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The community was once a thriving fishing village with several stores, two churches, and a school. The population peaked at around 300 in the early 1900s. However, when the railway line to Halifax was built through nearby Westville instead of Pleasant Harbour as expected (due to political interference), many families moved away from the area. By 1960 there were only 20 people living in Pleasant Harbour year-round; however it has since rebounded somewhat due to tourism and summer cottages being purchased by Nova Scotians from Halifax and other urban areas of Nova Scotia. History [ edit ] Pleasant Harbour is located on Shoal Bay which is an extension of Mahone Bay that extends southward into mainland Nova Scotia for about 10 km (6 mi). This bay provided shelter for ships travelling along what would become known as Marine Drive during colonial times. In 1812 John MacDonald settled near present day Pleasant Harbour after receiving land grants from Governor Sir John Wentworth.