The tiny coastal village of Peggy's Cove, Nova Scotia is a favorite destination for tourists and artists, who are drawn to its rugged coastline and picturesque harbours.
The stark landscape of huge, smooth boulders is a testament to the region's ancient, fascinating, evolving history, says Lesley Choyce, author of Peggy's Cove: The Amazing History of a Coastal Village.
“It goes back to the time of the glaciers -- that's when those rocks at Peggy's Cove were formed,” he says.
“People go there and they're just in awe of it.”
Who was 'Peggy'?
Historians are divided on the origins of the village's name. The earliest recorded mention of 'Peggs Harbour' was in 1766. The name may simply refer to St. Margaret's Bay -- the village sits at the easternmost point of the bay and Peggy is a nickname for Margaret.
However, popular legend has it that Peggy's Cove is named after the sole survivor of a shipwreck at nearby Halibut Rock.
Depending on which version of the legend you hear, the survivor was either a young woman or a child too young to remember her name, who was given the name Peggy by the family that took her in.
In both versions, Peggy went on to marry a resident of the village and became something of a local celebrity, prompting residents of the bay to refer to the settlement as “Peggy's Cove.”
The village was formally founded in 1811 when the province granted 800 acres of land to six area families.
The villagers fished and farmed, raising cattle on the surrounding pasture land. The population peaked at around 300 in the early 20th century, at which point Peggy's Cove was home to a schoolhouse, a church, a general store, a lobster cannery and a host of fishing boats.
Today, the population is smaller, but residents of Peggy's Cove are still actively engaged in fishing and the thriving local tourism industry.
But the same natural forces that shaped the topography of the cove still pose challenges to those who live there.
In 2003, Hurricane Juan smashed through the cove's breakwater. Flooding damaged homes and roads.
The breakwater suffered further damage during Hurricane Bill in 2009. Waves washed away one of the cove's characteristic fishing sheds and seriously damaged a gift shop.
With files from Jeremy Chipper in Peggy's Cove