Canadian Maritimes / Summer 2015 travel blog

Map of the Grand Pre settlement.

Commemorative church

Evangeline memorial statue

Beautiful land

Looking out over the reclaimed land

Grand Pre National Historic Site is place where the largest deportation of French Acadiens took place during the French and Indian Wars. Nova Scotia and the Bay of Fundy were taken by the British from the French in the 2nd French and Indian War in 1713. In the 4th French and Indian War the British sought to neutralize the French settlers in Grand Pre by deporting them.

Grand Pre was a prosperous and self-sufficient French community in the French Colony of Acadia. First settled in 1680, the settlers used skills from their homeland along the French coast to build dikes along a salt marsh and reclaim several square miles of what became very fertile cropland. When the southern half of Acadia became British in 1713 they sought to remain neutral in the struggle between Britain and France for control of North America. Grand Pre was on the front lines of the 3rd French and Indian War (1744-48) and some Acadiens supported the French. When war started again in 1755, the Acadiens again sought to remain neutral and refused to take an oath of allegiance to Great Britain. The British response was to remove them from Grand Pre and disperse them among the British possessions along the Atlantic.

The dikes are still there in Grand Pre and the fields are still fertile. The town was burned to prevent the return of the Acadians, so nothing remains of the original settlement. Today a visitors center and a park has been constructed to tell the story.

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