Three Fascinating Facts About Nova Scotia from Le Village Historique Acadien
With everything that we fit into just a day and a half in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, I could tell you about the amazing experiences I had all week. Thanks again to the wonderful people of Bay Ferries and The CAT for taking us there and back.
One place I'd like to highlight today is Le Village Historique Acadien, which is an establishment in the town of West Pubnico just outside of Yarmouth. It's goal is to recreate what a village in 1900's NS would look like, complete with original buildings from the area, and employees dressed in period-correct clothing!
After some investigation (and eating WAY too many molasses cookies), here's what I found out:
1) The Secret To the Acadian Diet: Molasses
Here in the States, Molasses often serves as just a flavoring for those amazing cookies that Grandma only makes at Christmas. However, in 1900's Nova Scotia, Molasses was a big part of Acadians' diets, and with good reason. Not only does it have a good flavor, it also helped as a preservative when refrigerators were in short supply, or altogether unavailable. It's served with a great many dishes in the area, including Acadia's most famous dish, Rappie Pie, which helps keep fishermen warm at sea to this day.
2) Multiple Families Often Lived Under One Roof
The houses in the village were really something. Decorated throughout with authentic furniture and clothing from the turn of the 20th century, it actually felt like we were back in time. Back then, with houses taking even longer to build, many families would stay together under the same roof, even when children grew older and had families of their own. There was one home we visited that held 20-odd family members at one point!
Also in the homes were items for entertainment, like this original pump organ:
And this portable fog horn, handy for when the men went fishing:
3) Blacksmiths are AWESOME
As some of you may have seen on the WCYY Instagram earlier today, I might have nerded out a bit when meeting the village's resident Blacksmith. He crafted some nails right in front of us, which was cool not only because he was crafting right in front of us, but also because we learned that nails were quite expensive back in the day. With metals hard to come by, wooden pegs were used for construction instead.
He then told us that Blacksmiths were considered magicians back in the day, given their abilities to make many important things from a seemingly benign block of metal. Everyone wanted to marry the Blacksmith's daughter not only to learn from him, but to get a small chunk of the change as well. See, people? There were gold diggers back then, too! Never has the Kanye song seemed more relevant.
That's all for today - stay tuned for more tales from the Great White North!