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The name Clarenville is relatively new by Newfoundland standards. In the early 1890s some of the people in one of the small communities in the area asked the Prime Minister, Sir William Whiteway, how they could get a post office. He said it was necessary for some of the smaller places to join gether to form a larger centre in order to warrant putting a post office there. As a result, five communities, Lower Shoal Harbour, Dark Hole, Brook Cove, Broad Cove and Red Beach, amalgamated to form Clarenville.
The new community was first called Clarenceville. It is possible that it was named in honor of the Duke of Clarence, oldest son of the Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII), who died in 1892 about the same time as the community was being formed. (Some sources have said that the community was named for a son of Whiteway, but Whiteway had no son by that name.) By the time of the first census after amalgamation, in 1901, however, the town’s name appeared as Clarenville and has remained so.