Grand-Pré, Nova Scotia

Grand-Pré, Nova Scotia

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Its French name translates to "Great Meadow" and the community lies at the eastern edge of the Annapolis Valley several kilometres east of the town of Wolfville on a peninsula jutting into the Minas Basin, framed by the Gaspereau and Cornwallis Rivers.

History

Grand-Pré was founded by Acadians settlers who travelled east from Champlain's original settlement in Port-Royal Annapolis Royal in 1680. The settlement grew and developed great expanses of tidal marsh as productive farmland. However the community was caught between French and British imperial rivalries. In 1747, a French force defeated a larger British force in a night raid at the Battle of Grand-Pré. However the Acadian residents were all expelled from Grand Pre during the Great Upheaval, which began in 1755. American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow later immortalized the tragedy of the Grand Pre expulsion with his epic poem Evangeline.

After the deportation of the Acadians, the vacant lands were resettled by New England Planters in 1760. One of the Planter descendants was Sir Robert Laird Borden, the eighth Prime Minister of Canada, who was born in Grand-Pré in 1854. Grand Pre continued as a rich and productive but small farming community until the 1920s when the Dominion Atlantic Railway developed the Grand Pre memorial park to attract tourists. It made the community a major tourism destination as well as a memorial to the Acadian people.

Today

Today, Grand-Pré is the home the Grand-Pré National Historic Site which is now a national park administered by Parks Canada to commemorate the Acadian people and their deportation. One of Nova Scotia's best known wineries, Domaine de Grand Pré, is located in the community. Grand-Pré is also Canada's first designated Historic Rural District.

Displaced Acadians

Probably the largest concentration of Acadians, the offspring of those displaced from Acadia, thrive in what is referred to as Cajun Country in South Louisiana, USA. There the term Cajun, over time became the name used to refer to Acadian. After their expulsion from their homeland in Grand-Pré, some of those fotunate enough to have held on to their families were displaced in what is now southern Louisiana. From the area around Saint Martinsville, the Acadians thrived, but remained a close nit society and today are proud to call themselves Cajun.

Attractions & External Links

* [http://www.grand-pre.com/indexportalen.html Société Promotion Grand-Pré - The National Historic Site]
* [http://www.pc.gc.ca/lhn-nhs/ns/grandpre/index_e.asp Grand-Pré National Historic Site]
* [http://www.grandprewines.ns.ca Domaine de Grand Pré/Grand Pré Wines]
* [http://www.tangledgarden.ns.ca/ Tangled Gardens]
* [http://www.justuscoffee.com/ Just Us! Fair Trade Coffee Museum]


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