Every day is a trip back in time as Nova Scotia’s 19th-century heritage is brought to life for visitors of all ages by costumed interpreters in 25 original heritage buildings including blacksmiths, potters, weavers and printers. Come back in time to the boom years when shipbuilding, lumbering, and gold mining dominated the local economy. Dress in period costume, or immerse yourself even further by taking on one of a variety of characters available for the day. Our activities, learning camps, weekly concerts, and schedule of special events make it easy to get your hands-on history all summer long! Open June 9 to September 22 from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., with extended offers from Victoria Day to Thanksgiving. Visit us 45 minutes south of Antigonish at exit 32, on Highway 7.
A wonderful collection of antique tools from many now forgotten trades such as cooper, cobbler, leatherworker, farrier, blacksmith, wood working, wheelwright, wood turner, plumber, machinist, type setter, and more. Also items from local industries such as retail, mining, farming, and forestry. Open July 1 to October 1.
This restored lighthouse is accessible by car from the Village of Port Bickerton and displays story boards, pictures, and directories on all of Nova Scotia’s remaining lighthouses. Operated by the Port Bickerton and Area Planning Association. Open from mid-June to mid-September.
The centre provides a welcoming comfort and a feeling of community spirit. You can learn about the local area, past (fishing, forestry, mining and ship building) and present. The centre also sells refreshments for those traveling through the area.
Parc de nos Ancêtres
Larry’s River, Highway 316
A peaceful, historic park that features a series of large stones, all painted by a talented local artist, and placed in the shape of an anchor. The accompanying interpretive panels help tell the story of Acadian history in Nova Scotia and how the villages of the Tor Bay region came to be settled.
Canso Islands National Historic Site
1465 Union Street, Canso 902-295-2069 / 902-366-3136 (in summer) / https://www.pc.gc.ca/en/lhn-nhs/ns/canso
Take a short boat trip to Grassy Island, a once-thriving community of fishermen and merchants. The site commemorates the significant role the fishery played in international commerce since the early 1700s. Visit the ruins of 18th-century fortifications and then explore the interpretive trail system.
1297 Union Street, Canso 902-366-2170 visitguysborough.ca/whitman-house-museum
Whitman House illustrates the history of Canso Town and eastern Guysborough County, with exhibits from Canso Harbour. Enjoy a bird’s eye view of the town from the rooftop widow’s walk. Displays include panoramas of Canso by folk artist Mel Schrader, period furniture, photographs, and other memorabilia.
Exhibits showcase the lightkeeper’s way of life and demonstrate the operations of the light station, which for centuries guided fishermen to safety.
Rook Island, Queensport
The lighthouse’s crisp white clapboard and red tower offers a cheerful beacon to vessels passing tiny Rook Island in Chedabucto Bay. Read about its keepers on interpretive panels in a nearby park overlooking the lighthouse. Built in 1936, this lighthouse is an example of the evolution in the design of traditional lighthouses.
Old Court House Museum
106 Church Street, Guysborough 902-533-4008 / guysboroughhistoricalsociety.ca
In the heart of Guysborough at the head of Chedabucto Bay. Constructed in 1842 to 43, the museum has been preserved and restored by the Guysborough Historical Society. For those tracing their ancestry, it offers a large selection of books and reference materials, including numerous complete and incomplete genealogies for use within the museum.
Mulgrave Heritage Centre and Visitor Information Centre
54 Loggie St., Mulgrave 902-747-2788
Located at McNairs Cove the Mulgrave Heritage Centre is housed in a structure modelled after the Scotia II train ferry that transported rail cars and passengers from Mulgrave to Cape Breton Island. The museum features artifacts and photos from local fish companies and Mulgrave’s time as a Canadian National Railway boom town, plus memorabilia from both world wars. The history of the Black Loyalists, military displays, an archival and genealogy section, and information about the building of the Canso Causeway are also available.