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"To promote the sustainability of the East River Valley communities."

History of the East River Valley of Pictou County

The first human inhabitants along the lower areas of the East River Valley were the aboriginal Mi'kmaq. These First Nations people settled the coastal areas along the Northumberland Strait and wintered inland on most of the major rivers in Pictou County including the East River.

The French established a few plots of cultivated land on the lower sections of the East River Valley and Pictou Harbour. These dwellings were short lived and ended during the expulsion of the Acadians in the mid eighteenth century.

The first major thrust of settlement of the East River Valley occurred after the arrival of the Ship Hector in 1773. Scottish immigration increased dramatically during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century.

The East River itself was used as natural boundary point by the early surveyors dividing up the many grants of land given to the pioneers. Plots ranging from 100 to 500 acres were established along the riverbank and expending in a rectangle shape upwards to the valley hills and beyond.

In the year 1784, our major East River towns of New Glasgow and Stellarton and the up river rural areas of Plymouth, Churchville, Springville, Bridgeville, St. Paul's, Glencoe, Riverton, Fox Brook, Island, Hopewell, Elgin and Lorne were established. Many of the new settlers were disbanded soldiers from loyal British Highland Regiments who fought in the American Revolution.

Over the ensuing years the East River Valley population continued to grow with the large influx of Scottish immigrants. The new pioneers were encouraged to settle the upper East River areas and communities such as Sunny Brae, Cumming's Mountain, Kerrowgare and Blanchard.

Today, our proud East River Valley is made up of not only the early Scottish pioneer descendants but many other nationalities that contribute greatly to its development and success.

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