LaHave, Nova Scotia

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LaHave, Nova Scotia
Fort Point Museum, LaHave, Nova Scotia
Fort Point Museum, LaHave, Nova Scotia
LaHave, Nova Scotia is located in Nova Scotia
LaHave, Nova Scotia
LaHave, Nova Scotia
Location within Nova Scotia
Coordinates: 44°17′37.25″N 64°21′27.22″W / 44.2936806°N 64.3575611°W / 44.2936806; -64.3575611Coordinates: 44°17′37.25″N 64°21′27.22″W / 44.2936806°N 64.3575611°W / 44.2936806; -64.3575611
Country Canada
Province Nova Scotia
Municipality Lunenburg Municipality
Settled 1632
Elevation 0 m (0 ft)
Highest elevation 119 m (390 ft)
Lowest elevation 0 m (0 ft)
Time zone UTC-4 (AST)
 • Summer (DST) UTC-3 (ADT)
Canadian Postal code B0R 1C0
Area code(s) 902
Telephone Exchanges 688
NTS Map 021A08

LaHave is a Canadian community in Lunenburg County, Nova Scotia. The community is located across the river from Riverport[1] and approximately 15 kilometres from the town of Bridgewater. Once the capital of Acadia, it is located on Highway 331 at the mouth of the 97 km long LaHave River.


Mi'kmaq Settlement and French colony[edit]

La Hève was an important centre for the Mi'kmaq people, who traded with Europeans. Messamouet, a well-known sakmow, or Chief, of the Mi'kmaq Nation, is reported to have been from the La Have area.[2]

Samuel de Champlain called there in 1604 on his first trip to Acadia. Henry Hudson made landfall there in 1609 on his voyage on behalf of the Dutch East India company. Despite being shown hospitality by the Mi'kmaq, Hudson's crew staged an unprovoked assault on the Mi'kmaq settlement. As a result, the Mi'kmaq staged a raid on the next Dutch ship to visit in 1611.[3]

La Hève was the capital of Acadia from 1632, when Isaac de Razilly settled on a point of land at the mouth of the LaHave River, until his sudden death in 1636. Razilly established a colony of 300 and built Fort Ste. Marie de Grace.[4] Razilly reported that the fort was capable of standing against all enemy action, and that he had the military supplies necessary to withstand a six-month siege. There was also a chapel, a store and houses for the workmen in the village. Within twelve months of Razilly's arrival, La Have was a thriving trading post, the centre for a small farming community in the area, and a major port of call for the large fishing fleet. At one point there were five hundred transient fishermen in the settlement.[5] Upon Razilly's death, the new Governor Charles de Menou d'Aulnay moved the Acadians from La Hève to Port Royal, Nova Scotia, which had been given up by the Scottish also in 1632.[6] His wife Jeanne Motin, "daughter of Louis Motin, Sieur de Courcelles, who in addition to owning shares in the Razilly-Condonnier Company, was the controller of salt stores located at one of France's colonies, perhaps in the Caribbean", was of great strategic value in the subsequent struggle with La Tour. Ironically, she became Lady de La Tour in 1653 after Aulnay's death and La Tour's triumphant return with Letters Patent as governor of Acadia. Nicholas Denys and his brother Simon, who had come over with Razilly, in 1632, set up a "wood working plant" near present-day Riverport, Nova Scotia and a fishing station at Port Rossignol (now Liverpool, Nova Scotia). They stayed neutral in the war between Aulnay (at Port Royal) and La Tour (at Fort La Tour on the Saint John River).

In 1652, La Hève was still a trading post and was raided by Emmanuel Le Borgne.[7]

During Queen Anne's War, New Englanders raided the community taking three Acadians prisoner (1705).[8]

King George's War[edit]

During King George's War, two French officers, in a letter from Quebec, reported to the Comté de Maurepas that "the English do not dry any fish on the east coast of Acadia since the war, through fear of being surprised there and killed by the Micmacs." This fear was well founded as these same officers also advised "... a boat belonging to an English merchantman having landed at La Hève for wood and water, these Indians killed 7 of the crew and brought their scalps to Sieur Marin,...".[9]

The site of Fort Sainte-Marie de Grace was designated a National Historic Site of Canada in 1924.[10]

Ship building[edit]

It was, at one time, the economic centre of fishing, trade and shipbuilding for the surrounding area. The many vessels built in the area include a famous clipper, the barque Stag.

