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Scotia's Showcase - Minudie - July 22, 2020

Updated: Oct 17, 2022

Minudie and River Hebert - Photo credit Len Wagg Photography - you can see the old Acadian dykes along the river bank

Minudie is a relatively unknown place in Nova Scotia. Located southwest of Amherst, overlooking the Cumberland Basin and River Hebert in Cumberland County, Minudie gets its name from a Mi'kmaq word Menoodek meaning a "small bag" or Munoodek which means "a sack or bag". The town has a proud Acadian heritage and is also known for one of its residents - Amos Peck Seaman, known as the "Grindstone King" for the grindstones he sent from Minudie to a quarry in the United States.

The Acadians first settled in Minudie in 1672. The Mi’kmaq supplied them with game and taught them how to hunt and trap. Acadians were responsible for the design and construction of many of Minudie's present-day dyke systems including the dykes of Minudie along the River Hebert. In 1755 Acadians were forced from their homes in Minudie to Grand Pre and then from there, sent to various locations. Their homes and crops were destroyed. In 1765, many Acadians returned to their farms in Minudie and farming and fishing remained important sources of livelihood for them.

Amos "King" Seaman was taught to read and write by his wife Jane. Realizing the importance of formal education, which he had lacked, he built a school for his children and the children of his tenants in the early 1840s. A typical one room schoolhouse, it sits between two churches, the bells for the school and both churches purchased from Ireland in 1848. Each bell was of a different size, with its own tone so residents could distinguish between the three. The school house was closed in 1962 and opened as a museum in 1973. Possibly the oldest one room schoolhouse in Nova Scotia, inside the Amos Seaman School Museum you will find all of the original desks and pot belly stove as well as an aboiteau (a sluice gate in a dyke, which allows water draining from the land to flow out, but does not allow sea water in) from the period of the Acadians prior to 1755. Also inside is the genealogy of the Seaman and other local families, the history of Minudie and a collection of photos and documents commemorating the life and achievements of Amos Seaman.

While in Minudie you can also visit the Amos Thomas Seaman House. Recognized as a Provincial Heritage Property, the two-and-a-half storey Georgian estate house is set on a hill overlooking the dykes of the Minudie marsh and the tides of the Bay of Fundy, on the land purchased in 1833 by Amos "King" Seaman and built in 1843 by his son, Amos Thomas Seaman. Although Amos Thomas Seaman died in 1856 and his father eight years later, the house remained in the Seaman family until 2015 when it was bequeathed to the Minudie Heritage Association with the hopes of it being turned into a museum.

The Nova Scotia Farm Loan Board owns eight community pastures, one of which is a 1032 hectare pasture located in Minudie. It leases seven of them to boards composed mainly of local farmers.

If you have any more information or pictures of Minudie please email me or message me through Bluenoser on Facebook.


Minudie - Cumberland County Genealogical Society

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