The village of Peggys Cove rests on rocks carved by glaciers and ocean tides about 20,000 years ago. Fishermen market tuna and lobster. Endangered leatherback turtles and right whales are frequent visitors to the shore. From Halifax, we drove 25 miles to Peggys Cove, a small fishing community on St. Margaret’s Bay which was discovered by Champlain in 1608 and named for his mother. The village was settled in the early 1800s by Germans who prospered by fishing, farming, and raising cattle. By 1900 it had a population of 300, a schoolhouse, a church, a general store, a lobster cannery, and many boats nestled in the cove. More recently, the beauty of the place has attracted artists, photographers, and tourists in spite of damage by hurricanes in 2003 and 2009.
Peggys Cove is a preservation area in order to protect its rugged beauty – barrens, bogs, inland ponds, and rocky coastline. Development in and around the surrounding village is restricted.
The first lighthouse on this point was constructed in 1868 and used a kerosene oil lamp. This one was built in 1914 and manned until automated in 1958. There is an ice cream shop and a post office in the lower level. Visitors to the lighthouse are warned: Sudden high waves, drowning hazard, Keep off black rocks. Injury and death have rewarded careless sight- seers here... Savour the sea from a distance. Next week: Evangeline Trail
Dan Conlin, curator of the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic in Hal ifax, author of Pirates of the Atlantic, says Peter Easton was the most successful pirate of the Maritimes. He operated with a privateer commission from Queen Elizabeth I to protect the fishing fleet. He raided eastern Canada for manpower and retired a rich man in southern France.
This marker at Peggys Cove reads: “In memory of the 229 men, women, and children aboard Swissair Flight 111 who perished off these shores September 2nd, 1998. They have been joined to the sea, and the sky. May they rest in peace.”