“This is the forest primeval. The murmuring pines and the hemlocks, bearded with moss, and in garments green, indistinct in the twilight, stand like Druids of eld, with voices sad and prophetic…” – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
When Longfellow wrote his epic 1847 poem, Evangeline, A Tale of Acadie, it galvanized the Acadian people who had been exiled from their homeland, now known as Nova Scotia. Because they wished to remain neutral and refused to pledge their allegiance to the British crown, “The Great Expulsion” of 1755 forced 10,000 Acadians to seek refuge in Europe, New England, the Caribbean, and Louisiana (where “Acadians” morphed into “Cajuns”). While living in this area, they developed and implemented an ingenious system of dykes that desalinated the rich soil deposited from the Bay of Fundy. Today The Landscape of Grand Pré, a Unesco World Heritage site, tells their story.