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A Journey Through Acadia - 2009
For many pictures, clicking on them will bring up a larger or close-up version

I was finally able to make a trip through Acadia (or as much of it as my wife would allow). Taking the ferry from Maine would have saved some driving, but I wanted to see the scenery from Maine through New Brunswick. We traveled from New Hampshire through Maine. We stopped at St. Croix and then Moncton. After visiting the Acadian Center at Moncton U., we traveled to Hopewell Rocks and then crossed the Confederation Bridge onto Prince Edward Island. We visited Port LaJoie and the area of the island inhabited by my Hebert ancestors in the 1750s when they were trying to escape the English deportations. We crossed the bridge again and visited the Beaubassin area, Ft. Beausejour, Ft. Lawrence area, Masstown, and then the Colchester Museum at Truro. We went to the area known as Hebert Village at Ft. Ellis, Ft. Edward, Ste. Famille Cemetery, and several of the rivers around Minas. After visiting Grand Pre and the Deportation Cross, we headed toward Port Royal. We visitd the Melanson Settlement, the Habitation, Fort Anne, and Annapolis Royal. After stopping at Digby for the night, we visited the Acadian Village at West Pubnico before crosing over to Maine on the ferry.

Leaving from New Hampshire, we drove up through Maine and New Brunswick. There were lots of trees and not much traffic. Going through customs in Calais was a longer wait than I thought it'd be (40 min.), but we went through without difficulty. They didn't even ask for the birth certificates of my grandkids (though we had them ready). Before crossing over, we went to the St. Croix International Historic Site.
   

At the end of the walkway is a covered area
with this model of the St. Croix settlement.
   

There is a series of interpretive panels and sculptures along a path to the river's edge.
Click on the panels for closer views.

   
The view from the sheltered area at the end of the trail. The island in the middle of the view is St. Croix.
[Click on the image for a closer view.] You can also walk down some steps to the shore.
   

 

I was dropped of at the university library the next morning for research work while the family went to the zoo. After entering the library, head to the left and go down the stairs. Then go straight ahead and you will see the Centre area just past the map section.

Floor plan of the lower level of the library (left). The closeup of the Centre area is to the right. The research area is in yellow. The desk at which you ask for help is in peach. Stephen White's office is in green.

The lady at the desk, Camella, showed me around the Centre. Unfortunately, the Centre still works primarily by card catalog rather than computer. Some of the books on are the computer index, but other books, manuscripts, maps, etc. are all indexed on card catalogs around the room. Since I only had one day there, it was pointless to do genealogical work. So I spent most of the day looking at maps.

Stephen White (right) is a very nice fellow, but he doesn't do email. Send a letter or call (he gets in the office at 11am) and he will probably be glad to help you out. He still isn't ready to commit to a date for the release of the 2nd part of the Dictionnaire. He did again state that it will come out in stages. I feel (as someone there told me) that someone higher up will probably have to say 'we want it by such and such a date' for it to get into print. As you can see by the lengthy corrections to the first part, the task of finalizing genealogy never seems to be completed.

After seeing his desk, I can see we have the same paper-filing system :-)

My family picked me up and we visited the Acadian Museum (across the parking lot) before leaving town. Upon entering, you pay at the desk and the exhibit area will be to your right. Here are a few pictures of the items on exhibit.

< Cornerstone from Sainte-Anne's
Church (1723) at Beaubassin.

Trunk used by the Marguerite Hache
family during the deportations. >

   

Acadian Home interior furnishings


Deportation Painting (Craig, 1893)

   

After a quick visit to the Hopewell Rocks, we headed for PEI. The family wanted to stop for a sit-down supper, so we ended up driving across the Confederation Bridge in foggy weather at night. We saw no more than a handful of cars on the bridge the whole way over. I know we were way up above the water but you couldn't tell. Driving through the dark, we finally found our accommodations on a dirt road along the shore.

Confederation Bridge >

 

The next day we headed for the Fort Amherst/Fort LaJoie Historic Site south of Charlottetown. There's not much more to the visitor's center than restrooms and staff that can answer your questions. The rolling mounds (left) are the site of Fort Amherst. Fort Lajoie is to the right but no traces remain.
   
