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flag  History of Grand Pré, Nova Scotia, Canada

Journey back in time to Grand Pré, Nova Scotia, Canada

(Saint-Charles-des-Mines, Acadia)

Visit Grand Pré, Nova Scotia, Canada. Discover its history. Learn about the people who lived there through stories, old newspaper articles, pictures, postcards and ancestry.

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Grand Pré, Nova Scotia, Canada - Map of Acadia - Source:


This settlement is located about half-way between the mouth of Gaspereau River and the mouth of the Cornwallis River in central Nova Scotia. The Lower Horton area was referred to by the Indians as Umtaban, meaning "an overflowing flood" because of the fact that the tides covered much of the lowlands for a part of each day before the dykes were built. Grand Pre is a name which was given by the French Acadian settlers and means, "Great Meadow."

Settlement may have begun in this area as early as 1680 when Pierre Melanson and Pierre Terriau moved here from Annapolis. About 1682 Claude and Antoine Landry, Etienne Hebert and Claude Boudrot, Jean Terriau, Martin Aucoin, Phillippe Pinet and Francois Lapierre moved here. In the spring of 1760 several shiploads of New England settlers arrived. This area became part of Horton township which was granted to the proprietors on May 29, 1761.

Probably the first church building in the area was the Acadian parish church of St. Charles which was built before 1707. A replica of this church was built as a memorial and was dedicated in August, 1922. A Presbyterian meeting house was built here probably in the late 1760's or early 1770's and was taken down soon after 1795. The Covenanter Church was begun in 1804 and completed in 1818. It was unused from 1894 until 1912 and eventually became the property of the United Church of Canada. The Chalmers Church a Non-Covenanter Presbyterian owned building was built about 1887-88 and was sold to the local school trustees in 1912. A Methodist Church was built about 1786. A new Church was opened in May 1821 but it burned down and was replaced by a new building which was dedicated in May , 1868. A new church hall for the Horton United Church at Grand Pre was opened December 2, 1928. A meeting house belonging to the United Church of Canada and located at North Grand Pre was possibly opened about 1861 as a Union Church.

John Cashen was teacher at "the Presbyterian Meeting House" September to December 1828. There was a school-house on Presbyterian ground here about 1835. A new public school was built in 1866. A school-house situated in Stewarts Woods was burned in 1872. A new school-house was erected in 1878. A school-house erected in 1913 was closed when the area was consolidated with Avonport and Horton District.

Farming has been the main industry. Acadia Dairy Company Limited was founded here prior to 1898.

Population in 1956 was 300.

There is MUCH more to discover about Grand Pré, Nova Scotia, Canada. Read on!

Grand Pré Nostalgia: Vintage Photos, Ads, and Postcards

Map of Acadia - Source:
Grand Pré, Nova Scotia, Canada

Map of Acadia - Source: acadmap.htm
Grand Pre Village, N.S.
Grand Pré, Nova Scotia, Canada

Grand Pre Village, N.S.
The Road To Grand Pre, N.S.
Grand Pré, Nova Scotia, Canada

The Road To Grand Pre, N.S.
The Old Road, Grand Pre, Nova Scotia
Grand Pré, Nova Scotia, Canada

The Old Road, Grand Pre, Nova Scotia
Read more about Marie Anne RICHARD

Discover Grand Pré: History, News, Travel, and Stories

Add informationAdd History/News/Story
1680 - First Settlers of Grand Pre
Grand-Pré, French for "large meadow", was first settled around 1680 when Pierre Melanson dit La Verdure, his wife Marguerite Mius d'Entremont and their five young children left Port-Royal to escape the perils of living in the capital of a colony constantly in conflict.

Grand-Pré is on the shores of the Minas Basin, which even today is renowned for its tidal marshlands. Melanson and those who joined him built dikes to hold back the tides along the basin, creating rich pastures for their animals and fertile fields for their crops.

Grand-Pré soon outgrew Port-Royal, and by the mid-18th century was the largest of the many Acadian communities around the Bay of Fundy and the coastline of Nova Scotia. The Minas area was the bread basket of the colony. The Acadians prospered. en/ history-of-grand-pre.html
1682 - founded
Grand-Pré located in Minas is founded. It will become the bread basket of Acadia. public/dgarneau/french22.htm
1687 - A church is built at Grand Pre acadtime.htm
1704 - Attacked
June 20: Benjamin Church (1639-1718), with 700 men, three warships and fourteen transports, burned Les Mines (Grand Pre), took Cobequid (Truro) and Piziquid (Pigiguit), and wasted Beaubassin, Acadia. They laid siege to Port Royal but they refused to surrender, and the English (speaking people) departed. public/ dgarneau/ french26.htm

February 29, 1704 - Queen Anne's War - Deerfield Massacre - Major Jean-Baptiste de Rouville and his four brothers attack and burn an English settlement at Salmon Falls in the Connecticut River valley with a band of 250 French and Abenaki Indians, killing 43 civilians and capturing over 100; the attack was in part a religious crusade to retrieve a French church bell acquired by the Indians of New France that had been captured by a privateer, taken to Salem and sold to the people of Deerfield, who apparently were unaware of its origins; the captive English English settlers were forced to march 370 km north to Canada. Colonel... Read MORE...

