The Landcestors: Preserving Acadian History in a Planter Settlement
Author(s): Sara Beanlands
Shawbrook Farm, located in the community of Poplar Grove, Hants County, is believed to be part of a former Pre-Deportation Acadian settlement, known as Village Thibodeau. The village is depicted on a number of eighteenth-century maps and archaeological testing on an adjacent property in 2004 confirmed the presence of mid-eighteenth century archaeological resources in the area. Shawbrook Farm is also the site of an early Planter settlement, being part of the lands granted to Arnold Shaw in 1760, the current owner of which is a direct descendent. As a result, the land has been continuously occupied and farmed by successive generations of the same family for over 250 years, allowing for the preservation of a rich oral tradition that, in fact, extends back beyond the original Planter occupation. Indeed, archaeological testing of the site began in 2012, based primarily on oral accounts of the presence of subsurface features in the area. An on-going archaeological research program is now focussed on the remains of ‘The Old French House’, a structure, which according to anecdotal evidence, was standing on the property when the Planters arrived in the mid-eighteenth century. Although the building is no longer extant, several photographs of this structure have been preserved and suggest the site contains not only evidence of a Pre-Deportation Acadian settlement, but also the remains of an early Planter occupation that both utilized and enhanced the existing Acadian infrastructure and environment. Isolated Acadian and Planter sites have been the subject of previous archaeological research projects; however, this site can offer a unique opportunity to explore the interface of Acadian/Planter settlement in Nova Scotia. This talk will examine the preservation of Acadian history in a Planter settlement and the cultural intersection of two families that continues to this day.
Cite this Record
The Landcestors: Preserving Acadian History in a Planter Settlement. Sara Beanlands. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. 2014 ( tDAR id: 437036)
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