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The Icelandic Memorial Society of Nova Scotia was incorporated on July 29, 1998 to educate the public about Nova Scotia's Icelandic past. By sharing the history of the Icelandic settlers in Nova Scotia during the late 1800s, we hope to assist and encourage their descendents and others to preserve this part of Nova Scotia's heritage. As a millennium project, the Society erected a memorial cairn in each of the settlements. Dedication ceremonies were held at the cairn sites August 26, 2000 at Markland and August 27, 2000 in Lockeport. The Viking ship Islendingur arrived in Lockeport on August 27 to join in the celebrations.

The Honourable Rodney MacDonald, Minister of Tourism for Nova Scotia proclaims the old settlement to be officially known as Markland.

 

 

Mrs. Eleanor Belmore, The Honourable Sturla B÷­varsson Minister of Transportation, Communication and Tourism, Republic of Iceland and The Honourable Rodney MacDonald unveiling the cairn.

Minister B÷­varsson, Mrs Belmore and Minister MacDonald

Work continues to locate old homesteads in the Markland Settlement, and a future project is to build a replica of one or more of the old homes. With the consent of the present day landowners, the Society has established a network of trails throughout the old settlement. When you visit, please remember that this is an isolated area and private property. Dress for hiking and please respect both the landowners and nature.

To provide further information on these settlements, Society members are conducting research in Iceland, at the Nova Scotia Archives and Records Management, Public Archives of Nova Scotia site and in the local areas to gather more details about the Markland and Lockeport settlements. If you would like more information or have any information to share, please contact the Society Executive.

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The Settlements

Markland Settlement Lockeport Settlement
Map of the settlement and one of the old home sites.

 

The last two houses that were built by the Icelandic settlers.

The information contained within these pages was researched by Don and Leona Gislison of Toronto, Ontario, Dolly Belmore of Caribou Mines, J. Marshall Burgess of Halifax and Harlen Redden of Middle Musquodoboit, Nova Scotia. Additional material and photographs have been supplied by descendents of these early settlers.

To see the counties and parishes these families came from, visit Halfdan Helgason's "The Emmigration from Iceland to North America".

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These settler stories are great gifts!

Books:

  • The Young Icelander by: J­hann Magnus Bjarnason. Translated by Borga Jakobson from Erikur Hansson: A Novel from Nova Scotia. Available from the Society for $23.00 (S+H incl.) Order form here >
     

  • Errand Boy in the Mooseland Hills by Magnus Bjarnason has been translated by Society member Borga Jakobson and published by Formac Publishing Co. Ltd. and is available in most Canadian bookstores or from the Society for $23.00 (S+H incl.) Order form here >
     

  • The English translation of the book Markland - Remembrance of the Years 1875-1881 has been reprinted for the Society with the kind permission of Gu­brandur Erlendsson's descendents and is available for $18.00 (S+H incl.) from the Society. Order form here
     

  • The Icelanders of Kinmount - An Experiment in Settlement by Donald E. Gislason is available from the Icelandic Canadian Club of Toronto. "Kinmount Memorial Project"

CDs:

The Story of Markland on CD was written by Society member Ken Burrows with narration and music by Bill Stevenson. This poignant and moving musical story tells of the struggle of the Icelandic settlers during their seven years in Markland, and will leave the listener with a deeper understanding and compassion for these hardy, honest, hard working souls who have contributed so much to the Americas.  Available from the Society for $13.00 (S+H incl.) Order form here >

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The Society acknowledges the support provided by:

Millennium Bureau of Canada Halifax Regional Municipality
2000 Committee
Millennium 125 Commission

and the Members for the projects that were undertaken.

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updated February-17-14

 

 

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Icelandic Memorial Society of Nova Scotia



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