One Special Place, Two Important Sites
Parks Canada invites you to discover two national historic sites, once home to the Mi’gmaq, Acadians, French and British. Events here shaped present-day Canada.
The remnants of the village of Beaubassin and Fort Lawrence lie here, beneath the surface.
Archaeology has revealed many cultural treasures: First Nations objects, evidence of Beaubassin homes and Fort Lawrence buildings, the traces of gardens, pathways, roads and fences, and the impacts from burning the village, plowing the fields, and occupying the land.
The Beaubassin region provided the quickest route between what is today mainland Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. The Missaguash and other rivers linked by portages provided the Mi’gmaq travel and trade routes through the area. It also became a valuable route for New France, linking Acadie to Quebec and Louisbourg.
In 1749, French troops came from Quebec to claim the territory north of the Missaguash River. The British responded in the spring of 1750 by sending troops from Halifax to the south of the river. As the British arrived, they found that the French and their First Nation allies had set Beaubassin on fire, including the parish church of Notre-Dame-de-l’Assomption, and the Mi’gmaq chapel of Sainte-Anne. The British withdrew, fearing they would not be able to secure the village. The Acadians and Mi’gmaq of Beaubassin had to flee to the north side of the river.
In September 1750 Major Charles Lawrence returned to Beaubassin with 700 British soldiers. This time they were able to land and built a large wooden fort, homes, and barracks on the ruins of the village.