Photographs of
Grassy Island

Fort William Augustus
1725 – 1744


National Historic Site

Grassy Island
Canso Harbour
Guysborough County
Nova Scotia


Once a thriving community of fishermen and merchants
from New England, Grassy Island became a casualty of the
rivalry between England and France for control of North America.
After the French attacked and burned it in 1744, the island lay
abandoned and forgotten for more than 200 years.  Much of
what is now known of this settlement is the result of
recent historical and archaeological research.



1744 March 11: War against England is declared by France.
1744 April 9:  War against France is declared by England.  This conflict is now known as the War of the Austrian Succession, or in the simpler American nomenclature, "King George's War," or "Governor Shirley's War."
These dates are from: The Struggle for Acadia: The Final Phase 1744-1779
by W.E. Daugherty, Indian and Northern Affairs Canada


1744 May 3 (N.S.): Louisbourg gets the news (a ship from St. Malo) that France has declared war against England.
1744 May 13 (O.S.) or 24 (N.S.): The French attack and take Grassy Island Fort at Canso.
— Reference:
Significant Historical Happenings By Year: 1742-44 by Peter Landry
    http://www.blupete.com/Hist/Dates/1742-44.htm


Timeline of the Seven Years War 1754-1763
    http://ns1763.ca/remem/7yw-timeline-w.html

The destruction of Grassy Island by France in May 1744 was an early event in the preliminary skirmishes between England and France, that led to the Seven Years War.




GPS location of the fort site on Grassy Island:
45°20'16"N   60°58'20"W
Google map showing the location of the British fort at Canso, 1744




GPS location of the Parks Canada interpretative centre
and ferry terminal at #1465 Union Street, Canso
45°19'57"N   60°58'55"W
Google map showing the location of the Parks Canada interpretative centre in Canso




Nova Scotia: Grassy Island National Historic Site
Grassy Island National Historic Site sign at 1465 Union Street, Canso.

Photographed on 10 May 2007



Map showing location of British fort on Grassy Island, 1744
Map showing location of British fort on Grassy Island, 1744


Grassy Island as seen from Canso
Grassy Island as seen from the east end of Union Street, Canso

Photographed on 18 August 2005



Looking eastward toward Grassy Island
Looking eastward toward Grassy Island.

Photographed on 18 August 2005



Grassy Island landing
Approaching the landing stage on the north side of Grassy Island.

Photographed on 18 August 2005



Landing on Grassy Island
Landing on Grassy Island.  The ruins of Fort William Augustus
lie at the top of the hill beyond the interpretative hut.

Photographed on 18 August 2005



Looking across the ruins of the Grassy Island Fort toward the town of Canso
Looking southwest across the ruins of Fort William Augustus toward the town of Canso.

Photographed on 18 August 2005



Looking across the ruins of the Grassy Island Fort
Looking northeast across the ruins of Fort William Augustus.

Photographed on 18 August 2005






The Interpretative Panel at Grassy Island Fort
a.k.a. Fort William Augustus

The photographs below were taken on 18 August 2005.


Detail of the interpretative panel at the ruins of the Grassy Island Fort
Detail of the interpretative panel at the ruins of Fort William Augustus.


Beyond the interpretatvive panel we see the ruins of the Grassy Island Fort
Looking northwest.  Beyond the interpretative panel are the ruins of Fort William Augustus.


Detail of the interpretative panel at the ruins of the Grassy Island Fort
Detail of the interpretative panel at the ruins of Fort William Augustus.


Detail of the interpretative panel at the ruins of the Grassy Island Fort
Detail of the interpretative panel at the ruins of Fort William Augustus.


Detail of the interpretative panel at the ruins of the Grassy Island Fort
Detail of the interpretative panel at the ruins of Fort William Augustus.


Detail of the interpretative panel at the ruins of the Grassy Island Fort
Detail of the interpretative panel at the ruins of Fort William Augustus.


Detail of the interpretative panel at the ruins of the Grassy Island Fort
Detail of the interpretative panel at the ruins of Fort William Augustus.


