Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.

Cape Breton

Cape Breton, an island at the extremity of Nova Scotia, British North America, being separated from the mainland by the Strait of Canso, nowhere more than 1-1/2 miles broad. It is about 100 miles long by 85 miles broad, and has an area of 3,120 square miles. The coast is deeply indented, and the Bras d'Or, a land-locked gulf, extends for 50 miles inland, and is connected with the Atlantic by a canal. There are many small rivers and some lakes. The surface is diversified but not mountainous, the greatest elevation being 1,800 feet in the N. Much of it is covered with forests of pine, oak, birch, and maple - a source of considerable wealth. Only a small portion is under cultivation, but the yield of cereals, turnips, and potatoes is good. Numbers of horses, cattle, and sheep are reared, and cheese and butter are largely exported. Coal, limestone, and gypsum are worked, and iron-ore and slate are plentiful. Fishing, however, is the chief industry, the rivers yielding immense supplies of salmon, whilst the coast abounds with all sorts of sea fish. The island was discovered by Sebastian Cabot, and Lord Ochiltree settled a small colony there in 1629, but was expelled by the French, who held it (under the name of Ile Royale) more or less continuously until its capture by Boscawen in 1756, since which it has been a British possession. It was finally incorporated with Nova Scotia in 1819, and sends five members to the Canadian parliament. The inhabitants are chiefly Scots or French, with some Irish and a few Indians. It is divided into four counties; Sydney is the capital, Arichat and Port Hood being towns of some importance.