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Lunenburg History

About Lunenburg, Nova Scotia

A panorama of Lunenburg, Nova Scotia

Lunenburg (2006 population: 2,317) is a Canadian port town in Lunenburg County, Nova Scotia located at the western side of Mahone Bay on the province's South Shore on the North Atlantic. The town is approximately 100 kilometers (60 miles) southwest of the county boundary of the Halifax Regional Municipality, the provincial capital of Nova Scotia. The approximate drive times to Lunenburg: 

Governor Cornwallis Letter

Governor Cornwallis in his letter to the Lords of Trade, dated Chebucto, 24th July, 1749, says: The number of settlers—men, women and children—is 1,400, but I beg leave to observe to your Lordships that amongst them the number of industrious, active men proper to undertake and carry on a new settlement, is very small.

Halifax to Lunenburg Maritime Immigration - June 1753

Arriving on June 8th & 17th, 1753.  

Approximately 1453 passengers & 158 armed troops on board.
Now it is my opinion that these Sloops would average about 60' x 24' and the Schooners about 65' x 16' and each would be capable of transporting from 40 to 60 persons and the voyage from Halifax to Lunenburg that took approximately 12 hours (with a fair wind).  It is also my opinion that these ships were mostly from the Eastern Seaboard and principally Massachusetts and Virginia.

Kenneth Paulsen, Ph.D., Publications List

‘Settlement and Ethnicity in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, 1753-1800: A History of the Foreign-Protestant Community.’ Doctoral Dissertation, University of Maine, 1996.  Unpublished manuscript is located at the New England Historic Genealogical Society.

‘New Light or No Light: The Religious Experience in Lunenburg, 1753-1790.’ In The Nova Scotia Planters in the Atlantic World, 1759-1830, edited by Stephen Henderson and Wendy G. Robicheau.  Fredericton, N.B.: Acadiensis Press, 2012.

The Church Map 1864-83

This map of Lunenburg was produced by the A.F. Church Co. of Bedford, N.S. and appears as a large-scale inset on a Topographical Township Map of Lunen­burg County. The map shows streets and buildings and identifies each building with a name. The title block on the map states that it was "entered according to law on the 24th March, A.D. 1864" and indeed, it is often referred to as the "1864 Church Map". However, there is reason to doubt the correctness of this date. Sources at P.A.N.S.

Local Research And Bibliographic Sources

The following documents and sources were consulted in the course of research for the Heritage Resource Study.

Registry of Deeds


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