Bill Casey

Your member of parliament for


Bill Casey

Your member of parliament for



Beaubassin Village: Our Living History

beaubassin village

Dear Consists. Bill Beaubassin

Beaubassin – Recognized by the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada, September 16, 2017

After the spring and summer site preparation and construction, on Saturday, September 16th Parks Canada unveiled the completed pavilion and the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada plaque at Beaubassin. The interpretive pavilion, will tell the story of the Acadians that inhabited this site and were forced to leave by the British. This was the site of the first deportation of Acadians in a British takeover of the area in 1750 and is the first step in the Expulsion of the Acadians. Beaubassin’s clearance was the first battle between the French and British to control North America.

Some 267 years later, I was joined in the unveiling of the plaque at Beaubassin by NS. Lt. Governor Arthur LeBlanc.


Beaubassin Update: June 2019

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.

 2008 Highlights
  • 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
  • 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

  • For this second year of the Public Archaeology Experience, the Musée acadien at the Université de Moncton organized an exhibition entitled “Beaubassin: Under the Trowel” featuring artefacts from the 2007 dig. The exhibit opened on June 6 and ran until September 21. This successful exhibit was made possible through a partnership with the Parks Canada Agency’s Northern New Brunswick Field Unit and the Archaeological Services at the Atlantic Service Centre in Halifax.
  • The 2008 archaeology work at Beaubassin/Fort Lawrence NHSC continued the trenches begun in 2007 and expanded more units to uncover additional evidence of stone building footers, fence lines, and other below surface traces of the Acadian presence at Beaubassin. Numerous artifacts were found as well. These include a range of French, English, European, New England, and Quebec ceramics, bottle and table glass, pipe bowl and stem fragments, pins, needles, jewellery, coins and other artifacts dating from the site’s primary occupation between 1670 and 1770. The artifact and archaeological site data will be analysed in the near future to develop a clearer picture of this important Acadian Village.

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.

The Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada recognized the importance of Fort Lawrence (1750-1756) in 1923, while Beaubassin (1672-1750) was declared a national historic site in 2005. The architectural ruins and features of the village attest to the Acadian way of life and the geopolitical struggle between France and Canada for the control of Canada.
Parks Canada’s primary objective and responsibility for this site is to ensure it’s commemorative integrity, while providing the opportunity for all Canadians to learn more and discover the importance of Beaubassin/Fort Lawrence in the founding of our great country.
Prepared by Claude DeGrâce, Gestionnaire/Manager
Lieux historiques nationaux/National Historic Sites
Nord du Nouveau-Brunswick/Northern New Brunswick
Parcs Canada/Parks Canada
(506) 851-3084
Géraldine Arsenault, Coordonnatrice des lieux historiques nationaux
Unité de gestion du Nord du Nouveau-Brunswick
/Coordinator, National Historic Sites,
Northern New Brunswick Field Unit
Parks Canada Agency/Agence Parcs Canada
téléphone : 506-876-1249
Charles A. Burke, Archaeologist
Parks Canada
Atlantic Service Centre
1869 Upper Water Street
Halifax NS B3J 1S9
(902) 426-7513
Images (within the report above)
  1. NS-BEA-2008_0033.jpg (Archaeologist finds an 18th century mouth harp) Parks Canada, Chris Reardon, July 2008
  2. NS-BEA-2008_0011.jpg (Public participants discovering another artifact fragment) Parks Canada, Chris Reardon, July 2008
  3. NS-BEA-2008_0015.jpg (Archaeologist explaining a detail to Participants) Parks Canada, Chris Reardon, July 2008
  4. 7B-P1011379.jpg (The Beaubassin archaeological Dig) Parks Canada, Charles Burke, July 2008
  5. 7B-P8201051.jpg (18th century building’s stone footer) Parks Canada, Charles Burke, August 2007

The Beaubassin Blog

by Bill Casey, M.P.

August 15, 2007 — The following picture comes to me courtesy of Darrell Cole, Senior Editor of the Amherst Daily News.

