New Perlican is one of the oldest settlements in the province. The town was mentioned by name by Thomas Rowley, one of the first settlers at the Cupids Colony. According to his correspondence, he was making plans to move to New Perlican in 1619. It is unknown if he did.
Archaeologist William (Bill) Gilbert has conducted several seasons of excavations in the community at what is known at the Hefford Plantation which was first settled by William Hefford and his family in 1675 and appears to have been occupied continually since that time. This plantation is thought to be the oldest in Canada that is still inhabited by the descendants of the first settlers.
By 1677, William Hefford had built a dwelling house and nine store rooms and lodging houses at New Perlican, and excavations in 2003 uncovered a William III ha’penny minted sometime between 1695 and 1698 and a seventeenth-century padlock. Work the following year recovered a Spanish American silver one real coin manufactured in what is now Bolivia, dated to circa 1653.