Images of Amirault’s Hill


Eugene Meuse was a rural professional photographer from Armirault’s Hill, Yarmouth County, NS, who took photographs from about 1900 to 1920 in the Acadian villages of Hubbard’s Point, Amirault’s Hill, and Sluice Point. Susan Young summarized his interests and accomplishments thus:

    1. “Eugene Meuse drew primarily on his surroundings for his subject matter. He photographed his neighbours at home, or working on their farms or fishing boats. His pictures of the buildings in his village are a useful architectural record. As well as taking conventional portraits and landscapes, he experimented with self-portraiture, the results of which sometimes reflect his sense of humour [see the last image below]. Photography seems to have been both a hobby and a source of income for he produced views of Amirault’s Hill printed on postcard stock for general sale. He does not seem to have considered photography as a career and how long he photographed is not really known for so few of his photographs are dated. It seems likely that he abandoned it when the advent of small, portable cameras and spools of film made hobby photography accessible to everyone.

    2. “When he was a young man, Meuse worked and travelled widely in Canada. He started by fishing with his contemporaries from Amirault’s Hill in Nova Scotia. He later spent time as a cowboy in Alberta, probably in Medicine Hat, where photographs from that adventure show him on horseback, appropriately attired. In New Brunswick he mined coal; in Ontario he worked on the construction of the Welland Canal. Eventually he settled in Halifax. He was something of an inventor and in 1911 patented his design for an early crank can opener. His designs for a swept wing for aircraft and a multi-storied parking garage were ahead of their time. In 1928 he began to build a grandfather clock entirely by hand, a project he completed some forty years later.” [1, p. 154]

  1. References and Notes

    [1] Susan Young, “Eugene Meuse’s Carding Bee: Portrait of an Acadian Village.” Royal Nova Scotia Historical Society Journal, vol. 3, 2000, pp. 153–174. See also Susan Young, “Eugene Meuse’s Carding Bee: Families and Old Photographs.” The Argus, vol. 8(3), Fall 1996, pp. 20–32.

    [2] I thank archivist Peter Crowell, of the Argyle Township Court House and Archives (ATCHA), for providing access to photographs by, and archival material concerning, Eugene Meuse. All photographs labeled ATCHA are copyrighted; please contact the Archives if you wish to acquire copies.

William Day (1 February 2016)