His story, “Hidden History — Aboiteau unearthed on LaPlanche River” can also be read at the Amherst Daily News. This is a great story and describes how workers excavating the marsh for a new sluicegate on the LaPlanche River uncovered an Acadan aboiteau, believed to be more than 250 years old.


Local Farmer Doug Bacon and I look over the Acadian aboiteau (photo: Darrell Cole, Amherst Daily News)

July 25, 2007 — Below are some photos taken at the recent opening of the Beaubassin dig.

I would like to acknowledge that M.P. Rob Moore (Fundy Royal) came and spoke of behalf of the Government of Canada, and say how pleased the community is that the government is continuing to support the dig and the Beaubassin project.

M.P. Rob Moore and I lend a hand to the dig team.
July 19, 2007 — I was thinking you might like to know where we got the Beaubassin project started. When I met with then Prime Minister Chretien in October of 2002, it was fortunate that he was already familiar with the area because he was once the Member of Parliament for Beausejour, and Fort Beausejour is adjacent to Beaubassin. (Both sites are also directly connected historically, and in the coming weeks I’ll let you in on more details on this important connection).At the time of our meeting, Mr. Chretien took an interest in the project and realized the significance of Beaubassin immediately.


The Rte. Honourable Jean Chretien and I took a stroll around the site in 2015. I was happy to be able to show him this unique bit of history given the role he played in the unearthing of this historic site.

It should also be noted, that the preliminary digs accomplished by Senior Parks Canada archeologist Charles Burke (pictured here) played a key role in convincing the authorities that Beaubassin is a very important site, worthy of the Government of Canada’s attention.


July 18, 2007 — Yesterday I went to visit the Parks Canada team of archeologists to see how they were progressing with the excavations at the historic site of the Acadian Village of Beaubassin. As you can see below, some interesting artifacts are being found, and I suspect that more will be uncovered in the coming days.I would like all constituents to know that Parks Canada is encouraging visitors to the dig site, and are happy to accept volunteers.Anyone interested in getting their hands dirty should contact the Parks Canada office at Fort Beausejour to apply.This, as you can imagine, is an exciting project and I will be keeping all constituents updated every few days through this new feature on the website called “The Beaubassin Blog”. —Bill.

NOTE: The team includes Senior Parks Canada Archeologist Charles Burke, Archeologists Natalie Oulette and Virginia Sheehan, and the local volunteers.

Pictures from the ongoing Parks Canada excavation of the Acadian Village of Beaubassin, taken on July 18, 2007

Possible foundations of Acadian buildings being uncovered.
 A view of a perfect piece of ceramic from the late 1600s time period.

Beaubassin Map

A map showing the locations of both Fort Beausejour and Beaubassin
An aerial view of Beaubassin

Bill Casey meets with Premier Lord

September 13, 2005

Amherst — MP Bill Casey met with Premier Bernard Lord yesterday to provide him with the status of the Acadian Village of Beaubassin.

Although the site of the Village is located in Nova Scotia, it is a very important part of Acadian history and is tied directly to nearby Fort Beausejour National Park.

Casey provided some historical documents to Premier Lord and confirmed that the site was designated a National Historic Site in June.

Also, Casey confirmed that the Government of Canada had purchased the land and is now preparing to plan for the future of this critical part of Canadian history.

Although this is a Government of Canada project, Mr. Lord will pass on the documents to the Ministers that could be involved in such an undertaking, and agreed that this is an important Acadian site, which should receive more attention.

Casey and Premier Lord discussed the possibility of bringing together Fort Beausejour and Beaubassin as one project, which represents the history of Canada all in one location.

Casey says “this site was shared by the French, the Acadians, the English and our Aboriginals. No site in Canada involves an Acadian Village, a French Fort and an English Fort, all together. It is an opportunity to showcase our history in one location. All parties should have a role in the planning for this exciting project”.

The photograph shows Mr. Lord and Mr. Casey examining the infrared photograph of the 42 foundations of Acadian buildings burned down in 1750.


Beaubassin Declared a National Historic Site!

