Heading east from Waterside and Newfoundland Creek, your journey takes you across Long Marsh Creek. Past the Cape Enrage Road’s end, you ascend Lewis’ Hill and descend Bray’s Hill, where a panoramic view of Chignecto Bay awaits, and beyond it, an expansive stretch of Cumberland County’s coast in Nova Scotia.
This region is known as New Horton, stretching all the way to Harvey. Some of the initial English-speaking settlers hailed from Horton, Nova Scotia. The area was once divided into three distinct school and post office districts to minimize the distance for children attending school and the collection of mail. Starting from Bray’s Hill, the divisions were Little Ridge, New Horton, and finally, Upper New Horton.
Farming and lumbering were the main occupations and there was also some shipping from the little port of Two Rivers and from the eastern tip of Long Island on the edge of Ha Ha Bay.
The first settlers here were the French, who lived nearer the shore than today’s Inhabitant. They made good use of salt marshes and some of the remains of their dykes are still plainly visible. There also are stamps and other evidence of apple trees they planted.
There are three pioneer cemeteries in the area, including the well-known Ha Ha Baptist Cemetery, where John Smith, the “founder and first representative of Albert County” is buried along with two of his three wives.
Besides the Ha Ha cemetery and small bay, the “Ha Ha” name is applied to the creek draining from Ha Ha or New Horton Lake, which is about a mile north of New Horton, and is about two miles long. Legend has it that the Indians took the “ha ha” from the call of the loons. On calm, summer days you can hear the loons calling there and the small island near the centre of the lake is called, you guessed it, Loon Island.
A short distance southwest of Ha Ha Lake is a smaller lake, Lockhart Lake, where there used to be a water-powered saw mill where the lake empties into Long Marsh. There were also at least one of these mills in Waterside, one on a small brook draining into Long Marsh Creek, and another on Little Mill Brook that empties into the north side of Ha Ha Lake.
New Horton has produced many coastal and deep-sea captains. According to markers in local cemeteries, one died at age twenty-eight, ironically by a fall from his horse, while another lived to be nearly a hundred and three.