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West Colchester Communities

In this section, various historic events were gathered on the communities of South Colchester by the Nova Scotia Archives and Records Managment and related here, accordingly. Please select from the following list to read the Community of your choice.

Bass River

Carrs Brook

Castlereagh

East Village

Economy

Edgewood

Five Houses

Five Islands

Folly Lake

Glenholme

Great Village

Highland Village

Little Dyke

Londonderry

Lornevale

Montrose

New Boston-New Britain

Pleasant Hills

Portapique

Probert

Bass River
The three communities that share this place-name are located in the vicinity of the Bass River, on the north side of Cobequid Bay, in central Nova Scotia. The place received its name because of the great number of bass caught here in the early days of settlement. The First Nations People's name was Mimskoolachk, “winding river”. In the early years, the main industries in Bass River included farming, fishing and in later years, lumbering. In time, the use of water power for mills became common for both sawmills and grist mills.

In 1759, a twenty-five year old Irish surveyor named James Fulton came to Nova Scotia from Belfast, Ireland seeking employment. As partial compensation for his labours, James Fulton was given the choice of a grant of land in Colchester County. He chose land in the Londonderry Township, in the district now known as Bass River. For many years after James Fulton built his house at the mouth of the Bass River, he had no neighbours nearer than Economy on the West and Portapique on the East. He was joined by his brother Samuel about 1769 or 1770. James and John, two sons of Samuel Fulton born at Bass River petitioned for a grant of land to the west of Londonderry boundary in 1799, received permission to occupy the land, and had developed farms on it by March, 1810. The area in which they settled came to be known as Little Bass River. Population in 1956 was: Bass River 325, Little Bass River 82, Upper Bass River 53.

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Carrs Brook
This rural area is located at the mouth of Carrs Brook on the north side of Cobequid Bay, in central Nova Scotia. It was probably named after early settlers. William Simpson received a grant of land at “Point Conomie” in 1770. In 1801 William Moore obtained a grant of land upon which had been laid out by order of Government in 1767. Charles Marsh, an occupant of part of a tract of land originally laid out for John Mahon, had built a mill and made large improvements by December 24, 1827. J. Craig was schoolmaster at Carrs Mountain in 1839. A Government wharf was built in 1912 and in 1929 a lighthouse was built on the end of the wharf. Population in 1956 was 96.

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Castlereagh
This place is located just south of Gamble Lake in central Nova Scotia. It was named after Robert Stewart, Viscount Castlereagh, who was Britain’s Foreign Secretary from 1812-1822. Settlement began about 1820 when lots were laid out for William Davison, Francis and John Fulton, John, Francis, and Robert Starratt. After the removal of the Fossil Flour plant, the younger people tended to move away so that by 1967, there was only one family living in the lower end of the old settlement.

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East Village
It is located about three miles north east of Great Village, north of Cobequid Bay. It was probably so named because of its location east of the former iron and steel manufacturing centre of Londonderry. Settlement began in the late 18th century by descendants of the original Londonderry proprietors. Population of East Village in 1956 was 84.

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Economy
The four sections of this community are located along the shore within an eight mile area in the vicinity of Economy Point and Economy River, on the north side of Cobequid Bay. The name probably comes from the Forst Nation's word Kenome, “a long point jutting far out into the sea”. Possible the Acadians began to occupy this area sometime in the first two decades of the 18th century. By 1748 four families were living here, and when “Vil Conomie” was visited by Captain Abijah Willard on August 10, 1755, he found two families and several deserted houses. Soon afterwards the village was destroyed.

Resettlement began in the 1760’s with the arrival of Irishmen and New Englanders. At Lower Economy, Edward Faulkner purchased 2000 acres about 1782 from Lieutenant James Faulkner, settled on it, and improved it until his death in 1797. In 1814 the farm was divided among his widow, Eleanor, and his sons: Daniel, William, John, Edward, Robert, and Thomas, and a grant was issued to them in 1815. This area was called Lower Settlement until the passage of the Free School Law in 1865 when it became the school district of Lower Economy.

In 1764 Samuel Marsh with three sons came from New England and took up land at Economy. A grant of the land was made to Joshua and Joseph Marsh in 1800. John Simpson probably settled about 1768. James Cochran and Daniel McLaughlin both received grants in 1773. George Cochran settled at Economy Point about 1768 and obtained a grant in 1773. Thomas Durning obtained a grant of adjacent land in 1771. At Upper Economy, Robert, Charles, and Patricia Hill from Ireland had land laid out for them in 1767 and probably settled on it soon after. Francis Boyd also came here about 1767. Lot number seven was occupied by Thomas Durning Jr., in 1801. In the same year, lot number six was occupied by James Durning. Edward Lank a native of London, England, and a veteran of the American Revolution, occupied lot number four about 1800. Number three was taken up by John Fulton the fourth, about 1803. Lots number one and two were settled by John Fulton, 2nd and James Fulton, Jr., respectively before 1816. The population in 1956 was: Economy, 164; Upper Economy 93.

