Preston, Nova Scotia
Preston is an area in central Nova Scotia, Canada in the Halifax Regional Municipality, located on Trunk 7. Preston includes the subdivisions of East Preston, North Preston, Lake Major, Cherrybrook and Loon Lake. The definition sometimes extends to include Lake Echo. The population in 2016 was 3,223. This is a decline from 2006, when Preston had a population of 3,536.
Preston, once known as Preston Township, previously was geographically much larger. The community's boundaries stretched westward past Westphal to Highway 111, and eastward through what is now Lake Echo and Porter's Lake to Myra Road (including through East Preston), north to North Preston, and south through parts to the boundaries of Lawrencetown). No community is known strictly as "Preston", rather it refers to the area encompassed by those subdivisions, or in reference to the Preston Electoral District.
The area is believed to have been named after Preston, Lancashire, England or Thomas Preston, a British army officer involved in the Boston Massacre at the beginning of the American Revolution. It was among the areas where the Crown granted lands to Black Loyalists from the Thirteen Colonies; it had promised them freedom and resettled more than 3,000 former slaves in Nova Scotia. Reflecting its early history, Preston has the largest percentage of black people of any area in Canada; 69.4% of its population is black.
The Black Nova Scotian leader and clergyman, Richard Preston (b. 1792), took this surname after becoming reunited here with his mother, who was resettled in Preston along with others of the 2,000 black refugee slaves who gained freedom with the British during the War of 1812 in the United States. Richard had bought his freedom from slavery in Virginia as an adult, and then went to Nova Scotia in search of his mother. He became a prominent Baptist preacher and political leader.
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