"The ancestors of today's Lunenburgers were immigrant farmers, mostly Germans and some English, French and Swiss who, in only two generations, through necessity, time and determination were moulded into some of the world's finest seamen and shipbuilders - into a breed of people unsurpassed in history, in resolution, versatility and craftsmanship."
Thus wrote Elizabeth Hiscott in the "Atlantic Advocate" magazine in 1978, when Lunenburgers celebrated the 225th anniversary of the founding of their town.
Established in 1753, Lunenburg was named in honour of the Duke of Braunschweig-Luneburg who had become King of England in 1727. Lunenburg was the first British colonial settlement in Nova Scotia outside of Halifax and was a deliberate attempt at civilian colonization of what, until that time, had been a native and subsequently Acadian territory.
The settlement was overseen by British military forces under Colonel Charles Lawrence, but the settlers themselves were known as "Foreign Protestants", who had been recruited from southern and central Germany, Switzerland and the Montbeliard region of France, and deliberately chosen for their potential loyalty to the British Crown. The settlers were lured from their homelands by the promise of free land in the New World, and shortly after their arrival, were allocated Town lots, garden lots just east of the Town, 30 acre and 300 acre farm lots in the hinterlands.
The Town itself was sited on a neck of land between the front and back harbours and was laid out in a rectangular grid pattern on the steep hillsides, facing south.
The area within this planned grid came to be known as the "Old Town" and its unique flavour and architectural character is still derived strongly from the narrow streets and compact lots of the original plan.