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Edgewood
This settlement is located on the Little Bass River, about two miles north of Cobequid Bay in central Nova Scotia. The name is descriptive since the place is more of less at the edge of the woods. Settlement was not begun here until after 1875. Lumbering was the basic industry. Population in 1956 was 60.

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Five Houses
This community is located at the mouth of the Portapique River on the north shore of Cobequid Bay. It was probably so named when only five houses comprised the settlement. It evidently attained its greatest size in the 1890’s. In 1912 a lighthouse was built on the beach. Farming and some fishing was carried on there.

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Five Islands
This settlement is located between the East River and the Colchester-Cumberland County line, on the north side of Minas Basin, in central Nova Scotia. It was so named because of the five islands located about a mile offshore: Moose, Egg, Diamond, Long and Pinnacle islands. The First Nation's name was Nankulmenegool, meaning “Five islands”. The earliest grant was to Benjamin Gerrish of Halifax in 1767. He sold it to Benjamin DeWolf and John Clark of Windsor. About 1788 William Corbett became one of the first permanent residents of the area. A year later, Archibald Thompson, who came to Nova Scotia in 1761, and who was a grantee of Londonderry township in 1775, settled on the western part of the Gerrish grant on land he bought from DeWolf and Clark. The land at Lower Five Islands was granted to Gideon and Steven Harrington in July 1785. Someone had built a mill on the Harrington river by June, 1785. Steven Harrington the fourth lived here until his death in 1843. In 1799, Five Islands was still described as a new settlement. These people were not the first residents, since there were originally four French families here in 1748.

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Folly Lake
This settlement is located on the west side of Folly Lake. James Flemmings “folly”, which was his stony farm, was the origin of the name given to the Folly River and its source. Folly Lake which provided a name for the community that grew up around it. Hugh McInnes settled here sometime after 1818, but moved to Canada in 1834. William Carter obtained a grant here in 1829. Other grants were taken by: James B. Tupper in 1871, Mary McEachern in 1872, and J. Fraser Torrance in 1884. Population in 1956 was 68.

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Glenholme
This settlement is located about a mile upstream from the mouth of the Folly River, on the north side of Cobequid Bay. Vil Petit Louis Longue-Epee is shown on a 1756 map as being located here. The name means “Village of little Louis of the long spear”. Longue Epee is listed in the 1714 census of Cobequid and may have been living here at that time. In August 1755, this settlement was destroyed. In 1762, James Flemming, a native of Londonderry, Ireland took up his lot in this part of Londonderry township. The soil was stony and to undertake farming seemed a folly so the place was called Flemmings Folly. When the settlement sprang up it was called “Folly Village”. In 1909 by act of the Provincial Legislature, the name was changed to Glenholme, possibly after Glenholme, Peebles, Scotland.

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Great Village
This settlement is located near the mouth of the Great Village River on the north side of Cobequid Bay. Tradition has it that the place was so named by two explorers who came up the bay, saw the extensive marshes, agreed that it would be ideal as the site for a great village, and reported that they had seen the Great Village. In 1813 it was considered one of the largest villages in Londonderry township. The name “Port of Londonderry” was also used. The Acadians called it “Vil Le Cadets”. Settlement was begun by the Acadians in the first half of the eighteenth century. In 1755 it was one of the principal Cobequid settlements, but in that year the Acadians were driven out of the area by the English forces, and it was not until about 1767 that Peter McLellan moved here from Halifax to begin the English settlement. The population in 1956 was 498.

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Highland Village
This rural area is located about two miles east of the Portapique River on the north side of Cobequid Bay. It was so named because of Highland Scots who lived here. Settlement probably was carried on in the late 18th century. Spencer’s Point eventually became a farming area, but in the mid-20th century it had become a place for summer cottages. Daniel Urquhart was living on a small farm in “Scotch Village, Londonderry” in July, 1821.

