Havre Boucher is situated ten kilometers west of the Canso Causeway in Northeastern Nova Scotia. It is a coastal village of approximately two-thousand residents.
There is some discontent on how the village of Havre Boucher received its name. One argument is "Boucher" is derived from the French word bouche, which translates to blocked or closed. This may relate to the geography of the area because the harbour entrance is almost closed by an island. It is also said that the village of Havre Boucher received its name from an ocean voyager that found refuge there during a harsh winter in the middle of the 18th century. The following excerpt from A.A. Johnson's, "A history of the Catholic Church in Eastern Nova Scotia" tells that tale.
"When Bishop Plessis visited Havre Boucher in 1812, he said that the settlement there seemed to be of recent origin, and that the place took its name from a Captain Francois Boucher of Quebec, who had been overtaken by the winter of 1759 and had to stay there until spring. According to a local tradition, Captain Boucher returned to the place the following year, married there, and established a family. A legend still current in Havre Boucher relates that, 'there once stood on a prominent western point of the harbour a chapel built of logs, which was served by french missionaries and attended by Indians. The early acadians, few in number, also took advantage, as the occasion offered, of attending mass at the Chapel.'"
There is a tradition that the chapel referenced was the one existent in 1790. In 1816 this chapel was replaced by another. Soon after the first school in Havre Boucher was started by Father Manseau. A post office was constructed just prior to the creation of the parish in 1855. The current post office building replaced the original building August 10, 1964.
The collection of people who would form the original residents were a small group of original Acadian settlers, French settlers from Arichat, and in the early 1800's some Irish families settled in the region. Before 1785, John and Paul Bushee were living in the vicinity of the harbour in addition to the Decoast or DeCost family. In 1811 these individuals who previously lived in "Harbour au Bouche" were given grants of land by the Crown - Philistine, John Baptist and James De Coast, Bernard Benwaugh (Benois) and Paul Bushee, Charles LeBlanc and John Baptist Melon and George Minette.
There were thirty families residing in Havre Boucher when Bishop Plessis of Quebec paid his official visit in 1812. The harbour was important for fishing and by 1818 some small fishing vessels were being built by people from Arichat. Some lobster and scallop harvesting was also done at this time. The village population grew rapidly through the years from 1812-1858 as more than one hundred families were present when a parish was created to serve the area in 1858.
Historically, and presently the majority of local residents have made a living through seasonal farming and fishing activities off our coast.
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