Cape Breton Island Nova Scotia has lured visitors to her shores for thousands of years. It is an amazing place, where the sand and sea air have joined forces with the enchantment of our history to create an indescribable atmosphere. As you visit with us today, you’ll see what we mean!Interested in historic sites, cultural events, outdoor adventure or just sheer relaxation? Cape Breton Island’s five Scenic Trails can deliver. Pack a picnic for the splendour of sunsets over the Bras d’Or Lakes or photograph your way through a hike along the rugged coastline of the historic east. The waters on our western "Sunset Side of the Island" are your perfect host for whale watching, sailing, kayaking and scuba diving. Come with us now for a journey through the highlands and lowlands of Nova Scotia’s Masterpiece and let us transform your vacation into the best holiday you’ve had in years!
Cape Bretons Time Line...
570,000,000 bc --- The birth of Cape Breton
8000 bc --- estimated arrival of the native people
1000 ad --- first arrivals of viking people
1497 --- arrival of John Cabot/claiming of Cape Breton by England
1500 --- Breton Fishermen arrive from France
1501 --- Exploration by Gaspar Cortereal (Portuguese)
1520 --- Exploration by Portuguese explorer Joao Fagundes
1521 --- First permanent settlement (portuguese)
1536 --- partly mapped by Jaques Cartier
1578 --- Anthony Packhurst explores Cape Breton/first fight for possesion
1597 --- Captain Liegh lands at Sydney and explores Cape Breton
1604 --- settlement of niganis (ingonish)
1629 --- settlement of Baliene by Lord Ochiltree (English)
1630 --- Siege of Lord Ociltrees fort by the French (Captain Daniel)
1631 --- Building of the French fort and settlement at St. Annes
1636 --- establishment of the fur trade by Nicholas Denys
1713 --- Treaty of Utrect officially gives Cape Breton to France
1720 --- Fortress of Louisbourg is founded
1721 --- first coal mine in North America built near Louisbourg
1749 --- The first siege and capture of Louisbourg by the English
1752 --- Louisbourg returned to the French
1758 --- Louisbourg and St. Annes recaptured by the English
1785 --- Sydney founded by Fredrick DesBarres (English)
1820 --- Cape Breton becomes part of Nova Scotia
1885 --- Alexander Graham Bell, inventor of the telephone, came to Cape Breton
1902 --- First wireless telegraph ever sent from Glace Bay (Marconi)
1909 --- First flight in the British Empire (Alexander Graham Bell)
The island was the first land sighted by John Cabot in 1497. He is said to have landed in Aspy Bay, on the northern tip of the island, and claimed the land for England.(6) In the early 1500's, Basque fishing crews from the Basque region of Europe began traveling to the island for its bountiful fisheries in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.(1) Thousands of years before either the European fishermen or John Cabot ever set foot on Cape Breton, the native Mi'kmaq Indians inhabited the island. The Scottish Sir James Stewart, Lord Ochiltree and 60 others formed the first official settlement near Louisbourg on the eastern coast.(6)
War for the Island
Cape Breton Island switched hands between the British and French several times before finally reuniting with Nova Scotia in 1820.(1) A provision of the Treaty of Utrecht gave the island to France in 1713, but the British captured the French fortress at Louisbourg some years later. The fortress eventually fell to the British during the 7 Years' War.(6) Around 1758, the first Scottish immigrants began settling on Cape Breton.(6) People of Scottish descent form nearly half of the population of Cape Breton Island. In the 1790's and the 1830's, the island experienced two huge waves of Scottish immigrants.(1) After landlords drove Scottish tenants off their land in the 1820's, the landless emigrated to Cape Breton to continue living as they had in their homeland. The French soon returned and settled nearby, along with the Irish. The blend of the cultures has created a culture unique to Cape Breton Island. Gaelic and Acadian French are still spoken in many communities, especially along the western coastline.(1)
Coal and Steel Industries
