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Baxters Harbour was the site of a Mi'kmaq summer camp. The first European settlers were Loyalists who arrived in 1783 and established farms along the shoreline. In 1825, Dr. William Baxter (1770-1828) built his home on land that is now part of Baxters Harbour Provincial Park, which was named after him by Governor John Parr in 1827 when he visited there with his wife Mary Ann Baxter (née Dickson). A road from Kentville to Baxters Harbour via West Dover opened in 1830; it connected with another road to Berwick at its western end and became known as "the old military road". It remained an important transportation link until about 1900 when roads further south were improved for automobile traffic.