The exact date the Acadians arrived in Wedgeport is unknown. What is known is that upon the return from exile of some of the Acadians, they eventually settled in Wedgeport. Neighboring villages of Pubnico east and west, Ste-Anne-du-Ruisseau and Amriault Butte were colonized about 1767. Admittedly, Wegeport would also have been settled at about that time or shortly thereafter. Contradicting claims of Campbell who claimed that Pierre Robichaud as one of the first four colonists however, Father Clarence D'Entremont states that Pierre Robichaud was still at Pointe-de-l'Est (Eastern Passage, Halifax) in 1771 and that Jean Doucet must have arrived after 1767 since he did not marry until 1770 having thus been living elsewhere with the rest of his family. According to Father Clarence D'Entremont, Campbell believed that Eustache Corporon, Pierre Robichaud, Jean Doucet and Pierre Hinard were the first four colonists to settle at Wedgeport. Regardless of the date on which the first settlers went to Wedgeport, what is important is the genealogy and information recorded in church registers about the families who had settled there.
Eustache Corporon was born abt 1725-28 at Pisiquid (Windsor). One of 10 children, his parents were Jean Corporon (son of Jean, the first to come to Acadia), and Marie Pinet. He married Angélique Viger dit Brigeau about 1749. She was the daughter of François and Claire Lejeune. This couple had at least five children: Marguerite, Marie-Rose, Joseph, Abraham Gilbert and Anne Josèphte.
Eustache Corporon's name is on the list of prisoners at Halifac August 12, 1763 along with his wife and children. They were still in Halifax in December 1771. At some point, Eustache and his family settled in the Chebec region, to the north-northeast of Chebeck Cove called "Corporton Cape" (Cap des Corporons).
Pierre Hinard, also written Enard, Esnard, Hénard, Hiner, Inard and Renard, was from Normandy having come form the Granville region of St-Pair. His date of birth is unknown. He married Marie-Josephte Bodard, daughter of François Bodard and Marie Babin of Pisiquid. This family had been deported to Maryland. The names of Pierre and Marie Babin are in the registers for Philadelphia, Pennsylvania when they had a son baptiszed June 1, 1762 named Jean-Guillaume. A total of three children are in these registers as belonging to this couple. Jean-Guillaume's godparents were Jean LePrince and Madeleine Corporon.
Marie-Josephte Bodard died shortly after June 20, 1763. Having placed his children with his mother-in-law, Marie Babin, who was in Maryland (where her husband had died shortly after their arrival here) Pierre Hinard embarked on a cargo ship that sank off Cape Cod. He did not die. Rather he'd heard of Acadians in this area and managed to make contact with them. About 1765, he married for a second time to Marie-Cécile Mius, daughter of Joseph Mius (to Joseph dit Dazi), and Marie-Josephte Préjean (to Jean). The following year, Rosalie was born. THey had another daughter Marie also born here. Another child, Pierre never married.
Pierre Hinard and his family finally settled at Wedgeport but when is unknown. However, it has been said that at least three masses were celebrated on his property out-of-doors. If this is true, these masses would have been celebrated by Father Bailly who was in the region as of 1769. However, when Pierre arrived is unknown.
Pierre Robichaud was born in 1737. He was the son of Pierre Robichuad dit Cadet (to Charles) and Suzanne Brasseau of St-Pierre and St-Paul of Cobequid (Truro) parish. About 1750, this family had eight children and settled at Rivière des Blonds, (Tryon River, P.E.I.). He was among the 200 young Acadians and Natives of Villejouin recruited at Ile St-Jean to defend the fort at Louisbourg. He was taken prisoner there in 1758. Nothing is known as to the lot of this family during the Deportation.Pierre married Marie-Rose Corporon daughter of Eustache Corporon. This marriage was ratified by Father Bailly on October 1, 1770 at Pointe-de-l'Est (Eastern Passage). This family settled in Wedgeport sometime after the baptism of their daughter Agnès December 1, 1771.
This Pierre Robichaud would be known at Bas-de-Tousquet as Pierre Cadet. He settled on land left by Joseph and Banjamin Robichuad, sons of Maximin Robichaud (to Pierre to Pierre). Pierre Robichaud and Marie-Rose Corporon had seven children: Lazare, Marguerite, Marie, Marie-Agnès, Honoré, Rose-Suzanne and Pierre.
Jean Magloire Doucet was born about 1745. He was the son of Joseph Doucet (to Claude) and Anne Surette (to Pierre). This family was at Port-Royal and was deported to Massachusetts where they are found as of 1757, mostly in Gloucester. In 1760 this couple had ten children. In 1766, Joseph Doucet requested permission to leave New England with his family so as to go to Québec, Canada. Instead, on a date that is unknown, Joseph Doucet traveled on foot through the woods from Massachusetts to Nova Scotia to be reunited with his children. Some had settled at Baie Ste-Marie and others in Yarmouth.
