Conference 2017 – Expedition Cruising

AH18 October 16, 2017

Confirmed presentation for Saturday October 21st: “Creating Ambassadors: Expedition Cruising Helps Secure the Future of Sable Island” Allow us to introduce Cedar Swan, an adventurer and passionate outdoor enthusiast. The CEO of Adventure Canada—as well as an expedition planner…

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Conference 2017 – Seeking Sable’s Lost Wrecks:

AH18 October 15, 2017

Confirmed presentation for Saturday October 21st: “Seeking Sable’s Lost Wrecks: Following a Digital Paper Trail” With some 350 ships thought to have wrecked on Sable Island, it’s sometimes called “The Graveyard of the Atlantic”. At our conference, Bill…

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Conference 2017 – Marine Debris and Micro Plastics

AH18 October 14, 2017

Confirmed presentation for Saturday October 21st: “Atlantic Canada Microplastics Research Project” Marine debris and micro plastics. Unpleasant for sure, but what does the research tell us? Ariel Smith, MEnv, is the Marine Debris Project Coordinator at Bluenose Coastal Action Foundation…

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Conference 2017 – Sable Island Horse Research

AH18 October 13, 2017

Confirmed presentation for Saturday October 21st: “Population Ecology of the Sable Island Horses”  Sable Island’s most famous inhabitants are its horses. And here’s the man who may understand them the best.Philip D. McLoughlin is an Associate Professor…

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Thank You Bill Freedman

October 28, 2015

It was sad to hear of the passing of Bill Freedman in late September 2015.…

AGM 2015 Recap

June 25, 2015

Thanks to everyone who attended the 2015 Annual General Meeting on June 24th at the…

Conference Thanks

June 2, 2015

One month ago today we opened the first Sable Island Conference. It was exciting to…

E-1: “Overview of Settlement History at Sable Island” – Aaron Mior


This paper will provide an overview of the settlement and human occupation on Sable Island which can be divided into two distinct periods, the pre-1801 human occupation on the Island and the post-1801 Humane Establishment Period, which initiated the continued settlement on the Island to the present day.

In addition to the huts occupied by seasonal fishermen and sealers, there were many attempts to colonize the Island before the 19th century including those initiated by Baron De Levy, Marquis de La Roche-Mesgouez, Andrew LeMercier, Jesse Lawrence and Andrew and William Miller.

Further known and suspected human occupation on Sable Island prior to the 19th century includes the shipwreck survivors and associated encampments connected to the wrecks of Sir Humphry Gilbert’s expedition in 1583, the Mary and Jane in 1634, Saint Jerome in 1714, Cathrine in 1737, the wrecked vessel associated with the voyage under Major Robert Elliot in 1760 and the occupation on the island by the survivors of the wrecked Princess Amelia in 1797.

Since the initiation of the Humane Establishment in 1801, Sable Island continues to be occupied to the present day. Discussion of the Humane Establishment Period will focus on the variety of structures and buildings constructed during the 19th and 20th centuries including those occupied by the Humane Establishment employees and their families, structures affiliated with the lifesaving establishment such as lighthouses, fog whistles and lookout towers and various temporary structures and survival huts built to provide shelter to shipwreck victims.