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A brief history of Chebogue

A brief history of Chebogue
Yarmouth County, N.S.

The village of Chebogue is situated 5 minutes from Yarmouth Town limits. It has a most varied, intriguing and long history.

The Mi'kmaq gave it its name meaning "big marshes". In fact there are 343 hectares (837 acres) of salt marshland along the Chebogue River beginning at Arcadia. Other spellings and toponyms are: Theboc, Tgepoc, Tkebok, Utkubox and Thiébée. Other meanings for the area of Chebogue include "large tranquil river" and "narrow passage". Mi'kmaq stone tools, dating 5000 to 7000 years ago, were found nearby. Today only a few Mi'kmaq live in the county.

Chebogue's known European history began in 1614 with the establishment of a permanent Acadian settlement. However the French explorer Samuel Champlain, on a map dated 1607, has drawn buildings on both sides of a river which according to Father Clarence d'Entremont, the author of the 5 volume Histoire du Cap Sable, is probably the Chebogue River. That would make Chebogue the third oldest European settlement in Canada after Sainte-Croix (1604) and Port Royal (1605).

An habitation or fort and trading post was built here by David Lomeron, a merchant from La Rochelle, France. It was however destroyed by the Kirke brothers in 1628. Chebogue was also referred to as Port Lomeron and Fort Lomeron in some accounts of the time.

The Acadian community of Chebogue received an influx of settlers in 1740. A chapel, Sainte-Anne, was constructed on Durkee Island. It was one of the most important Acadian communities in south western Nova Scotia at the time. However in 1758 the entire settlement was destroyed and the Acadian inhabitants deported.

In 1761, English settlers from New England, called Planters, landed from the shallop "Pompey Dick" at Chebogue. They consisted of Captain Moses Perry, Ebenezer Ellis and Sealed Landers and their families. A plaque mounted besides the cemetery gate at Town Point in Chebogue commemorates this event.

The authorities of the time described the Planters, who were brought in to replace the Roman Catholics Acadians, as "dependable English settlers" and "good Protestant Subjects".

Today Chebogue's main economy is still based on fishing and farming as it was almost 400 years ago.

By Cyrille LeBlanc

Sources:
Histoire du Cap Sable by Father Clarence d'Entremont, Early Nova Scotia par Leefe et McGrath and Yarmouth, Nova Scotia par Yarmouth County Tourist Association.

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