July 27, 2005 — The historic Acadian village of Beaubassin was today designated a national historic site by the Government of Canada. This is a significant achievement by the community, and for all who gave their time and effort on the Beaubassin and Fort Lawrence projects.

In the near future, a Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada plaque will also be placed at the Beaubassin village site to commemorate this important place of local history.

For more information about the announcement, here is a link to my Press Release, and a link to the announcement from Parks Canada:

July 28, 2005

Government Declares Beaubassin a National Historic Site

Original Beaubassin Villager Remembered—Fort Lawrence

June 16, 2005 — 84-year-old Paul S. Martin of Lafayette, Louisiana, accompanied by his wife, daughter and son in law, unveiled a plaque at the Nova Scotia Information Centre. The unveiling commemorates Sieur Jean-Jacques Mouton and members of his family who were ancestors of Mr. Martin. Both the Mouton and Martin families were residents of Beaubassin village at the time of the 1755 Deportation of the Chignecto Acadians.

Mr. Martin’s well attended address and acknowledgements were conducted at the information centre, with presentations made to him by local officials.

Mr. Martin also received the first printed copy of Paul Surrette’s Atlas of the Acadian Settlement of Beaubassin, by a representative of the Tantramar Heritage Trust, and a copy of John G. McKay’s “Beaubassin, And The Beginning of The Acadian Tragedy, by the author.

The bilingual plaque, is 30 by 36 inches and is situated behind the information centre adjacent the Beaubassin monument.

It is Mr. Martin’s expressed hope that it will eventually be allotted a permanent place somewhere in the actual village, following development of the site by Parks Canada.

(Thanks to local historian John McKay for his contribution to the website and for all of the pictures from this event below

Latest Excerpt from Beaubassin and the beginning of the Acadian tragedy, by local author and historian John G. McKay:

Jacques Bourgeois died at Port Royale in 1701. He had lived to see the Beaubassin settlements well established if not altogether secure over the past 30 years. He saw his sons prospering on the virgin land they had wrested together from the wilderness, and had watched his cattle grazing in the marshes safe from tidal incursion by virtue of his labour. he had eaten the bread that Jeanne made using flour milled from his grain in his own gristmill. In the fiercely devout Roman Catholic faith that the Acadians adhered to, Sieur Jacques Bourgeois probably died content with his lot. While there had been labour and hardship, periods of apprehension and the terror of the New England raiders during his nearly 60 years in Acadia, both at Port Royale and Beaubassin, his legacy would endure for another half century along the slopes of the ridge, sunlit in the warmth of summer and chilled in the wind blasted depths of winter, embodied in the lives of kith and kin, until the fatal clouds gathered and the once and final storm was unleashed upon the fair Beaubassin and all of its unique, God fearing populace.
Beaubassin and the beginning of the Acadian tragedy by John G. McKay

Excerpts from Devoe-deVaux Family History 1691–1991, The Story of An Acadian Family From Beaubassin to Bras D’Or, by Colonel John Brooks Devoe, M.A.

Colonel John B. Devoe hails from the state of New Hampshire, U.S.A. His book is the product of over 40 years of seeking out the story of his Acadian ancestors, a family whose beginnings can be found at Beaubassin. Colonel Devoe is also a direct descendent of Beaubassin’s founder, Jacques Bourgeois.

Colonel Devoe has also granted his permission for excerpts of his work to be placed on this site. A link to Colonel Devoe’s website can also be found to the upper left.

At the time of this first phase of the Deportation, which lasted through December of that year, the total population of Acadia, including the Chignecto area, Isle Royal and Isle St-Jean has been estimated to be as high as 18,000 by some sources. The number deported from September to December in British Acadia (Nova Scotia), was close to 7,500 in two dozen or so vessels. Some of the ships never reached their destination and of those sent to Virginia some 360 Acadians died aboard, a fate likely shared as well by others who found themselves destined for other ports.

