Musée des Acadiens des Pubnicos et Centre de recherche
|The Acadians constructed earthen dykes to
isolate areas of salt marsh from repeated inundation by the tides. Into the base of each
dyke they built "aboiteaux" - wooden sluices fitted with swinging doors that
allowed excess fresh water to drain from the newly claimed land, but shut to prevent
re-entry of salt water at high tide. Drainage ditches channeled standing water away from
the saturated soil, and after rainwater had diluted the salt content for a few years, the
new fields were ready to sustain crops and livestock. Today, modern aboiteaux based on the
same engineering principles are employed to maintain drainage of dyke lands.
A rare original "aboiteau" is the jewel of the museum's artefacts. In 1990, local residents found a couple of boards sticking out of an eroding beach on Double Island, West Pubnico. They returned to the site in 1996 to remove the aboiteau, to preserve and display it at the musuem.
Click here for a .PDF file of the Pubnico aboiteau descriptive panel