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Bridgetown started as Gaudetville (the Acadian settlement), with settlers attracted by the rich tidal marshes made possible by the Annapolis River. After the Acadian expulsion in 1755, New England Planters were attracted to the area for the same reasons, and because the Acadians had already cleared productive farms along the river. Here, the River was later spanned by a bridge, for nearly a century the last bridge on the river above Annapolis Royal, where a ferry
transported goods and people across its mouth. As head of navigation (partly because of water depths, partly because of the bridge), the area was a natural commercial centre, collecting the wealth of the hinterland (agriculture and forestry products primarily) for export and distributing imports. It was a natural place for manufacturing enterprises to start up. Bridgetown has always been a trading town. It sat happily at the practical head of navigation on the Annapolis River and busily turned that advantage into a mercantile and industrial prosperity that lasted for nearly one hundred and fifty years. Naming the town "Bridgetown" after its most prominent feature was only sensible. Another story-that the town was named after a favourite previous home of Captain John Crosskill, the founder, in Bridgetown, Barbados, -is more romantic but less likely; for years the community had been referred to as "the Bridge".
Historic Cyprus Walk is a tour of some of the most significant parts of Bridgetown's heritage. With the help of this guide and the interpretive signs that have been provided you will learn about many aspects of life in Bridgetown long ago and today. The Walk is a way to get a feeling for that era of prosperity, initiative and comfort, as well as an acquaintance with nature and the advantages of this location. The walk begins at the kiosk in Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Park. Simply follow the blue line along the route. It should take about an hour and a half to complete. The Cyprus herself was the largest vessel ever built on the Annapolis River. She was a barque, a three masted vessel with the fore and main masts square-rigged and the mizzen mast rigged fore and aft. The Cyprus was built by Abram Young in 1878, and sailed for J. V. Troop and Sons out of Saint John, New Brunswick, where in all likelihood her masts and rigging were added.
She registered 1091 tons. The Troops were from Granville originally. The Cyprus was famous, too, as one of the fastest of her class. In 1893 she was condemned at Montevideo and refurbished as the Santa Lucia. The Shipyard where she was constructed was on the river, a few hundred feet downstream of the Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Park. There is said to be a big hole in the bank opposite the shipyard, gouged out when she was launched.
Annapolis River at Jubilee Park
Last Updated ( Thursday, 03 May 2012 )