In the early 1900's, coal and steel became huge industries on the island. Sydney, the largest city on Cape Breton Island, became a booming industrial town after the building of a steel plant.(17) Coal mining has contributed significantly to the culture of Cape Breton. Great numbers of immigrants moved to the island to work in the mines, increasing the population rapidly. The coal miners gained a sense of community through sharing the hardships of the mining life and forming unions to protest their rights. "Ethnic pockets" were formed in mining towns with each town having a predominant ethnicity. Religion helped bind people together. When each group arrived, they built their own church. (11) After World War II, the coal industry deteriorated significantly. Today, pulp and paper manufacturing, fishing, tourism and agriculture are the main industries. (1)
Traditional music is one of the most important components of life on Cape Breton Island. The musical culture of Cape Breton Island is internationally famous for its lively spirit and passion. The Celtic heritage of the original Scottish settlers is still actively celebrated today with great pride at ceilidhs. Ceilidh is Gaelic for "kitchen party" but today it simply means an informal get-together.(3) Ceilidhs were for entertainment during the long winter months but today they are most popular during the summer. Every night in the villages along the western coast of Cape Breton Island, pubs vibrate with the sounds of fiddles, pipes and pianos. Walls shake with the lively jigs and reels. It's not like a concert with an audience. At a ceilidh, everyone entertains. Most everyone plays an instrument or two, and people of all ages get up to dance. The steps come as naturally to them as walking it seems. The Cape Bretonners are a boisterous crowd and even visitors don't get away with just watching. They include everyone.
The Barra MacNeils Cape Breton,Nova Scotia
Each October, people from around Cape Breton and the world flock to the island to experience the music of the highlands at the annual festival Celtic Colours. Over 300 Celtic musicians, storytellers, singers and dancers travel from as far away as Scotland and Ireland to showcase their talent and participate in the festivities. The festival includes nightly performances, and visitors also have the opportunity to attend workshops.(2) Concerts are held at over 30 venues across the island. They range in size from small community centers to large concert halls.
The traditional music of Cape Breton Island has been celebrated for decades in Nova Scotia, but gradually, the rest of the world is coming to love it too. Many artists have left the island to pursue fame and fortune in larger cities around the world. Some artists like Natalie MacMaster and her uncle Buddy MacMaster have made multiple albums and are household names in the world of fiddling.
Matt Minglewood Sings 'Out On The Mira'. The MacPhee's just happened to be out for the day.
She's Called Nova Scotia
Cape Breton offers breathtaking views and scenic drives throughout the island on its 5 trails. The Ceilidh and Cabot Trails run along the western coastline. The Bras d'Or Lakes Scenic Drive, Fleur-de-lis and Marconi Trails lead motorists and bikers along the eastern coast and around the Bras d'Or Lake in the center of the island.
The Cabot Trail makes a 185 mile winding loop around the Cape Breton Highlands National Park on the northern tip of the island.(13)
The park has 26 hiking trails and many campgrounds. The park is an impressive 366 square mile area of protected wilderness.(14) Reaching a height of 1,800 feet, the Cape Breton Highlands National Park can claim the highest point in Nova Scotia.(15)
The Ceilidh Trail runs from the Canso Causeway, the deepest causeway in the world, along the western coast of the island for 67 miles until it meets the Cabot Trail.(15) The trail winds past Nova Scotia's largest freshwater lake, Lake Ainslie, and through the Mabou Highlands.
Cape Breton Tear Jerker
Two large oil companies have gotten licenses to begin drilling for oil on both coasts of Cape Breton Island. The unusual part is that the exploratory drilling will take place very near the shoreline potentially affecting the marine and bird life that makes its home there. The area is home to some of the richest lobster, crab and oyster fisheries.(16)
"The highest larval lobster density for any waters in North America, the best recovery of American plaice anywhere in eastern Canada, is in the middle of the oil company's lease."-Mary Gorman, a fisherman's wife and one of the most articulate opponents of the drilling.(16)
Cape Breton Island (French: île du Cap-Breton - formerly île Royale, Scottish Gaelic: Eilean Cheap Breatuinn, Míkmaq: Únamakika, simply: Cape Breton) is an island on the Atlantic coast of North America. It likely corresponds to the French word "Breton", referring to Brittany.