   
 
Standing in Fort Amherst looking east. Fort LaJoie would have been just past the gray walkway in the right third of this image.
 
   
   
   

The memorial marker dedicated on Dec. 13, 2008.

   

I just had to make the trip over to where my Hebert ancestor was living in 1758 before they got deported to France. It was along present-day Scentia Road (then called Grand Ascension). I saw several lots for sale along the road. If I were rich, I would have bought a lot just for sentimental reasons. The land is mainly used for growing potatoes (someone even had a stand in front of their house selling them).

We drove down to the end of the road and took this picture facing the Vernon River.

My family wanted a rest, so I had to skip out on visiting the Acadian Museum in Miscouche.

The next morning we headed for Ft. Beausejour. It was raining and thundering, so I thought it not a good idea to get on top of the mounds to take pictures. The building (right) holds a nice little museum. Unlike some fort sites which are just rolling mounds of grass, there are lower rooms that you can enter at Ft. Beausejour.
   
   
   
   

Looking straight out you see the location of Ft. Lawrence. The interpretive panel (click to see the large version of the panel) shows where it was located.

Inside the building are some nice exhibits. The room pictured above is the largest exhibit. Though they have a small gift shop, I found several items to purchase that I hadn't seen elsewhere.

We left and headed east to Ft. Lawrence.

 

   

To get to the Fort Lawrence site, exit on the road at the Nova Scotia welcome center. Keep going down the Ft. Lawrence road past the center.

You'll see the plaque on a pedestal on the right side of the road. The fort was located behind it, where a large gray metal barn now stands. This property was recently acquired by Parks Canada. Looking past the barn, you can see Ft. Beausejour in the distance. If you keep going down the road over the old bridge there are fields to your right. This is supposed to be the location of Acadian buildings of Beaubassin (yellow areas on the image, right).

   
   

You can see Ft. Beausejour across the river (circled)
Ft. Lawrence
   

Since you are right there, you may want to stop at the Nova Scotia visitor's center. They have tons of brochures and a gift shop. Outside, you can see the expanse of land from Ft. Lawrence to Ft. Beausejour. One of the interpretative panels is to the left.

I would have liked to visit Joggins and River Hebert, but we didn't have the time. The Colchester Museum in Truro was only open 2-5 on Saturdays. I did want to go by Masstown, though. We exited hwy 104 and got on the smaller hwy 2/4. After looking around a bit, my wife noticed the plaque in front of a church.

   

The plaque in the United Church of Canada Masstown church yard commemorates the early Acadian church that was in the area. But this wasn't the actual location of the church. You must keep heading east on hwy 2/4 in front of the church.

   

After a little more than a mile from the Masstown church - where Shore Road meets hwy 2/4 in 2 places [map] - you will see two Acadian blue historical marker signs (identical, both #7) that tell you the church was somewhere between the signs and the water. So, somewhere within the land shown on the image below stood the St. Pierre & St. Paul parish church.

I finally arrived at the Colchester Museum (right). I thought I might be pressed for time, but they didn't have much Acadian material. They had a portion of a map I was interested in by Floyer, but it wasn't even the complete map. They also have a binder of Acadian material for some display they had at one time. So it didn't take long to go through that. As you might expect, most material in Nova Scotia museums is English-related.
   
The next day, we drove down along the Shubenacadie River to Ft. Ellis. We drove down to the end of the road till we got to a business (Curtmar Farms). Then I took a muddy dirt road towards the junction of the Shubenacadie & Stewiacke.
This picture (left) looks out towards this juncture. On this land stood the Acadian homes of Village Pierre Hebert.
 
   
Next we headed for Ft. Edward. It's closed on Sun. & Mon., so we couldn't get in the blockhouse.
   
(Left) This is the view looking towards the parking lot. The other views are towards the NE (below left) and NW (below right).
   
 

Ft. Edward in 1753

   
 
If you aren't looking for it, it is easy to pass up Ste. Famille Cemetery. It is situated in the middle of a neighborhood. There are no signs leading you to the site. It is the only time no the trip that I had to stop and ask for directions. Heading down St. Gabriel Road it will be on your left.
   
