Grand Pre Marsh Body

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Grand Pre Marsh Body

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  • Textual record
  • Graphic material
  • Architectural drawing

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Reference code

2007.032-GMB, 2010.047-GMB

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  • 1923-2004 (Creation)
    Grand Pre Marsh Body

Physical description area

Physical description

50 folders of textual records
20 photographs
16 plans and blueprints

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Administrative history

The Grand Pre Marsh Body (hereafter the Body), incorporated in 1949, includes all Proprietors of salt marshes and tidal lands protected by the Grand Pre and Wickwire Dykes. At annual meetings, the proprietors set the yearly rates for covering the dykeland expenses and organized the day-to-day activities of overseeing and maintaining the land. In 1948 and 1949, the Federal Government of Canada and the Nova Scotia Provincial Government both passed legislation to assist in the repair and rehabilitation of the marshlands in the Maritimes. The Body signed an agreement with the Maritime Marshland Rehabilitation Act (hereafter the M.M.R.A.) and so was incorporated under the Ministry of Agriculture and Marketing, to be governed by the Maritime Reclamation Act of Nova Scotia. The government’s duty was to assist in the construction, reconstruction and maintenance of the dykes, aboiteaux, and breakwaters. The Body made agreements with each Proprietor for used and damaged land during the construction and reconstruction of the dyke systems. Proprietors were not to interfere or hinder the M.M.R.A.’s duties. If no agreement was made between the Proprietor and the Body, expropriation of land could occur. The repairs needed were assessed annually and contracts drawn up between the Ministry and the Body before work began. The Body was reimbursed and paid by the province for drainage construction and maintenance. One main role of the Body, as stated in their by-laws, has always been “to ensure that land use and development of the marshlands is authorized only for the purposes and practices of agriculture.” In the 1990’s this was challenged by The Town of Wolfville. The Town wanted jurisdiction over the marshlands within their boundaries and took the issue to the Nova Scotia Supreme Court for a decision. In 1995, the Supreme Court ruled jurisdiction of the marshlands remained with the Marsh Bodies but the Town of Wolfville appealed the decision. In 1996, the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal left the dykelands without any means of protection from non-agricultural development. In 1995, the Dykelands Preservation Society was launched as a non-profit organization, in interest of protecting and preserving agricultural heritage. This was started in response to the concern raised over the Town of Wolfville’s intentions to allow non-agricultural development to the dykelands. On October 21, 1995, the Grand Pre and Bishop-Beckwith Marsh Bodies held a 235th year celebration for the Marsh Body.

Custodial history

Scope and content

Fonds consist of administrative records for the Grand Pre Marsh Body, including documentation for the legal case against the Town of Wolfville and plans and blueprints of the Grand Pre area.

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Some items available digitally.

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Records subject to the Copyright Act.

Associated materials

See also Dykes and Common Fields fonds 1900.018
See also Proprietors of the Lower Dyke Common Field fonds 1936.001
See also Sherman Bleakney fonds 2004.039-BLE, 2005.036-BLE, 2006.037-BLE
See also “The Wellington Dyke” by Marjory Whitelaw [TC345 .C3 W5 1997]
See also “Sods, soil, and spades : the Acadians at Grand Pré and their dykeland legacy” by J. Sherman Bleakney [TC345 .C3 B53 2004]
See also “Municipal Legislation Review Committee [microform] : discussion paper” by the Committee [AC1 .M5 no.96-06560 MFICHE]
See also “The Marshland Reclamation Act” by the Nova Scotia Department of Agriculture and Marketing (1975)
See also “The Marshland Reclamation Act and Amendments” by the Nova Scotia Department of Agriculture and Marketing (1951)

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