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Beinn Bhreagh, Nova Scotia

Beinn Bhreagh, Nova Scotia is located in Nova Scotia
Beinn Bhreagh, Nova Scotia
Beinn Bhreagh in Nova Scotia

Beinn Bhreagh (generally pronounced "ban vreeah"[1]) is the name of the former estate of Dr. Alexander Graham Bell, in Victoria County, Nova Scotia, Canada. It refers to a peninsula jutting into Cape Breton Island's scenic Bras d'Or Lake approximately 3 km (1.9 mi) southeast of the village of Baddeck, forming the southeastern shore of Baddeck Bay.

The peninsula was known to the Mi'kmaq as "Megwatpatek", roughly translated to "Red Head" due to the reddish sandstone rocks at the tip of the peninsula. The name "Beinn Bhreagh"—meaning "Beautiful Mountain" in Scottish Gaelic—is thought to have been given to the peninsula by Dr. Bell, who purchased approximately 242.8 hectares (600 acres) to form the estate in the late 1880s.

In July 2005, the Nova Scotia Civic Address Project review changed the status of Beinn Bhreagh from a "generic locality" to a "community".[2]


  • Alexander Graham Bell 1
  • National Geographic Society maps 2
  • Gallery 3
  • See also 4
  • References 5

Alexander Graham Bell

Part of a series on the
History of Nova Scotia
Port Royal established 1605
Conquest of Acadia 1710
Halifax established 1749
Bay of Fundy Campaign 1755
Fall of Louisbourg 1758
Representative Government established 1758
Burying the Hatchet ceremony 1761
First significant Scottish immigration 1773
Battle of Fort Cumberland 1776
Birchtown established 1783
Capture of USS Chesapeake 1813
Freedom of the Press 1835
First Acadian MLA elected 1837
Responsible Government established 1848
‪Chesapeake Affair 1861
Co Op Movement begins 1861
‪Anti-Confederation Party elected 1867
Saxby Gale 1869
Launch of William D. Lawrence 1873
First airplane in the British Commonwealth 1909
Halifax Explosion 1917
Nova Scotia [Women’s] Franchise Act 1918
Launch of Bluenose 1922
Coal Miners' Memorial Day 1925
Pugwash Conferences established 1957
Springhill mining disaster 1958
NS Human Rights Commission established 1967
Acadian Federation of Nova Scotia established 1968
First 'Treaty Day' 1986
Westray Mine explosion 1992
First Black MLA elected 1993
Mi'kmaq-Nova Scotia-Canada Tripartite Forum 1997
Viola Desmond Apology 2010

Wealthy from his successful invention and marketing of the telephone, inventor Alexander Graham Bell and his wife Mabel undertook a cruising vacation in 1885 along the coast of eastern North America with their intended destination being Newfoundland, in order to view a mining operation that Mabel's father had invested in. Along the way, due to the accidental grounding of their passenger boat, they serendipitously discovered Cape Breton's Bras d'Or Lake and were enthralled by their surroundings.

Its landscape, climate, and Scottish traditions and culture were reminiscent of his birthplace in Edinburgh, Scotland. The Bells lived increasingly on Beinn Bhreagh from about 1888 until Dr. Bell's death in 1922, initially only in the summer and then later often year-round.

Bell constructed a laboratory and boatyard on this property, conducting experiments in powered flight and hydrofoil technology, among many other things. Some of his most notable accomplishments at Beinn Bhreagh included the first manned flight of an airplane in the British Commonwealth (by the AEA Silver Dart) in 1909, plus the HD-4, a hydrofoil boat designed by Frederick Walker Baldwin and Dr. Bell, and built at Beinn Bhreagh. Designed as a submarine chaser and powered by aircraft engines, their vessel set a world watercraft speed record of 71 miles per hour (114 km/h) in 1919, which remained unbroken for many years.

Dr. Bell and his wife Mabel were both buried atop Beinn Bhreagh mountain, on the estate, overlooking Bras d'Or Lake. The 242.8-hectare (600-acre) estate owned by the Bells is on the a peninsula at the end of Beinn Bhreagh Road. It is now owned by their many descendants and not open to the public, nor is it visible from Beinn Bhreagh Road. Dr. and Mrs. Bell's first residence on Beinn Bhreagh, the "Lodge", was built in 1888. The second and larger home, Beinn Bhreagh Hall (known locally as "The Point") was built in 1893. Both are visible from Baddeck, across Baddeck Bay. For more information and pictures of the estate, visit the Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site, a museum maintained by Parks Canada, which contains many objects donated to Canada by Dr. Bell's descendants. The Museum was designated a National Historic Site of Canada in 1952.[3]

National Geographic Society maps

Alexander Graham Bell's father-in-law, Gardiner Greene Hubbard was the first president of the National Geographic Society and Bell was its second president. Bell's son-in-law Gilbert Hovey Grosvenor was president of the National Geographic Society for many years, and his grandson, Melville Bell Grosvenor, and great grandson Gilbert Melville Grosvenor were editors of the National Geographic Magazine and also Presidents of the Society. Perhaps as a result, both Beinn Bhreagh or Baddeck, the nearest town, are prominently displayed in National Geographic maps of the area, despite their relatively small size.


See also


  1. ^ website
  2. ^ Nova Scotia Government website
  3. ^ Alexander Graham Bell. Canadian Register of Historic Places. Retrieved 25 August 2012.

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