At the turn of the nineteenth century, road travel in Nova Scotia was still in its infancy. Many Nova Scotians still preferred water routes, and those “roads” that did exist were often little more than blazed trails not fit for wheeled vehicles. But it wasn’t long before roads were established around the province to allow for a steady increase in traffic and sophistication of vehicles.
Author Joan Dawson has used nineteenth-century maps and surveys to not only trace the paths of these old roads, but to explore the residents and businesses that sprang up along them. She follows the roads out of Halifax to Windsor and Truro (the “Great Roads”) as well as the oldest post roads along the Annapolis Valley, the South Shore, northern and eastern Nova Scotia, and even Cape Breton. These earliest highways, now mostly forgotten or buried in wilderness, reminds us of the hard-working crews and surveyors who defied geographical difficulties to make travelling easier for Nova Scotia’s residents.
Featuring 40 maps and illustrations, Nova Scotia’s Lost Highways is a fascinating history of early travel in the province.