Yarmouth Vanguard, Tuesday, November 13, 1990
Each village has necessarily a special name for each and every river and stream, for each and every hill and valley, for each and every nook and corner. The origin and meaning of most of them are unknown. Some are not in use anymore. They can be unnumerable. The list of the placenames in the West Pubnico region that follows is far from being complete.
1 – LA TETE A MOUDE. See previous sketch, at OO.
2 – ILE A DABOU. See previous sketch, at SS.
2A – CHEMIN A ADD or BACK ROAD, a road still in use 70 years ago. Add Hamilton lived on this road, brother to the blacksmith Clarence Hamilton.
3 – ILES AUX GROSEILLES, “Gooseberry Islands”, translated from the French. See also previous sketch, at YY.
3A – LA TETE DE LA RIVIERE (The River Head), the name which was given in days of ore to “Pubnico”, better known to the people of the region as “Pubnico Head”. Before the Expulsion, Pubnico Harbour was called a “river”. The fact is that the word “harbour” was seldom made use of by the Acadians; it was about always “river”.
4 – WIGUECHICHE or WIGICOUCHIQUE, now Jones Island. See previous sketch, at VV. Note that what is given in old deeds as “Jones Islands” comprised also Rum Island and Eatall.
5 – ALLIGATOR ISLAND, a name given to Frost Island for its configuration, which was owned for a time by Joshua Frost, Justice of the Peace, of Argyle. On some maps the name given is “Long Island”.
5A – RUISSEAU A PAL or MONTAGUE BROOK. Origin of “Pal” is unknown. There was a man by the name of “Montague” who used to live nearby, at about 100 feet north. South of the brook was known as “Chez Robichaud”, a person of that name was living here. Note that this brook has been chosen since time immemorial to be the natural boundary between Pubnico Head and West Pubnico.
6 – ILE A MY. “My” was a nickname given to François Henri d’Eon, born in 1872, son of Ambroise, married to Rose Clementine d’Entremont.
7 – ILE A GABRIEL, For Gabriel Duon, son of Paul, born in 1810, married in 1859 to Ursule Surette.
8 – LES PRES (The Meadows), where people used to cut hay. The name ILE AU BLE (Wheat Island) is still made use of; this location at very high tide becomes isolated from the rest.
9 – ILE A MOUNETTE, which is very small. “Mounette” was a nickname given to Simon Pierre d’Entremont, born in 1835, the son of Maximin.
10 – POINTE DU CHENAIE (Oak Grove Point). A hundred years ago, there were oak trees, but not anymore.
11 – L’ILE A HUCHER. The French verb “hucher” is a word which means …”to call hounds” while hunting; it is hardly made use of anymore in that sense. The Acadians though still use it regularly whenever they mean “to call out, to shout”. On the mainland, close to the island, stood the first Acadian settlement of the region, where stood the d’Entremont manor house and the chapel. According to tradition, at the time of the Expulsion, the Acadians would have hidden on the island some of their most precious belongings. Although what we hold from tradition is rather vague, it is evident that the island was used for a special purpose, according to some writings and especially according to the fact it is visible at different places on the island that the earth has been turned over years and years ago, where even one used to find large slabs of stone of a different formation than those of the island, which have been carried away by intruders. It would take pages to hold all that we know about the island. With regard to the name that the Acadians gave to the island, which is still in use, comes from the fact that it is not so far off that one standing on the shore of the mainland can make himself understood by those on the island by hollering.
11 – BRAMBLE ISLAND, a name found on old maps, given to what is now “Canoe Island”, both names being of unknown origin, although “bramble”, we know, is a shrub of raspberries or blackberries.
12 – CHEMIN DE LA CLEAR POINT (Clear Point Road). The map puts “Clear Point” at the shore not far north. This road goes from shore to shore. The road sign, “Cross Road”, applies only to that part linking the main road to the road leading to Argyle Sound. Note that there is another “Cross Road” further north, at Pubnico Head. Old People used to call the one in West Pubnico CHEMIN DES AMIRAULT.
13 – CAT EYE LEDGE, a name found on some maps.
14 – LA VILLE DU OUEST (West Town), a name given to this section, up to the Cross Road, which is of unknown origin. The word “D’EONS” inscribed on the map indicates that most of the residents living on this road are d’Eons.
14A – LE ROCHER DE L’ECOLE (The School Rock Island), which is very small, at the foot of what used to be the Upper West Pubnico school, now the Canadian legion Hall. Note that on that slope east of the main road, one used to be able to see tiny veins of gold in rocks, where some digging has formerly been taking place.
15 – L’ILE CHASPEQUE, a word which is not found in any dictionary; it is not even Acadian. The map gives here erroneously “Chesapeake Ile”. It used to be known as “Rat Island.”