   

Looking towards St. Gabriel Road

If you walk to the back of the property and look southeast,
you can see the river.
   

The brick walkway holds the memorial bricks (that you can still purchase).

   
   

After dropping the family off at the Evangeline Motel, I when on a 3 hour journey through the various rivers northwest of Grand Pre. My first stop was at the location identified as the approximate location of St. Joseph's parish. There's a marker in the (modern) cemetery.

I continued on over to cross the Habitant, Canard, and Pereau rivers. I got to see one of those iconic Bay of Fundy images ... with the boats sitting on the mud floor at low tide.

   

The museum at Grand Pre is the largest exhibit of Acadian material in the Martimes. It is a must see for anyone with Acadian ancestry.

The gift shop is the biggest and best one for Acadian items in Nova Scotia.

   

   
   
   

   

Artifacts found nearby

   
 
There's a nice model of an Acadian farm.
   
   
   
   
   
   

   

Memorial Church
   
   
 

These are the willow trees to the northeast of the church. They are supposed to date back to the time of the Acadians.
 

There's a road parallel to the property behind the church and willows. This is the view from that road looking out over the grand meadow (Grand Pre).
 
   

If you drive a bit to the northeast (the desk at Grand Pre has a map if you need one), you can visit the deportation cross at Horton.
The 1755 Grand Pre deportations occurred in this area.
   
   
Click on each of the displays (left) for a closer look at the displays.
   
Leaving the Grand Pre area, we traveled up the Annapolis River. Taken from the bridge at Bridgetown, this is the land on which Antoine Hebert (one of the 2 original brothers) settled in the mid-1600s.
   

As you head towards the original Port Royal (the Habitation),
you will pass the Melanson Settlement.
There are a number of displays at the area about the archaeology
of the settlement .

   
   
Click on each display for a larger view.
   
   
After parking at the Habitation, you find these 3 displays (below). The middle display has a map of the area.
After a little walk, you reach the recreated Habitation (above). The original Habitation was in use from 1605 to 1613.
   
   
Inside the Habitation
   
   

quarters

Upper room where sailing equipment was stored
   

The Chapel
   
After leaving the Habitation, we headed to Annapolis Royal. In crossing the land bridge over the waterway, you pass North America's only tidal power generating station. The current town of Annapolis Royal stands were Port Royal was "reborn" in the 1630s. To the south of town is Fort Anne.
   

Fort Anne at Annapolis Royal
   


Click on each display for a larger view.

   
   
   
   
   

Inside the building you find a museum.

Inscription on d'Aulnay Stone
IHS (Christian monogram)
I(J)OSEPH
DEMENOV(U)
DIEV(U)R DONES 1651
(DONES is a phonetic version of Daunay, a spelling ocasionally used for d'Aulnay)

   
   
   
After leaving Annapolis Royal, we headed for the Acadian Shore. We decided to stop at Digby for the night.
   

Major's Point
This cemetery served the Acadian community that resettled in
Acadia beginning in 1768. The chapel was built in 1892.

   

St. Mary's
the largest wooden church in North America

Cape St. Mary Lighthouse

   
   
Though we didn't have much time, I did stop at the museum to see what it was like.
I imagine this is the place to research if your family every lived in the area.
   
   

Our last major stop was the Acadian Village at West Pubnico. The homes were more from the era after my Acadian ancestors had left, but it was still interesting. The gift shop was the best one (other than Grand Pre).

   
   
   
We left Yarmouth on the Cat Ferry. It was a smooth trip, though there was over an hour delay because the ramp wouldn't go down properly. We were parked at the front so we watched as people (including divers) worked on it until it worked. We drove into Bar Harbor. After spending the night, we toured Acadia National Park and the town of Bar Harbor before returning to New Hampshire.


The Acadian FlagCopyright © 1997-10 Tim Hebert






they like caffeine; I couldn't find a singe store that sold caffeine-free drinks
the cows are cows; I saw more cows laying down than on the thousands of miles I had driven over the past couple of weeks
sparce population
bad internet
more daylight