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Little Dyke
This settlement is located on the west side of the mouth of the Folly River. It was probably so named because of an early dyke on the marsh. The name dates back at least to 1828. Robert and Samuel Archibald, Londonderry township grantees, were early settlers. Sometime prior to 1770 they exchanged their farms with Captain John Morrison and William Corbett and moved to Truro. In 1828, Little Dyke was one of the seven principal settlements in Londonderry Township. Robert O’Brian was the schoolmaster at “Little Dyke Folly” in 1828.

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Londonderry
This settlement is located on the Great Village River about six miles north of the Cobequid Bay. In 1762, twenty families under the patronage of Alexander McNutt settled an area of land which was officially granted as Londonderry Township on March 6, 1775. These people were mainly from Londonderry, Ireland, after which place they named the new township.

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Lornevale
This community is located about two miles east of Portapique River and about six miles north of Cobequid Bay. It was probably named after the Marquis of Lorne, Canada’s Governor-General in 1878. Before this it was known as West Mines and New Mines, in reference to the Acadia Charcoal Iron Company’s iron mines in the area. Asa Clark settled near the crossing of the old Cumberland Road and the present road from Londonderry many years before 1819. In 1820 Jehial and Asa Jr., were also residents on the Cumberland Road. When the township was granted in 1775, 1800 acres for a school lot, 1328 acres for the minister, and 914 acres for the glebe were laid out in the valley south of present Lornevale. This land remained unoccupied until 1820 when Thomas J. Brown, Robert McNutt, Robert Flemming, David Flemming, Reverend John Brown, the Presbyterian minister, and Charles Weaver, the schoolmaster, applied for, and received grants of parts in these lands. In 1875, a tramway was built to connect the West Mines at Martins Brook with the Iron Works at Londonderry. Population in 1956 was 121.

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Montrose
This rural area is located about three miles upstream on the Portapique River, near the north shore of Cobequid Bay. It was probably named after Montrose, Kincardineshire, Scotland. This name is also very common in the United States. Settlement probably began in this area in the last decades of the 18th century as an offshoot from Portapique, one of the seven first settlements in Londonderry township. A community hall was constructed sometime in the late 19th or early 20th centuries. Population in 1956 was 87.

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New Boston-New Britain
These two locations, situated about three miles north of the south of the East River at Five Islands, in Nova Scotia, probably began as lumbering camps run by Five Islands people in the early 19th century. The two place-names are used for what was a continuous settlement, New Boston for Boston, US and New Britain for that European country. A schoolhouse was in course of erection at New Boston in 1876. At New Britain, a school was constructed in 1877. Lumbering was the main industry.

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Pleasant Hills
This settlement is located about halfway between Economy Lake and the north side of Cobequid Bay. The name is descriptive and dates at least to 1828. Daniel McLaughlin of Economy petitioned for land on which to settle in 1819 and received a grant here in the same year. John Fulton got a neighbouring grant in 1820. In 1828, lots of land were granted to James Watson Crowe, a native of Londonderry township, Alexander Chisholm, Robert Young, a native of Oreland who emigrated in 1819, and John Crawford. Further grants were made here in 1829 to John and Robert McLaughlin of Economy, and Edward Faulkner. In 1828 there was settlement of nearly the same extent on the Second Division lots as on the shore lots of Economy. The east branch of Economy River also ran through considerable settlement. A. Lynds was the schoolmaster here in 1840. In 1848 a fire broke out here and spread to Economy, destroying the forest on Economy Point and several buildings on the west side of the river.

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Portapique
This rural area is located near the mouth of the Portapique River on the north side of the Cobequid Bay. It was named from the French “Pore-epic", porcupine. A 1756 English map uses “Vil Porcupine” and “Caoe Porcupine”, translating the French names. Vil Portapique was the Acadian village which probably began not long after 1700. When Abijah Willard stopped there on August 10, 1755, it was an area on the marsh. Before the end of that year, the land was vacant, and it remained so until some of the Londonderry Township grantees arrived in the late 1760’s and early 1770’s. In June of 1885, a Post Office was established at Portapique River with Oswald Preeper as postmaster. Population in 1956 was 42.

Back to TopProbert
This settlement is lcoaetd on the west side of the Folly River about eight miles north of Cobequid Bay. It was probably named Probert after a Mr. Probert who lived here in the 1870’s. Settlement evidently began here in the early 19th century. The Intercolonial Railway was constructed through here in 1871 and 1872. The population of West Folly Mountain in 1956 was 94.

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Stevens
This place is located at the south end of Folly Lake at the head of the Folly River. It was named after Robert Stevens who was living here in the early 1870’s. He and his wife obtained four grants of land in this area; two of them in 1886 and two in 1897.

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