Fort Anne
National Historic Site

The Officers Quarters Museum at the Fort Anne National Historic Site, Annapolis Royal, NS

The Fort Anne National Historic Site in Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia

Half of the large tapestry at the Fort Anne National Historic Site, Annapolis Royal, NS

In 1985 it was suggested to do a heritage tapestry as a Centennial Project for the Parks. Plans were started but it was not until 1988 that they were ready to start putting those plans into motion.

First thing was to come up with a design, something that would cover the 400 years of history here. They put on a National competition, and the winner was Kiyoko Grenier from Shelburne County. Kiyoko studied tons historical data including many pictures. She then came up with a design that would fit on four panels, one for every century of our history. The design covered everything from the building of the Habitation, the Order of Good Cheer, building dykes, expulsion of the Acadians, battles at Fort Anne plus events concerning the town of Annapolis Royal itself. 

Next the design had to be painted onto 12 pieces of canvas that would fit together to form the four panels. A needlepoint expert was brought in to match the colours of paint with wool charts and calculate how much would be needed. After the wool arrived volunteers sorted it and divided it up for each panel, labeling it all.

Finally on January 24, 1991, six years after the first suggestion was made, stitching began. Over a hundred volunteers did the cross-stitching that took four years to complete. Everyone got involved, even Queen Elizabeth II stitched a couple of squares on her visit to Halifax. The native scenes were sent to the local Micmac who incorporated birch bark, porcupine quills and moose hair into their work. Fred Longtin, a local shoemaker created tiny little boots, belts and harnesses which were added to the tapestry. 

Then after four years, 20,000 hours of stitching, and over 3 million stitches the tapestry was finished. The finished size is 5.5 meters (18 feet) long and 2.5 meters (8 feet) wide. The town showed up to have the first glance of the finished product on July 1, 1995 during the Canada Day Celebrations. This wonderful Heritage Tapestry now makes it's home in the Fort Anne for everyone to view.

Garrison Graveyard

While you are here make sure you take a stroll around the Garrison Graveyard. This is the oldest graveyard known in Canada, with the earliest tombstone dated 1720. This was first started as the burial site for the French soldiers at the fort. It was also used by the Acadians and later by the British military and St. Lukes Church.

The Garrison Graveyard in Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia

You can take a walk around it yourself looking at the different tombstones. I recommend the best way to get the most out of the information here is to participate in one of the Candlelight Graveyard Tours. These are held three evenings a week during the summer and start at the Fort Anne. You will be lead through the graveyard by a guide, dressed in black and with only the light of the lanterns. Be prepared to learn much about the people who served both at the fort or lived in the town. You will also be shown different tombstones and explained how the artwork and verses have changed over the years. I fully recommend this tour as it is very well done.

Well that was a little look at the Fort Anne National Historic Site in Annapolis Royal. There is so much more to see here than what I have gone over. For more information you may go to their website: Fort Anne National Historic Site. Or better yet, plan to visit this wonderful site during your visit to Annapolis Royal and the Annapolis Valley. I recommend you give yourself lots of time to take in all the information and history that is there.

The fort Anne National Historic Site is open daily from May 15 until October 15. From October until May they are open weekdays by appointment or chance. There is a small admission to visit the museum building.

Leave the Fort Anne National Historic Site Page to go look at other interesting Historic Sites.


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What did you see here that was different from other places? Share with us how it was different! Better yet show us with pictures along with telling us.
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During the 1990 Western Days in Annapolis Royal the song "Your Cheating Heart" was played at Fort Anne in an attempt to have the most guitars playing the same song together at one time.

Because of its position sitting halfway between two counties Bear River was referred to as "The Bridge" for several years.

The first export of apples in Nova Scotia is believed to have been made in 1849 by Benjamin Weir of Halifax and Ambrose Bent of Paradise who exported from Halifax to Liverpool, England.

A native of Welsford in the Annapolis Valley, Alfred C. Fuller established a door-to-door sales empire which gained international success and still bears his name.

October 29, 1926 - Weather today - brilliant sunshine, rain, a flurry of snow, heavy wind, and at 11 in the morning a hailstorm, accompanied by lightening and several crashes of thunder! This is definitely a full day of weather.

A Cape Island fishing boat is also known as "the workhorse of the Nova Scotia fishing fleet"

If you are seeing "flankers" then you are seeing sparks coming from the chimney.

The musical variety show "Sing Along Jubilee" replaced the "Don Messer Show" on Halifax's CBC-TV.

The Granville Ferry Ice Caves are an unusual natural phenomenon that was a popular tourist attraction during the 1920's and 30's in the area.

Glooscap was the Mi'Kmaq's legendary God-man who was responsible for creating life and many of the land formations found in the Maritimes.

Apple drying is a big part of our heritage. Ever since the earliest days in the Annapolis Valley apple trees did well and produced an abundance of sweet tasting fruit.

The Middleton Salmon Fisherman is a story about an exceptional person who was the topic of conversation for many years in the little town of Middleton.

On April 24, 1895 Joshua Slocum sailed out of Boston, Massachusetts on a 3 year voyage around the world in his worthy sea craft “The Spray”.

Did you know that Injun Rocks or petroglyphs can be found deep in the woods of Kejimkujik National Park?

Digby Chicken, or Digby Chicks as it is better known in the Maritimes is dried herring and the term came from Digby, NS. back in 1783.

On December 8, 1911the 3-mast schooner “The Hibernia” built at Noel, NS was on route from Hantsport to the Barbados. Her trip went down in history as one of the bravest rescues ever.

For two hundred years a ferry the MV Kipawo ran between Wolfville, Kingsport and Parrsboro across the Minas Basin and Bay of Fundy.

In the Salmon River area of Digby County a man was born on January 24, 1908 who became known as Bigfoot.

The plaster pit is a rather comical story from the Kentville area that has been handed down over the years.

The Nova Scotia Tartan was the first provincial tartan in Canada. The name Nova Scotia is Latin for New Scotland and the tartan reflects the importance of the Scots to the founding of the province.

The Story - A Big Joke is a rather humorous story that has been told over the years, happening in the backwoods of Caledonia.

Located in Bridgetown the Apostles Hotel was a favored spot for meals and overnight stays while passing through the little town.

The Hillsdale House Inn still sits proudly along St. George Street in Annapolis Royal. Except for a brief time the house has been used as an Inn and Guest House.

Now we will look at the story of the Queen Hotel which is located across the street from the Hillsdale House Inn. It is called the Queen Anne Inn now.

“The Four Daughters” is a cute story about how one man managed to bring up his daughters alone. It takes place back in the time of the stage coaches and shows how inventive our valley residents can be.