The word "barachois" means "area of shallow waters, separated from the sea by sand dunes and surrounded by natural prairies". That is certainly the case in Grand-Barachois where you see the shallow water followed by the dunes an then the sea.
The word is derived from "barre à choire" which means a place were boats can take shelter.
The historical "Saint-Henri de Barachois" church is one of the oldest acadian churches still standing. This church is renowned for its quality musical concerts.
Founded in 1789, the parish of Barachois, New Brunswick built it's first chuch in 1824 to replace a chapel dating around 1800. The building had important renovations done over the years. The steeple was built in 1884 and the sacristie in 1900. The church was replaced in the mid 1970's by a new church built next to the old one. The old church, taken in charge by the Société historique de la mer Rouge, was restaured. On june 21 1981 the Barachois historical church opened its doors. The church now serves as a museum where there are also music concerts and art exhibitions.
We are very impressed by the excellent work of the Société historique de la mer Rouge.
Early acadian settlers drained marshes in view of growing hay for the horses and cattle. They did this using a device called the aboiteau. This device would let the waters out of the marsh while stopping the sea waters from entering the marsh.
Rain waters could then slowly remove the salt from the marshes which were later dried up to create very fertile land.
During the month of May 1984 a retired fisherman, Mister Tase (Stanislaus) Gallant, noticed while walking along the dune at low tide an ancient "aboiteau". He had heard of this aboiteau as a kid.
The ancient aboiteau was 200 feet away from the shore et could only be seen at very low tide. Erosion has caused the sealine to advance over the years.
Such an ancient aboiteau is quite a find.
The Aboiteau of Barachois-East was one of two "aboiteax". There was also an aboiteau at Barachois-Ouest. The two aboiteaux worked together to protect the marshland. During a 1977 interview, 82 year old Alphonse Gaudet, mentionned that around 1903-1904 the Barachois-Ouest aboiteau had been damaged by a storm.