Pictou County Place Names
and Origins

Pictou County, Nova Scotia GenWeb
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Adapted from the book, "Nova Scotia Place Names"
by Thomas J. Brown, 1922.
 
 
Community Origin of Name
Abercrombie Abercrombie was probably named after General James Abercrombie, a British general with the 42nd or the first battalion of Royal Highlanders. He made several campaigns in Canada and was killed at Bunker Hill in 1775.
Alma Named in commemoration of the place where a great victory was won by the Allies over the Russians in the Crimean War in 1854. 
Anderson Mountain Named after the first settler, Andrew Anderson who received a grant of this land.
Ardness The first part of the name "Ard" is suggestive of Aird, a town in the Isle of Skye. Some of the settlers came from there. "Ness" refers to a point of land running into the sea. However, Ardness is inland. 
Baillie Brook One of the first settlers here, John Baillie, from Sutherlandshire, Scotland, settled near this brook.
Barney River Both the river and the village of Barney River were named after Barnabus McGee, the first settler in Merigomish. He moved to Barney River in 1776.
Blanchard Blanchard was originally settled by William Cummings from Inverness, Scotland. Colonel Blanchard of Truro cut the road through Blanchard.
Blue Mountain William Ross who settled her in 1818 provided the name. 
Brown's Point This place was named after an early settler, John Brown. 
Cape John Cape John was originally given the The MicMac name "Wenjooteamwakade" meaning the cow pasture.
Caribou Harbour The name was supposedly given by explorers who sighted a herd of caribou on the eastern point of Big Island. At that time the island was connected with the shore and called Caribou Point. 
Churchville This village was named because of a church located here. The first settler was John Robertson, a Scottish highlander who settled here in 1784.
Cole Brook This brook was named after Colin McDonald, nicknamed "Cole." He was one of the 82nd regiment men granted land here. 
Dalhousie Mountain After speculators laid claim to the land here, the original settlers obtained help from the Earl Dalhousie to settle their titles to the land. The settlers honoured the Earl by naming the location after him.
Dayspring Lake This lake was named after children of the Presbyterian churches in the Lower Provinces used wood from the area for the spars of a mission ship they were building in New Glasgow. The ship was called "Dayspring." 
Donnybrook Named after a village in County Dublin, Ireland. 
Durham Previously known as West River, Durham was named after the Earl of Durham, John George Lambton. Lambton came to Canada in 1838 to bring back order caused by the Rebellion. 
East River This is the largest of the three rivers flowing into Pictou Harbour. It was also called Great River by early settlers. 
Egerton This is one of the three counties formed in 1807 when Pictou County was subdivided into three townships (the other two being Pictou and Maxwelton.) Egerton was probably named after the the third and last Duke of Bridgewater, Francis Egerton. Egerton is known as the father of British inland navigation for his building of canals. . 
Elgin Elgin was named after the the eigth Earl of Elgin, James Bruce. James Bruce was also the Governor General of Canada from 1846 to 1854. 
Eureka This village was named after the Eureka Milling Company located near here. 
Ferrona Ferrona was named by the officers of the Nova Scotia Steel & Coal Company when manufacturing pig iron. Ferra is from the Latin word for iron. 
Forbes Brook  Named after an early Scottish settler. It was originally called Half Mile Brook as it is located a half mile from the origin of the Cobequid Road. 
Four Mile Brook Located four miles from the origin of the Cobequid Road. 
Fraser Point  Named after the first settler, Captain Fraser of the 82nd Hamilton Highlanders, 1783.
French River Named after an early French settlement here. 
Gairloch Named in 1805 by emigrants from Gairloch, on the western coast of Ross-shire, who settled here.
Garden of Eden Named by William McDonald, who settled here in 1830, and was known as "Adam of the Garden" because he was the first man there.
Glen Dhu Dhu is a Gaelic word meaning black. Possibly means dark glen in this instance.
Glengarry Named by early Scottish settlers after the glen in Inverness-shire, Scotland.
Greenvale Originally known as McIntosh Mills, the name was changed to Greenvale by an Act of Parliament in 1891. 
Haliburton Named after the famous author, Supreme Court Judge, and Member of the Legislature, Thomas Chandler Haliburton.
Hopewell Named after the vessel which brought Alexander McNutt and his Ulster colonists to Colchester County in 1761. 
Iron Cross Point Named after a large iron cross ten feet high was found here. It was later renamed Fisher's Grant.
Irish Mountain Named on account of one of its first settlers, Patrick Finner who was Irish. 
John's Point Named after John Patriquin, an early settler. 
Kenzieville Named after an early settler from Sutherlandshire, Scotland, William McKenzie. He arrived in 1803 and settled here in 1807. 
Lansdowne Named in 1884 in honour of the fifth Marquis of Lansdowne, Henry Charles Keith Petty-Fitzmaurice. He was also the Governor General of Canada from 1883 to 1888. 
Little Harbour The original MicMac name was "Mumbegweek" meaning Little Harbour."
Loch Broom First settled by Alexander Cameron circa 1773 and named for its harbour's approach resembling Loch Broom in Inverness-shire, Scotland. It is believes that the first church in Pictou County was built here.
Logan's Tannery Now called Lyon's Brook.
Lyons Brook Logan's Tannery, Scotch Hill and Lyons Brook was renamed Lyon's Brook by an Act of Parliamment in 1903. The location was named after Reverand James Lyons, a Philadelphia emigrant who arrived in 1767on the ship Hope. 
