Red Bay Museum Interpretation Centre
When you get off the Labrador ferry at Blanc Sablon, Quebec, follow the road up the hill to Highway 138. Turn right (east) and follow 138 to the Labrador border. The highway number changes to Route 510, which is also the Trans Labrador Highway. It’s only 80 km to Red Bay, but plan on a 1.5 hour drive. The road is paved but currently (2016) most of it is in pretty rough shape. You will come down a steep hill to enter Red Bay. Stay on the asphalt road and follow the signs into Red Bay. On your right you will be following the “basin”. You will pass the Orientation Centre and the white church on your right. Follow the road down the hill. The Interpretation Centre and Whaler’s Station share a parking lot. You will be able to see Saddle Island, behind the Interpretation Centre.
The Interpretation Centre provides a large overview of the entire UNESCO site, the research, the discoveries, and what they were able to determine about the Basque whalers and their habitation of this area for over 70 years.
The story begins with Selma Barkham, continuing the research started by her late husband. Through extensive investigation she was able to pinpoint the existence of a whaling ship in Red Bay Harbour. In 1978 underwater exploration began and almost immediately evidence was found to support her thesis. Red Bay became a national historic site in 1979 and received UNESCO status in 2013.