The Acadian Thatched House in Annapolis Royal

Not only do the Historic Gardens in Annapolis Royal recreate gardens from the past, they also give us a glimpse into the home lives of Acadians who lived here before the British arrived.

Acadian HouseThe first occupiers in this part of the world were the French in the 1600’s. Their settlers were innovative farmers who reclaimed salt marshland and transformed it into fertile growing lands. Their relationships with First Nation groups was more harmonious than the British would be. Eventually the British – French wars meant that Acadians were thrown off their lands by the British and shipped to various outposts including Louisiana where ‘Acadian’ became ‘Cajun’.

Many families were hidden by the Mi’kmaq and refused to leave their Nova Scotian homeland. Today there are still small communities of Acadians in Nova Scotia who work hard to keep their language and culture alive.

Here in the gardens, the tiny thatched house with hand-made glass windows is a visual reminder of some of that history.

Acadian House2
La Maison acadienne features the only archaeologically authenticated replica of a pre-deportation Acadian dwelling in the Maritime region. The potager is based on original diary notes from the Acadian era, while the orchard and willow hedge are heritage cultivars from the 17th Century. La Maison acadienne is based on a 1671 time period when Port-Royal (later Annapolis Royal) was the centre of Acadie.- from the website of the Historic Gardens.

Last week in the gardens I sat in front of the thatch-roofed cabin and sketched it, later adding watercolour paint at home.

Acadian House © Flora Doehler, 2014
Acadian House © Flora Doehler, 2014
Acadian House © Flora Doehler, 2014
Acadian House © Flora Doehler, 2014

9 thoughts on “The Acadian Thatched House in Annapolis Royal

  1. I was down to Annapolis Royal this summer with a visiting friend and we had a lovely visit to the Gardens. I love that lil’ building. Wish I had your talent.

  2. Hi again June! I’m glad you’ve enjoyed the blog…it’s been so good-for-the-soul to be here.
    It sounds like you are piecing together a family story. Maybe you need to create a blog about it and perhaps you’ll find other Gasrels who can add to the story. Your local public library will have reference librarians (one of my past life jobs) who can help you search for your roots and who may have access to databases that you can’t find.
    Take care.

    1. Hi Flora, Hope your day is going well. I appreciate the tips. I think Nova Scotia just whispers in my mind. It would truly be an adventure for me as I write and do art quilt s. I’m sure the beauty and serenity of NS would add to my imagination.
      Maybe one day I too will visit and research. I enjoy your blog. I love your paintings.
      Thanks for being a ” friend” thru the computer : ) and sharing your world with us.

  3. Also, in my heart I ALWAYS felt a strange connection to Nova Scotia yet I never have been there. I did go to Brittany and it seemed like “home” to me. My mom was from Alsace. Names in my family include Charpentier, Gasrel, Garel, Lorre, Renault,Houel, and many others

  4. Many years of research have made me believe my paternal fathers family were Acadian as I was able to trace a family name to New Orleans and the member had been emancipated. My father was born in Brittany France and the earliest connection was in 1855.
    Does that sound possible to have been chased away? I am just learning of this possibility. Thankyou june

    1. Hello June,
      It sounds like you’re doing some major sleuthing. And I understand what you mean about visiting a place that feels familiar even though you’ve not been there before. I felt that way travelling to Scotland…the home of my maternal grandmother.
      The Acadian expulsions or ‘Great Upheaval’ happened in the 1700’s. Many Acadians were sent to France and from there left to Louisiana. It must have been a very traumatic time for those families. War and its consequences eh? Imagine, there are still over 16 million refugees worldwide and over 33 million displaced persons.
      I hope someday we will live in a world where people have the human right to live in peace.

    2. Hi it’s good to be in touch with you Flora. I’ve been receiving your site for a few years now. I think it was when you first got there and had a garden started.
      Yeah, the reason I was born in N Y was because of WW2. And that deprived me of so much of my heritage.
      In 1999 I was able to establish some contact with my fathers brother. The last member of his family. I never having been to Brittany or France set out on an incredible and sad journey to discovery my roots. I then became aware of a possible connection to New Orleans by googling the family name. I discovered this one week before Katrina wiped out NO.
      His name was Gasrel and that was amazing as my parents were the first and only to come to NY thru Staten Island. When I learned about the Acadia dispursement I wondered if that was a possible answer to my many questions. Especially where they came from and where they may have gone. Sadly I cannot ask my dads family and can only research and imagine who I take after. I have red tints to my hair which my dad once said was like his grandmothers. I always figured maybe our family had alittle celtic blood. Any way I do hope maybe one day to see NS myself. I grew up on LI near Montauk and the ocean always calls to me too. : )
      Look forward to your post.
      have a nice nite.

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