Historical figures

Edward Charles Doyle was born in Poulamon on October 12, 1882, the son of Edward and Mathilda Doyle. He was educated at St. Francis Xavier University and the Maritime Business College. He was thrice married, first to Florence Alice Boutin, secondly, to Evangeline Gagnon, and thirdly to Ida Boudreau.

He was a building contractor. As a politician, he represented Richmond-Cape Breton West in the provincial legislature from 1928 to 1933 when he resigned his seat to contest the federal general election but was defeated. He later assumed the position of municipal clerk and treasurer, which he held from 1935 to 1969.

He lived at Arichat where he died in 1972. The Doyle name either of Edward, Ned, or E.C. is associated with the construction of numerous homes and buildings in the area such as the Arichat Post Office, St. Joseph’s Church in Petit de Grat, and the municipal building in the early 1900s.


Charles P. Bissett was a physician and political figure born June 25, 1866 at River Bourgeois, the son of George Henry and Virginia (Boudreau) Bissett. He was educated at Pictou Academy and McGill University from where he graduated in 1890 as the recipient of the Sutherland Gold Medal.

In 1896, he wed Emma, the daughter of Duncan and Ellen (Murray) Cameron. A practicing physician and surgeon, Bissett held numerous public positions, including member of the provincial medical board and physician to the Department of Marine and Indian Affairs.

He was first elected to the provincial assembly as a Liberal member in a 1904 by-election held after Duncan Finlayson was elected to the House of Commons. He served as MLA for Richmond from 1904 to 1916. He resided at St. Peter’s where he died on November 18, 1916 at the age of 50.


Jean Baptiste Gerroir, born at Petit de Grat about 1754, was the son of Pierre Girouard and Cecile Detcheverry. Around, 1778 he married Gertrude Landry, daughter of Jean Baptiste Landry and Marie LeBlanc.

Jean Baptiste and Gertrude settled in West Arichat on Crichton Island. Jean Baptiste was a sailor. He died after July 14, 1832 when he made a will in favour of his daughter Gertrude’s children. He still has many descendants in West Arichat.


Joseph Martell was born at Port Toulouse about 1736, the son of Jean-Baptiste Martel and Marie-Joseph Pouget. He married Jeanne (Jeannette) Samson, daughter of Michel Samson and Jeanne Testard around 1755.

Taken away by boat to France along with his father and mother-in-law three years after the deportation, Joseph decided to return with them to Acadia in 1764. Unfortunately, the Neptune, the ship on which they made the return journey, sank off Newfoundland taking the lives of his wife’s parents, her brothers, Fabien and Louis, his own children, Madeline and Louis, and his sisters-in-law Marie-Joseph and Judith.

It was not until 1767 that Joseph made his way back to Cape Breton. He and Jeanne settled at L’Ardoise and later at Rocky Bay. It is from him that the Martells of Pondville are descended.