Memorial Church and Evangeline Statue, Grand-Pré
Grand-Pré is a Canadian rural community in Kings County, Nova Scotia. Its French name translates to "Great Meadow" and the community lies at the eastern edge of the Annapolis Valley several kilometres east of the town of Wolfville on a peninsula jutting into the Minas Basin, framed by the Gaspereau and Cornwallis Rivers.
Grand-Pré was founded by Acadian settlers who travelled east from Champlain's original settlement in Port-Royal Annapolis Royal in 1680. The settlement grew and developed great expanses of tidal marsh as productive farmland.
However the community was caught between French and British imperial rivalries. In 1704, New Englanders burned the village in the Raid on Grand Pre. In 1747, a French force defeated a larger British force in a night raid at the Battle of Grand-Pré.
However the Acadian residents were all expelled from Grand Pre during the Great Upheaval, which began in 1755. There were various British soldiers who kept a journal of the deportation from Grand Pre such as Jeremiah Bancroft. American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow later immortalized the tragedy of the Grand Pre expulsion with his epic poem Evangeline.
Acadians from Grand Pre were dispersed in many locations and some eventually returned to other parts of the Canadian Maritimes such as Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and New Brunswick. Many Acadians expelled from the Grand Pre area eventually settled in the New England States and in South Louisiana in the United States. In Louisiana, the term Cajun evolved from the name Acadian.