Lunenburg was founded in 1753 and was named in honour of the King of Great Britain and Ireland, (George August of Hanover) who was also the ruler of Brunswick-Lunenburg. During the French and Indian War, several small forts which ringed the town were garrisoned by British regulars as well as by provincial troops from Massachusetts. These forts were erected to protect the town from raids by French warships and from attacks by the local Indians.
At one time an important seaport and shipbuilding centre, the town is now home to numerous small businesses, high-tech industries including Composites Atlantic and HB Studios, and trade plants including High Liner Foods, which was at one point the largest fish plant in Canada. This plant now handles little more than manufacturing and most fishing is done offshore.