Acadian and Francophone Community in West Chezzetcook

Acadian House Museum at West Chezzetcook

Acadian House Museum in West Chezzetcook

The West Chezzetcook, about half an hour drive from Dartmouth, is home to the largest Acadian community within the boundaries of Halifax Regional Municipality. The existence of French settlers in the area dates as far back as the 1740s.

Between 1758 and 1762, around 2000 Acadians were brought to Halifax as prisoners waiting to be deported. Some of them were deported while others were released in 1764. Some of them made their way across Halifax harbor to Chezzetcook, joined by another group of Acadians from Cape Breton. Some of these early settlers had family names such as Bellefontaine, LaPierre, Wolfe, Roma and Petitpas, which can still be found today.

Throughout the years, Acadians of Chezzetcook made their living from farming, fishing, forestry work, shipbuilding as well as clam harvesting and processing.

Today, as a rural community isolated in a strong English-speaking environment, this Acadian community faces unique challenges sustaining its ancestral language and identity. However, the active local community organization Acadie de Chezzetcook, presents a variety of activities and events year-round while managing the Acadian historic site and museum that bring to life the unique Acadian traditions and culture. The local French-language elementary school, École des Beaux-Marais, created upon the community’s request in 2011, receives students from Grade Preprimary to 9 today.