Nova Scotia Archives

Lunenburg by the Sea


Faces of Lunenburg

Captain Moorsom, writing in the 1820s, was surprisingly forthright in many of his observations regarding Nova Scotia and its colonial population. At a time when cultural standards were different and less stringent, pointed — even unflattering — comments were frequently made in praise of specific characteristics seen to be ethnic in origin. Thus Moorsom, going much further than today's observers ever would, paid Lunenburg a high but somewhat back-handed compliment when he wrote that:

     The inhabitants and country people of the neighbourhood are evidently a race widely differing in features from the generality of Anglo-Nova-Scotians. Germany is stamped upon their broad features and high cheekbones, and Helvetic origin shows itself in the florid complexion, and forms more square and bony than that of the lathy saplings we usually see reared in the hotbeds of America.

Moorsom observed that German was spoken as frequently as English by rural inhabitants, and that a number of Lunenburgers still retained the language almost exclusively. He further noted that "the accent is universally foreign, the pronunciation hard to an English ear." In the early decades of the twentieth century the use of German still lingered — but mostly among older folk who used it to discuss matters they did not want their grandchildren to understand.

Seventy years later, Lunenburg by the Sea (1896) used glowing adjectives and the Victorian phrasing of the time to celebrate early Lunenburgers — "brave, stout-hearted pioneers...their lofty courage, their faith, their toil," and their legacy of "hardship and heroism." With a note of ambiguity, the author observed that their descendants were "now reaping the harvest they [the immigrant generation] sowed in tribulation and watered with their tears. Between then and now how vast the difference."

By 1953, the Lunenburg Bicentennial Committee took a more measured and progressive approach to the community's collective inheritance. In dedicating their commemorative booklet, they singled out "those courageous men and women who founded Lunenburg 200 years ago. As one of the oldest communities in British North America, we are proud of their contribution as an ethnic group of virility and imagination to the stream of Canadian nationhood."


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lunenburg200300023
Oath of naturalization, George Frederick Bailly
Date: 1 April 1761
Reference no.: Bailly Family Nova Scotia Archives MG 1 vol. 105 no. 47

Theme: Faces of Lunenburg

lunenburg200300154,200300155
Personal Record of Michael Hertli [Hirtle]
Date: 1777
Reference no.: Canon E.A. Harris Nova Scotia Archives MG 4 vol. 105 no. 9

Theme: Faces of Lunenburg

lunenburg200300147
John Henry Kaulbach
Date: ca. 1830
Format: oil on canvas
Artist: artist unknown
Reference no.: Documentary Art Collection Nova Scotia Archives accession no. 1979-147 no. 292

Theme: Faces of Lunenburg

lunenburg200300148
Sophia Frederica Kaulbach
Date: ca. 1830
Format: oil on canvas
Artist: artist unknown
Reference no.: Documentary Art Collection Nova Scotia Archives accession no. 1979-147 no. 293

Theme: Faces of Lunenburg

lunenburg200300024
''Vote for Kaulbach. Don't Vote for Church"
Date: 1878
Reference no.: Nova Scotia Archives MG 100 vol. 39 no. 39

Theme: Faces of Lunenburg

lunenburg200300006,200300007,200300008
"An Act to Incorporate the Town of Lunenburg"
Date: 24 April 1885
Reference no.: Nova Scotia Archives NS Statutes 1885 chapter 72

Theme: Faces of Lunenburg

lunenburg200300027
"Down with Confederation! Forward to Repeal and Liberty!"
Date: 1886
Reference no.: Nova Scotia Archives MG 100 vol. 39 no. 40

Theme: Faces of Lunenburg

lunenburg200300009,200300010
"The First Town Council, 1888" and "The Present Town Council, 1952"
Reference no.: Nova Scotia Archives Library VF vol. 135 no. 23

Theme: Faces of Lunenburg

lunenburg200300113
Little girls and their dolls
Date: ca. 1900
Reference no.: A. Silver Nova Scotia Archives no. 74

Theme: Faces of Lunenburg

lunenburg200300136
Woman, girl and birdcage
Date: ca. 1900
Reference no.: Bailly Family Nova Scotia Archives accession no. 1985-562 no. 111 / negative no. FP/DN1403

Theme: Faces of Lunenburg

lunenburg200300138
Two women and a woodpile
Date: ca. 1900
Reference no.: Bailly Family Nova Scotia Archives accession no. 1985-562 no. 127 / negative no. FP/DN1397

Theme: Faces of Lunenburg

lunenburg200321251
Picnic under the trees
Date: ca. 1900
Reference no.: Bailly Family Nova Scotia Archives accession no. 1985-562 no. 142 / negative no. FP/DN1432

Theme: Faces of Lunenburg

lunenburg200300025,200300026
Poem about Lunenburg families
Poet: W.T. Lindsay
Reference no.: Harry Piers Nova Scotia Archives MG 1 vol. 1465 no. 242

Theme: Faces of Lunenburg

lunenburg200321228
Joseph Karsh taking photograph of author Thomas H. Raddall
Date: ca. 1953
Photographer: Helen Creighton
Reference no.: Helen Creighton Nova Scotia Archives accession no. 1987-178 no. 744

Theme: Faces of Lunenburg

lunenburg200300011
"Militia in Lunenburg"
Date: ca. 1953
Reference no.: Nova Scotia Archives Library VF vol. 135 no. 23

Theme: Faces of Lunenburg
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