Cape Breton Island is part of the province of Nova Scotia, Canada. Although physically separated from the Nova Scotia peninsula by the Strait of Canso, it is artificially connected to mainland Nova Scotia by the Canso Causeway. The island is located east-northeast of the mainland with its northern and western coasts fronting on the Gulf of St. Lawrence; its western coast also forming the eastern limits of the Northumberland Strait. The eastern and southern coasts front the Atlantic Ocean; its eastern coast also forming the western limits of the Cabot Strait. Its landmass slopes upward from south to north, culminating in the highlands of its northern cape. A saltwater estuary, Bras d'Or Lake, dominates the centre of the island.
The island is divided into four of Nova Scotia's eighteen counties: Cape Breton, Inverness, Richmond, and Victoria. Their total population as of the 2001 census numbered 147,454 "Cape Bretoners"; this is approximately 16% of the provincial population. Cape Breton Island has experienced a decline in population of approximately 6.8% since the previous census in 1996. Approximately 72% of the island's population is located in the Cape Breton Regional Municipality (CBRM) which includes all of Cape Breton County and is often referred to as Industrial Cape Breton, given the history of coal mining and steel manufacturing in this area.
The island contains five reserves of the Mi'kmaq Nation, these being: Eskasoni, Membertou, Wagmatcook, We'kopaq/Waycobah, and Potlotek/Chapel Island. Eskasoni is the largest in both population and land area.
The island measures 10,311 square kilometres in area (3,981 sq mi), making it the 75th largest island in the world and Canada's 18th largest island. Cape Breton Island is composed mainly of rocky shores, rolling farmland, glacial valleys, barren headlands, mountains, woods and plateaus. Geological evidence suggests that at least part of the island was originally joined with present-day Scotland and Norway, now separated by millions of years of continental drift.
The northern portion of Cape Breton Island is dominated by the Cape Breton Highlands, commonly shortened to simply the "Highlands", which are an extension of the Appalachian mountain chain. The Highlands comprise the northern portions of Inverness and Victoria counties. In 1936 the federal government established the Cape Breton Highlands National Park covering 949 km2 (366 sq mi) across the northern third of the Highlands. The Cabot Trail scenic highway also encircles the coastal perimeter of the plateau.
Cape Breton Island's hydrological features include the Bras d'Or Lake system, a salt-water fjord at the heart of the island, and freshwater features including Lake Ainslie, the Margaree River system, and the Mira River. Innumerable smaller rivers and streams drain into the Bras d'Or Lake estuary and onto the Gulf of St. Lawrence and Atlantic coasts.
Cape Breton Island is joined to the mainland by the Canso Causeway, which was completed in 1955, enabling direct road and rail traffic to and from the island, but requiring marine traffic to pass through the Canso Canal at the eastern end of the causeway.
Cape Breton Island is divided into four counties: Cape Breton, Inverness, Richmond, and Victoria.
Cape Breton is well known for its traditional fiddle music, which was brought to North America by Scottish immigrants during the Highland Clearances. The traditional style has been well preserved in Cape Breton, and ceilidhs have become a popular attraction for summer tourists. Inverness County in particular has a heavy concentration of musical activity, with regular performances in communities such as Mabou and Judique. Judique is recognized as 'Bhaile nam Fonn', (literally: Village of Tunes) or the 'Home of Celtic Music', featuring the Celtic Music Interpretive Centre. Performers who have received significant recognition outside of Cape Breton include Buddy MacMaster, Natalie MacMaster, Ashley MacIsaac, The Rankin Family, Aselin Debison, and The Barra MacNeils.
