Discover Parrsboro, Nova Scotia: A Blend of History and Tourism

Parrsboro, a community nestled in Cumberland County, Nova Scotia, Canada, is a regional service centre for southern Cumberland County. Known for its port on the Minas Basin, the Ship's Company Theatre productions, and the Fundy Geological Museum, Parrsboro is a gem waiting to be discovered.

The Rich History of Parrsboro, Nova Scotia

Before the arrival of European settlers, Parrsboro was a portage point for Mikmaq travellers along the Minas Basin and Cumberland County river systems. The native inhabitants called the region "Awokum," meaning a 'short-cut' or 'passing-over point.' The first European settlers were the Acadians in 1670 at the western mouth of the Parrsboro Harbour, near Partridge Island.

After the Acadians were expelled in 1755, they were replaced by New England Planters. The centre of settlement gradually shifted from Partridge Island to the sheltered estuary of the Parrsboro River where a harbour and surrounding mills grew. The settlement, at first named Mill Village, was renamed Parrsboro in honour of Nova Scotia Governor John Parr in 1784, and the town was incorporated on July 15, 1889.

Parrsboro thrived in the mid 19th century as the hub of a string of shipbuilding communities from Economy to Advocate collectively known as the "Parrsboro Shore". The town became a port of registry in 1850 for over 115 locally built schooners as well as giant square riggers, culminating in the largest, the ship Glooscap in 1891. In its peak years of the 1890s, over 1646 ships arrived and departed annually.

Municipal Governance in Parrsboro, Nova Scotia

Parrsboro was incorporated as a town on July 15, 1889. On October 5, 2015, the Town Council filed an application for dissolution with the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board. The NSURB held public hearings in November 2015 and issued a decision on June 15, 2016, granting the application. The Town of Parrsboro was dissolved effective November 1, 2016, and merged into the larger Municipality of the County of Cumberland.

Exploring the Area Features of Parrsboro, Nova Scotia

As with much of rural Nova Scotia, the primary industry in Parrsboro is tourism. The community is known for its seasonal theatre productions at the Ship's Company Theatre, fossil and rock hounding attractions, museums, high tides, and heritage buildings. The cliffs along the Minas Basin to the east and west of Parrsboro contain fossils of prehistoric animals and plants. Many fossils are on display in local museums.

Of the three museums in Parrsboro, two are dedicated to geological history. The Fundy Geological Museum, located along the eastern shore of Parrsboro Harbour, and the Parrsboro Rock and Mineral Shop and Museum, along the western shore, display many unearthed discoveries and provide information on the history of the region's landscape.

Demographics of Parrsboro, Nova Scotia

The 2021 Census of Population conducted by Statistics Canada showed a population of 1327 living in the former Town of Parrsboro. The 2016 Census of Population recorded a population of 1,205 living in 609 of its 773 total private dwellings, a change of -7.7% from its 2011 population of 1,305. With a land area of 14.8 km2 (5.7 sq mi), it had a population density of 81.4/km2 (210.9/sq mi) in 2016.

Parrsboro, Nova Scotia's Sister Cities

Parrsboro has two sister cities in the United States: Greenport, New York, and Blue Lake, California. These relationships foster cultural exchange and mutual understanding between the communities.