Our trip to Grand Pré was 123 miles of winding twisting roads up and down the hills of Nova Scotia. The roads were in good shape so it was really a nice ride, just slow. We are staying at the Land of Evangeline Family Camping campground which has large, full hookup, 30 amp, grassy sites but no WiFi so again this entry in the blog will be posted at a later date when we get internet access again. At least we do have much better cell service here than we did at Lower Five Islands and the satellite was an easy connection. We had to give the Mothership a gas refill on the way which was our first time to fill her up since entering Canada – 250 liters at 1.06/L – that works out to 66 gallons at 4.03/gallon, just a tad bit higher than our last fill up in Maine at 2.73/gallon!!
After getting set up we got a bite to eat and then went to the Grand-Pré Historical Site
. The Acadians
were French speaking Catholics who lived on most coastal areas of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. They were neutral during the French-English conflicts during the late 1600s and 1700s. Since they would not swear unequivocal allegiance to the British crown, they were deported in the fall of 1755 – mostly to the New England colonies and some even went to Louisiana where they were known as Cadiens which eventually became known as Cajuns
. In 1847 Henry Wadsworth Longfellow published “Evangeline: A Tale of Acadie”
which generated enormous interest in the Acadians and The Deportation. The success of the poem helped create the Grand-Pré Historical Site and contributed to the growing spirit of Acadian nationalism in the late 1800s.
In 1907, John Frederic Herbin had the forethought to purchase most of the land now included in this historical site for a memorial park. In 1909 he erected the stone cross to commemorate the site of the Acadian cemetery. The cross was made of stones excavated from the foundations of the Acadian buildings that were burned during The Deportation. The Memorial Church was built in 1922 on the approximate site of the original parish where the Acadian men were imprisoned just before they were placed on ships to be deported. Though the Memorial Church was built almost 90 years ago, a church service had never been held in it. It is strictly a memorial to the Acadians and has displays within depicting their history and The Deportation. Today, many Acadians have found their way back to the Maritimes and Grand Pré has become one of the places they return to in order to understand their heritage.
Monday, the 19th, we just relaxed and enjoyed out campsite. Tuesday we head for Digby and have been told they have WiFi so we can get these last two stops posted.