Accommodations Nova Scotia

Your Guide To Accommodations In Nova Scotia

Antigonish, Nova Scotia

 In the beginning, this was Micmac land. They fished, hunted and lived in the hills and valleys. Their warriors drove off the French who tried to settle here in the 17th century. Legend has it that the Indians destroyed the first settlement, and that nothing remained intact except the Church bell.

Irish settlers came here from Prince Edward Island in 1748. They named their village Dorchester after their commander. This settlement was also doomed to extinction, and nothing remains of it today except a small churchyard and a few stone foundations.

With the coming of the Scots to Pictou County, settlement spread. The Scottish immigrants moved into the highlands. They built a village around a network of small roads which converged where the rivers met, and gave it a Micmac name - Antigonish - "Five Forked Rivers of Fish."

The Scottish settlers brought with them their Gaelic language and customs. These they have retained and nurtured through the years. This proud heritage is celebrated annually, as it has been for over a century, during the Antigonish Highland Games, held every July.

Originally a community event, the Highland Games has become one of Canada's outstanding annual attractions drawing. an international audience of thousands who enjoy the kilted massed bands, highland dancing, piping competitions and traditional Scottish sports. The whole town rejoices in the blaze of tartans, the swirl of the kilt, and the skirl of the bagpipes.

Antigonish is a university town. St. Francis Xavier University was founded in 1853. Its present student body numbers about 2,200 and Coady International Institute enjoys a global reputation as an institute for the study of social and economic development. Students from 40 countries have been trained here in community development programs.

Religion played a vital role in the lives of the pioneers who settled here. This is evident in the churches of Antigonish. St. Ninian's Cathedral is an outstanding example of Romanesque architecture. Constructed of blue limestone and granite carved from local quarries, St. Ninian's took seven years to complete. Its facade bears the Gaelic inscription "Tigh Dhe"-House of God.

St. James United and St. Paul's Anglican churches, also of early design. attest to the religious attitudes of the early settlers.

Antigonish offers a good choice of restaurants and accommodation, including motels, bed and breakfasts and a government inspected campground, Gift shops display a wide selection of locally produced arts and crafts, jewellery set with local stones, woolens, tartans, woodwork and pottery.

The Antigonish Golf and Country Club boasts a 9 hole, 2,376 m course, less than one kilometer north of the post office. Two tennis courts are available to the public and swimming and boating are never tar away. Keppoch Mountain Ski Resort is only 6.5 km away.

Antigonish County is an excellent location from which to explore the beautiful countryside and seascapes that are so typical of Nova Scotia.


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