Light Station[edit]

In 1874 LaHave Light Station was built and assisted ships navigating into the LaHave River until the 1950s, when a new lightkeeper's house was built to replace the aging light station. The light was decommissioned in the 1960s and replaced by a mechanical light on the opposite side of the river. In 1969, the Lunenburg County Historical Society was established to manage this historic site and turned the vacant lightkeeper's house into a community museum and gift shop.[11] In 2006, the society completed a Renaissance Project, which included the construction and attachment of a new building resembling the original 1874 LaHave Light Station, to the lightkeeper's house. The new museum is heated and cooled by a geothermal system, one of the first museums in Canada to utilize this technology. The Museum hosts many community events during the year, including the Acadian Mi'kmaq Festival, the LaHave River Folk Festival and a wide range of artistic exhibits.

Lahave River cable ferry[edit]

Since 1832, LaHave has been connected to East LaHave, located on the opposite side of the LaHave river, via a cable ferry.[12] In 1982, Brady E. Himmelman retired after 35 years of service, being the longest serving captain of LaHave ferries. In 2010, the LaHave Ferry II was replaced by a 14 car capacity ferry named in the honour of Brady E Himmelman.[13] The Ferry is Operated by The Province of Nova Scotia and costs $7 for a one-way ticket. The trip lasts about five minutes one way.

On Friday, January 3, 2014, the Ferry broke free from its cable and drifted towards the open ocean, running aground at Oxners Beach.[14]

Present day[edit]

Stepping inside LaHave Bakery with its old fashioned display cases and furnishings and homemade menu is a bit like stepping back in time.

A volunteer LaHave and District Fire Department provides fire and first responder service to LaHave and the surrounding areas. A federal post office, Saint James Anglican Church and LaHave Seafoods are all located in LaHave.

A longstanding turn of the 20th century riverside chandlery landmark, has in recent years become the LaHave Bakery, which operates as a year-round bakery and cafe. The bakery houses a Craft Co-Op during the summer, where local artists sell their crafts. It is also home to a small custom manufacturer, Homegrown Skateboards.

Further down Highway 331, one will find Crescent Beach, a 2 kilometer long beach (only beach in NS that allows you to drive your car on the sand the length of the beach as if it were a road), the LaHave Islands and Risser's Beach Provincial Park. The LaHave Islands are a popular coastal paddling destination.[15]

The LaHave Islands Marine Museum (c. 1913), located on the LaHave Islands, is on the Canadian Register of Historic Places.[16]

Imagee gallery[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ Douglas Hunter, Half Moon: Henry Hudson and the voyage that redrew the map of the New World. Bloomsbury Press, 2009. P. 96-106
  4. ^ Brenda Dunn. A History of Port Royal, Annapolis Royal: 1605-1800. Nimbus Publishing, 2004. p. 16
  5. ^ Griffiths, E. From Migrant to Acadian. McGill-Queen's University Press. 2005. p.50-51
  6. ^ History
  7. ^ Daigle, Jean. 1650-1686: 'Un pays qui ne'est pas fait'. in Buckner, P. and Reid J. (eds). The Atlantic Region to Confederation: A History. Toronto University Press. 1994. p. 66.
  8. ^ History of Wars
  9. ^ Documents relative to the colonial history of the state of New York, Paris Documents: IX,
  10. ^ Fort Sainte Marie de Grace. Canadian Register of Historic Places. Retrieved 2 February 2013.
  11. ^ Fort Point Museum
  12. ^ LaHave Canadian Encyclopedia
  13. ^ Riverport History
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^ Canadian Register of Historic Places

External links[edit]