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Geography derived from the Greek word + graphia, earth, "earth" +"descriptive of", through drawing, writing, or some other media. This last is a combining word
from graphein "write, express by written characters," earlier "to draw, represent by lines drawn," originally "to scrape, scratch" (on clay tablets with a stylus). Thus, Geography is an umbrella word for a field of science which studies the nature of all aspects of planet Earth including its historic and current geology (
gē + logos), "earth" +"study".

Traditionally, geography has been associated with mapmaking and place names, which is how I encountered it in grade school decades ago. Since then  the geographers field of study has expanded to include  not only  the physical geography but human geography.





There actually is a Geographical Names Board of Canada, a branch of National Resources, Canada. "Official geographical names data are provided (to them) by the federal, provincial and territorial naming authorities... Working together as a multi-jurisdictional national body, GNBC members coordinate efforts to ensure that geographical names are consistently managed."  Additionally, they have a website which gives access to the Canadian Geographical Names Database, gives guidelines for proposing a geographical name, and lexplains geographical terms and the origins of Canadian place names.  In addition it tells you where there have been name changes. It can tell you where you are by latitude and longitude. These days, a GPS device is quicker and more accurate. Highlighted above, Lunenburg County, Nova Scotia.


In the case of naming names, "Mahone Bay" gives two current possibilities, one a town the other an actual bay.  THe town is situated largely on the western side of "Mahone Bay" which is actually a harbour located at the extreme southwest of the bay proper.  There are two streams emptying into the harbour: Mushamush at the north boundary and Anney, located centrally on the harbour and trending from there to the southwest. To cofuse the issue it is alternately known as Anney Anney, Maggie Maggie, Litte Anney or Ernst Brook, for reasons which are uncertain. Mushamush is supposedly of Mi'kimak origin and could be an English corruption of their word for "cleared land." In fact, the area above the river is still named Clearland. The First Ntion had a summer camp somewhere southwest of the Mushamush. Historian Brian Tennyson thinks it was further afield in the vicinity of the town reservoir between Long Hill Road and Highway 325, or even further away near Blockhouse.





"Cartography is the study and practice of making maps. Combining science, aesthetics, and technique, cartography builds on the premise that reality can be modeled in ways that communicate spatial information effectively."  It is no longer confined by handwork using pen, ink and watercolours, as seen above.




The earliest French maps may have identified "Mahone Bay" as les baye de toute iles",  By 1755, it was represented as currently named.  In the following century Mushamush was indicated on maps,  althouh the only settlement of size was Lunenburg. "Originally a Mi'kmaq encampment and clam harvesting site known as āseedĭk, the site became a Mi’kmaq and Acadian village named Mirliguèche for over a hundred years." - Wikipedia. This kind of information, which is sparse when it comes to hard data, lies more within the realm of the Art of History although Human Geography impinges upon it.



Cartography  continues as a current job description. These folk study, design, produce and distribute digital and conventional maps, charts, spreadsheets and diagrams for public sector and commercial customers. The graphic business that the advantage of creating images which are quick (and at best easy) to understand, although they can generalize to the point of being deceptive.  This map wraps two years of events into one The DeMonts settlement at Isle de Saint Croix, near my home town, took place in 1604 and they removed to Port Royal in 1605.  On their way in they visited the La Have river area in Lunenburg County before curving into the Bay of Fundy and naming the lower division of the Fundy Basin des Mines (now Minas). This rrflected the fact that they found copper mines in the area.  In later years they contacted native peoples who were wearing copper decoations.



As mentioned previously, some of the earliest maps were interested in pinpointing the location of valuable minerals, in this case the "Coale cliffs" at present-day Joggins.  Note also, the words "Copper Ore" on the north bank of "Minas Bay".  For a while in this decade,  the capitol of Acadia was transferred by the French from the Annaplois Royal area to "la Have", which may be why it is emphasized on the map. Fortress Louisbourg is here described as "A Great Town" but the counter-balancing British town of Halifax was not established until 1749. However, all these last facts are of historic rather than major geographic interest.



We will pay more attention to historic cartography in days ahead.
A.H. Church had a harder time collating information in the middle of the following century, but he was a bear for detail. Oak Island is the most famous (or infamous drumlin island) in Mahone Bay. At the present it has been more than 220 years since treasure hunters started looking in the ground at Oak Island, and they still don’t know what they’re looking for, pots of pirate gold; Shakespeare’s manuscripts or treasures of the Knights Templar. Legend has it that seven people will die before the treasure is found, and six treasure hunters have been killed in various accidents. This is the stuff of folklore, legend and myth rather than physical geography. Church identified the treasure pit as created by Captain William Kidd, later Captain William Kidd, a Scottish sailor who was tried and executed for piracy after returning from a voyage to the Indian Ocean.



Church also created this minor masterpiece, which was printed in sections and glued to a linen backing of amazing size. All of his maps were promotional in nature, backed by people who were "patrons" before actual publication.




Even the physical sciences of Geography are not immune to the possibility of finding financial backing, fame and fortune, aside from economic Mineralology. We will consider them in relation to Nova Scotia and Mahone Bay (the town as well as the bay): Biogeography. Climatology and Meterology,  Coastal Geography, Evironmental Geography, Geodesy, Geomorphology, Hydrology and Hydrography, Landscape Ecology,Oceanography, and Pedology, and that's the short list.

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