In the earliest years the immigrant experience of Scots-Irish settlers was one of isolation since transport and communication networks were extremely rudimentary on the frontier. Moreover, the new settlement faced the threat of attacks from Native American Indians. Accordingly, two stone garrison houses were among the first buildings constructed. Defence against Indian attacks was also considered in the construction of the wooden dwelling houses. Houses were located on ‘home lots thirty rods wide, and extending back until they enclosed sixty acres each’.40 Later, sawmills were built and timber-framed homes constructed.
The population of Nutfield-Londonderry grew quickly. In 1721 it was already 360 and by 1740 it was the second largest settlement in the province. By 1767 it had a population of 2,389. Many of these inhabitants were first or second-generation Scots-Irish ‘attracted by the free lands, Presbyterian worship, and refuge from Puritan prejudice’.41 After 1723, Londonderry served as a staging post for many other Scots-Irish settlers in their journeys to Novia Scotia, Pennsylvania, and elsewhere.
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40 Ford (1915), p. 237.
41 Miller (2003), p. 440.