Founder of Antigonish, Timothy Hierlihy, 1784 arrival in Antigonish: August, 1984 re-enactment

These are just some of the photos taken by Archie MacLellan for the 200th anniversary of the landing at Town Point of the founder of Antigonish,  Colonel Timothy Hierlihy.  If you find yourself in these photos, please identify yourself by responding in the comment box.  You will see Mayor Colin Chisholm, Bishop William Power, Eileen Cameron Henry, Rev. Ralph Weber, J. K. MacDonald, Ray MacLean, Angus MacQuarrie.

The first Heritage Walk for Health took place at the Church of England memorial site for Timothy Hierlihy and his company of Loyalist soldiers and their families over the summer of 2014.   It took the form of a theatrical pilgrimage, and in the spirit of popular theatre, as its title 1784: (Un)Settling Antigonish suggests, we drew our performers from the cultural groups of the characters they represented. The performers took ownership of  the script, speaking truth to history and challenging the Eurocentric written history of the founding of Antigonish. In so doing, they challenged the very concept of historical re-enactment, which in the 1984 version leaves  Mi’kmaq and Black Loyalists out of Antigonish’s founding story.

Descendents of Colonel Timothy Hierlihy responded to these photos, noting that in the 1984 re-enactment,  Colonel Timothy Hierlihy was played by John Douglas O’Hara.  We are not sure what daughter Kathleen O’Hara means when she says her Dad was the last living descendant of Col. Hierlihy.  Granddaughter Bernadine MacLean adds that his mother, her great-grandmother,  was Anna Mae Hierlihy.

clergy milling about
Mayor Eileen JK TH Angus MacQ Ray MacL Mayor JK TH memorial stone at 1st site Ray MacLean helping TH up bank TH and party TH with musket webber power Clan Chattan TH on wharf

Posted in Conditions for Community Health, Heritage Walks for Health, Photography Archives, Spiritual Religious Beliefs & Practices.


  1. My grandfather John Douglas O’Hara appears as Col Timothy Hierlihy. His Mother was Anna Mae Hierlihy.

  2. John Douglas O’Hara (my dad) was the last living descendant of Col. Timothy Hierlihy. It would be nice to see his name listed.

    • You and your children and grandchildren are descendants of Colonel Timothy Hierlihy. So did you mean your Dad John Douglas O’Hara was the last descendant of Colonel Hierlihy still living in Antigonish i 1984? I understand that a Hierlihy descendant with the Hierlihy name moved to Antigonish a couple years ago.

      • Earlier this evening I met a young man named John Hierlihy who mentioned that he is a descendant of Timothy Hierlihy. John, who is now living in Halifax, was brought up in New Brunswick,. He studied engineering at STFX before continuing at Dal. He would have been at STFX a few years ago.

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