Noel, Nova Scotia

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Noel, Nova Scotia is located in Nova Scotia
Noel, Nova Scotia
Noel in Nova Scotia

Noel is a community in the Canadian province of Nova Scotia, located in the Municipal District of East Hants, which is in Hants County, Nova Scotia . The community is most well known for being named after its most prominent resident Noel Doiron and for ship building in the nineteenth century. Noel Doiron is the namesake of the village as well as the surrounding communities of Noel Shore, Nova Scotia, East Noel, (also known as Densmore Mills, Nova Scotia), Noel Road, Nova Scotia, North Noel Road, Nova Scotia. The earliest recorded reference to the community of "Noel" was by surveyor Charles Morris (jurist) in 1752. Prior to that date, the area is referred to as "Trejeptick", which first appears in the Colonial Office minutes of Annapolis Royal in 1734.[1]

Coordinates: 45°17′43″N 63°44′54″W / 45.29528°N 63.74833°W / 45.29528; -63.74833 (Noel, Nova Scotia)

Acadians[edit]

Noel, Nova Scotia, Kings Map, 1756

The community of Noel was named Trejeptick by the Mi'kmaq which is believed to mean "worn rocks" after the eroded sandstone cliffs and sea stacks.[2] The Acadian Noel Doiron settled in the community around 1710 with his family and lived there for forty years, leading English surveyors who first mapped the village to name it after him. During that time Noel Doiron and others in the Noel Bay built a chapel at Burntcoat Head, Nova Scotia, eight dwellings and dykes that are still there to this day. During this time, the village of Noel was in the middle of a war zone between New England and New France fighting to maintain control over Acadia. Upon his return from the New France victory in the Battle of Grand Pre (1747), military officer Daniel Liénard de Beaujeu stopped into Noel to tend to his wounded soldiers. Liénard de Beaujeu is the first recorded visitor to the village.

First recorded visitor to Vil Noel (1747): Daniel Liénard de Beaujeu

At the beginning of Father Le Loutre's War, Noel Doiron and many others joined the Acadian Exodus from mainland Nova Scotia to the French colony of Ile St. Jean (i.e., Prince Edward Island). Noel was accompanied by the Acadians in Selma, Nova Scotia and Maitland, Hants County, Nova Scotia.[3] Noel specifically settled Pointe Prime, Ile St. Jean (present day Eldon, Prince Edward Island). However after the British occupied Ile St Jean following the Siege of Lousibourg in 1758 they deported Noel Doiron and the former Noel residents in the Ile Saint-Jean Campaign of the Expulsion of the Acadians. Their deportation ship the Duke William sank on December 13, 1758 en route to France. At least three hundred and sixty Acadians, including, Noel and most of his extended family perished.[4] The sinking of the Duke William is one of the worst marine disasters in Canadian history (as measured by Canadian lives lost)--see list of disasters involving Canadians by death toll. According to the Captain of the Duke William, William Nichols (mariner), Noel Doiron was "head prisoner" aboard the doomed vessel and was described as the "father of the whole island", a reference to Noel's place of prominence among the Acadian residents of Isle St. Jean (Prince Edward Island).[5] For his "noble resignation" and self-sacrifice aboard the Duke William, Noel was celebrated in popular print throughout the 19th century in England and America.[6]

Ulster Scots (Irish)[edit]

After the exodus of the Acadians from Noel (1750), the land was owned but never settled by Charles Morris (jurist). Twenty one years after Noel was vacanted by the Acadians, the village was settled by Ulster Scots people Timothy O'Brien and his four sons (1771).

Shipbuilding[edit]

The Noel Bay had many ship yards in the 19th century. The most prominent was the Osmond O'Brien Shipyard. This shipyard produced twenty vessels, the largest being the Amanda, which was sailed out of the bay by Captain William Scott of Minasville, Nova Scotia.

Namesake of Noel[edit]

The village of Noel is named after Noel Doiron.[7] Prior to the publication of academic scholarship on the namesake of the village of Noel (2008), the origin of the community's name was virtually unknown. The reason for the name's unknown origin was, in part, because the oral history of the community was lost with the Deportation of the Acadians, which left the village vacated for 21 years. The Ulster Scots and their descendants who arrived in the village created folklore that claimed that the village was named "Noel" (the French word for Christmas) because either the Acadians or the Irish first arrived in the village on Christmas day. Such folklore informed The Chronicle Herald headline on December 14, 1965: “Village of Noel has Direct Association with Christmas.” This folklore has also been reflected in a recent children’s book by Bruce Nunn & Yolanda Poplawska named Magical Christmas Light of Old Nova Scotia (2003). There is also a special Christmas postmark by Canada Post created for the community (2005).

Notable residents[edit]

References[edit]

Endnotes[edit]

  1. ^ Scott, S. and Scott, T. (2008). Noel Doiron and the East Hants Acadians. Nova Scotia Historical Society: The Journal
  2. ^ "Noel", Place Names of Nova Scotia, Nova scotia Archives and Records Management
  3. ^ Scott, S. and Scott, T. (2008). Noel Doiron and the East Hants Acadians. Nova Scotia Historical Society: The Journal
  4. ^ Letter from Captain William Nichols dated December 16, 1758 says 360 passengers aboard the Duke William: London Magazine XXVII, p. 655.
  5. ^ Journal of William Nichols, "The Naval Chronicle", 1807
  6. ^ The Publications included Frost,John, "The Book of Good Examples Drawn from History and Biography", New York: 1846, p.65; "The Saturday Magazine" (1821), p. 502; and Percy, Reubens, "Percey's Anecdotes", New York (1843), p.44.
  7. ^ Scott, S & Scott, T. (2008). Noel Doiron and the East Hants Acadians. Royal Nova Scotia Historical Society: The Journal

External links[edit]

  • Film short on Noel and Marie Doiron: "The Exiles"[1]
  • CBC Radio Documentary: "Noel Doiron and the Wreck of the Duke William" [2]
  • Article in Journal of the Royal Nova Scotia Historical Society: "Noel Doiron and the East Hants Acadians" (2008): [3]
  • Journal of Captain William Nichols:[4]
  • Letter from Captain William Nichols dated December 16, 1758 [5]
  • Captain William Nichols Webpage [6]
  • Noel on Destination Nova Scotia