Blog Archives

Touring Deep Cove Winter Housing Historic Site, NL

IMG_20141024_153503

Deep Cove Winter Housing Site on the Great Northern Peninsula is a wonderful place to visit year-round. I had the opportunity to visit with a group of teachers as we toured several communities in the Straits. A 1.4 KM boardwalk loops around the site, with a new trail developed through funding assisting the Straits Development Association to expand a trail to the beach.

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 its local  economy.

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.

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, the role of education/religion/man/woman and explanation of several structures and necessities. In 2012, funding aided with the development of adding miniature replica houses and structures along the board walk. Further funding to develop the trail network through job creation partnerships occurred in 2013-2014.

A piece of history awaits your eyes… make sure you take the time to reflect on our past. We have such a rich culture and history on the Great Northern Peninsula.

Live Rural NL –

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North
@MitchelmoreMHA

Beauty by the Sea – Deep Cove, NL

Scenic Deep Cove – could there be a place that grabs ones attention? This photo earned its place as the header for the Live Rural NL blog banner and is my current screen saver. Deep Cove may be one of the areas well-kept secrets, as it has so much unrealized potential. The local development association continues to pursue funding to bring the site up to par so one can be educated about “Winter Housing” and also experience what life was like having to move from the summer home to a winter site.

Along the trail I have capture the broken ice pans that have filled the mouth of the cove. The wooden structure in the bottom of the photo above was used by two men and a long pit saw to produce lumber to build homes, boats and other necessities. People worked with what they had, and certainly used common sense, building on a hill to reduce the workload.

A boardwalk takes you along the valley nestled between the trees, which provided the protection from the elements. Along the way are panels explaining the people who lived here and what their life was like. All that remains are a couple of fallen houses. They should be erected and the winter housing site developed as a working village.

Imagine in summer the rein-actors could be planting a garden, drying fish on flakes and maintaining the homestead as they would throughout the years. The opportunity for winter tourism is even greater with dog sledding, snowshoeing, skiing, ice-fishing and more. There could be lessons provided, accommodations and food in an experiential package. Location is ideal, as there is an adjacent ski hut and trail system. During summer, why not have campsites and offer a nature park?

In the meantime, I will enjoy some childhood fun and slide down the hill! Be sure to visit Deep Cove, just a few kilometres from the Town of Anchor Point.

Live Rural NL –

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North

Winter Housing

June 27, 2010 –

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 its local  economy.

I had the opportunity to visit Deep Cove – A Winter Housing community, which neighbours the Town of Anchor Point and has historical significance as Deep Cove’s inhabitants have strong ties to Anchor Point.  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. 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.

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

A piece of history awaits your eyes… make sure you take the time to reflect on our past. While there you can note that you do have cell coverage and data browsing capabilities, which will probably help establish why modernization through the years led to a cultural evolution, one that no longer required Winter Housing sites.

Would moving to smaller homes in the winter, surrounded by our neighbours help re-establish a stronger sense of community where we all dance the night away?

A Rural Reflection –

CCM

%d bloggers like this: