The Pubnicos: Oldest Region Still Acadian
Yarmouth Vanguard, 3 January 1989
While I was writing my "History of Cap Sable," (5 volumes in French; published by Hubert Publications, Eunice, La., in 1981), I read in a French periodical (Bulletin des Recherches Histoires, Levis, Quebec; Vol. XLIV; 1938; pp. 283-286) that in the village of Pointe-aux-Trembles, Portneuf County, just west of the City of Quebec, still lived the descendants of Nicolas Langlois who had founded that place in 1668, that which, probably, constitutes, it is stated, "a fact which is unique in all Canada". That is not so. In 1653, fifteen years before Pointe-aux-Trembles was founded, Philippe Mius d'Entremont was taking possession of the Barony of Pobomcoup (Pubnico), which, the 17th July of that year, Governor Charles de La Tour had granted him and his wife, Magdeleine Helie, also Pierre Ferrand and his wife, Mathurine Sicard, although these two do not seem to have occupied the place at any time.
It was located on the east side of Pubnico harbour, at a short distance from the head. Its dimensions, according to the grant, of which we still have a copy, was rather restricted, if we consider that, at the time, the vast territory of what is now Nova Scotia had only one other settlement of consequence, that of Port Royal. It bordered the harbour for a distance of one league, which at the time was equal to two miles and a half or four kilometers; and extended in the woods for a distance of four leagues, that is nine miles or fourteen kilometers and a half. It must have comprised all of today's English section, from the limits of Pubnico Head to the limits of the Acadian village of East Pubnico, stretching in the woods beyond Great Pubnico Lake, even up to Barrington River. Note that this barony was the only one ever founded and inhabited in all of what is now the Atlantic Provinces, and the second in all Canada.
The "headquarters" of the barony was located just north of Hipson's Brook, known also locally as Larkin's Brook, Trout Brook or Caleb's Brook, near the shore at about 200 meters south of the road commonly called the Nine Mile Road, which leads to Barrington.
There, on what the Rev. John Roy Campbell, in his History of the County of Yarmouth calls "a beautiful knoll", was built just a few years before the Expulsion a Chapel, to which was given the name of "Notre-Dame". But long before that time, a manor house was built by Philippe Mius d'Entremont, at a short distance form the hill, opposite to the shore, which measured 35 meters and one third in length and close to 13 meters and a half in width. Not too many years ago, one could feel under his feet what remained of its foundation. Over the main entrance was suspended the Coat of Arms of the Mius d'Entremont family, the only Acadian family to ever have given itself such an emblem, a copy of which has been handed down to us up to this day.
Closer to the foot of the hill was the burying ground. When the railroad which passed through this section was built in 1896-97, a certain number of skeletons were unearthed. With regard to the tombstones, which surely consisted merely of field stones with some inscriptions on them, they had already been taken to build what was called "Jones Wharf", about 300 meters south.
After Philippe Mius d'Entremont had lived here for some time, he was followed by his children and grandchildren, who were joined by other Acadian families.
On the 23rd of September, 1758, Major Roger Morris, with his troops, set the whole village on fire, chapel, presbytery, houses, barns, sheds, and devastated all the cultivated fields. Documents tell us that by 11 o'clock, on that doomed Saturday, Pubnico existed no more. The people of the village, hiding in the woods, saw being reduced to ashes the labors of over 150 years. They were to follow the fate of the rest of the Acadians and be sent into exile.
Just a few years after, some of the descendants of Philippe Mius d'Entremont came back from exile and reestablished themselves in the region that he had originally founded. They were mostly the d'Entremonts, the Duons (now d'Eon), the Amiraults. These descendants are still to be found here in large number that which probably constitutes "a fact which is unique", not only in Canada, but maybe in all North America.
The West Pubnico Acadian Historical society intends to ask the Nova Scotia Department of Transport to erect on Highway 103, each side of Exit 31, a sign which would read: THE PUBNICOS: OLDEST REGION STILL ACADIAN. Note that Yarmouth County is the only county on this highway, up to Halifax, that does not possess such a sign. The one at Exit 33 applies to the whole stretch of the "Lighthouse Route" and not to any place in particular in the County of Yarmouth.