Work on the interpretive site for Beaubassin has almost been completed and Canada’s newest National Historic Site is scheduled to open later this year, as part of the Government of Canada’s Canada 150 celebrations.
Things are really starting to take shape.This pavilion will house the interpretive panels telling the compelling story of Beaubassin. In the lower centre of the photo you can see the preliminary work on the short walking trail to the pavilion.
In addition to the interpretive panels, there will be a memorial for the Acadian Village which was burned down in 1750. The memorial will also include the Expulsion of the Acadians in 1755.
This significant tourism attraction, which has been in the works for many years, will also have a parking area to make visiting easy for tourists and locals alike. It is the first tourist attraction as visitor’s enter the Province of Nova Scotia from the New Brunswick/Nova Scotia border point.
Given the significance of this National Historic Site, there are also plans for a travelling museum to make people aware of the history of Beaubassin and it’s Acadian inhabitants, their lives in the village, and the story of their expulsion by the English in 1755.
The mobile exhibit will eventually travel all over Atlantic Canada directing people to the Cumberland County site.
In the meantime, work is continuing on the site, located on the Fort Lawerance Road. I am looking forward to seeing the completion of this project, which has been something I have been working towards for many, many years.
Beaubassin Update: November, 2008
The Beaubassin/Fort Lawrence Public Archeology Experience: Project Update
Please find below an extensive Beaubassin update as provided by senior Parks Canada Officials (provided late November, 2008). The pictures alone are very exciting.
After its resounding success in 2007, the Beaubassin and Fort Lawrence Public Archaeology Experience (PAE) continued in the summer of 2008. The program’s primary goal is to complete an archaeological resource inventory of these newly acquired Parks Canada sites, while providing a memorable experience to visitors who participate in the excavation.
Under the direction of Parks Canada archaeologists, the team ran the PAE over four, four-day weekends between July 10 and August 3, 2008. Participants were asked to register at Fort Beauséjour/Fort Cumberland National Historic Site of Canada with registrations limited to 12 participants per day at a cost of $36.70 per person.
A mouth harp was found at the dig
Participants in the PAE were welcomed each day by staff at Fort Beauséjour/Fort Cumberland National Historic Site of Canada and provided with an information session on the region’s history and an overview of the archaeology project. Following the introduction, participants travelled the short distance to the excavation site at Beaubassin, where Parks Canada archaeologists provided a brief demonstration of excavation techniques and participants were then led through the excavation process for the remainder of the day. In addition, participants were also provided with the opportunity to assist with sorting and cleaning the artifacts. Throughout, participants were exposed to the value of cultural resource management, the importance of protecting archaeological resources, and the roles and responsibilities of Parks Canada’s National Program. Combining the educational and practical components provided a unique and authentic visitor experience.
A temporary artifact-processing lab was set up in a picnic shelter at Fort Beauséjour –Fort Cumberland NHSC and served also as a demonstration site for the cleaning of artifacts.
162 people registered for the PAE during the 16-day period in 2008. Participants travelled to the site from Nova Scotia (46%), New Brunswick (46%), Québec (3%), Ontario (3%) and the USA (2%). English speaking participants accounted for nearly 59% with French speaking participants at 40%. Parks Canada staff also welcomed an additional 211 visitors to the site, who were interested and curious to see what was happening at Beaubassin.
The PAE was profiled in 11 newspaper articles that appeared in local and regional newspapers, both in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.
The PAE generated significant television coverage as well with features on CBC News at 6 in both New Brunswick and Nova Scotia (July 14th); Land and Sea (CBC National Network) completed a 22 minute documentary on the history of Beaubassin and the PAE (aired on Nov. 9th, 2008); C’est ça la vie (SRC National television network) also aired a segment on the PAE on Sept 18th 2008. (The Land and Sea feature may be watched in RealVideo at cbc.ca)
The Fédération des associations de familles acadiennes (FAFA) organised a special commemorative ceremony at the site.
Parks Canada collaborated with the Department of National Defence for the loan of a large Army tent, which provided
shelter to participants during the PAE.
The Agency developed a new participant information kit and an official Parks Canada photo shoot was coordinated for the PAE
Parks Canada plans to offer the Public Archaeology Experience again in 2009, probably beginning on July 23 and ending August 16, during the Congrès mondial acadien which will be held in New Brunswick.