The History of the Port at Pugwash

Wednesday, April 17th, 2024, 7:00 pm (Atlantic), in-person at the Halifax Public Library. To join the lecture virtually, click the Zoom link here.

Stephen Leahey was raised in Pugwash. His early education was in a one-room schoolhouse. He graduated from the Technical University of Nova Scotia, Queen’s University, and attended William’s College in Massachusetts. An Honourary Citizen of Winnipeg and a Lieutenant in the 78th Fraser Highlanders, he has received/holds an Honourary Doctor of Laws from Saint Mary’s University. Reading widely and being naturally curious led him to relating the history of his village in two books which he has donated to the Cumberland County Museum. Neither a scholar nor an academic, in his research and treatment Leahey relies extensively on the work of others who have undertaken the basic research and writing. His books are designed/intended to be sold locally by the museum.

Abstract: The configuration of the Port of Pugwash, a seagoing harbour at the end of a long bay on the Northumberland Strait, easily shields its presence. This feature was exploited first by Nicolas Deny for a trading post, then by French aristocrats from Trois-Rivières to funnel agricultural products from their marsh-based seigneuries to Fort Louisbourg, and finally by the British in London who tapped it for their masts and naval stores. With rare exceptions, London prohibited settlement near the harbour, specifically between River Philip and Tatamagouche, until the Westchester Refugees arrived in 1784.

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