| Though Denys had
posts on Ile Royale in the 1600s, the major settlement on the island didn't
come about until the 1700s. Fishermen had been frequently the
island since the 1500s and had called the place Cape Breton (after Breton
Once Acadia was given to England in 1713,
Ile Royale and Ile St. Jean became the French colonial territory in focus.
An effort was made to establish a fort at Louisbourg. Over $30 million
was spent on the fort. [Richard, 1, p. 17]
Ile St. Jean was viewed as a prospective source for produce. The
Acadians were urged to move to Ile Royale after 1713. But when they
sent a delegation to the island, they found poor soil (compared to their
reclaimed marshland) and not enough pasture land. Few Acadians moved
there. [Louisbourg c. 1734]
Ile Royale remained French until the 1740s.
During the war which lasted from 1744 to 1748, Ile Royale was conquered
by the English. It was returned to France in 1748. When the
English started applying pressure, and ultimately started the deportations,
a few hundred Acadians moved to the island. But most (except for
about 200) moved back to Acadia or to Ile St. Jean.
Louisbourg (and thus Ile Royale and Ile St.
Jean) fell to the English for the final time in 1758. The French
and Acadians were exiled to France.
In 1782, some Acadians made it back to the area and settled at Cheticamp in Inverness County (and nearby villages). First settled by the Acadian "Fourteen Elders", Acadian surnames in the area include: Aucoin, Boudreau, Bourgeois, Camus, Chiasson, Cormier, Delaney,
Deveau, Doucet, Fiset, Gallant, Gaudet, Haché, Harris, Larade, LaPierre,
LeBlanc, LeFort, LeLièvre, LeVert, Maillet, Muise, Poirier, Roach,
and Romard. When in the area, be sure to check out the Acadian Museum.
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