Museums - Delve Into Our Past

Home to the largest number of preserved Loyalist buildings in North America, our County Town Shelburne is a "must see" for all our visitors, and home to the Shelburne Museums Complex, featuring the living history in the Dory Shop, where traditional Nova Scotia dories are still built in the time honoured way, and the Ross-Thompson Museum where a glimpse of 18th Century life can be yours.

Barrington features the Woolen Mill Museum, a traditional Mill building where wool from local sheep was spun into woolen goods for the local fishermen, farmers and their families. The Old Meeting House, also in Barrington, will take you back in time to the days of the earliest settlers in the area.

Throughout the County our museums and heritage centres are the preservers of our rich cultural heritage and traditions.

Western County Military Museum

Western County Military Museum

Archelaus Smith Museum
915 Hwy 330, Cape Sable Island B0W 1P0
902 745 3361

Founded by the Archelaus Smith Historical Association in 1970 to preserve artifacts that illustrate the history of Cape Sable Island.

Barrington Woolen Museum
2368 Hwy 3, Barrington B0W 1E0
902 637 2185

Operational from 1884 to 1962 the Mill was purchased by the Province of Nova Scotia in 1966. THe Woolen Mill contains a mural featuring the first piece of Nova Scotia tartan. Also on show are artifacts and machinery from the days when the Mill was operational.

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Black Loyalist Heritage Centre
119 Old Birchtown Road, Birchtown B0T 1W0
902 875 1310 | 902 875 1352 | Visit our website

Cape Sable Historical Society
2401 Hwy 3, Cape Island B0W 1E0
902 637 2185

Chapel Hill Museum & Sea Tower
5492 Hwy 3, Shag harbour B0W 3B0
902 723 2949

Step back in time and discover the lives of the people from Shag Harbour. A former United Baptist church built in 1856 the museum stands on the location of a 17th Century Acadian trading post “Le Vieux Logis”. The Sea Tower gives a panoramic view of Shag Harbour and the surrounding area.

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Little School House Museum
29 Locke Street, Lockeport B0T 1L0
902 656 2216 | 902 656 2935

An original 1845 Schoolhouse, restored in 1967 for Lockeport’s Centennial. Features a replica of an early schoolroom and displays of local history.

Ragged Island Historical Society
157 Locke Street, Lockeport B0T 1L0

Ross-Thompson House & Store Museum
9 Charlotte Lane, Shelburne B0T 1W0

Unique in that it houses the only authentically stocked 19-Century store and Chandlery in Nova Scotia. Built in 1785 the house and garden typify the Loyalist lifestyle.

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Samuel Wood Historical Society
6697 Hwy 3, Woods Harbour B0W 2E0

Seal Island Lighthouse Museum
2422 Hwy 3, Barrington B0W 1E0
902 637-2185

The museum, a replica of the top half of the Seal Island Lighthouse, displays lighthouse equipment and memorabilia, and tells the fascinating history of the lighthouse and area's light keeping families on Cape Sable Island, Bon Portage and Seal Island, as well as the hundreds of shipwrecks that made the waters surrounding Seal Island a graveyard in the days of wooden sailing ships. The building is topped by the cast iron lantern that was removed from the tower on Seal Island in 1978. From the third level, you can climb the iron stairs as the keepers did for 76 years and see the original clockwork mechanism and the only installed Fresnel lens in Nova Scotia. From the top, you can take in the spectacular view of Barrington Bay.

Shag Harbour Interpretive Centre
5615 Hwy 3, Shag Harbour B0W 3B0

Shelburne County Archives & Genealogical Society
168 Water Street, Shelburne B0T 1W0
902 875-4299

Shelburne County Museum Complex
20 Dock Street, Shelburne B0T 1W0
902) 875-3219 | 902) 875-4141

Open all year round the Shelburne County Museum on the historic waterfront is housed in a home built by David Nairn around 1787. You will find an impressive collection of artifacts spanning over two centuries of settlement in Shelburne County.

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Shelburne Long Boat Society
103 Water Street, Shelburne B0T 1W0
902) 875-1296

The JC Williams Dory Shop Museum
11 Dock Street, Shelburne B0T 1W0

A living museum, dories are still built here in the same way there were built in the 19th and 20th centuries. Find displays of various types of dories and our gift shop on the ground floor.

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The Old Meeting House Museum
2408 Hwy 3, Barrington B0W 1E0
902 637-2185

The oldest non-conformist place of worship still in existence in Canada, and the only surviving of five similar congregationalist church buildings in Nova Scotia built before 1770.

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Western County Military Museum
2401 Hwy 3, Barrington B0W 1E0
902 637 2185

Military collection dating back to 1809.

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