Derby Point marks the southern entrance to the Barra Strait from the Bras d’Or Lake, to which all the water outside the Barra Strait in this photo belongs. East Bay is behind but to the left of Derby Point and is not visible in this photo. However, the hills rising on the far shore are known as the East Bay Hills, which continue up the coast to the head of East Bay (the water) where East Bay (the village) is located. The roofs at the bottom of this photo are adjacent to the Highland Village parking lot; the one at the right houses the museum entrance, bookstore, and gift shop.
Gaels from the Island of Barra in Scotland settled this area in the early 1800’s; the MacNeils were the first family to reach the area. They brought their music with them and it has flourished to this day. Although the internationally acclaimed band known as the Barra MacNeils hails from Sydney Mines, their mother is Jean MacKenzie from Washabuck, a community about 10 km (6 mi) north of Iona, and sister to the noted fiddler Carl MacKenzie. The Barra MacNeils learned their music from the musicians of this area and their band’s name is likely a tribute to it; they frequently perform at Highland Village Day.