Acadian Historical Village (1855-1900)

(continuer en français) – Last updated: January 9, 2022

The Acadian Historical Village is located near Caraquet, New Brunswick, on the Acadian Peninsula.

After going through the years 1773-1855, showcasing the resettlement of the Acadians following the Great Upheaval of 1755, the poverty of the population was evidenced by the simplicity of the houses, the rest of the visit leads to the 20th century. One hundred years after their deportation and return, the Acadians resumed a normal life, without any more official discrimination. They eventually merged into the diversity of the Canadian Confederation, born in 1867.

In addition to houses, donated or purchased throughout the province, the Acadian Historical Village owns a rich collection of 8,000 objects from the past. They reinforce the authenticity of the buildings and provide a better understanding of the way of life at the time. Many specialists have been consulted in order to correctly interpret all of these artifacts, with the intention of presenting them accurately to visitors.

Babineau Farm, 1855

The first of the Babineau family to settle in Acadia arrived in 1671. In 1855, his descendants built this farm according to established and still very traditional techniques. However, it has many openings, which makes it more pleasant to live in. Also the interior shows a greater complexity with several rooms and an upstairs floor. The walls are no longer made of rough wood but have a plaster coating which ensures a more refined decoration.

Charles Robin Company Shed, 1855

The odd openings are not windows but ventilation means for the interior used to store fishing gear and process fish. Charles Robin bought the fish from the fishermen to sell it on the outer markets. Rather than receiving money, the fishermen could obtain supplies from the company, both for fishing and for their household needs. This exchange left comfortable margins for the merchant. This type of operation was found on all English-Canadian coasts, creating local mini-monopolies, leaving the fishermen with few options.

Savoie House, 1855

The Savoies are an old Acadian family who have been present since the beginning of the 17th century. Depending on political events, they settled in several places and eventually built this house in 1855. It was constructed on a concession obtained by Joseph Savoie in 1813, 18 years after the request and three years after his death. The house was inhabited by his descendants until 1967.

Thériault House, 1860

In 1860, Joseph Thériault built his second house when he had nine children. This explains the large size of the house, also showing his social achievement. At the back is a summer kitchen, a big living room where many domestic chores took place during the summer months, while in the winter people withdrew to smaller rooms that were easier to heat. There is also a gallery on two sides, a frequent addition that provided protection from both rain and sun.

Dugas House, 1867

This large house was built using cob as insulation between the wooden beams. This technique is common in Normandy but little or not used in Acadia. The builder of the house, Germain Dugas, had fifteen children from two successive wives. Later he will also house several people. The conversion into a restaurant did not take place until after the house had been transported to the Village.

Moniteur Acadien printing shop, 1880

The first Acadian newspaper began to be published in 1867 and survived until 1926 without ever being profitable due to a lack of subscribers. It took all the dedication of its three consecutive publishers to keep it afloat, using the proceeds generated by the printing business. The building is a recreation, it illustrates the way shops are built, with a false facade rising above the first floor and hiding the roofs to make it more imposing. The look was popularized by western movie decors.

Godin House, 1880

This rather simple-looking house was built by a young Acadian on the first parcel of land he acquired shortly before getting married. He had few means at his disposal, but despite this he used metal nails instead of dowels and planks instead of logs. Inside the bedrooms are separated from the main room and two fireplaces provide heating. Even the most modest houses of the time have lost the rough shape of the early days.

Chas J.L. Godin General Store, 1889

This small store is typical of the businesses found in Acadian communities at the end of the 19th century. Not much food, as everyone still produces most of their own food, mostly a rather heterogeneous selection of what industries began to produce to improve domestic life. To support the activity of the store, it also served as a post office. Despite this, it was only a part-time occupation, as its owner kept on cultivating his own farmland.

Riordon Mill, 1895

The Riordon family was Irish and Catholic, they came from Kinsale during the 19th century. The mill building is a recreation around the original equipment using hydraulic power to drive the machines. The main activity was to grind wheat to make flour. There was also a saw mill and a wool carding mill.

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