Early history of Northwest Brook
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