Wednesday, May 29th, 1929

The Pioneers (No. 4)

Berwick is located at the "Height of Land" of the Valley. The Annapolis River, flowing west to the Annapolis Basin, passes the town on the south side. The Cornwallis – which the Acadians knew as "Le Grande Habitant" – flows on the north side east to Minas Basin. Both these rivers rise in the mountains bordering the Valley – the Cornwallis in the North Mountain and the Annapolis in the South. A line connecting the sources of these rivers would pass very nearly through the village of Waterville. The Annapolis River flows westerly through its whole course from source to sea. The Cornwallis, as has been stated before, flows westerly as far as Berwick where it changes its course and flows eastward to that Basin of Minas.

The summer of 1760 brought settlers from New England to the mouths of both these rivers. These settlers located their future homes in the vicinity of the waters of these respective Basins. As their sons grew to manhood and faced the necessity of finding their homes in the forest land, they had to move away from the Basins and the streams of this migration seem to have met very near the sources of the streams that watered the Valley.

Among families whose first landing was at Annapolis, but which have been prominent in the history of the central part of the Valley, may be mentioned the names of Banks, Chute, Fisher, Foster, Morse, Parker, Shaw. The families of Margeson and Nichols are of Loyalist descent. The ancestor of the Beardsley family was a clergyman, a chaplain in the British Army who settled in New Brunswick, where his descendants have filled important positions in public life. These families all entered Kings County from the west.

David Shaw, son of Moses, was born April 9, 1770; married, in Annapolis, Desiah, daughter of Isaac Phinney. He came to Cornwallis about 1812, with his sons, Isaiah, James, Sidney and John. His daughter Harriet married William Pineo. Her sister, Havilah, married Charles Norwood. His sons became famous as fruit growers. The farm on which Sidney Shaw developed one of the finest orchards in Western Kings, passed later into the possession of Mr. E. Cleveland Banks, a native of Annapolis County, but who came to Cornwallis from Colchester.

Deacon Abel Parker, born 1793, came to Berwick in 1827. His descendants have been decidedly prominent since that time. The Morse families, descendants of Abner and his brother Samuel, grantees in Annapolis in 1760, have already been mentioned in these notes.

Nathaniel Fisher was among the 1760-4 grantees of Annapolis County. The name of Philip Barteaux appears in the same list.

The numerous members of the Chute family in Nova Scotia are descended from John Chute, who came to Annapolis in 1759, a year before the coming of the grantees. This family have certainly been pioneers in every respect.

(To be continued)

Back