About Our Community

The Aspotogan Peninsula, sometimes known as the Blandford Peninsula, is located in the eastern part of Lunenburg County approximately 50 km west of Halifax. Map of Aspotogan Peninsula

Our peninsula juts into the Atlantic Ocean and is connected to the mainland on the north side. Many small communities dot the coast along St. Margaret’s Bay on the east and around to Mahone Bay on the west. Route 329 circles the peninsula along the coast, while Trunk 3 and Highway 103 pass to the north.

Fishing was traditionally a major industry around the bay but farming, shipping, and lumbering were also important. During the 1800s tourism increased and Hubbards became a regular stopping place for the stagecoach.

The railway between Halifax and Yarmouth, completed in 1905, carried both passengers and freight. Easy rail access plus the scenic splendor and beaches made the area a popular tourist destination.

Many hotels and and cottages were established during this period, including The Gainsborough. Sold to the government in 1944, it was used as part of the St. Margaret’s Bay Training School for the Merchant Marines. In 1969, the J.D. Shatford Library was built on the site.

Canadian Forces Station (CFS) Mill Cove was opened in 1967. A naval communications station on the Atlantic coast, the site consisted of 4000+ acres of land, private married quarters, and Administration buildings. The complex was a major employer and contributor to the local economy until it was decommissioned in the early 1990s.

In 1969, Highway 103, which linked Hubbards to Halifax, was completed. With a driving time of only 45 minutes, more residents began to go into Halifax for work. Reasonable land prices and the opportunity to live in a rural setting also encouraged many city dwellers to move to the area.

Another draw was (and continues to be) the Shatford Trust. Oil businessman J.D. Shatford left money to the community to start an educational trust fund after his death. Local students, living within a prescribed area and graduating from high school, can access the fund to assist with their post-secondary tuition. The Trust also built the J.D. Shatford Library, the Hubbards Firehall, and has supplied funds to local schools, churches, and community groups.

In 1994, the Aspotogan Heritage Trust (AHT) was created to oversee the renovation and re-population of the land and the housing units at CFS Mill Cove. The name was changed to Mill Cove Park - many of our students live in these units.

In addition, Nova Scotia’s first dedicated sound stage was established in 1996 at Mill Cove Park, in the former Base’s Administration and Gymnasium buildings. More than $40 million worth of film and TV production occurred here over a 5-year period. This provided many opportunities for the residents and great financial gain for the area.

In September of 1998, Swissair Flight 111 crashed into the Atlantic Ocean at the entrance of St. Margaret’s Bay killing all 229 people on board. In the period following the crash, many of our students’ parents and relatives were directly involved in the rescue and recovery process.

One month later, Ann Thornton (our much-loved and respected Primary teacher) and her husband, Philip, were killed. Both tragedies greatly impacted on our staff, our students, and the community. Counsellors were brought in on both occasions to help us cope with our grief.

In 1999, the AHT secured the property for our school and building commenced.

From Internal Review Report (Accreditation 2008)