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Museums

Barrington Woolen Mill

Barrington Woolen MillThis old turbine-driven woolen mill was a community enterprise begun in 1882. Sheep were grazed on the many offshore islands and at shearing time their fleeces were brought to the still to be processed into woolen goods for local fishermen, farmers and their families. Peak production at the still was in the 1900—1910 period as there was new demand during World War II. The last 19th century woolen mill in the province, it ceased production in 1962 and became part of the Nova Scotia Museum in 1968.

Open from June to September
9:30 to 5:30 Monday to Saturday;
Sunday 1:00 to 5:30.
Admission charged.Old Meeting House

Old Meeting House

Old Meeting HouseWhen you walk into the Old Meeting House, in Barrington, it's easy to imagine yourself back in 1765, when the early settlers from New England mixed business with religion, in the building. In the early days the community used this structure for town meetings, elections, and religious services of all denominations. It is a New England style meeting house, the oldest non-conformist house of worship in Canada, with an old graveyard next door where the early towns-people are buried.

Open from June to September
9:30 to 5:30 Monday to Saturday;
Sunday 1:00 to 5:30.
Admission charged.

Seal Island Light Museum

Seal Island Light MuseumThe 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.

Open from June to September
9:30 to 5:30 Monday to Saturday;
Sunday 1:00 to 5:30.
Admission charged.

Western Counties Military Museum

Western Counties Military MuseumThe Western Counties Military Museum is situated in the Old Courthouse (c 1843) in Barrington in the beautiful South Shore region. Over 4,000 military artifacts and mementos from World War I and World War II are housed in the museum including cannonballs dating back to the 1600s, a Black Watch uniform, Nazi memorabilia, medals and pictures to name just a few.

Museum parking and Internet access is available. The Cape Sable Historical Society is custodian to the Western Counties Military Museum, as well as the Seal Island Light Museum, the Barrington Woolen Mill, and the Old Meeting House – all within a short walking distance.

Archelaus Smith Museum

Archelaus Smith MuseumAnswering the British invitation to re-settle Acadia, Archelaus Smith came to Barrington in 1761 then to Cape Sable Island, becoming the first New England settler here to leave descendants. Discover fishing techniques and gear, shipwrecks, the famous Cape Island boat, sea captains and artists. Revisit a way of life now slipping from living memory.

Located at 915, Hwy 330,
Cape Sable Island, NS
Tel: 902-745-3361
Open 4 Jul – 28 August
Partial wheelchair access.

Chapel Hill Museum And Sea Tower

Chapel Hill Museum and Sea TowerChapel Hill was formerly a United Baptist Church built in 1856 on the site of the Acadian Trading Post, Le Vieux Logis. Chapel Hill has been a museum since 1980. Come and learn more about Gilbert Nickerson, “The Old Chairmaker,” who made the wreckwood chair from pieces of wood retrieved from various shipwrecks, including the legendary Titanic! Gilbert is only one part of our interesting shipwreck display.

Another famous local is Evelyn Richardson, Governor General Award winning author of We Keep a Light. Come see pictures and learn more about life on Bon Portage Island. We also have several of her books for sale. Another island of interest is Stoddart’s Island, site of a murder and a potential nuclear power plant. This is one display certainly worth reading.

Did you know that U.S. President, Franklin D. Roosevelt visited Shag Harbour twice? Learn about this exciting event from the eyes of the locals who were there!

Finish your tour with a climb up the old bell tower steps to our Sea Tower and gaze out the windows at the breath taking panoramic view of Shag Harbour. There are three lighthouses visible from the tower and they are Bon Portage, West Head and Cape Light.

We also have displays on household items, tools, The Sons of Temperance, and the fishing industry. We have several new additions to our museum including quilts, pedal cars and enlarged photos! All this and more at Chapel Hill!

Shag Harbour Incident Society Interpretative Centre

witnessLocated at 5616 Hwy 3 Shag Harbour, along the beautiful Lighthouse Route.
The Centre is open daily from June to September, 9am to 5pm. There is an admission charge of $2 for adults and children under 12 are free.

On the night of October 4th 1967 local residents watched a huge object come out of the sky and crash or land in the Shag Harbour Sound.

This story has gone down in history as one of the world’s great UFO mysteries. It has been used for documentaries, a comic book, novels etc.

Dark Object a novel by Donald Ledger and Chris Styles tells the story and is for sale in our gift shop. Our friendly attendants will be happy to tell you the story and show you the material we have collected.

The Shag Harbour UFO Festival is a yearly event held in August.

Samuel Wood Museum Complex

Samuel Wood Museum ComplexWood's Harbour was settled 10 years after Barrington when in 1772 Rev. Samuel Wood received a grant of 1100 acres on the eastern side of what was then called Coquewit Harbour. The name Coquewit Harbour was changed to Wood's Harbour in honour of Rev. Samuel Wood. Abner and John Nickerson were reputed to be the first settlers.

A collection of documents, papers, objects and antiques illustrate the history of the community. Interesting displays and artifacts preserving the colourful history of this community: lobster- and ground-fishing, daily life, schoolroom. Quilting demonstrations. Tourist information.

Located in the former IOOF Hall at 6697 Hwy 3,
Wood's Harbour.
Open 15 June – 15 September

Cape Sable Historical Society

Cape Sable Historical SocietyThe Cape Sable Historical Society was formed in 1937 with the mandate to preserve the heritage of the area. Since formation, the society has collected genealogy of the families who settled this area in the 1760’s. We have as part of our collection, The Seal Island Light Museum, which houses a 1915 Fresnel lens from Seal Island Light as well as a Fresnel lens from Bon Portage Light.

The society is honoured to be the custodians of Old Meeting House Museum built in 1765 and the Barrington Woolen Mill Museum, part of Nova Scotia Museum family.

Tel: 902-637-2185
Our museums are opened from June to September
9:30 to 5:30 Monday to Saturday;
Sunday 1:00 to 5:30.
Admission charged.
Winter hours for research are Wednesday’s 9:30 to 4:00 at 2401 Highway 3, Barrington NS.

Related Links

Contact Manager

Brenda Maxwell
Cape Sable Historical Society,
Barrington, NS , Canada
BOW 1E0

ph: 902-637-2185
email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.