Oxbow property in Shelburne bought by Acadia First Nation

Published on January 22, 2017

The former Oxbow Motel in Shelburne.


SHELBURNE, N.S. – The Oxbow Motel in Shelburne has sat empty and abandoned for many years, but it won’t for much longer.

A tax sale of the property recently went through and the new owners are excited to bring a new business idea to the area.

The sale of the property closed on Dec. 27 with the Acadia First Nation band.

“We are quite excited,” said Darlene Coulton, councillor for the Acadia First Nation.  “We are looking at economic growth for the band and the community.”

Coulton said the band is not sure yet what business will open up on the Oxbow property but said they should decide in the next few months.

“We are throwing ideas around,” she said.

We are quite excited. We are looking at economic growth for the band and the community. Darlene Coulten, councillor for the Acadia First Nation

The band has had its eye on Shelburne for economic development for some time, but Coulton said a suitable property had never presented itself until now.

There are around 100 band members in Shelburne County, she said, with the Acadia First Nation population growing every year.

The Acadia First Nation is made up of five reserves in Nova Scotia, including Yarmouth, Medway, Ponhook, Gold River and Wildcat.

It has built homes, businesses and community centres.

While the Acadia First Nation has not yet settled on a business plan for the Shelburne acquisition, Coulton said VLT gaming, cigarette sales and bingo are a “major” moneymaking venture for the band elsewhere.

Coulton said they would most likely level the motel units to build new, but had not yet gained access to the buildings in the back of the property to see what shape they are in. If they are not in good shape, those buildings will also be torn down.

“I know the whole community is buzzing” about what the plans are for the property, she said. The public will be updated when a decision is made.