Photographs are Windows on the Past and Present

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As an amateur photographer, I’ve amassed a vast collection of photographs of life, travels, pets, landscapes, etc.

I have a nineteen year old daughter who will be studying photography at college, but in the meantime is pursuing both photography and modeling here. It’s so lovely to see her developing the same love of the photograph as the ultimate means of documenting a person, place, time, event or even thing.

I have discussed my research of the Melanson family of Acadia in this blog before and so decided to showcase the photos I have of my family’s heritage stomping grounds. These are places we visited during our travels in Nova Scotia (previously Acadia) for genealogical research and a vacation. I just wish we’d had much more time. These photos now hold a place of honour on a feature wall in our living room.

My Melanson heritage begins with the original founding couple, Pierre ‘dit Laverdure’ and his wife Priscilla (my 8th great grandparents on my mother’s side). They immigrated to Acadia from England in the late 17th century with their sons, Pierre ‘dit Laverdure’ Mellanson and Charles ‘dit la Ramée’ Mellanson. Charles ‘dit la Ramée’ was my 7th great grandfather.

In the interest of my genealogical research and family history we decided to take a driving tour through New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, visiting all of the Acadian sites and landmarks. Port Royal was the main trading port of the Acadians and stood close to the settlement of Charles ‘dit La Ramée’ Mellanson and his family. Near the fort is the site of the archaeological dig at the Melanson Settlement.

 

The wind at Fort Beauséjour was unbelievable. We had a heck of a time making our way from the parking area to the fort itself. One of these pictures is of my kids leaning with all their weight into the strong wind while standing on the berm surrounding the fort.

Fort Beauséjour was the site where Acadian families were imprisoned while awaiting deportation. The family of my 5th great grandfather was held in this fort for about seven years. One of the family’s children was actually born in captivity in this fort. The ruins of the foundations and the supply tunnel at Fort Beauséjour are all that is left of the original fort. The foreground in the photo of the ruins is the foundation of the officers’ quarters and the background is the supply tunnel. I couldn’t believe how unsettled I was the first time I saw the image of my husband and kids silhouetted in the supply tunnel of Fort Beauséjour. I could almost feel the ‘ghosts’ there.

Grand Pré Chapel is a beautiful chapel at the original site where the men of the Acadian community were informed of the impending expulsion. The museum that now stands at the site is the home of the majority of the artifacts from the Melanson Settlement at Port Royal.

Melanson village community hall is in the village that was founded by Pierre ‘dit Laverdure’ Mellanson, brother to Charles, at the site of his family’s settlement in Baie des Mines (Minas Basin), Nova Scotia.

Melanson Mountain was also named for this community’s founder.

I fell in love with Nova Scotia. I would move there in a second. I don’t know if it’s something in my blood as a direct descendant of Acadian settlers, but it’s an amazingly strong pull that I have found very hard to resist. Maybe one day???


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