Pictured is the former Arichat home of Senator William Miller, one of the unknown Fathers of Confederation.

Andrew Madden was born at Dramore, County Down, Ireland, on February 2, 1772.

He studied medicine at Glasgow University, receiving diplomas as surgeon and physician in 1817. In the same year, he emigrated, settling at Arichat where he practiced his profession until his death in his 76th year on January 13, 1858.

Dr. Madden occupied numerous positions of prominence and authority. In 1817, he was appointed Justice of the Peace for the Island of Cape Breton and its Dependencies; in 1820, he was appointed Deputy Clerk of the Crown for the Western District of the island of Cape Breton; in 1820, he was appointed Commissioner for the Summary Trial of Actions in the Township of Arichat; in 1832, Dr. Madden was appointed Health Officer for the Port of Arichat; and in 1853, he was appointed Prothonotary of the Supreme Court and Clerk of the Crown for the County of Richmond.

Dr. Madden was married to Ann Jackman, born in Halifax in July, 1799, and died at Arichat on March 23, 1868.


William Miller was born in Antigonish on February 12, 1835 and died on February 23, 1912).

Miller was elected to the Legislative Assembly of Nova Scotia in 1863 and represented the Cape Breton riding of Richmond County until Confederation four years later.

He had always supported a union of all the British colonies of North America and thus opposed Prime Minister Tupper’s scheme of union embodied in the Quebec Resolution because, among other things, he believed the financial arrangements for the smaller colonies were unfair. However, when the anti-confederation movement threatened the notion of a more general union, he broke ranks, and in a historic speech in the legislature, proposed a resolution, which would allow a delegation to go to London under the auspices of the British government to negotiate amendments to the Quebec agreement.

It is no exaggeration, then, to recognize William Miller as one of the founders of our nation. In 1867, at the age of 32, he was summoned to the Canadian Senate representing the senatorial division of Richmond County. He was the youngest person ever summoned to the Canadian Senate. From 1883 to 1887, he was the Speaker of the Canadian Senate. He served until his death in 1912.

Wilfred Laurier was quoted as saying that Miller was one of the ablest statesmen of his time.


Jeffrey LeBlanc began a mercantile dynasty, which has extended five generations into the 21st century. His son, Godfrey succeeded him and added an Imperial Oil service station just to the east of the store. With Ulysse, Guy, and Chris, the business evolved dealing in groceries, furniture, sports equipment, and finally hardware/building supplies.


John LeBrun came to Arichat from Brittany in France in the mid-to-late 1800s. He began a small concern, which quickly grew into a large and thriving business.

In 1908, the original store, which had been built in 1883, fell victim to fire but was rebuilt the following year by John MacDonald of Antigonish. This was a three-story building boasting an elevator and acetylene lighting, advanced technology for the time.

John LeBrun, Sr., at his passing, was succeeded by his son Arthur who expanded the business by establishing a store in D’Escousse. He eventually joined the municipal staff, and later was manager of the Nova Scotia Liquor Commission outlet.