16 – ILE AUX VACHES (Cows Island), the “Calf Island” of the map.
17 – FESTON ISLAND, close to the shore, in East Pubnico, is a name given by the people of the region.
18 – Here, not seen on this map, is the mouth of a brook, which runs from northeast by north, known as “Hipson’s Brook,” “Larkin’s Brook,” “Trout Brook,” “Caleb’s Brook.” The d’Entremont manor house and the chapel at the time of the Acadians were located on the right bank of the brook.
19 – CHEMIN A MARIE-JEANNE, now “Old Abbot’s Harbour road.” Marie-Jeanne d’Entremont, daughter of Benjamin, lost her husband, Louis d’Entremont, son of Charles-Célestin, while he was still relatively young. She kept on living on this road, her house being the only one. To this road were given also other names, one of which was CHEMIN DU GRAND MECAUQUE (Large Swampy Ground Road–See previous sketch, at 12). Another name was CHEMIN DE LA P(E)TITE AIGRILLE (Small Egret). “Aigrette” or “Egret” stands for a species of herons; the name comes from the fact that there is on this road a pond called P’TITE AIGRILLE. There is also south of this road a larger pond known as LE GRAND RUISSEAU (the Large Brook), which is in reality a brook, running towards the sea. There is also a field called LE MORCEAU A PICHE-TINQUE, a man bearing this nickname having helped clear the field. From this road, there is a path going up to the so-called CHEMIN DE LA CLEAR POINT, known as the CHEMIN D’OURS (Bear Road). Before reaching the west end of this road, there is what is called LA TERRE HAUTE (High Ground). Further, close to the corner, where the road turns south, there is what is known as LA SOURCE; also LA CUISINE AU VIEUX HILAIRE (Old Hilaire’s kitchen); this was Hilaire d’Entremont, born in 1776, the son of Paul. Then, a little fruther, on the right hand side, there is LE JARDIN A JEAN-MARIE; This was Jean-Marie Blanchard, black, born in France, who drifted here from the West Indies, married an Acadian girl and settled at this spot. –Surely, this road used to go down to the shore before turning left towards No. 23 (See No. 26.)
20 – CHEMIN DE L’ALLEE (Alley Road), which is a continuation of the CHEMIN A MARIE-JEANNE, east of the main road, up to the shore.
21 – L’ILE DE GRAVE (Gravel Island), a very old name dating from the pre-Expulsion period, for what is given now as “Double Island.” For a time, all this section of West Pubnico was known as L’ILE DE GRAVE; in some documents it even seems to comprise all of West Pubnico. “Iron Point,” at the south end, seems to be unknown to the people of the place.
22 – It is strange that “Whitehead Island” is known to the French people as L’ILE ROUGE (Red Island.)
23 – QUOGGUENICHE is the name that the Indians gave to this fishing establishment, meaning “a harbour with two entrances.” This name is still very much in use by the people, although the official name is “Abbot’s Harbour,” a man by the name of “Abbott” having lived on the island given at No. 24. The whole Indian word would be QUO-QUOGGUENICHE, “iche” pronounced “ish”.
24 – L’ILE DU QUOGGUENICHE, “Abbot’s Harbour island.”
25 – “The Lighthouse Park,” set up this year. The lighthouse, built in 1884, was moved to its present location in 1922, probably from what the people used to call “La Ponte de la Light” (the Lighthouse Point), at about 300 feet north.
26 – CHEMIN DU QUOGGUENICH. According to a 1891 sketch, this road, instead of truning right on top of the hill, would go down to the shore towards No. 25, where it turned right and followed the shore up to No. 23. Furthermore, it is most probable that this road left the main road at a point south of its present location and followed a coarse rather south-east going north-west, crossing the swamp east of the “Minique Hill” on what was still known fifty years ago as LE PONT FLOTTANT (the Floating Bridge.)
27 – L’ILETTE (The Small Island), which was demolished in 1949 to rebuild the main road which was paved the following year. It is now a point, joined to the mainland. North-east by north, the ROCHE A FREDERIC refers to Frédéric Amirault, son of Alexis, who lived just above.
27A – CHEZ CHARLAY, on a short road off No. 26, where settled first Séverin d’Entremont, born in 1810, son of Charles-Célestin, the name deriving from his grandson, Charles-Célestin, son of Marc.
28 – LE ROCHER (The Rock Island), which is bare.
29 – LA ROCHE POINTUE (The Pointed Boulder), which used to be quite prominent in the harbour, but which was broken in two in the 1920’s by the ice.
30 – LES MINIQUES, a name still given to this section where its first settler was Dominique d’Entremont, born in 1808, brother of the previous Séverin.
