Dingwall, Nova Scotia
Dingwall is a coastal community of approximately 600 residents in Victoria County, Nova Scotia, Canada. It is situated just off the Cabot Trail, 84.68 kilometers northeast of county seat Baddeck. The federal electoral riding is Sydney—Victoria.
Old Norse in origin, the name "Dingwall" comes from Ting (parliament) and Voir (valley). Dingwall was originally known as "Young's Cove" until 1883. Among the first settlers and grantees for land was Walter Young in 1827. Later, in the late 1870s, a Robert Dingwall who owned the general store in town, made an application for a post office, and suggested to the government that the town be renamed Dingwall. By provincial statute, chapter 55 in 1883, the name of Young's Cove was thus changed to Dingwall.
Located on northern Cape Breton Island, Dingwall has traditionally been a fishing community, which remains the town's primary industry, along with tourism. Dingwall is home to a resort called The Markland Coastal Beach Cottages, which is a popular tourist destination during the summer months. St. Joseph's Roman Catholic Church was opened in 1901.
Dingwall was once a somewhat booming industrial town in the early 20th century when it was home to the National Gypsum Company Quarries, the remnants of which are still quite prominent within the town. The Dingwall quarry was in full production after World War II, but harsh winters and a shallow port limited production to the months of May through November. Each spring the channel had to be dredged and, toward the end of the shipping season, cargo size was reduced to keep the vessels afloat. Dingwall's gypsum deposit was last worked in 1955. Once the gypsum boom had run its course, many residents moved elsewhere to find employment, but Dingwall survived almost exclusively as a fishing community from that time until the present day.
Swordfishing was carried out extensively in Dingwall and other communities North of Smokey from the 1930s to the 1980s. Swordfish were so plentiful that boats traveled from Yarmouth, Nova Scotia and as far as the United States to fish. The season would start in late July and would run until late September, sometimes October.
One of the town's primary landmarks for decades were the large Irving Oil storage tanks situated on the harbour, which have since been disassembled and removed by the company.
The town was home to Dingwall Elementary School which closed in 2000 when a new school, North Highlands, was constructed in the neighboring community of Sugarloaf, housing the former students of both Dingwall Elementary and Highland Consolidated.
In 2010, plans were announced to repatriate the St. Paul Island lighthouse to the St. Paul Island Museum in Dingwall. St. Paul is an uninhabited island located about 24 kilometres northeast of Dingwall. Built in 1917, the lighthouse guided ships through the Gulf of St. Lawrence for approximately 100 years before being moved to Dartmouth at the Canadian Coast Guard Maritime base.
Located just north of the Cape Breton Highlands National Park, Dingwall possesses lush forest areas and is framed by mountains to the north and south, and the Atlantic Ocean to the east. In addition to the approximately 600 permanent residents, many seasonal residents come to Dingwall from the U.S. and Europe during the summer and leave during the winter.
- Total Population 606
- Total Dwellings 303
- Total Land Area 85.3175 km²
- Early Nova Scotia Quarries http://ngc-heritage.com/op-novascotia.htm
- National Gypsum Company Quarries, Dingwall, Victoria Co., Nova Scotia, Canada http://www.mindat.org/loc-16847.html
- Industry North http://www.workthroughtime.ca/Industrial/Industry_North.php
- Historical lighthouse returned to fishing village http://www.capebretonpost.com/News/Local/2010-10-21/article-1869461/Historical-lighthouse-returned-to-fishing-village/1