Detail of the interpretative panel at the ruins of the Grassy Island Fort
Detail of the interpretative panel at the ruins of Fort William Augustus.


Detail of the interpretative panel at the ruins of the Grassy Island Fort
Detail of the interpretative panel at the ruins of Fort William Augustus.


Detail of the interpretative panel at the ruins of the Grassy Island Fort
Detail of the interpretative panel at the ruins of Fort William Augustus.





The Interpretative Hut at Grassy Island landing

The interpretative hut at Grassy Island landing
The interpretative hut at Grassy Island landing.


Detail of west interpretative panel at Grassy Island landing hut
Detail of west interpretative panel at Grassy Island landing hut.


West interpretative panel at Grassy Island landing hut
West interpretative panel at Grassy Island landing hut.


Detail of west interpretative panel at Grassy Island landing hut
Detail of west interpretative panel at Grassy Island landing hut.


Detail of west interpretative panel at Grassy Island landing hut
Detail of west interpretative panel at Grassy Island landing hut.


Detail of west interpretative panel at Grassy Island landing hut
Detail of west interpretative panel at Grassy Island landing hut.


Detail of east interpretative panel at Grassy Island landing hut
Detail of east interpretative panel at Grassy Island landing hut.


East interpretative panel at Grassy Island landing hut
East interpretative panel at Grassy Island landing hut.


Detail of east interpretative panel at Grassy Island landing hut
Detail of east interpretative panel at Grassy Island landing hut.


Detail of east interpretative panel at Grassy Island landing hut
Detail of east interpretative panel at Grassy Island landing hut.


Detail of east interpretative panel at Grassy Island landing hut
Detail of east interpretative panel at Grassy Island landing hut.





The Interpretative Centre
at 1465 Union Street, Canso

The interpretative centre on Union Street, Canso
The interpretative centre on Union Street, Canso.


The interpretative centre on Union Street, Canso
Map of Canso Harbour, showing Grassy Island.


The interpretative centre on Union Street, Canso
The interpretative centre on Union Street, Canso.


The interpretative centre on Union Street, Canso
The interpretative centre on Union Street, Canso.


The interpretative centre on Union Street, Canso
The interpretative centre on Union Street, Canso.


The interpretative centre on Union Street, Canso
The interpretative centre on Union Street, Canso.





1764 Map of Canso harbour
Map done by order of His Excellency Montagu Wilmot, Esq.
Governor and Commander in Chief of Nova Scotia
by Charles Morris, chief surveyor 1764
Source:— http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.gmd/g3422c.ar037600
Library of Congress Geography and Map Division, Washington, D.C.

1764 Map of Canso harbour
1764 Map of Canso harbour.
"Fort Island" is now known as Grassy Island.
"Wilmot Town" is now known as the Town of Canso.

Compare the very accurate 1764 map (above) with a recent aerial photograph (below).


2007 satellite photograph of Canso harbour
2007 satellite photograph of Canso harbour.
Grassy Island is marked by the green arrow.


Detail:1764 Map of Canso harbour
Detail: 1764 Map of Canso harbour.
"Fort Island" is now known as Grassy Island.
"Wilmot Town" is now known as the Town of Canso.
Water depths are in fathoms.

One fathom  =  six feet  =  1.83 metres






Links to Relevant Websites
Grassy Island

Grassy Island Virtual Tour
Includes an aerial photograph of the Fort William Augustus site
    http://epe.lac-bac.gc.ca/100/205/301/ic/cdc/archaeology/
          second/impact/nhs/virtual/virtualtour.html


Canso Islands National Historic Site of Canada by Parks Canada
    http://www.pc.gc.ca/lhn-nhs/ns/canso/natcul/index_e.asp


The British Administration in Nova Scotia: 1714-1739
by the Department of Indian and Northern Affairs
...Philipps was also undoubtedly discouraged by the violence which
broke out at Canso.  The Micmacs, increasingly incensed by the incursions
of Massachusetts fishermen into Nova Scotia waters, attacked and killed
a number of them while capturing their fishing boats.  Philipps retaliated
by building a small fort at Canso and by garrisoning it with three
companies of troops from Annapolis...
    http://www.aadnc-aandc.gc.ca/eng/1100100028966#chp2


