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March 2011 Archives

Road Trip - Port Morien

Posted by Robert Doublett

At first glance, Port Morien may look like a "little fishing village".

But as you'll learn today, it's much more than that.

We're going to take you to Port Morien, and find out what makes this Cape Breton seaside community so unique.

These days, Morien is home to about 600 people. But did you know it once boasted a population of 3-thousand, and was a thriving shipping centre?

It's home to both the first commercial coal mine AND the first Boy Scout troup in North America.

It's was among the first winners of the Lt.-Gov.'s Community Spirit Award.

It's has a great sandbar for bird-watching.

And it's home to several long-running organizations, including a vibrant theatre group.

There's lots to learn, so join us and, as usual, we're going to set the scene with a look back into the past.

If you landed in Port Morien a century-and-a-half ago, you'd find you weren't in Port Morien at all:

The area has gone through a few name-changes over the years.

You'd also find yourself in a very different-looking community, bustling with the activity of a thriving coal mining industry.

As I mentioned at the start of the show, Port Morien was actually the site of the first commercial coal mine in North America.

Ken MacDonald had done a lot of research into all of this.

He's a retired educator, and author of Port Morien: Pages from the Past.

I sat down with Ken at the Port Morien legion for this chat.

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