Grand-Pre was the focal point of the 18th century expulsion of the Acadian people, starting a tragic set of events known by some as The Deportation.
Acadians were the descendents of French settlers who had arrived in the region now known as Nova Scotia – which became part of a larger area known as Acadia – in the 17th century. They had a large and prosperous community in Grand-Pre. At the start of the 18th century, the British colonised Acadia and, when war broke out between France and England in 1744, things began to unravel.
On 5 September 1755, all Acadian men and boys were assembled and told that they were to be deported. This would be the beginning of a great upheaval of Acadians from throughout the Minas Basin. In fact, by the end of 1755, around 6,000 Acadians were deported, a process which continued until 1763.
Today, the Grand-Pre National Historic Site commemorates these events and particularly those Acadians deported from Minas Basin. There are several monuments, a church and gardens as well as a visitor centre.