population center for the region, given its industrial base and nearby recreational opportunities in the Humber River. With the massive investment of the Government of the United States in the base, the Stephenville and St. George's Bay area began to flourish. The village of Stephenville grew from a hamlet of several hundred people with no paved streets, side walks, water or sewage system in 1941 into a modern town of over 5,000 by the mid-1950s. By the time Ernest Harmon AFB closed in 1966, the town had more than doubled in size, partly as a result of the provincial government's forced resettlement policy toward residents of outports.Explore the family-friendly attractions of Stephenville and add them to your vacation plans using our Canada tour itinerary planner.
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