Mabou, Nova Scotia
Mabou, Mi'kmaq: Mȧbu or Scottish Gaelic: An Drochaid; "The Bridge", is a small Canadian rural community located in Inverness County on the west coast of Nova Scotia's Cape Breton Island. The population in 2011 was 1,207 residents.
The name Mabou is thought to derive from Mi'kmaq name "Malabo", shortened from "Malabokek", meaning "place where two rivers meet" (the Mabou and Southwest Mabou rivers). It is also thought to mean "Shining Waters" or "Sparkling Waters".
During the late 19th century and the first half of the 20th century Mabou's primary economic activity was underground coal mining with several collieries located in the surrounding area. The Inverness and Richmond Railway opened in 1901 to connect the mines in Mabou and Inverness to wharves in Mabou and Port Hastings.
Mining activity ceased following World War II and the railway was abandoned during the late 1980s. Today Mabou is primarily a fishing port for a small fleet of lobster boats. It also hosts a high school serving central Inverness County. It is also a very strong community with many farms.
The Rankin Family, a renowned group of singers-songwriters and proprietors of the local establishment The Red Shoe Pub, along with former Premier of Nova Scotia Rodney MacDonald, hail from Mabou, as does Kate Beaton of "Hark! A Vagrant" fame. Robert Frank and Philip Glass also have summer homes in this area.
The community is located at the head of an inlet off the Gulf of St. Lawrence named "Mabou Harbour" and is surrounded by low mountains which are part of the Creignish Hills.
Mabou is the home of the An Drochaid Museum, which houses Mabou's history, cultural artifacts and records for public viewing.
- Local website
- Mabou River (photos)
- Essay Southwest Mabou River
- Essay Mabou Lighthouse (by Mary Anne Ducharme)
- Mabou Harbour (photo)
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