Timeline: Grassy Island and Canso, 1600-1699
    http://epe.lac-bac.gc.ca/100/205/301/ic/cdc/archaeology/
          second/history/1600timeline.html


Timeline: Grassy Island and Canso, 1713-1744
    http://epe.lac-bac.gc.ca/100/205/301/ic/cdc/archaeology/
          second/history/171344.html


Timeline: Grassy Island and Canso, 1745-1963
    http://epe.lac-bac.gc.ca/100/205/301/ic/cdc/archaeology/
          second/history/174500.html


Brief Biographies

Richard Philipps by Peter Landry
    http://www.blupete.com/Hist/BiosNS/1700-63/Philipps.htm


Richard Philipps Dictionary of Canadian Biography
    http://ns1763.ca/bio/7bio-91587-philipps1661.html


Richard Philipps Wikipedia
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Philipps


Alexander Cosby by Peter Landry
    http://www.blupete.com/Hist/BiosNS/1700-63/Cosby.htm


Alexander Cosby Dictionary of Canadian Biography
    http://www.biographi.ca/EN/ShowBio.asp?BioId=35400


Lawrence Armstrong by Peter Landry
    http://www.blupete.com/Hist/BiosNS/1700-63/Armstrong.htm


Lawrence Armstrong Dictionary of Canadian Biography
    http://ns1763.ca/bio/7bio-34734-armstrong1664.htmll


Lawrence Armstrong Wikipedia
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lawrence_Armstrong


Edward How by Peter Landry
    http://www.blupete.com/Hist/BiosNS/1700-63/How.htm


Edward How Dictionary of Canadian Biography
    http://ns1763.ca/bio/7bio-35532-how1702.html


Jean Paul Mascarene by Peter Landry
    http://www.blupete.com/Hist/BiosNS/1700-63/Mascarene.htm


Paul Mascarene Dictionary of Canadian Biography
    http://ns1763.ca/bio/7bio-35647-mascarene.html


Paul Mascarene Wikipedia
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Mascarene


Nicholas Denys by Peter Landry
    http://www.blupete.com/Hist/BiosNS/1600-00/Denys.htm


Nicolas Denys Dictionary of Canadian Biography
    http://www.biographi.ca/EN/ShowBio.asp?BioId=34290


Nicolas Denys Wikipedia
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicolas_Denys


Patrick Heron Dictionary of Canadian Biography
    http://ns1763.ca/bio/7bio-91401-heron1709.html


Agathe de Saint-Etienne de la Tour (1690-c.1743)
a.k.a. Agathe Bradstreet, Agathe Campbell
    http://www.biographi.ca/EN/ShowBio.asp?BioId=35211


Grassy Island National Historic Site

Cape Breton in Transition: Economic Diversification and Prospects for Tourism
...By the early 1990s Grassy Island National Historic Site was in operation.
The mainland visitor centre provided visitors with an opportunity to familiarize
themselves with the site's story before taking a boat to the Island.
Once on the Island, visitors could view the traces of the fort on top of the
hill and inspect the sites of other structures which once stood on the Island.
None of the original structures have been reconstructed, but Parks Canada
has carried out additional archaeological investigations in 1993 and 1994,
providing summer employment and additional government spending in the
Canso area.  Much still remains to be done, however, before tourism begins
to make a substantial contribution to the economy of the Canso area.
Grassy Island attracts only 3,000 to 4,000 visitors annually...
    http://fortress.uccb.ns.ca/search/Proc95_10.htm







Photographs of War Memorials, Historic Monuments and Plaques in Nova Scotia
    http://ns1763.ca/remem/plaques.html



Canso & Hazel Hill war memorial Canso & Hazel Hill war memorial Canso
    http://ns1763.ca/guysbco/cansowar.html


Commercial Cable Company telegraph office Commercial Cable Company telegraph office Hazel Hill
    http://ns1763.ca/guysbco/commcable.html


Commercial Cable Trans Atlantic Park Commercial Cable Trans Atlantic Park Hazel Hill
    http://ns1763.ca/guysbco/cableparkmunic.html


