Mahone Bay is a town located on the northwest shore of Mahone Bay along the South Shore of Nova Scotia in Lunenburg County.
Mahone Bay was first settled during Father Le Loutre's War. The first to arrive were those who lived in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia and had farm lots throughout the peninsula, including Mahone Bay. The people who settled on the Lunenburg Peninsula, including the present-day village of Mahone Bay, were foreign protestants who were German, Swiss, and Montbéliardais settlers.
During the French and Indian War (which included the Expulsion of the Acadians), there were nine Native and Acadian (Catholic) raids against the protestant settlers on the Lunenburg Peninsula. The French, Acadians and natives were resisting the British control over Nova Scotia and Acadia. One such raid – the Raid on Lunenburg (1756) – happened just off the shores of Mahone Bay on present-day Covey Island and [John] Rous Island.
Another raid happened on 24 August 1758 in the village of Mahone Bay, when eight Mi'kmaq attacked the family homes of Lay and Brant. While they killed three people in the raid, the Mi'kmaq were unsuccessful in taking their scalps, which was the common practice for payment from the French.
During the War of 1812, the American privateer schooner Young Teazer was trapped off the shores of Mahone Bay by the HMS Hogue (1811). To avoid capture, a crew member of the Young Teazer destroyed his own ship, killing most of the crew.
The town prospered with wooden shipbuilding in the 19th century. While shipbuilding decline with the arrival of steel and steam vessels, Mahone Bay became known for its boatbuilding. World War I and II brought brief revivals of shipbuilding with construction of schooners, tugs and barges. After the war, the ship yard became known for innovative production of moulded plywood boats.
The town is also known for a history of wooden boat building, it was the main industry of Mahone Bay in its earlier years. The Mahone Bay Museum explains and shows this history in detail. Until recent years the town's shipbuilding and boatbuilding heritage was celebrated by the "Mahone Bay Wooden Boat Festival".
The view across the harbour is of three prominent churches: St James' Anglican; St John's Evangelical Lutheran; and Trinity United. It has become an iconic image of Nova Scotia, frequently photographed and featured on postcards and calendars. The town has a number of upscale shops and restaurants which almost universally are designed to appeal to the tourist trade, and sometimes shut down during the winter months. The town also has a plastics factory.
In the 2016 Census of Population conducted by Statistics Canada, the Town of Mahone Bay recorded a population of 1,036 living in 501 of its 571 total private dwellings, a change of 7000990000000000000♠9.9% from its 2011 population of 943. With a land area of 3.12 km2 (1.20 sq mi), it had a population density of 332.1/km2 (860.0/sq mi) in 2016.