By 1686, the population of Beaubassin was 127, and about the time we estimate that Michel deVaux arrived in 1693 it was but 119. Beaubassin grew at a rate somewhat less than the Minas Basin settlements, but by the late 1680s a grist mill and a sawmill had been built, grain was being produced and the settlement had adopted all the field crops and animals known at Port Royal. Fruit trees were well established by the turn of the century (pears, plums, and apples) and some scholars have attributed their introduction to our Roger Cassie while others say it was Pierre Martin.

Devoe-deVaux Family History 1691–1991, The Story of An Acadian Family From Beaubassin to Bras D’Or, by Colonel John Brooks Devoe, M.A.

Chronology of Beaubassin Village and Preservation Efforts

  • 1650s — Bourgeoisville village is established (and is later to be named Beaubassin)
  • 1701 — Jacque Bourgeois dies at Port Royale, following years of hard physical work making Beaubassin a prosperous agricultural community.
  • 1713 —The Treaty of Utrecht sees France cede Hudson Bay, Newfoundland, and most of Acadia to England, while they retain Isle Royale (Cape Breton), and Isle Saint-Jean (Prince Edward Island). The boundaries of Acadia are unclear, and in the years to come this will lead to dark consequences for the Acadian population.
  • 1715 — Beaubassin grows and contains 50 families. There are 32 acres of apple orchards and the residents count 1000
  • head of cattle and 800 hogs as their property. A trading post is also located in Beaubassin.
  • 1737 — Abbé LeLoutre arrives at the fortress of Louisbourg. Following a lengthy stay, the Abbe is posted to Shubenacadie. In the years that follow, the Abbe becomes an important spiritual leader to the Acadians and missionary to the Mi’kmaq people. During later hostilities between the French and English, Abbe LeLoutre will direct Indian raids and ambushes, and will serve to relay French messages. Eventually, the Abbe will have a price placed on his head by the English.
  • 1747 — Beaubassin is where the notorious deRamezay’s Raiders headquarter. The Raiders use Beaubassin as a base of operations during their winter campaign against Colonel Noble in Grand Pre.
  • 1749 — A year of British military build-up in Nova Scotia. A garrison at Chebucto is established (to be renamed Halifax), Fort Sackville is constructed, and a picketed fort and blockade is erected in Minas. In the next year, British Major Charles Lawrence will be given orders to establish a Fort in the area of Beaubassin to counter French forces in the area. Before Major Lawrence arrives in Beaubassin, the “Black Priest” Abbe LeLoutre has already been warning the villagers of serious consequences should they decide to trade with the British. The Abbe even goes so far as to threaten the withholding of sacraments. The Abbe further warns that Beaubassin may have to be abandoned for nearby Beausejour.
  • 1750 — With the assistance of local natives, the Village of Beaubassin is burned, just as a British force under Major Lawrence sails up the Bay of Fundy. The French priest, Abbe LeLoutre leads the villagers across the water to Fort Beausejour. The English establish Fort Lawrence, near the burned village.
  • 1755 — Deportations of Acadians from Nova Scotia. The “Black Priest” returns to the Old World 1755–1772. Abbe LeLoutre sailed for France in 1755, and at the end of the summer his ship is captured in the English Channel. LeLoutre, undoubtedly recognized for his deeds in Acadia, is incarcerated on the Island of Jersey for the next 8 years. He is released following the end of the Seven Years War (1763). At 54 years of age, Abbe LeLoutre then returned to France and discovering that 3000 Acadian refugees are now living in the country, spends the remainder of his life working for the Acadians, including finding them homes. Abbe LeLoutre died in Nantes, France in 1772 at the age of 63.
  • October, 1934 — Nova Scotia Minister of Highwways, Hon. A.S. MacMillan, sends a letter to the Chairman of the Historic Sites and Monuments Board in Ottawa asking that Beaubassin be restored as a local historic site.
  • Spring, 2000 — Various Federal Government Ministers are sent letters requesting financial assistance on behalf of the Fort Lawrence Heritage Society. The funding request is aimed at this group buying the current Beaubassin Village lands.
  • Fall, 2000 — The Government advises that the Hon. Sheila Copps, Minister of Canadian Heritage will be lead Minister on this file. Parks Canada also advises the County of Cumberland officials that Parks Canada staff have had preliminary discussions with the Beaubassin/Fort Lawrence Task Force.