Joseph Doucet, the eldest of this family, settled at Butte des Doucet (Hubbard's Point); Charels at Buttes Amirault; Michel at Pointe-des-Ben; and Jean Magloire, born in 1743, at Bas-de-Tousquet, above the old pier where he had an apple orchard. Though his date of arrival in Wedport is unknown, he did not come here before he married Hélène Amirault dite Padène about 1770. She was born in 1748, the daughter of Charles Amirault (to François) and Claire Dugas (to Claude).
Jean Magloire Doucet died at Chebec on August 23, 1826. His wife died before him on April 9, 1812 at 64 years of age. They had seven children: Cécile, Hélène, Pierre, Michel, Sylvain, Véronique, Anne.
The LeBlanc family of Wedgeport exists since 1778 shortly after 28 December, when in the absence of a priest, Joseph LeBlanc, son of Pierre LeBlanc (to Jacques) and Marie-Madeleine Babin (to Joseph) of Church Point (Pointe-de-l'Église), married Marie Amirault, daughter of Jacques (to Jacques) and Marie-Madeleine Belliveau (to Pierre dit Piau) of Amirault Butte (Butte Amirault). This marriage was ratified at Ste-Anne-du-Ruisseau on 24 August 1781 by Father Mathurin Bourg (Bourque).
Joseph LeBlanc was born in the fall of 1752. He was just a toddler living with his parents at Rivière-aux-Canards (now Cornwallis) when in 1755 his parents were deported to Massachusetts.
The history of his parents and family leaving Salem, Massachusetts in 1772 to return to Nova Scotia is well known. They had left Salem for Ile-à-Séraphin, Pointe-de-l'Église (Church Point). Joseph LeBlanc who would settle at Bas-de-Tousquet, was the twin brother of Madeleine. However, history does not tell us why Joseph decided to later settle at Wedgeport. He died here the night of November 16, 1812 at approximately 58-60 years of age.
Joseph LeBlanc and Marie Amirault had eleven children:
So they actually returned to the area where some of them had originally lived. However by that time their lands had been settled by what the authorities described as «dependable English settlers» and «good Protestant Subjects». Acadians were neither.
In the spring of 1767 this group of ragged poor souls settled
communities along the shores of Yarmouth County, one of which was
Wedgeport. The Muis family landed at Chébec on the shores of the Tusket River an area well known by the Mi'kmaq. Chébec, meaning narrow passage, would be the first Acadian name for Wedgeport. The Mi'kmaq knew Wedgeport as Olsegon or Ni-zigousiack.
The community later adopted the name of Bas-de-Tousquet (Lower Tusket River) which was changed to Tusket Wedge and by an Act of Parliament changed to Wedgeport in 1910. At that time the community became the only NS Acadian community to be incorporated as a town. Wedgeport returned to village status in 1947.
In 1769 a priest from Québec came to Wedgeport, and said mass at Chébec on a hill which is a historical site of very significant proportion. So the English officer kept his promise.
A cross was erected and has been maintained to this day ever since. The site is called Butte-de-la-Croix or Cross Hill. It is a symbol of the courage and perseverance of the returning Acadian families. It is also the oldest maintained historical site, in Nova Scotia, of the returning Acadians in this province. The pioneer families would congregated at the
site to pray and perform religious ceremonies such as marriages even in the absence of a priest.
The community prospered against tremendous odds to the credit of the families who today form a very prosperous and dynamic community.
In the 1930s Wedgeport became known as the Sport Tuna Fishing Capital of the World. It attracted rich and famous visitors from around the world including President Franklin Roosevelt, Kate Smith, Gene Tunney, Amelia Earhart, Ethel Dupont, Zane Gray, Ernest Hemingway and many others.
A museum and interpretive centre housing the hundreds of mementos, pictures, fishing rods, mock tuna boat etc. was opened July 1, 1996 with 2500 people in attendance.
The quayside museum is connected to the old Tuna Club now used by the Wedgeport Retired Fishermen Association situated at the famous Tuna Wharf.
The views of the Tusket River, and the ocean, are wonderful from this fishing village of 1700 people, one of the largest and most prosperous in south western Nova Scotia. The beautiful Saint Michael's Church and homes found in Wedgeport are architectural treasures from the last century.
-30- For more information: Cyrille LeBlanc firstname.lastname@example.org
East New Brunswick
Prince Edward Island
Sources: Some of the information on Wedgeport has been translated from Histoire de Wedgeport, Nouvelle Écosse by Father Clarence J. D'Entremont - 1967 - Written to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the parish.
© Lucie LeBlanc Consentino
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