Sop's Arm, Newfoundland and Labrador
Sop's Arm is a settlement in Newfoundland and Labrador. The community was settled in the 1950s and 1960s with families (and some of their homes) from nearby Sop's Island. Sop's Island residents were encouraged to move by the Joey Smallwood Government to ease the economic burden of public education, transportation (of mail, food and other supplies) and utilities. Access to Sop's Island was often hindered in the spring of the year due to impassable slob ice. This proved to be a serious health hazard for those needing immediate medical attention. Locals also complained of the inconsistent water supply on Sop's Island.
Today, the community of Sop's Arm stretches from the mouth of Main River (a provincially well-known river for its salmon fishing and white-water kayaking) north to Schooner's Cove.
Traditionally, the economy was based on the cod fishery and the forest industry where loggers cut wood for the Corner Brook Pulp and Paper Mill.
Kent Budden of Sop's Arm opened a Viking museum in the village, displaying a number of artifacts he claims to be of Norse descent. Some experts are not so sure. They say that the artifacts are nothing more than relics left behind by English and French settlers from the 17th and 18th centuries. According to Budden, the only officials against the idea of Vikings in Sop's Arm are Newfoundland government officials. In 2012, possible Norse hunting pits were excavated just to the North of Sop's Arm. It has been argued that Sop's Arm is the Straumfjörð of the Vinland Sagas. Currently, the Norse site at L'anse Aux Meadows is the only known medieval Norse settlement in North America.
Sop's island was inhabited until the mid fifties when the government resettled the families to the mainland. The island was home to 85 people in 1921, and 220 people in 1935. The island had a school, two churches, cemeteries, and a wood mill. Moose and caribou can be found on the island. The west side of the island is lush and tree filled. The east side is rocky and barren.
Less than ten summer cottages are still maintained on the island. most owned by families of the original Sop's Island natives. Sop's Island is protected by the Canadian Forest Service.
Nearby communities include Jackson's Arm (to the north) and Pollard's Point which lies just south and east of Main River.
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