The Municipality of the
District of Argyle
Nestled at the east end of Yarmouth County on the south- western tip of Nova Scotia is the Municipality of Argyle,
where history, culture and tradition reflect strong Acadian and Loyalist influences and where the presence of the
ever-changing sea adds a dash of colour and romance to a summer day trip. Most of Argyle's communities are
located along the indented coastline where generations of Acadian and Loyalist fishermen have plied the rich
fishery of Lobster Bay and the off-shore fishing grounds of Gcorge's Bank, Brown's Bank and The Lurcher.
Lobster is the principle catch but there's also an active herring fleet and scallop draggers. Some fishermen
go "mossing" in the summer, gathering Irish Moss seaweed from rocks and shoals to be processed into
carageen for a variety of products. The coastline is littered with islands, bays, harbours and estuaries that
provide safe anchorage for the fishing fleet and offer exotic destinations for landlubbers. There are 13 Small
Craft Harbours and dozens of other wharves and breakwaters along the Argyle shore.
Among the many prominent villages in the municipality is Wedgeport (pop. 739), settled in 1767 by exiled Acadians.
The village gained world-wide attention from 1937 to 1959 as the location of the international Tuna Cup Match. The
Wedgeport Tuna Wharf is still a busy place and worth a visit. Although the tuna migration has moved off-shore,
Wedgeport hosts an annual Bluefish Fishing Tournament every year in late July.
Not far from Wedgeport, on Highway 3 the Lighthouse Route, is the village of Tusket, settled originally by United Empire
Loyalists from New York and New Jersey in 1785. The village became a major shipbuilding center on the banks of the
Tusket river and many of the fine, old homes of the community date to the Golden Age of Sail. The Tusket Courthouse in
the village Is the oldest courthouse In Canada, dating to 1805, and Is now open as a summer museum with both the
courtrooms, judges chambers and basement jail open to visitors. From Tusket, the Lighthouse Route hugs the
coastline passing through the Argyles. Side routes lead to Roberts Island, Surette's Island, Morris island and Far
Point Island all accessible by roads, bridges and causeways and all worthy of exploration.
From the Lighthouse Route, Highway 335 leads to the Pubnico's - the oldest Acadian settlements in the world,
dating to 1653. There are seven Pubnico's - Pubnico (English speaking), West Pubnico, Middle West Pubnico
(pop. 436), Lower West Pubnico (pop, 854), East Pubnico, Middle East Pubnico and Lower East Pubnico,
all fishing communities. The Acadian museum in west Pubnico is located in a house built in 1864 and contains
artifacts from pioneer days.
Many of Argyle's Acadian communities maintain large, well-appointed churches including those at Ste-Anne du
Ruisseau, Anlirault's Hill, Wedgeport and West Pubnico.
There are also many, smaller, yet picaresque Protestant churches built by the Loyalists, including the Argyle Baptist
Church built in 1806 and AM in use today. The numerous salt marshes, estuaries and tidal flats of the coastline are
ideal places for bird-watching, clam digging and sea kayaking.
Pubnico: oldest village still Acadian
Pubnico is not only the oldest village still occupied by the Acadians, but is also considered to be the oldest village in
Canada which is still occupied by the descendants if its founder.
Pubnico comprises three different sections. There is West Pubnico, whose people are almost all French;
Pubnico proper, better known as Pubnico Head, whose people are mostly all English and East Pubnico, where
the barony began. Because West Pubnico has developed faster than the two other sections and because its
population is more numerous, the name Pubnico is often reserved to exclusively designate West Pubnico.
Upon entering the village of West the visitor will see within a kilometre a monument that was erected in 1951 to
the memory of Philippe Mius d'Entremont, the founder, half-a-kilometre further down is the Musée Acadien.
The museum was established in 1977 and houses artifacts from many sources. The museum is run by the
local historical society, La Société Historique Acadienne de Pubnico-Ouest. Another half-a-kilometre further
are the millstones which were used before the Expulsion of the Acadians by the ancestors of the Pubnico people
to grind their wheat. Then the visitor will find the Catholic Church, with its high steeple, which was built between 1888
and 1891, the third erected in West Pubnico. Nearly three kilometres further, is the road which leads to the old
Cemetery, where the second church was built in 1840.
At the end of this road, the last house on the right hand side is the first one ever built with boards in Pubnico,
dating back to 1799. It was erected for Benoni d'Entremont, one of three d'Entremont brothers who were the
co-founders of West Pubnico, after the return of the Acadians.
When the British expelled the Acadians in 1755, the d'Entremont family was dispersed in France and
Massachusetts but the remainder of the family was to come back from exile in 1766. With regard to the
barony of Pobocoup, it was devastated and burned to the ground by the English in September of 1758.
Pubnico was settled for a second time by returning Acadians, including the Belliveau, d'Entremont,
Amirault, Muis (now Muise) and Duon (now d'Eon) families in 1767.
Today, the surnames in Pubnico are more numerous, but it is still the d'Entremont family
that is the most numerous, followed by the Amirault and d'Eon families.