Hillsborough River (Prince Edward Island)

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The Hillsborough River, also known as the East River, is a Canadian river in northeastern Queens County, Prince Edward Island.

History[edit]

Battle at Port-la-Joye[edit]

After the Siege of Louisbourg (1745) during King George's War, the New Englanders also captured Île Saint-Jean (Prince Edward Island). The New Englanders had a force of two war ships and 200 soldiers stationed at Port-La-Joye.[1] To regain Acadia, Ramezay was sent from Quebec to the region to join forces with the Duc d'Anville Expedition.[2] Upon arriving at Chignecto, he sent French officer Boishébert to Ile Saint-Jean on a reconnaissance to assess the size of the New England force.[3] After Boishebert returned, Ramezay sent Joseph-Michel Legardeur de Croisille et de Montesson along with over 500 men, 200 of whom were Mi'kmaq, to Port-La-Joye.[4] In July 1746, the battle happened near Northeast River (Hillsborough River).[5] Montesson and his troops killed or imprisoned forty New Englanders. Montesson was commended for having distinguished himself in his first independent command.[6]

According to the 1752 census, the Acadians arrived in Riviere Nord-Est, Ile St. Jean (present day Hillsborough River) in 1750. The influenial Acadian Joseph-Nicolas Gautier dit Ballair and his family moved from Annapolis Royal to River North-East (Hillsborough) at the location today Scotchfort.[7]

As well, Jean Pitre's family and many from the Henry family arrived from Maitland, Nova Scotia in Hants County as part of the Acadian Exodus to escape hostilities after arrival of Protestants in Nova Scotia and the establishment of Halifax (1749). The whole community of Acadians died during the French and Indian War in the Ile Saint-Jean Campaign (1758). They were deported on the Duke William, which sank in the English channel. The sinking of the Duke William was one of the worst marine disaster in Canadian history (as measured by Canadian lives lost)--see list of Canadian disasters by death toll.[8]

Rivers and highways[edit]

From its source near the farming hamlet of Head of Hillsborough in the northeastern part of the county, the river flows southwesterly, becoming a tidal estuary at Mount Stewart which gradually widens from several dozen metres to approximately 1 km at its discharge point in Charlottetown Harbour. The river's total meander length is approximately 45 km, with 12 km being an estuary.

The river was the 27th in Canada and the first in Prince Edward Island to be nominated to the Canadian Heritage Rivers System. The river's estuary fronts heritage agricultural communities, Acadian dykes, historic shipyards, and the Charlottetown waterfront (where the Fathers of Confederation landed). The river's freshwater portion flows through pristine forests and farming areas, as well as extensive wetlands. The river during its freshwater run resembles a typical stream in other Canadian provinces.

The river was bridged by the Prince Edward Island Railway between Charlottetown and Southport on the massive Hillsborough River Bridge, one of the longest railway bridges in eastern Canada, as well as one of the longest narrow gauge railway bridges in the world, as well as on a much shorter crossing in Mount Stewart.

The modern highway bridge was constructed adjacent to the railway bridge between Charlottetown and Southport in 1962 and was modernized and expanded in 1995. Additional highway bridges cross the river at Mount Stewart and at several points upstream from Mount Stewart.

The river hosts a variety of recreational activities as well as quahog and oyster fisheries. The river suffers from high nitrate levels,and silt run off from over farming and excess Riparian zone development.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Havey. The French régime in Prince Edward Island, p. 119 See book
  2. ^ Historical Biographies, Nova Scotia: Charles des Champs de BoishĂŠbert (1729-1797)
  3. ^ Boishebert Canadian Biography On Line
  4. ^ John Clarence Webster's, "Memorial on Behalf of Sieur de Boishebert" (Saint John: Historical Studies No. 4, Publications of the New Brunswick Museum, 1942) at p. 11.
  5. ^ Havey. The French régime in Prince Edward Island, p. 119 See book
  6. ^ http://www.biographi.ca/009004-119.01-e.php?BioId=36129
  7. ^ Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online. Vol. 3.
  8. ^ Shawn Scott and Tod Scott. Noel Doiron and the East Hants Acadians. The Royal Nova Scotia Historical Society: The Journal, 2008.

Links

Coordinates: 46°22′N 62°47′W / 46.367°N 62.783°W / 46.367; -62.783