Jean de BIENCOURT DE POUTRINCOURT established a small group of farmers there in 1606 and Acadian settlement spread slowly along the basin and river. The habitation was destroyed in 1613 by Samuel Argall and William Alexander erected a fort at present-day FORT ANNE, 15 km upriver, in 1629. In 1632 the fort was ceded to the French, and in 1636 it was assigned to Charles de MENOU D'AULNAY, who transferred most of the population of Acadia to the area. The fort was rebuilt in 1643 in response to an attack by Charles de LA TOUR. It was captured by Robert Sedgwick in 1654 and reoccupied by the French in 1670. A new fort was begun in 1687 and after its completion was strong enough to stave off 2 invasions from New England colonials in 1704 and 1707. Francis NICHOLSON changed the name to Annapolis in honour of Queen Anne when he captured the fort in 1710, and the fort was garrisoned until 1854.
The settlement was the capital of Nova Scotia until the founding of Halifax in 1749. After the deportation of the ACADIANS, the area was resettled by New Englanders and LOYALISTS. The old and new names gradually merged to become the official name, Annapolis Royal. Shipping became an important industry in the 19th century, with timber an important export, and an ironworks was established.
Tourism is the town's main industry. Fort Anne was restored and in 1917 became Fort Anne National Historic Park, Canada's first national HISTORIC SITE. With nearby PORT-ROYAL, also a historic site, the town attracts some 100 000 visitors each year. Much of the downtown area is a restoration of the mid-1700s period. A Victorian streetscape, the Historic Gardens and King's Theatre during the summer months are further attractions.
Annapolis Royal is also the site of the only modern tidal electrical generating plant in North America, built 1980-84. The plant takes advantage of the BAY OF FUNDY's tides - the highest in the world - to generate enough electricity to power 4500 homes. The Tidal Power Interpretative Centre provides visitor information.
See also ACADIA, HISTORY OF
Author HEATHER MACDONALD Revised: PETER S. McINNIS and BIRGITTA WALLACE
Links to Other Sites
The website for the Town of Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia, the first capital of the Colony of Nova Scotia. A good resource for information about local history and heritage.
Port-Royal National Historic Site of Canada
This national historic site features a reconstruction of early 17th- century buildings representing the former colony of the French who settled for a time along the Nova Scotia coast. Costumed interpreters and period demonstrations help recreate the look and feel of Port-Royal, one of the earliest settlements in North America. A Parks Canada website.
Rivers of Canada
This site highlights the political and economic importance of Canada’s major river systems. From the Canadian Geographic Magazine.
Rose Fortune and Peter C. Butler III
Brief profiles of the first Canadian black law officers, Rose Fortune (1774-1864) and Peter C. Butler III (1859-1943.) From the Association of Black Law Enforcers. A PDF file.
Sir William Phips
A biography of Sir William Phips, sailor, adventurer, and colonial governor. From the Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online.
The "conquest" of Acadia, 1710
This site offers online excerpts from "The 'conquest' of Acadia, 1710," a book about the conquest of Port-Royal by British forces in 1710. Relates to Acadian history, native studies, native rights histories, and the socio-political history of the eighteenth century.
Annapolis Royal Historic Gardens
Take a virtual tour of the Annapolis Royal Historic Gardens.
Bird's Eye Views of Nova Scotia's Historic Places
Check out the interactive maps and travel along a nineteenth century street. Click on a highlighted building or place and see what it looks like today. And, find out about its heritage value and preservation history from the Nova Scotia Register of Historic Places.
Annapolis Heritage Society
This site offers an illustrated guide to the many heritage buildings located in Annapolis Royal.
The cradle of Canada
Travel through the past along the Annapolis Valley and over to Halifax in this news story from the canada.com website.
Atlantic Provinces Chambers of Commerce
The website for the Atlantic Provinces Chambers of Commerce (APCC), formerly the Maritime Board of Trade. Formed in 1896, this organization promotes and supports business and economic development in Atlantic Canada. Click on "Chambers" for links to local Chambers of Commerce.
Nova Scotia: Community Profiles
Search for statistical profiles of communities in the Province of Nova Scotia.
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