The town of Kippens is supposedly named after a man by the name of George Kippen, who was an English sea captain. Some say he landed his ship here, while others say he was shipwrecked at the river located at the western end of the community. This River, now called Romaine’s Rive, was known for years as “Kippens River”. Another view is that “Kippens” was derived from the name “Keeping”, which may have been the name of one of the earliest settlers in the area. The MacMillan Book of Canadian Place Names tells us that the name “Kippens” maybe derived from an English word for “a bundle of hides” or “an English family name, not traced in Newfoundland.”
There is some information about a man by the name of Captain George Kippen, although it cannot be said with absolute certainty that this is the same man who landed (or was shipwrecked) at Kippens. The man named George Kippen was born in 1781. He entered the Royal Navy and served as midshipman on board the Captain 74 in 1796. During the early 1800’s he served in the Royal Navy, holding the rank of captain. He died in Scotland in 1826, which would have made him only thirty years of age at the time of his death.
The story of Captain Kippen may never be fully known, but his name and his legend, continue to live on in this community.