This Cemetery at Major's Point on
Baie Ste-Marie was the First Acadian Cemetery beginning
with the Deportation of the Acadians. All previous
cemeteries were destroyed by the British. In recent
years, missing tombstones have been found being used
as steps at an old farmland.
This cemetery has been designated an Historic Site.
Pierre Piau Belliveau settled here with a caravan of Acadians while escaping from the
This was once an island and was named
Piau Island after Pierre. Once surounded by water
and said to be a burial ground for the MicMac Indians,
it now faces water on one side and is land-logged.
Some families died of starvation while in hiding.
This is what Placide Gaudet had to say about this place: One of their cares was to build rough huts. This I know by family tradition. These unfortunate one, poorly clad, sleeping on bed of fir twigs spread on bare ground for pillows, often covered with snow after stormy nights, destitute of proper food and starving, were often visited by the angel of death, which mercifully ended the sufferings of many. Thus passed the bleak winter of 1755-6.
When I first visited that locality, in February 1885, that island was called Ile-à-Piau (Piau's Island) by the old people of the neighbourhood. that name is now in oblivion, and the island itself is no more, it has since joined the mainland and forms a part of the picturesque landscape now called Major Doucet's Point. With Church Point this is the most historic spot in the whole municipality of Clare or French Town, as the Acadian settlements on the estern shore of St. Mary's Bay were formerly known to their English-speaking neighbors. As several deaths occurred among Pierre Belliveau's caravan, soon after their arrival and during the winter 1755-6, they were buried here. This spot was in September, 1768, the cradle of Clare Settlement by Acadians. For twenty years, from 1771 to 1791, the first Acadian settlers of Clare buried their dead alongside of those interred there during the winter of 1755-6, and thus Piau's Island became the first Acadian burial ground in Digby County.