ACADIAN CONNECTION - The Casket - 2000
LARRY'S RIVER & LUNDY
Larrys River and Lundy by M. Perle Connolly
An Acadian coastal village situated on the eastern end of Guysborough County, Larrys River was named after one of its settlers, Larry Keating. Keating was a moose hunter who settled himself in a log cabin on the east bank of the river. Settlers arrived from Chezzetcook, probably soon after the official expulsion had ended in 1763.
In 1797, Freeman Roi, Mannette and Petitpas, along with six others, petitioned for land- In 1805, several acres of land were surveyed for these Acadians with such names as Bonnevie, Fougere, Pelrine and Petitpas. At that time, there were to buildings on the west side of the river, then called the North West River.
When Bishop Plessis of Quebec visited Larrys River and surrounding communities in 1815, he was so troubled by the poverty he saw he urged the Acadians to move elsewhere. The rocks and barren land made it impossible to cultivate in large portions, but there was an abundance of fish. The fish was a blessing to the settlers, reassuring them their settlement could prosper.
About 1872, St. Peter's Roman Catholic Church was built and first
used in 1873. A gale hit the area in August of that year and swept the
-church off its foundation, but the people of the area rebuilt it and the church re-opened in 1874. Rev. Francois Broussard was Its first pastor. Father Broussard also ministered a mission at Charlos Cove. St. Joseph's Church, which was built soon after. Before this. the Acadians were served by St. Ann's Church, Guysborough (1819) and St. Joseph's in Port Felix (1851).
Today in Larrys River the parish glebe is located across the road from St. Peter's Parish. The current pastor lives in the glebe house and s serves the mission of St. Josephs, Charlos Cove and St. Josephs Church at Port Felix. A stroll through the graveyard next to the church reveals headstones of most French Acadian names. In this graveyard is a monument of St. Peter, the Acadian patron saint. The parish hall is another landmark on the opposite side of the church. The hall hosts the annual Acadian lobster dinner and picnic, a fundraiser for the parish,
A postal way office was established and opened on May 1, 1869. Joseph Fougere was the first postmaster. Today, the post office still
remains, but In a modern brick building,
In 1878, the community built a schoolhouse, which was replaced in 1920 with a larger four-room school.
Mount Carmel Convent is another landmark in the area, which opened on the feast day of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, July 15, 1955. The sisters of the congregation of Notre Dame taught at the elementary and junior high schoo! in both communities.
The schools closed in 1960 and the sisters remained, still active today in many parish activities.
Rev Douglas J. Murphy, son of John and Clara (Pellerin) Murphy, was ordained to the priesthood in 1960 and still serves the diocese today. Most recently, November 12, Larrys River native Rev. Leo Richard was ordained a priest. A son of Thomas F and Deannie (Pelrine) Richard, Father Richard serves in Yarmouth County,
A swinging bridge that joined the east to the west side of the river was built in the early 1920s. The bridge consisted of two steel towers, and was built high enough to allow sailing ships to go upriver. Taken down in the 1940s and replaced with a three-foot wide footbridge. The steel towers were taken down in the 1960s. Villagers still use the footbridge.
Rev. Charles J. Forest was resident pastor from 1918-1953. Along with his fellow parishioners, formed a consumer co-operative and a sawmill in 1928; and in 1932, the Tor Bay Canners and a fish processing plant was constructed. The co-op store and credit union was built In 1933.
Fishing was the main occupation, but these hardy Acadians supplemented their income with blueberry picking and processing. In 1946, residents picked some 20,000 gallons of blueberries, and processed them into 4,000 cases for the market. The pickers realized $12,000 for their work. Father Forest became a pioneer In the co-op activities.
Lundy is a small settlement eight miles from Larrys River, on the west side of Donahue Lake. Settled by Acadians who moved from Larrys River because fuel for their stoves was abundant. Lundy was named after an early settler, and was also called the Junction and Lundy Junction, In the mid 1870s, the only building was Joseph Girroir's Halfway House, a stopover or resting place for travelers who frequently walked or traveled by boat. The Girroir family was the only family listed on the Junction Road at that time. A school building was completed in 1915.
Lundy is nestled in dense woods, surrounded by lakes, streams and ponds. When it was founded, lumbering was the main industry. Today Lundy has a population of 18 families and its residents are served by St. Peter's Church, Larrys River.
In the 1870s the village of Larrys River had such family names as Avery, Bonnevie, Delorey, Fougere, Girroir, Levangie. Mannette, Pellerine and Petitpas and most of the family names still live In the area.
In Lundy, visitors will find families of Avery, Girroir and Petitpas All these families can trace their ancestry back to Chezzetcook, from where they came after the expulsion of 1755.