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l'Ardoise & Its History

By Paul Pâté & the L’Ardoise Acadian Historical Society


This book is in commemoration of the 160th anniversary of the Holy Guardian Angels Parish of L’Ardoise 1823-1983, composed by the l’Ardoise Acadian Historical Society.

Pointe Michaud


L’Ardoise is situated about seven miles (11.2 km) east, south-east of St. Peter’s. The Indian name for this place was “MAGIAKACHK”, meaning “the place of the geese”. The French named it l’Ardoise because of its slate rock along the shore (Ardoise is the French word for slate rock). L’Ardoise was described by John McGregor in 1832 as a settlement of Acadian French who followed the cod and herring fisheries. The first settler, however, is said to have been Francois Coste who fled from Louisbourg when it was attacked by the English in 1745.


The parish is divided into six parts:

  • Pointe Michaud

  • l’Ardoise

  • Lower l’Ardoise

  • Gracie Ville 

  • West l’Ardoise

  • Rockdale


Most of the pioneers of l’Ardoise came from Preshong, La Bille, and St. Male, France. 


Names like Sampson, Berate (now Barrette), Gracie, Berthier, Pate, Coste, Mombourquette, and Martell were common. They settled primarily at St. Onge now called Lower l’Ardoise. In the latter part of the 17th century, there were 70 residents at St. Onge.


Most of the non-soldiers moved out of Louisbourg after the fall in 1745. They did not settle in Saint-Esprit where the population dropped from a high of 546 inhabitants in 1737 to only 9 in 1792. So, we must surmise that the French civilians went further west to the next area of St. Onge, the old name for l’Ardoise.


Tradition has it that the present church, Les Sainte-Agnes-Gardiens (Holy Guardian Angels) was called such on account of an old settlement name. It is a mistake in spelling. Dr. Johnston points out that St. Onge is a real place on the coast of France, from where possibly some of the pioneers had come. 

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