Guysborough, Guysborough County
20T E616073 N5030068
photo Robert Pierrynowski (2008)
RIVER: Wells Brook
RATING: average (***)
TRAIL: woods path
HIKING TIME: 30 minutes
Geocache: GC1 3G47
NS Atlas Page: 42/Z2
NS topo map: 011 F05 (Guysborough)
photo geoscotians (2007)
DIRECTIONS: from the center of Gusyborough, drive north on
Court Street 550m to where it curves to the left and becomes Old
Riverside Road. Continue along this road (also called Old Trunk
1 6) a further 2.5km to where Wells Brook crosses under the
road. Park well off the road.
Trail Description: follow the path next to the brook, upstream,
approximately 350m to the falls. Another set of falls, a cheerful
12 foot high cascade, is located just a few dozens of meters
upstream for the main falls.
photo geoscotians (2008)
Nearby, facilities include Boyleston Provincial Park, which has a
35 site wooded campground which is open from Mid-June thru
Mid-September. A picnic day-park area is also located here,
which remains open until Mid-October. This site features a
monument to one of the most intriguing mysteries of Nova
Scotia, the voyage of Prince Henry Sinclair, the Earl of Orkney, to
these shores circa 1398 AD, nearly a hundred years before
Christopher Columbus sailed westward, and a full century before
John Cabot made landfall in Cape Breton.
The voyage was related in a sort of diary made by the navigators on this voyage, the Zeno
brothers, and many theories point out natural formations in Nova Scotia relate to the locations
within the Zeno Narrative. Guysborough Harbour, a narrow, steep sided harbour resembles the
same described in the story, and the First Nations peoples who greeted him may have been
Mi'kmaq. A wooden prow-shaped monument in the Park relates the story of the Zeno Narrative
in English, French and Mi'kmaq.
(Further theories place Henry Sinclair as a Knights Templar who was spiriting away the lost
Templar treasure Fleet, as the architect behind Oak Island and the famous Money Pit. Ask at
your local bookstore for more books that can relate this fascinating story better than I can in a
single paragraph. )
This area around Guysborough was first settled in 1634 by Isaac de Razilly who constructed
Fort St. François à Canso at Fort Point, situated at the entrance to Guysborough Harbour.
Nicolas Denys changed the settlements name in 1655 to Chedabuctou, the Mi’kmaq name for
the region, building Fort Chedabuctou on Fort Point, establishing it as his capital. This fort
remained until 1672. In 1682 Clerbaud Bergier, a merchants from La Rochelle, France
established a fishing venture here, called the Company of Acadia and constructed Fort St. Louis
à Chedabuctou on Fort Point to defend it.
On June 3, 1690, Fort St. Louis was attacked by Captain Cyprian Southack, acting under Sir
William Phips, the British general sent to crush the Acadians during King William's War.
Southack came to Chedabacto with 80 men to destroy the fort and the fishery. Louis-Alexandre
des Friches de Meneval was stationed at the fort with 12 soldiers. They put up a fight defending
the fort, withstanding the attack for six hours until the fort was burned to the ground.
In 1714 the area was given to Bernard LaSonde as a reward for his services during the war with
England. The settlement of Chedabucto prospered until 1718 when Southack returned,
attacking the Fort St. Louis and the village, in what became known as the Squirrel Affair.
Southack laid siege to the fort for three days killing numerous Acadians and imprisons others.
On September 18, British marines landed on Lasconde's Grave and seized the entrance to the
harbour, capturing the village later that afternoon. Southack burned the village to the ground and
captured the French transports to haul awy the pillage with. He released the Acadian prisoners
onto the Canso Islands without any provisions or clothing. More on the history of Fort Point can be found by visiting the Museum website. http://www.fortpointmuseum.com/default.asp
The town was renamed Guysborough after Sir Guy Carleton, Commander-in-Chief of British
forces and Governor General of Canada in the 1780s. A major influx of settlement into
Guysborough occurred in 1784 when lands were granted to soldiers of regiments disbanded
after the American Revolutionary War and to settlers from the former American colonies, who
remained loyal to the British crown.
Today, these falls, a peaceful interlude in the history of a turbulent area, one sits at the base of
these and wonders how many different people have sat there, from the very beginnings of the
building of the nation that would one day become Canada. Located off the beaten track, with
great vistas along a coastal drive through Guysborough County.