SEARCHING FOR THE OLD “FALMOUTH HOUSE” (April 6/06)

It’s a little-known fact that when the Planters arrived here after the expulsion, some of the homes of the Acadians were still standing. Various historians note that the odd Acadian residence could be found near major settlements in Kings and Hants County after the Planters were established.

It’s also a little-known fact that some of those Acadian dwellings are believed to have survived into fairly recent times. We can be skeptical about this. That a dwelling of Acadian origin could remain standing for over 250 years doesn’t seem possible, given that the Acadians weren’t known to construct buildings made for longevity.

However, the belief persists that a few Acadian dwellings, to use a cliché, have withstood the test of time. I give you the Dimock House, which still stands in Pereau, and is believed to be one of the oldest dwellings in this area. Dimock House is said to be of Acadian origin; or to be exact, parts of Dimock House may have roots in the days when the Acadians were the sole dwellers in this area. The house was subjected to an archaeological survey in 1988 and no definite conclusions were reached on its possible Acadian origin. The details of this survey are on file at Acadia University, if anyone is interested.

Recently I’ve been looking for information on another old house believed to be of Acadian origin. I was first told about the house last year by historical writer Regis Brun of Moncton. Mr. Brun wrote asking for help in locating newspaper articles that were published in this and other papers in the early 1970s. The articles concerned an old house that once stood in Falmouth; the house may have been constructed by Acadians around 1766. These Acadians builders would have been among the prisoners that were held in Windsor after the expulsion.

Mr Brun tells me the house was moved to Grand Pre Park in 1970 and was studied by a team of Parks Canada experts on Acadian architecture. Mr. Brun said in effect that the team eventually decided the house was “deemed not Acadian or not relevant.” In 1974 the house was taken apart and burned. Brun infers that perhaps this was an error and the house should have been preserved.

So far, I’ve been unable to find the newspaper article in the microfilm files at Acadia University, but I’m still looking. I’m hoping that a reader may have a copy in a scrapbook of the newspaper article that was published in The Advertiser, along with a photograph of the house, possibly in 1972 but perhaps earlier. I’d like to hear from anyone who is familiar with the Falmouth house and has information on it.

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