Captain Savalette plaque Captain Savalette plaque, 1565 Charlos Cove
    http://ns1763.ca/guysbco/savalette-plaque.html


Charlos Cove historical plaque Charlos Cove historical plaque, 1763 Charlos Cove
    http://ns1763.ca/guysbco/charloshist.html


Charlos Cove war memorial Charlos Cove war memorial Charlos Cove
    http://ns1763.ca/guysbco/charloswarmem.html


Goldboro war memorial Goldboro war memorial Goldboro
    http://ns1763.ca/guysbco/goldborom.html


Country Harbour Loyalist Trail Waterside Site Country Harbour Loyalist Trail, Waterside Site Stormont
    http://ns1763.ca/guysbco/loyalistchw.html


Country Harbour Loyalist Trail Roadside Park Country Harbour Loyalist Trail, Roadside Park Stormont
    http://ns1763.ca/guysbco/loyalistchr.html


Cross Roads Country Harbour war memorial Cross Roads Country Harbour war memorial Cross Roads Country Harbour
    http://ns1763.ca/guysbco/crossroads-ch.html


New Harbour war memorial New Harbour war memorial New Harbour
    http://ns1763.ca/guysbco/newhbrm.html


Sherbrooke Presbyterian Church honour roll Presbyterian Church honour roll Sherbrooke
    http://ns1763.ca/guysbco/honourroll-sher.html


St. Mary's Municipality war memorial St. Mary's Municipality war memorial Sherbrooke
    http://ns1763.ca/guysbco/sherbrooke.html


Spanish Ship Bay war memorial Spanish Ship Bay war memorial Spanish Ship Bay
    http://ns1763.ca/guysbco/spanbay.html


Antigonish Memorial Field Memorial Field Antigonish
    http://ns1763.ca/antgnco/antigonishwwtwo.html


Fort Point monument Fort Point monument LaHave
    http://ns1763.ca/lunenco/lahavefpm.html


Morden: French Cross monument French Cross monument Morden
    http://ns1763.ca/kingsco/frenchcross.html


Falmouth: Sainte-Famille Parish Cemetery Sainte-Famille Parish Cemetery Falmouth
    http://ns1763.ca/hantsco/acadnfalm.html


Iron Cross monument Iron Cross monument Horton Landing
    http://ns1763.ca/kingsco/ironcross.html


Monument: Poutrincourt's 1607 Mill Poutrincourt's 1607 Mill monument LeQuille
    http://ns1763.ca/annapco/lequille.html



Go To:   Timeline of the Seven Years War 1754-1763
    http://ns1763.ca/remem/7yw-timeline-w.html

The destruction of Grassy Island by France in 1744 was an early event in the preliminary skirmishes between England and France, that led to the Seven Years War.


Go To:   Nova Scotia History, Chapter One
    http://newscotland1398.ca/hist/nshistory01.html

Go To:   Nova Scotia Historical Biographies
    http://newscotland1398.ca/hist/nshistory00.html#ns-historical-biog

Go To:   Proclamations: Land Grants in Nova Scotia 1757, '58, '59
    http://planter2010.ca/proc/proclamations-ndx.html

Go To:   Statutes of Nova Scotia, 1805, edited by Richard John Uniacke
    http://ns1763.ca/law/ns-statutes1805-titlepg.html

Go To:   Nova Scotia Quotations
    http://ns1758.ca/quote/quotes.html

Go To:   History of Telegraph and Telephone Companies in Nova Scotia
    http://ns1758.ca/tele/telephone.html

Go To:   History of Railway Companies in Nova Scotia
    http://ns1758.ca/rail/railways.html

Go To:   History of Electric Power Companies in Nova Scotia
    http://ns1758.ca/electric/electric.html

Go To:   History of Automobiles in Nova Scotia
    http://ns1758.ca/auto/automobiles.html

Go To:   Home Page
    http://ns1763.ca/index.html



First uploaded to the WWW:   2005 August 26
New photograph installed:   2007 June 04
Latest update:   2011 November 16