Jackson's Arm - Newfoundland and Labrador

Jackson's Arm is a small settlement located in White Bay. It was first settled approximately 130- 145 years ago by John Wicks of Christchurch England via Joe Batt's Arm.

In Jackson's Arm, the main occupation was, and still is, fishing. The structure of the fishery during the 19th century was similar to present day structure. Today boats may be faster and larger and technology may have changed the methods of fishing, but the basic family fishing venture remains the same.

In addition to fish, potatoes was a major dietary staple. Older residents claim 16 barrels of potatoes were needed to feed a family of six for one year. The diet was supplemented with locally grown cabbage, turnip, carrot, wild berries, and wild game.

The first school, Church of England, was built prior to 1884. This building served as both a school and church. Early schoolmasters would arrive by Schooner, stay for a few months, then leave to teach in other settlements along the coast. The first church to be built was started in 1909 - Church of England. The building was constructed with free labour. The first minister was stationed in Jackson's Arm in October 1915. Prior to this period, ministers visited from areas such as West Port and Twillingate.

Community midwives and home remedies were in constant demand. Home remedies included such things as wooden splints for broken limbs, tea leaves for snowblindness, eltrot leaves for fever, and boiled roots for sore throats. The first medical person to be stationed here was Nurse Currant (1926-27).

Public services were slow to arrive in this area. Public roads were not provided until 1962, when a road made areas such as Deer Lake and Corner Brook accessible. In 1977, the new road to Sop's Arm was opened, bypassing the community of Sop's Arm.

Some other important dates to note are: the earliest mail delivery was by dog team and komatik in 1901-02. The hydro service was installed in 1966 and telephone service in 1968. On June 19, 1981, a community council was incorporated. In 1982, the community purchased an ambulance. In 1985 a volunteer fire department was formed and purchased a fire truck shortly after. Cable television was installed in 1987, a service to which the majority of residents subscribed.

In 1958, Jackson's Arm Elementary School was opened. In 1978, high school students, grades 9 to 11, attended Sop's Arm Central High. Some time later students from grades 7 to 12 attended Sop's Arm Central High. In 1997, students in grades 5 and 6 also attended the high school. Due to the decrease in the number of students in the area Jackson's Arm Elementary closed June 1998. Students from grades Kindergarten to 3 attend Pollard's Point Primary School, and students from grades 4 to 12 attend Sop's Arm Central High.

Fortunately, Jackson's Arm is one of the small outport communities to survive the economic and growth changes that our province has experienced.

Genealogy Information

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