Finding the Acadians
Technology, history meet as radar maps Fort Anne’s Garrison Graveyard
Modern technology may finally help find the Acadians.
Soldiers and civilians alike rest just below the surface at the Garrison Graveyard at Fort Anne National Historic Site in Annapolis Royal. But for the more than 2,000 people buried at the fort, only 232 stones stand. Where the rest are located has never been confirmed.
A Dec. 3 collaboration saw Mapannapolis, the NSCC’s Applied Geomatics Research Group, Boreas Heritage Consulting, and Parks Canada come together for a day of historic proportions – literally. They were searching for the Acadians.
Boreas, an archeological consulting firm based out of Halifax, brought their ground-penetrating radar unit and started look- ing in a gridded area known by locals as the Saint Jean Baptiste Parish Cemetery with active dates of 1632 to 1755. A monument near the fence on St. George Street notes the cemetery later became the British Garrison Graveyard.
“Boreas Heritage Consulting is going to be doing some ground penetrating radar where we suspect the Acadian cemetery was,” said Ted Dolan as the work was about to begin. He’s Parks Can- ada’s site and visitor experience manager for historic sites in southwestern Nova Scotia.
“We don’t have a whole lot of records detailing the Acadian cemetery that’s part of the Garrison Graveyard at Fort Anne National Historic Site,” he said. “We have a very good idea where it is based on historical drawings and some historical records but this will aid us with our assumptions.”
Earlier this week Nathan Crowell and Samantha Lewis, with the Applied Geomatics Research Group at NSCC Middleton, did aerial photographic mapping of the Garrison Graveyard at Fort Anne in Annapolis Royal.