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Gabarus' more than 300 year history is one defined by the interaction of wind, sea, wilderness and, and of course, politics. It continues to be so.
Over the centuries, the Gabarus Bay area has figured largely in the exploration and colonization of North America. As previously mentioned, CapeBreton is one of the earliest named places in North America.Did you know that Gabarus was once the largest community in Cape Breton? Yes. it was larger than Sydney, and much older. However, like nearly all coastal Cape Breton communities, since the middle of the 20th Century, it has experienced a gradual loss of population.
Gabarus was here to observe the cycle of growth, decline and resurgence of fishing. Cod, salmon, lobsters, crabs,, herring, tuna, mackerel, sea urchins and others have all been fished in our bay or off our shores. To this day, many of our residents continue to make their living from the sea.
Gabarus was here to watch the trans-Atlantic tug-of-war between imperial England and France. From Ramshead one could watch ships bearing goods, immigrants, soldiers and, sadly, slaves sail up and down the coast from across the Atlantic. Many of them never arrived at their intended destinations, but foundered on what many consider to be one of the most dangerous coasts in the north Atlantic. Indeed, as can be seen from the side panel, the presence of hundreds of wrecks oblong this coast provides testimony to its perils.
According to the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic, between the early 1700's to present, there have been more than 9600 shipwrecks in Nova Scotia, many off of the coast of Cape Breton.
On the eastern coast between Port Hawkesbury and North Bay there have been over 470 recorded shipwrecks. Of these, 33 are in Gabarus Harbour, Gababus Bay and the nearby area.
Gabarus wins community spirit award.