Aboiteau Near Wolfville, Nova Scotia?

Was out for a soggy walk in my work dress shoes along a section of old dyke wall near Wolfville in the Annapolis Valley, Nova Scotia. It has rained buckets here over the past couple of weekends, well over 100 mm of the wet stuff.

I don’t know what possessed me to trek over such a soggy road, but I came across a cut in part of the old dyke wall caused be water flowing from the marshes on the land side of one of the dykes and saw the following:


I thought it was just an old buried log, possibly part of an old wharf, till I looked closer and almost fell on my butt with what I saw – an ancient (perhaps) aboiteau that once functioned to drain salt water from the marshlands reclaimed from the ocean.

If you look closer, you will note that the log is actually constructed of two pieces, the bottom being a log that was channeled, with a split cap placed along the top producing an ancient pipe. It is about four feet from the current surface, so it is likely not that old (sea levels have risen and the actual Acadian aboiteaus I believe are buried much deeper). This one is likely a 19th century construction (possibly a part of the original Wickwire Dyke around 1806?)

That said, I found a replica of an Acadian-era aboiteau at the following link. What you see above is very similar! Still, this is a very neat find that I will need to report tomorrow. I imagine that now it is exposed, it will degrade fairly quickly…

Maybe this isn’t an aboiteau and my imagination was just running amok (again).

Still, was worth ruining my shoes!



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