Friday, April 05, 2013

Liverpool -- Planters and Privateers on Nova Scotia's South Shore

Before the arrival of shiploads of United Empire Loyalists to what are now Canada's Maritime Provinces in the 1780s, another wave of settlement had taken place. These settlers were  the New England Planters, who arrived in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia to settle in the lands left vacant by the expulsion of the Acadian population in 1755.  The first of these 8000 Planters began arriving in 1759 and the migration continued until 1768. There was farmland in southern New Brunswick and the Annapolis Valley, but along the South Shore of Nova Scotia it was mostly New England fishermen who arrived, settling in places like Barrington and Liverpool. 



Among the Liverpool settlers of 1762 was Simeon Perkins, born in Norwich, Connecticut, who established a thriving shop and built a shipping trade to support it. Perkins kept extensive and detailed diaries; from them we have gained most of our knowledge of Liverpool life between 1766 and 1812. His home, restored to that era, is operated as part of the Nova Scotia Museum. Because of their New England heritage, the people of Liverpool were initially sympathetic to the American Revolution, but their sympathies shifted after American privateers began capturing the town's trading vessels, Perkins' among them. Locals outfitted a schooner, the Liverpool Packet, captained by Joseph Barss, Jr., which became one of the most famous British privateer vessels of the time.



A side trip from the town of Liverpool offers winding roads along scenic coastline, marked with picturesque rocky coves like Moose Harbour with its collection of blue-and-white fishing boats (above), and smooth, wave-washed beaches like the one at Hunt's Point (below).



Liverpool is nearly two hours away from Halifax on Nova Scotia's Route 103, and those who choose to turn off the highway at this point will find a small service centre for the surrounding rural region; there are restaurants, a microbrewery,  and several hotels, as well as the usual selection of small-town services like filling stations, grocery stores, pharmacies and banks.






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