Springtime Meant Leaving Deep Cove for Anchor Point, NL

Today a collection of colourful miniatures create the atmosphere of what life was like in Deep Cove on the Great Northern Peninsula in days gone by. This was a community that was established during the winter months for residents of Anchor Point to access firewood and face better protection from the elements of winter. The community and concept of winter housing settlements have since been abandoned (this is the last) and the only remains are a couple of fallen homes.

Today it is a wonderful place to visit year-round and the 1.45 KM boardwalk is especially enjoyed by visitors during the summer season. Although some local residents strap on their snowshoes and visit as well in winter.

Anchor Point, NL has declared that it is the first English settlement on the Viking Trail (Route 430) on the Great Northern Peninsula. The Town was first settled circa 1740 by Robert Bartlett and his nephew Bob Genge from Somerset, England. The area was used for fishing, sealing and trapping which led to the establishment of merchant trading posts bolstering the local economy. Today, Anchor Point remains a primary employer with many fishers and a fish processing factory in the community.

During summer, the settlers of Anchor Point had taken up an abundance of activity that surrounded the sea, as the rich waters could be viewed from any resident window. However, during winter the families moved inland to smaller homes they built in Deep Cove just a few kilometers to the south. Some shared houses with other families. This enclosed site provided to be more efficient and protected the settlers from the elements and harsh conditions in rural Newfoundland during the 19th and into the 20th century. Settlers would move back to their permanent homes in Anchor Point after winter. Deep Cove is noted as the last inhabited winter housing site in Newfoundland and has received a National Heritage Site designation.

A beautiful board walk and walking trail leads you to the site. As you walk where past residents before you walked there are interpretative panels noting the history of the community, how houses were built, what residents did for fun, education, religion, daily activity and explanation of several structures and necessities.

It is certainly a place I enjoy visiting and reflecting. The looped trail now has a linear extension added, which takes you to the beach, gazebo and viewing area. From here you can easily see the Labrador ferry dock at St. Barbe. Another post will highlight this trail.

With many modern day advancements, the concept of winter housing may have been abandoned but there are many who still seek out much of their winter at their cabin in the woods to escape the modernity. To find Deep Cove Winter Housing, you will find the trailhead and parking area nestled between St. Barbe and Anchor Point directly on Route 430 (Viking Trail).

Experience a Winter Housing village by visiting Deep Cove on the Great Northern Peninsula.

Live Rural NL –

Christopher Mitchelmore

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