Early his­tory of North­west Brook

The Packet (Clarenville) - - Editorial -

Dur­ing its ear­li­est oc­cu­pa­tion, the com­mu­nity of North­west Brook con­sisted of two ar­eas: Point A Beach and Dark Hole. Early records for res­i­dents of Point A Beach list fam­ily names of Ben­son, Frost, and Bai­ley. All in­di­vid­u­als are be­lieved to be as­so­ci­ated with the nearby com­mu­nity of North­ern Bight. The sur­name of Snel­grove was also listed in 1904 and is be­lieved to have ar­rived from Up­per Is­land Cove.

The com­mu­nity of Dark Hole sur­names in­cluded Baker, Nor­ris, Bursey, Soper and Vi­vian. To­day, Dark Hole and Point A. Beach are col­lec­tively known as North­west Brook.

The area was built mostly around lum­ber­ing and pro­vid­ing ser­vice to the train sta­tion at North­ern Bight Sta­tion. The fish­ery played a mi­nor role in the devel­op­ment of this com­mu­nity. The fam­ily of Wil­liam Smith, who was born at Is­land Cove, moved to North­west Brook and op­er­ated a schooner in the Labrador Fish­ery.

Dur­ing the Great War four men are known to have stepped for­ward for ser­vice over­seas. John Vi­vian was less than 16 years old when, un­known to his mother, he caught the train to St. John’s to en­list with the New­found­land Royal Naval Re­serve. Naval records in­di­cate he suc­cess­fully en­listed with the Re­serve on May 16, 1916.

When his mother, Ju­lia Jane, dis­cov­ered he had en­listed she fu­ri­ously walked to Clarenville from North­west Brook. She de­manded the mag­is­trate con­tact the Naval Com­man­der and have her lit­tle boy sent home. She was suc­cess­ful but when John turned 18 years old, he again pur­sued his dream of join­ing the war ef­fort over­seas. He trav­elled to St. John’s, this time join­ing the Royal New­found­land Reg­i­ment.

Three other in­di­vid­u­als Joseph Bursey, Edgar Soper and Isaac Soper joined the navy and served over­seas from North­west Brook.

North­west Brook. Source Decks Awash, Nov. 1986

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