Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia: National Historic Sites, Events & People


Annapolis Royal, nestled in Nova Scotia, is a treasure trove of Canadian history, boasting numerous sites with federal heritage designations. These sites offer a fascinating journey through time, showcasing significant historical events, notable figures, and remarkable structures. Here’s a closer look at the nationally recognized heritage designations in Annapolis Royal.

Soldiers mustering
Reenactments occur regularly at Fort Anne NHS

National Historic Sites of Canada

  1. Port-Royal National Historic Site
    Port-Royal NHS is a reconstruction of the original French settlement, which was one of the earliest European settlements in North America. It offers insights into the early interactions between French settlers and Indigenous peoples.
  2. Fort Anne National Historic Site
    Date: 1629
    As Canada’s oldest National Historic Site, Fort Anne encapsulates the turbulent history of French and British colonial conflicts. Its earthen walls and scenic grounds make it both an educational and picturesque destination.
  3. Charles Fort National Historic Site
    Date: 1629
    Located within the grounds of Fort Anne, Charles Fort was originally constructed by Scottish settlers. The site marks an important chapter in the early colonial history of Nova Scotia.
  4. Historic District of Annapolis Royal
    Designated: 1994
    This district preserves a significant portion of the town’s historic core, showcasing architecture and streetscapes from the 17th to 19th centuries. It highlights the town’s enduring legacy as a colonial stronghold.
  5. Kejimkujik National Park
    Designated: 1974
    Kejimkujik is both a national park and a national historic site, renowned for its Mi’kmaq petroglyphs, ancient canoe routes, and diverse wildlife. It serves as a testament to the area’s natural beauty and Indigenous heritage.
  6. De Gannes-Cosby House
    Date: 1708
    This house is one of the oldest wooden structures in Canada, representing early French and British colonial architecture. It offers a glimpse into the domestic life of early settlers in Annapolis Royal.
  7. Annapolis County Court House
    Date: 1837
    This courthouse is an excellent example of Greek Revival architecture and has served as a center of justice for over a century. Its historical significance is highlighted by its continuous use and well-preserved state.
  8. Melanson Settlement
    Date: 1664
    This archaeological site reveals the remains of an early Acadian settlement, providing valuable insights into the agricultural practices and community life of the Acadian people.
  9. Bloody Creek
    Date: 1757
    Bloody Creek marks the site of a significant battle between British and Mi’kmaq forces. The event is a poignant reminder of the area’s violent conflicts during the colonial era.
  10. Sinclair Inn Museum
    The Sinclair Inn is one of Canada’s oldest surviving Acadian buildings. Its layered construction history reflects the town’s transition from French to British control.

National Historic Persons

  1. Membertou (Anli-Maopeltoog) (1510–1611)
    As a respected Mi’kmaq leader, Membertou forged important alliances with French settlers, facilitating peaceful coexistence and mutual assistance.
  2. Charles de Menou d’Aulnay (1604–1650)
    An influential French governor, d’Aulnay significantly contributed to the development of Acadia and the expansion of French influence in the region.
  3. Samuel Vetch (1668–1732)
    Vetch was a Scottish-born colonial governor who played a pivotal role in the early administration of Nova Scotia under British rule.
  4. Jean-Paul Mascarene (1684–1760)
    Mascarene served as acting governor of Nova Scotia and played a significant role in the defense of the colony during the 18th century.
  5. Admiral Philipps Cosby (1720–1792)
    Cosby played a crucial role in the defense and administration of Nova Scotia during the 18th century. His efforts in strengthening the colony’s defenses were instrumental in its development.
  6. William Wolseley (1756–1842)
    Wolseley was a prominent figure in the military history of Annapolis Royal, known for his leadership during several key battles.
  7. Rose Fortune (1774–1864)
    Fortune, a notable figure in Black Canadian history, was known for her entrepreneurial spirit and as one of Canada’s first female police officers.
  8. Harriette Taber Richardson (1875–1951)
    Richardson was a prominent advocate for heritage preservation, contributing significantly to the protection of Annapolis Royal’s historical sites.

National Historic Event

Poutrincourt’s Mill
Date: 1607

This event marks the establishment of one of the first water-powered mills in North America by French colonists, demonstrating early industrial ingenuity.

Heritage Lighthouses

Schafner Point Lighthouse
Built 1885
This picturesque lighthouse has guided vessels along the Annapolis River for over a century, embodying the maritime heritage of the region.

Heritage Railway Station of Canada

Canadian Pacific Railway Station
This historic railway station symbolizes the expansion of rail transport in Nova Scotia, contributing to the region’s economic development.

Annapolis Royal’s array of heritage sites and historical designations make it a captivating destination for history enthusiasts. Each site and individual recognized here offers a unique story, weaving together the rich and diverse tapestry of Canada’s past.

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Bailey House Inn
150 Saint George Street,
Annapolis Royal, NS B0S 1A0

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 •  150 Saint George Street, Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia

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