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History - Grand-Pré (Grand-Pray)   

"The most intense migration from Port-Royal came in the years 1680 and 1690. Pierre Melanson and his young wife, Marguerite Minus d’Entremont, founded the village of Grand-Pré in 1682. The settlements in the region of the Minas Basin were marked by rapid growth since the population was composed of young, fertile couples."1

It was in the interest of the Acadians to establish themselves in places like Grand-Pré as it provided access to the fur trade and shipping channels, and they found themselves sheltered from all intervention by officials.

Population of Grand-Pré (statistics)

Year Population
1701 487
1707 677
1714 1031
1730 2500
1737 3736
1748-1750 5000
(** source : Les Acadiens de la Nouvelle-Écosse ; hier et aujourd’hui, 1995. Page 79)

On the Canard River, the Acadians built dykes to keep water out of their small villages. In certain places, one can still find traces of their work.

The growing population welcomed their first missionary at Grand-Pré in the person of Father Claude Mireau. In 1693 the population was growing (it had reached 297, with 360 acres of cultivated land, 461 horned beasts, 390 sheep, and 314 pigs.)2