Father Duffy’s Well is considered to be the only holy well in all of North America. Located on the Salmonier Line, St. Mary’s Bay, it is dedicated to Father Duffy, an Irish priest, who was recruited to Newfoundland by Bishop Michael Fleming in 1833.
Father Duffy became involved in not only his parishioners’ spiritual lives but in their whole well-being including agriculture and the fishery. He was involved in a political dispute over building a church in St. Mary’s. He, along with several other accused men ( he was acquitted of the charge) were on their way to a court appearance in St. John’s when they became thirsty and disillusioned. Legend has it that Father Duffy tapped with his cane on a rock and from it came a fresh spring of drinking water. This same spot grew in popularity and people believed it had healing powers. It became known as Father Duffy’s Well.