1747 Troops from New England Massacred at Grand Pre.

1755 - September 5, 1755 - Acadian Expulsion
John Winslow, military commander at Annapolis, starts rounding up 5,000 Acadians from Grand Pre, Annapolis & Fundy coast for refusing to take an oath of allegiance; their land and farms are forfeited to the Crown; most are relocated to Louisiana. todayincanadianhistory/ index.php/ September_5
GRAND PRE, or LOWER HORTON, a thriving post village in Kings co., N. S.. beautifully situated on Minas Basin, and on the W. & A. R., 15 miles from Windsor. The land hereabouts is very rich, mostly reclaimed by dykes from the Bay of Fundy. This is the scene of Longfellow's "Evangeline." His description is very vivid :

"In the Acadian land on the shores of the Basin of Minas, Distant, secluded, still, the little village

of Grand Pre Lay in the fruitful valley. Vast meadows stretched to the eastward,

Giving the village its name and pasture to flocks without number." And again : "

Still stands the forest primeval ; but under the shade of its branches

Dwells another race, with other customs and language.

Only along the shores of the mournful and misty Atlantic

Linger a few Acadian peasants, whose fathers from exile

Wandeied back to their native land, to die in its bosom.

In the fisherman's cot, the wheel and the loom are still busy;

Maidens still wear their...

1895 - Grand Pre / Lower Horton
Grand Pré, gröNo prà, or Lower Horton, a post village in Kings co., Nova Scotia, on Minas Basin, and on the Windsor & Annapolis Railway, 15 miles N.W. of Windsor. It contains several stores. Pop, about 600. The land hereabouts is very rich, mostly reclaimed by dikes. This is the scene of Longfellow's "Evangeline."
Lippincott's Gazetteer of the World: A Complete Pronouncing Gazetteer Or Geographical Dictionary of the World Containing Notices of Over One Hundred and Twenty-five Thousand Places ... Joseph Thomas January 1, 1895 J.B. Lippincott
Grand Pre, or Lower Horton, a post- village of Kings Co., Nova Scotia, on Minas Basin and on the Dominion Atlantic R., 15 miles NW. of Windsor. The land hereabouts is very rich, mostly reclaimed by dikes. This is the scene of Longfellow's " Evangeline."
Lippincotts New Gazetteer: A Complete Pronouncing Gazetteer Or Geographical Dictionary of the World, Containing the Most Recent and Authentic Information Respecting the Countries, Cities, Towns, Resorts, Islands, Rivers, Mountains, Seas, Lakes, Etc., in Every Portion of the Globe, Part 1 Angelo Heilprin Louis Heilprin - January 1, 1916 J.B. Lippincott - Publisher
Grand Pre
Grand Pré, NS, Unincorporated Place. Grand Pré is located on the shore of the MINAS BASIN 83 km northwest of HALIFAX. Founded by ACADIANS shortly before 1680, the name refers to the 1000 ha "Great Meadow" of fertile marshland that drew settlers eastward from PORT-ROYAL to farm on the shores of MINAS BASIN. Using traditional French diking techniques to protect the low-lying marsh from the saltwater tides of the basin, Grand Pré farmers annually exported agricultural products to Port-Royal, other French colonies and New England.

By the early 18th century, Grand Pré was the focus of Les Mines (Minas), the most populated of 3 Acadian districts. In the 1740s it consisted of 150 houses that stretched in a line some 4 km long. On 11 Feb 1747, it was the scene of the Battle of Grand Pré, a surprise attack by French and Indians on British troops during the WAR OF THE AUSTRIAN SUCCESSION.

Longfellow's romantic poem EVANGELINE portrayed the tragic events of the Acadian deportation at Grand ... Read MORE...

2023 - Here's a list of places to go and things to do in Grand Pré:
Grand Pré National Historic Site: Start your journey by visiting this UNESCO World Heritage Site. It commemorates the Acadian people and their deportation by the British in the 18th century. Explore the Visitor Centre, walk through the beautiful gardens, and learn about the history of the region through exhibits and interpretive programs.

Le Pays de la Sagouine: While this attraction is technically across the bay in Bouctouche, New Brunswick, it's worth the short drive. This cultural village brings to life the stories of Antonine Maillet's famous Acadian characters in a vibrant and entertaining way. You can enjoy live performances, music, and delicious Acadian cuisine.

Tangled Garden: Located just a short drive from Grand Pré, this enchanting garden is a treat for the senses. Wander through aromatic herb gardens, relax by the tranquil pond, and sample their delectable jellies and liqueurs made from the garden's ingredients.

Domaine de Grand Pré Winery: Nova Scotia is gaining... Read MORE...

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Ancestors Who Were Born or Died in Grand Pré, Nova Scotia, Canada

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Ancestors buried in Grand Pré - Cemeteries in Grand Pré, Nova Scotia, Canada

St-Charles-aux-Mines de la Grande Pré

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Updated: 9/17/2023 12:32:23 PM