  • February, 2001 — Bill Casey, MP, discusses the issue of protecting Beaubassin Village with Minister Robert Thibault, Minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunity Agency. Official thanks are also sent by Casey to Minister Sheila Copps for her attention and cooperation on this issue. A meeting is held with Finance Minister Paul Martin to provide information and to seek his assistance with Federal Funds.
  • Summer, 2001 — Grand Pre receives $5 million dollars in Federal funding to upgrade the Acadian site in anticipation of the 2004 Acadian Congress, to be held in Nova Scotia. The Government is pressed to not forget Beaubassin.
  • September, 2001 — The Council of the Municipality of the County of Cumberland passes a motion requesting the Government of Canada purchase the lands located in Fort Lawrence, NS (the lands formerly known as Beaubassin).
  • October, 2001 — A presentation is delivered on Beaubassin Village to officials from Minister Sheila Copps office. The officials are pressed to protect this heritage site. Heritage Officials agreed to arrange a meeting between Parks Canada, ACOA, and the Cumberland Regional Economic Development Association to determine possible funding options for the lands. Hon. Robert Thibault (ACOA Minister) is invited to unveil Beaubassin plaque later in the fall.
  • December, 2001 — An official reminder is sent to Hon. Robert Thibault about his unveiling the Beaubassin Memorial plaque.
  • February, 2002 — Parks Canada officials advise the County of Cumberland that Historic sites officials have met with a representative of the Fort Lawrence-Beaubassin Task Force. The representative of the Task Force was expected to prepare for a Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada meeting. Specific contact information for the local Parks Canada official was given at this time.
  • May, 2002 — The Government is again requested to move ahead with protecting the Beaubassin Village site. The Co-ordinator for the 2004 Congrés Mondial Acadian believes public pressure, the MP Bill Casey’s pressure, and community involvement are all steps in the right direction.
  • June, 2002 — Bill Casey MP raises the question of federal support for acquiring and preserving Beaubassin in the House of Commons. The Hon. Sheila Copps advised the House that she supported the case in principle and appreciated Casey work on the issue. The MP has also has a discussion with Parks Canada officials and receives status update on the issue. The official explains the process followed by the Historic Sites and Monuments Board.
  • August, 2002 — The Government of Canada announces the Atlantic Canada Cultural and Economic Partnership. The 3-year, $10 million Atlantic Canada plan is designed to help financially support the upcoming 400th anniversary of the founding of Acadia.
  • August, 2002 — The Minister of Canadian Heritage, Hon. Sheila Copps announces funding of $165,000 for the Societé Nationale de l`Acadie (SNA) to help finance the “coordination and promotion of the 400th anniversary of the founding of Acadia”.
  • October, 2002 — MP Bill Casey meets with Prime Minister Jean Chretien to seek his support in securing and protecting the Beaubassin Village site. Mr. Casey explained the historical significance of Beaubassin, especially as it relates to Canada’s English, French and Native peoples. Prime Minister Chretien made recommendations to move forward on the file and asked Parks Canada officials to investigate.
  • December, 2002 — A meeting is held with Alain Latourelle (Director General, Parks Canada). The history of Beaubassin Village was discussed in detail. Mr. Latourelle outlined the steps in designating the Village a National Historic Site. It was explained that first, this site had to be so designated by the Historic Sites and Monuments Board. Following that, a funding arrangement would be needed through a partnership. The owner of the present day Beaubassin Village site would also need to provide authorization.
  • February, 2003 — The Beaubassin Village site receives recognition in the Province of Nova Scotia’s Doers and Dreamers Guide.
  • March, 200 3— The current owners of the Beaubassin Village site grant permission to proceed with the historic designation process.
  • June, 2003 — Park Canada officials are advised that protection of this site is timely because of the upcoming, 400th year Anniversary of the Acadians in Canada.
  • January, 2004 — Government officials advise that an official paper will be before the Historic Sites and Monuments Board in November 2004. Mr. Casey is also advised that only under very special circumstances will the Government buy private lands. The officials also relay that once the Historic Sites and Monuments Boards of Canada meets, the Board will then make a recommendation to the Minister. An internal memo confirms that Beaubassin Village will be discussed by the Board in November of 2004.
