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Fort Needham, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada



Captain James Cook Cairn


Located in Fort Needham Memorial Park, Halifax, with entrances from Needham Street and Union Street, both entrances have limited parking.  A monument, built of cut stone blocks, with plaque set into it, erected just south of the Halifax Explosion Memorial Bell Tower.

The site was chosen because it overlooks the scene of Cook’s activity in the harbour, and is accessible to the public
Erected by the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada, and unveiled on 12th July 1955 by Commodore E.P. Tisdall, commanding officer of HMCS Stadacona, the Royal Canadian Navy’s shore establishment in Halifax.   150 people attended the unveiling, which was presided over by Judge VP Pottir, President of the N.S. Historical Society.
In 2003 the original plaque was showing signs of wear and was refurbished, but this plaque was stolen in 2007 and never recovered.
In 2012/13 a replacement plaque was fitted, when HSMBC officials decided that the wording should be updated.

Original Inscription:

James Cook distinguished himself for his “indefatigable
industry” and his scientific skill during naval operatons
in the Gulf of St. Lawrence and around Nova Scotia be-
tween 1758 and 1762.  He spent those same winters in
Halifax compiling charts of the St. Lawrence and descript-
tions of the coast of Nova Scotia from previous charts
and from the results of his summer surveys.  Meanwhile,
by adapting the techniques of military engineers to the
marine situation, he evolved those new methods of sur-
veying which he later put to such good use in Newfound-
land and the South Pacific.

James Cook se signal par son ardeur infatigable et sa
compétence scientifique Durant des opérations navales dans
le golfe Saint-Laurent et les parages de la Nouvelle-Ecosse
entre 1758 et 1762.  Il pass aces hivers à Halifax à
dresser des cartes du Saint Laurent et à decrier le littoral
de la Nouvelle Ecosse en se fondant sur les cartes antér-
ieures et les résultats des levés qu’il avait effectués
durant l’été. En meme temps, il adaptait les techniques
des ingénieurs militaires à la situation maritime, mettant
ainsi au point les nouvelles methods d’arpentage qu’il
allait si efficacement employer à Terre-Neuve et dans le
Sud du Pacifique.

Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada.
Commission des lieux et monuments historiques du Canada.

Government of Canada  ž  Gouvernement du Canada

Revised Inscription:


Before the voyages that brought him
world fame as Captain Cook, this British
Royal Navy officer compiled navigational
charts for the coasts of Quebec and Nova
Scotia.  While based in Halifax from 1758
to 1762, he learned triangulation and
other valuable skills, which later enabled
him to produce the first scientific,
large-scale hydrographic survey of the
dangerous coast of Newfoundland.  His
charts were to remain standard for a
century.  Cook’s masterful work prompted
the Admiralty to choose him to lead
three voyages to the Pacific, where his
superior skills yielded a rich legacy of
scientific and geographical knowledge.


Avant les expéditions qui firent sa
renommée, cet officier de la marine
royale britannique dressa des cartes de
navigation pour les côtes du Québec et
de la Nouvelle-Écosse. En poste à Halifax
de 1758 à 1762, il apprit la triangulation
et d’autres habiletés qui l’aidèrant à
réaliser le premier levé hydrographique
scientifique à grande échelle des côtes
périlleuses de Terre-Neuve. Ses cartes
firent autorité durant un siècle. Ce
travail remarquable incita l’Amirauté
à le nommer à la tête de trois voyages
d’exploration dans le Pacifique, où ses
talents exceptionnels permirent de
réaliser de grandes avancées pour la


Latitude/Longitude:  44°39’925”N, 63°36’035”W

Cook’s Log, page 1059, vol.17, no.3 (1994)
Cook’s Log, page 46, vol.34, no.4 (2011)
Cook’s Log, page 28, vol.40, no.1 (2017)
Website:  http://ns1763.ca/hfxrm/cookjmon.html

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i knew that Captain James Cook had spent time in Halfax, doing as the plaque states, but did not know that this plague existed.(in Halifax).It is a shame that more has not been done to make the public awware of Captain Cook's acheviements.
By Carlotta Cummins on 8/27/2018 6:34:05 PM Like:0 DisLike:0

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