30A- CHEMIN A GENEVIEVE, going form the “New Church Road” (No. 33) towards CHEZ CHARLAY (No. 27A), passable since it was reopened a number of years ago. It stood for Geneviéve Surette, born in 1856, daughter of Archange, married in 1897 to Jean-Chrysostome Surette, son of Jean-Baptiste.
31 – LE GRAND QUAI (The Long Wharf), “quai” pronounced by local people “cha.” Its first section, up to a small island, was built of dirt and stones in 1885-6 and the second section, of wood, a year later, for a total length of 666 feet. The wooden section was demolished in 1955 by hurricane Edna, when it was abandoned. About a hundred yards south was erected in the middle of the 1880’s the largest construction ever erected in West Pubnico; it took the name of the CREDO; while it was being built, someone said that it was to be as long as “the priest’s Credo” which was being sung in parts at Mass at the time. It was demolished between 1970 and 1973.
32 – LE ROCHER (The Rock). This name, given to the region, applied first to the island.
33 – CHEMIN DE L’EGLISE, “New Church Road,” “New” because there is the “Old Church Road” further south.
34 – L’ILE DU ROCHER (The Rock Island), known on some maps as “Barre du Rocher” (“barre,” meaning “bar”) and “Stone Island.” The southern section, being larger than the rest, is called LE GROU, for “Le Gros” or “The Big.”
35 – GRAND ETANG (The Large Pond), in the ROCHER section.
36 – CHEMIN DU ROCHER (Rock Road), although its official name is “Surette’s Road” which name at times is also made use of in French. Note that the road at No. 33 was at a time also called CHEMIN DU ROCHER, as it led also to that fishing center.
37 – ROCHER A CHICOTS (Tree Stump Rock), which were still visible a hundred years ago.
38 – PASSE AUX CHATS, a name similar to the one given in our previous sketch, at No. BB.
39 – ILE A PAUL GUERLOT. This was Paul François Amirault, born in 1815, whose father was Simon of East Pubnico, was called “Guerlot”.
40 – Same name as the previous one; the previous one has trees, this one none.
41 – ILE FERREE (Iron Bound Island). Origin of the name is unknown, to which is given sometimes the name of ILE A SOMON LeBLANC, along with the smaller one south-east of it. This Simon LeBlanc, born in Wedgeport, son of Frederic, settled in West Pubnico.
42 – CHEMIN DES MINKS. “Mink” was the nickname given to Remi Pierre d’Entremont, who lived on this road, the son of Pierre. The road-sign here reads “Rock Road”; see also above No. 36. Since the Sewer system was built in 1978, this road is known rather as LE CHEMIN DU SEWER, as at the end is located the sewage treatment plant.
43 – GRAND ILE, formerly “Paul Island,” meant maybe for “Paul Guerlot.” See No. 39.
44 – CHEMIN A CHICKY, “Dyke Road.” “Chicky” was the nickname of Eloi Augustin d’Entremont, born in 1877, son of Julien, who lived on this road. On the east side of the main road is the entrance to the off-road that goes through what is called LE PONT DU MARIAS (Marshland Bridge), which curves back to the main road.
45 – LA POINTE A MARIE MILLIE. This was Marie Emilie d’Entremont, born in 1866, daughter of Etienne, died in 1895. “Etang Bourgeois” is given here because lived in this vicinity Raphael Bourgeois, from New Brunswick, who married Marie d’Entremont, daughter of Joseph Elie. Their house was burned to the ground by a deranged person.
46 – What is given here as the “Crique à Maurice” (Maurice’s Creek) must refer to Charles-Amand Morris, being the word “Maurice” anglicized, who lived here, on top of the cliff.
47 – ILE A PASSE (Passage Island); small boats can go by this small island easily enough.
48 – ILE PLATE (Flat Island) or ILE A GAPIT, this being Agapit Amirault, born in 1848, son of Ambroise, married to Anne Suzanne Amirault. He was called usually “Gapit.”
49 – ILES A VERS (worms) or VERT (green) or VERRE (glass). Nobody seems to know the origin of this place-name, these three words having the same pronunciation; it has been said that the islands belonged once to a “Mr. Green.” What the map gives now as “The Brothers” is unknown to the people, although they will make use of LES ILES SOEURS (The Sisters), “ile” in French being feminine. The map used to have “Twin Islands.” Both are similar in aspect.
50 – CHEMIN CHEZ LEVITE or CHEZ BILL PUSH. Ambroise Levite LeBlanc, called “Bill Push”, son of Simon, lived on this road.
51 – EN BAS DE CHEZ LEVITE, at the end of the previous road, a name given to this region.
52 – LES B. “B” stands for Barthelemy d’Entremont, born 1825, son of Joseph Josué, who lived here. His children were called “Charles B”, “William B”, “Fred B.”