  • February, 2004 — A meeting is held with the Honourable Denis Coderre, Minister Responsible for La Francophonie and President of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada to seek his support for a local effort to preserve and protect the Beaubassin site.
  • June 11, 2004 — Bill Casey visits the archeologist team digging at the Beaubassin site. The team reports that the Beaubassin site is just as important as the Acadian site at Grand Pre. Fragments of glass, scallop shells, nails, hinges, a wall, and many other items have been found. The archeology team, as of this date, is still searching for the location of the Acadian cemetery. Local community officials are also excited by the finds, and look forward to more discoveries from Beaubassin.
  • June 18, 2004 — A massive wooden cross is raised at Beaubassin to the excitement of the community and organizers. The cross, which can be clearly seen for miles, will be used as a centrepiece for the upcoming outdoor mass scheduled for August. Some 9,000 Acadian descendents are expected to attend. It is important to note those who played a role in raising the cross at Beaubassin (to be updated frequently of course!) Gordon Hebert, a Member of the Celebrating Beaubassin Committee, and a co-coordinator of the upcoming outdoor mass, and Bert McWade, Chair of the Committee both played large roles in this effort. Cumberland County officials and the representatives of the descendent families who are hosting reunions in the Amherst area have also given much of their time to this project.
  • June 22, 2004 — Father Vernon Driscoll, Parish Priest for the St. Charles Church in Amherst blesses the tallest wooden cross in North America, located near the original site of Beaubassin Village. The Amherst Daily News reports on June 23, 2004, that Father Driscoll conducted this ceremony on the site that “was the former home and last known home of the Notre Dame d’Assomption church that burned in 1750.” Other religious leaders including Deacon Mark Cherry and Father Edmour Babineau joined Father Driscoll at this event. Father Babineau is reported to have descended from Acadians in the Dieppe area. The event was also to pay tribute to First Nations peoples who lived in the area before European settlers arrived. The cross is 60′ tall with a 16-foot cross arm. It was erected, and will be lit with strong community support from the Nova Scotia Power Corporation, Harrlson’s Building Centre, and the Knights of Columbus. The cross was put in place in anticipation of the bilingual mass to be held at Beaubassin in August.
  • July 23, 2004 — Minister of the Environment, the Hon. Stephane Dion announces that Parks Canada will protect approx. 137 of land which were formerly part of the Village of Beaubassin. The protected areas will include the ruins of the Acadian cemetery, a large portion of the ancient Acadian village, and Fort Lawrence.
  • August 6, 2004 — Dawn Smith, coordinator of CMA 2004 in Cumberland County announces that the original bell from the old Beaubassin Notre-Dame L’Assomption church, which was burned down in 1750, will be used in the mass on August 14. After much work by reunion and mass organizers, Parks Canada agreed to loan the historic bell for use during the mass. Preparations are underway to transport the bell the short distance from Fort Beausejour to the Beaubassin site using a special cradle. For all who attend the mass on August 14, this artifact will certainly symbolize yet another piece of their shared ancestry.
  • August 12, 2004 — The historic church bell which once hung in the Church of Notre-Dame l’Assomption, is prepared by Parks Canada staff in Beausejour for a journey back to the former village area. The bell will be rung to call the Acadians, friends, and neighbours to mass on Saturday, August 14.
  • Late Fall, 2004 — The latest word from the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada is that between December 2nd-5th, the Board will meet in a closed session to review a research paper detailing the 18th Century conflict betweenthe French and English forces in the Chignecto Isthmus. The Board will also consider the importance to which Beaubassin Village, Fort Lawrence, Beausejour,and other major regional sites played in this conflict. Parks Canada has already protected much of Beaubassin Villageby acquiring the lands earlier this summer,and next spring the final word on Beaubassin Village beingdeclared a national historic site will be made.