North West Brook

In 1904, North West Brook had six households who lived across the inlet at Point A Beach. They were Eleazor and George Benson (who were two brothers), James Bailey, Hannibal Frost, James Frost and Amos Snelgrove. With the exception of Amos Snelgrove, it is believe these people came from Hillview.

Amos Snelgrove came from Upper Island Cove to fish and cut small birch and alders which he split to make hoops for barrels. While he was here, he met Hannah Frost from Hillview, got married and stayed.

There were six families living at Black Brook. They were Mathias Baker, James Baker, John Burton, William (known as Uncle Billy) Norris and Tom Green.

Thomas and Sebinah (Lush) Vivian of Greenspond arrived in North West Brook by way of Shambler’s Cove, Gambo and maybe Hillview. At least two of their children made the move with them – John Charles Vivian and Hannah Vivian. John married Julia Jane Baker in 1892 and Hannah married Matthias Baker in 1903.

There were two water sawmills – one at North West Brook operated by the Benson brothers and one at Black Brook operated by Mathias Baker.

Between 1904 and 1920, the Bensons shut down their mill and moved towards St. John’s. Their potato gardens were used by the Sopers until the late 50s. The Bakers mill was in operation by the family until the early 50s.

By 1921, Point A Beach was deserted. The Bensons had moved on, the Frosts moved back to Hillview, Jacob Bailey moved to Ivany’s Cove and Amos Snelgrove moved across the water to North West Brook.

The two communities combined and became known as North West Brook. There were 14 households with 15 families:

  1. John Vivian
  2. William Hiscock from Hickman’s Harbour
  3. Jacob Brown from Hatchet Cove Point.
  4. Charlie Bursey from Thoroughfare
  5. Amos Snelgrove from Point A Beach
  6. Owen Soper from South Dildo
  7. Edward Soper from South Dildo
  8. Johnathon Clark from British Harbour
  9. Moses Baker from Heart’s Ease
  10. Sarah Gosse from British Harbour
  11. John Norris
  12. William Norris from Grates Cove
  13. Rueben Soper from Newmans Cove
  14. Mathias Baker from Gooseberry Cove
  15. Josiah Baker from Gooseberry Cove

The first school was used as both a school and church. The first teacher was Valetta Hudson who taught here in 1912/1913. The school was used as a church until 1953 when it was replaced with a church that was taken down in sections and brought to North West Brook in Capt. Dave Stoyles’ schooner from Loreburn. It was reconstructed and served the United Church congregation until 1985.


Note: This article is subject to further correction and revision.

NOTE: See also information from Decks Awash, Volume 15, Number 6, November-December 1986