The Men of the Deeps are a male choral group of current and former miners from the industrial Cape Breton area.
Cape Breton Miner,New Waterford,Glace Bay,Nova Scotia Music By Men Of The Deeps..
The southeastern part of Cape Breton Island is home to the Sydney Coal Field, an extensive underground coal seam extending at an angle from the shore beneath the seafloor of the Cabot Strait. This large deposit of high-sulphur coal was first extracted by French soldiers from Fortress Louisbourg in 1720 at nearby Port Morien. A major coal industry developed during the 19th century, becoming the largest energy project in British North America at its height of production. The largest integrated steel mill in the British Commonwealth was constructed on Sydney Harbor in 1901.
The coal and steel industries went into decline following World War II and never fully recovered. They were nationalized by the federal and provincial governments during the late 1960s with the intention of closing them by the 1980s, however production increased in the 1970s as a result of rising world oil and steel prices. By the 1990s, environmental degradation (see Sydney Tar Ponds) and economic ruin was facing the industrial Cape Breton region. The steel mill and last coal mine were closed in 2001 and the area has been struggling to adapt.
While the urban area of eastern Cape Breton County influenced by the coal and steel industries came to be referred to as "Industrial Cape Breton", many rural communities in the rest of Cape Breton Island have been relatively stable economically, largely due to the mix of fishing, forestry, small-scale agriculture, and a growing tourism industry as a result of the spectacular scenery found throughout the island.
In 1914 the SCOTIA steel mill was closed and in 1920 both DOMCO/DISCO and SCOTIA were merged into a new company named British Empire Steel and Coal Company (BESCO).
The copyright of this section might be in question and is likely from UMWA material.
IN MARCH OF 1925, Cape Breton coal miners were receiving $3.65 in daily wages and had been working part-time for more than three years. They burned company coal to heat company houses illuminated by company electricity. Their families drank company water, were indebted to the company "Pluck Me" store and were financially destitute as evidenced by the company "Bob Tailed Sheet". Local clergy spoke of children clothed in flour sacks and dying of starvation from the infamous "four cent meal". The miners had fought continuously since 1909 for decent working conditions, an eight hour day and a living wage.
DEVCO and SYSCO
On July 7, 1967 the Cape Breton Development Corporation (DEVCO) was created and on March 30, 1968 all DOSCO mines were expropriated for $12 million by DEVCO. At the same time, the provincial government formed the Sydney Steel Corporation (SYSCO) and took over DOSCO's steel mill, with the aim being to gradually control the shut down of this industry.
DEVCO brought in new tourism initiatives throughout Cape Breton Island and funded various community economic development programs, however politics and other factors such as the 1973 oil crisis brought about by the OPEC embargo following the Yom Kippur War saw demand for coal increase dramatically, particularly for electrical generation. The federal government reversed course and chose to expand, rather than retract, the production of coal and opened new mines and modernized its DOSCO-inherited properties to serve new electrical generating stations. During the 1980s the provincial government also modernized the steel mill, however both coal and steel encountered production and financial difficulties in the 1990s and DEVCO and SYSCO both decommissioned their operations by the turn of the century or shortly thereafter. The last underground coal mine on Cape Breton Island closed in November 2001.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
"WISDOM Knows NOTHING!"
"Always be aware, that humanity, the whole population of the world, is illusory. That includes the one reading these words. Humanity is not real or valid. The illusory body of humanity is not at all who and what we really are. We have simply been conjured up, given a 3D name, body, mind and spirit/energy, (all aspects which are fake), and then filled with endless suggestions in our illusory brain, that this is who we really are. From this point on, in our 3D life experience, believing that our 3 dimensional life experience is real, leads to endless confusion and suffering. This belief manifests the notion of being imprisoned. However, we are not imprisoned, but if we believe we are, then for all intents and purposes, we might as well be." - Bryan Kemila, IlluminatiMatrix
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