"Tradition has it that on this site Acadians from BELLE ISLE spent the first part of the winter of 1755. Pierre Melanson with an Indian boy, crossed the Bay for aid, on the return trip he died".

FRENCH CROSS 1755-1756


In the early autuum of 1755, news reached Pierre Belliveau, surnamed Piau , that their friends at Grand Pre were prisoners in the parish Church, and that the ships were anchored at the mouth of the Gaspareau, ready to deport them to strange lands.

News spread like wild fire to either side of the river. The plan was to make their way over the level country, up the slopes to the mountains and down to the shore of the bay.

They heard from time to time the progress of the deportation at Grand Pre & Annapolis. The winter soon took it's toll and with sad hearts, they dug graves and buried their dead among the ancient pines.

The English vessels were continually passing up and down the Bay. The winter passed slowly. In December, they saw the last of the transports pass down the Bay, carrying their friends to unknown lands. They knew that all the Acadian homes had been burnt.

They erected a wooden Cross to protect the graves of their beloved families. The Cross, a symbol of their religion, to hold the area sacred to all who might visit the place in years to come.

About December, 1755, Belliveau and his companions left their hiding place at French Cross (Morden)to seek a safer home. They coasted the shore of the Bay of Fundy as far as Digby Neck, and then entered by Petit Passage, nearly opposite Ste. Anne College, at Church Point, into St. Mary's Bay. They ascended as far as the entrance of Belliveau's Cove, five miles from Petit Passage. Here there was a small island where they decided to remain the rest of the winter. That island was called Ile-a-Piau (Piau's Island) As several deaths occured among Pierre Belliveau's caravan soon after their arrival, they were buried there. Thus Piau's Island became the first Acadian burial ground in Digby County.

SOURCES: "Along The Shores of Saint Mary's Bay" Volume 1 by J. Alphonse Deveau


"The Acadians were the most innocent and virtuous people I have known. They live in perfect equality, without any class distinction. They ignored luxury and comfortable living, for they were content with the simplest way of life which their land provided. I extol their hospitality, their high moral standard, their carefree joy and their unity. To me their way of life typefied the Golden Age."

Moyse de les Derniers A Swiss Protestant in the service of Governor Lawrence" 1755

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