Malignant Cove A British man-of-war vessel named the Malignant bound for Quebec wrecked nearby.
Marshy Hope Marshy Hope is a valley in the Antigonish mountains. It was named in about 1810 when neighbours of James Mappel would tell him to "Leave this marshy place; the frost will destroy your crops." James would reply " I hope it will improve." The neighbours remarked that his hope was a marshy hope. 
Maxwelton This is one of the three counties formed in 1807 when Pictou County was subdivided into three townships. (The other two being Pictou and Egerton.) 
McLennan Mountain  John McLennan was the first settler at the mouth of the brook running past the base of the mountain. It is claimed that the first Presbyterian church in Nova Scotia was organized here.
Merigomish At one time called Malegonish, it originates from the MicMac word "Mallegomichk". Merigomish was first settled by Barnabas McGee in 1776. McGee was originally from Northern Ireland, and then emigrated to Pennsylvania or Maryland and then to Nova Scotia. 
Middle River One of three rivers flowing into Pictou Harbour.
Mill Brook  Named after a mill built here by Thomas and John Fraser in 1800.It was originally called Bear Brook after Thomas and John trapped a large bear here on their first visit. It was renamed in 1808. 
Mortimer Point Originally known as Gordon's Point, it was renamed after Edward Mortimer, an English emigrant settling in Pictou who became wealthy. Mortimer built Norway House, a historic building
Mount Ephraim Named by Ephraim Howard while travelling from Pictou to Truro to meet and assist settlers arriving from Philadelphia on the brig, Hope.
Mount Thom Named by Thomas Troop while travelling from Pictou to Truro to meet and assist settlers arriving from Philadelphia on the brig, Hope.
Murrayfield Named after an early Scottish settler named Murray. 
New Glasgow Settled in 1809 by Scottish settlers, the town was named after the Scottish city, Glasgow.The first settler here, James Carmichael, is credited with building the first house and selected the name for the town. The first grant of land was to a John McKenzie for 500 acres in 1809. 
Peter Fraser's Cave The name of a singular fissure in Pictou County. The roof is formed by limestone rocks leaning against each other. The interior is illuminated by mumerous stalactites suspended from the roof. 
Pictou The origin of the name Pictou is uncertain and all but one of the theories are MicMac in origin. The MicMac word for fire "bucto" is one possibility. It might also be a corruption of Poictou, an old province in France. 
Pictou Island Originally referred to as Isle Poitee in 1762 by Lieutenant-Governor Belcher to the Home Government, it was settled in 1802 by 370 immigrants from the Isle of Barra.  A number of these immigrants later moved to Cape Breton. 
Point Betty Island Captain Savage's vessel, The Betty, went down here. 
Quarry Island Named after the rock quarried here suitable for grindstones. 
River John Earlier known as Deception River and John's River, it is believed to be named after an early settler, John Patuguin.
Robertson Island Also known as Big Merigomish Island, it was first settled by a Colonel Robertson of Struan, Perthshire, Scotland in 1783. Robertson was from the 82nd Hamilton Regiment. 
Rockfield Previously known as Auclein Cairn, it was renamed Rockfield by an Act of Parliament in 1885.
Roger's Hill Recently named Scotsburn, this land was owned by John Rogers, one of the settlers to arrive from Philadelphia on the brig, Hope. 
Royal Centre Previously known as Rear Meadows, it was renamed by an Act in 1906. 
Salt Springs Salt water springs are located here at the foot of Mount Thom. There was an attempt to manufacture salt from the saline water in 1813. 
Savage Point Named for a Captain Savage of Truro, who died here and was buried in the sand. His vessel, the Betty, is said to have grounded near here. 
Saw Mill Brook A saw mill was built here in 1769 by the first settler, William Kennedy, from Truro. The mill is said to be the first frame building built in Pictou County. 
Scotch Hill See Lyons Brook
Scotsburn Formerly known as Rogers Hill. It was renamed by an Act of Parliament in 1867. 
Six Mile Brook It is six miles from the place where the Old Cobequid Road started and the brook crosses the road.
Smashems Head Robert Stewart, An early Robertson Island settler was known for his favorite expression describing battle scenes, "smashem." 
Springville Settled about 1780 by John Fraser and others. An extremely large spring issuing from the foot of a hill in the area provided inspiration for the name.
Stellarton Named after a bed of coal known as "stellar" or "oil" coal . 
Sutherland Island The MicMac name was "Coondawaakade" meaning, "a stone quarry".
Sutherland River Received its name from a Scottish settler, John Sutherland, who arrived on the Hector and settled here in 1785. 
Thorburn Formerly known as Vale Colliery, an Act of Parliament changed the name in 1886. The name is made up of "Thor", the Scandinavian God of Thunder, and "burn" is the Gaelic and Northern English word for brook or small river.
Toney River Named in honour of Captain Toney, a Frenchman who was a great chief among the MicMac. The MicMac name was "Booktowtagun", meaning the palce where flint stone is found. 
Town Gut A survey was made here for a town at one time. The creek has been known as Town Gut ever since.
Trenton The Nova Scotia Steel & Coal Company was located here, and was named after the busy manufacturing capital of New Jersey. 
Welsford Formerly known as River John Village, Welsford was given its current name by an Act of Parliament in 1858.
West River Named "Pebloogowaak" by the MicMac.
Westville Named Westville because the collieries and railway started here in 1869 were west of the collieries already in operation.

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