This area was first reference by Jacques Nicolas Bellin in 1744 who called it Magpec. This is derived from the Mi’kmaq word for “big bay”. In 1765 Samual Holland named the bay “Richmond Bay,” for Charles Lennox the 3rd Duke of Richmond, the British ambassador to France at the time, using Malpeck Bay as a secondary name. Over time, the west side of the bay retained the name Richmond, and the east side of the bay became known as Malpeque. The town itself (in 1827) was originally called Princetown and the municipal district Princetown Royalty, until 1945 the Malpeque name became official.
This town is town for the Malpeque oyster, which almost completely died out due to a disease outbreak in 1917 (which did not affect humans), and have since managed to overcome the disease and flourish. The Mi’kmaq First Nations have a reserve on Lennox Island in Malpeque Bay. From the town wharf, visitors can arrange deep sea and tuna fishing charters.
Here are some of the attractions in and around Malpeque:
The Keir Memorial Museum
Rte 20, Malpeque
(902) 836-3054; off-season (902) 836-5613
Housed in the 1923 Keir Memorial Presbetyrian Church, this museum offers changing exhibits illustrating household, religious, farming, and oyster- fishing activities from Mi’kmaq and Acadian times through the British settlement of Princetown-Malpeque. Of special interest is the 1887 horse-drawn hearse. Allow 30 minutes. Open July 1 to Labour Day, 9 am-5 pm; Sat and Sun, 1-5 pm. Admission, with family rate.
On Blue Heron Drive, Route 20, turn off at Darnley towards Profitts Point.
This light is located among cottage lots near the shore, in the middle of a farmer’s field. Please respect this property.