The town of Digby received its name from Rear Admiral Sir Robert Digby, who settled the area in 1783 with a group of United Empire Loyalists. Digby is located on the western shore of the Annapolis Basin. The location led to Digby being declared a Port of Entry which served to hasten the development of a strong shipping industry. Small ships needed to be built to run between St. John’s, Digby and Annapolis; larger ships were needed for running the coast and to Great Britain. Shortly after confederation, shipping in 19th century Digby was supplemented by the building of the Dominion Atlantic Railway which allowed the town to connect faster locally, as well as to places further away, such as New York and Boston. The railway allowed for two industries to flourish: the fishing industry due to fresh fish products being easily transported long distances, and tourism because quick trips to and from the area were now manageable. As time passed, fishing in the area has evolved from schooner fishing to harvesting scallops, which is now one of the town’s major draws for tourism and is celebrated yearly during Scallop Days.
In this album you will see photographs depicting the importance of transportation via shipping and rail to the town of Digby and Digby County. You will see a variety of events, such as the Groundhog Day storm or the Incorporation of Digby, which changed the make-up of the town in different, yet crucial ways. You will see community buildings like the Pines Hotel and the Digby Academy that encouraged exchange of ideas and viewpoints. Still yet, you will see cultural creations like the Courier, a local newspaper, or the artistic expressions of local artist Maud Lewis. All of which have molded the community of Digby since confederation in 1876. These images and archival documents serve to capture the industriousness and tenacity of those who settled and lived in Digby, who weathered changes in industry and politics, and adapted to ensure the growth and encourage the culture of the town.
Housed in a mid-1800s Georgian home, the Admiral Digby Museum features period rooms containing artifacts, and archives that relate to the interesting Maritime and Pioneer history of Digby Town and Digby County, its people and industries. Explore the Town or County history or research your own Digby County roots in our Genealogy Department.
For more information, visit the Admiral Digby Museum website.
Council of Nova Scotia Archives — https://archives.novascotia.ca/communityalbums/digby/
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