We have done two tours with a gentleman named Alan Melanson with the Annapolis Royal Historic Society. He is a 10th generation Acadian and extremely knowledgeable about the areas history. He has dedicated his life to the preservation of historical places in the area.
We did the Graveyard Lantern tour last night. We each carried a lantern. There were about 15 people on the tour because of the earlier rains it remained a small group.
Mr. Alan really makes you listen and think. He is a fantastic story teller and has so much knowledge. We talked about themes in death. I had ashes poured into my hand! EEK! I held it together and was pleased to learn they came from his fireplace and not a dead body.
We learned that Acadian people marked graves with wooden crosses so their graves are no longer marked because of the wood decomposing. There are about 200 headstones in the grave yard but thousands of people buried there. The oldest record in tact headstone in Nova Scotia is in the graveyard.
This is a scary theme. The tombstone is marked with winged death. This is the oldest headstone.
We heard many stories of death and burial and history of the area. I was grossed out by the fact that people ate beaver tail and moose muffle soup. Soon a very active storm rolled in and we were forced to cut the evening short. Mr. Alan was amazing and we now have lots of tales to tell. My fovorite was about one house that THREE people died in different years my lighting their night clothes on fire while blowing out candles.
Today we went on a historic walking tour of downtown Annapolis Royal. Behind me is a historic lighthouse that they are restoring for the 150th anniversary of the city next year. It looks almost identical to the one we saw at Cape Enrage.
We walked along the boardwalk until it was time for the tour.
Again, Mr. Alan was our guide. Again we learned SO much of the history of the Acadians, battles and treaties. I think I have a crash course in Nova Scotia (New Scotland) history.