Map & Place Names

Cumberland County Map

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Amherst – The Micmac name was Nemcheboogwek meaning “going up rising ground”. The Acadians who settled here as early as 1672 called the village Les Planches. It was named Amherst by Colonel Joseph Morse, the first settler, in honor of Lord Jeffrey Amherst, Commander of the British forces in America.1

Amherst Shore – Originally called Rockwell Settlement after early settlers there.1

Apple River – The Indian name was Agoomakun, meaning “Herring Fishery.” The present name is derived from the large number of fruit trees found at one time in the area.1

Athol – The original name was Little Forks. The name was changed to Athol in 1871, in honour of the Duke of Athol, a prominent Scottish statesman.1

Barronsfield – Named in 1765 after Captain Edward Baron – one of the early settlers.1

Brookdale – Originally known as River Nappan. The name is self-explanatory.1

Collingwood – Named after Admiral Lord Collingwood, who was second in command to Lord Nelson at Trafalgar.1

Conn Mills – Named after an early settler who was a millowner. Among the first grantees were Henry Purdy, 1812, and George Bishop, 1814. Purdy was a Loyalist who came to Nova Scotia from New York in 1783. A school was opened in Conn Mills in 1890. The population in 1956 was 50.2

Fenwick – Named after Sir Fenwick Williams, Lieutenant-Governor of Nova Scotia from 1865-1867.1

Fort Lawrence – The Indian name was Kwesownmalegeh, meaning “hardwood point”. The place was also known as Missiquash and as Beaubasin. The present name is derived from the fort built there by Major Charles Lawrence in 1750.1

Hastings – Originally called Porter Town after the early settlers. The name was changed to Hastings in 1864 in honour of Warren Hastings. At the same time, part of East Amherst became Warren.

These names were largely dictated by the school act of 1864 when it became necessary to form school sections. Until that time, Amherst, more or less, extended from Amherst Point to Amherst Head, Amherst Point, East Amherst, West Amherst, Amherst Head retained the Amherst title but Truemanville, Warren and Hastings received new names at this time.1

Joggins – The Indian name was Chegoggin. Che means “great” and Joggin “fish weir” so the name means ” a fish weir place”. The name is seen on maps as early as 1750.1

Leamington – Originally know as Maccan Mountain. The name was changed to Leamington in 1886, in honor of the place with the same name in England.1

Leicester – Named after the town of the same name in England.1

Linden – Was originally known as Goose River. The name Linden, after the linden tree, was adopted in 1882.1

Maccan – The name is derived from the Indian name Maakan, meaning fishing place. Settlement here goes back well over two hundred years.1

Malagash – Another Indian derivation from Malegawach meaning “Mocking Place” or where the Indians met to play games. Possibly an early form of Olympic Games?1

Mapleton – Originally called Maccan Mountain. The name Mapleton was adopted in 1789 – derived from the abundance of maple trees in the area.1

Minudie – The name comes from the Indian word Menoodek – “a small sack or bag” or from Munoodeh, which has nearly the same meaning. There was a French settlement here in the early 18th century. In 1765, the whole area was granted to J.F.W. DesBarres, whose heirs sold it to Amos “King” Seaman.1

Nappan – Known by the Indians as Nepan – a good place to get Wigwam poles. The name was derived from the original Nepan.1

Oxford – The original name was Slabtown because of the abundance of sawmills and slab wood in the area. It was supposedly named after the famous university city of the same name in England, although some say it was from “the place where oxen could ford the river.”1

Parrsboro – The Indian name was Awokun meaning “a portage.” Later, the place was called Partridge Island. It was named Parrsboro after John Parr, the Governor of Nova Scotia, 1782-91. Parrsboro became an incorporated town in 1884 – the first town incorporated in Cumberland County.1

Pugwash – The name probably comes from the Indian word, Pagweckk meaning shallow water or shoal. Pugwash was called Waterford in the early 19th century.1

River Hebert – Named after Louis Hebert, a French settler who came to Annapolis with DeMonts in 1604. He sailed into Cumberland Basin and into the river which still bears his name.1

Salem – Originally known as Sugarwoods Hill, also as River Philip Road. The name Salem was adopted in 1852. This was a fairly important place in stage coach days.1

Shinimicas – The Indian name for Shining River.1

Shulie – The origin of this name is rather obscure. It appears on many early maps under a variety of spellings. It is generally thought to be of French origin, possibly derived from the word “soulier” meaning a shoe.1

Southampton – Named after Southampton, England in 1872.1

Springhill – The name comes from the fact that the hill on which the town is situated, once contained numerous springs.1

Tidnish – Derived from the Indian word Mtogunechk, meaning a paddle.1

Truemanville – Named in 1786 after the first settlers – the Truemans.1

Wallace – Originally called Ramsheg, the name was changed to Wallace in 1810, probably after Michael Wallace, an early Nova Scotia statesman. It is also claimed that the place was named after Sir William Wallace, a national hero in Scotland.1

Warren – Originally part of East Amherst, named after Warren Hastings, a prominent English statesman.1

Westchester – Named in 1784 after Westchester County, New York by Loyalists who were the first settlers.1

Wentworth – Named in honour of Sir John Wentworth, Lieutenant-Governor of Nova Scotia from 1792-1808.1

Sources: (1) The Citizen, Saturday, March 19, 1988, Page Three: “A Touch of Cumberland County History” – Some place names in Cumberland area, by Dr. Graham P. Hennessey; (2) Place Names and Places of Nova Scotia, by P.A.N.S., 1967 page 143 [Note – P.A.N.S. now Nova Scotia Archives and Records Management].