© Lunenburg County Historical Society 2012
Web Design by Robert Ylkos
From earliest days the river has provided a highway and a harbour for the people living around its banks. The Mi’kmaq travelled on it, fished in it and presumably bathed in it!
The French used it as both a highway and a harbour. Fort Point is protected by the islands and is a good strategic defensive position. Vessels could anchor in the cove on the Riverport side in safety from both weather and enemy attack. In the absence of roads, the river linked different parts of the larger community, and linked them all with the sea.
There is no record of the French building vessels along the river, but one of the first things that Joseph Pernette did was to establish a sawmill and commence ship building. Others followed his example, and the river was the centre of ship building, commercial shipping and fishing for most of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Remnants of these industries still carry on here.
When roads were first built, after the British take-over, the river became an obstacle to transportation. John Pernette’s ferry was established near the site of the present Yacht Club. A later ferry connected communities lower down the river, and finally the present ferry site at LaHave was established. (See material in the Museum on the ferries.)