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Visit the Museum

Our collection includes archeological finds from the early French settlement known as Fort Ste. Marie de Grace, artefacts from the local Mi'kmaq who have lived in Nova Scotia for thousands of years, and many items of daily use from the homes of German and English settlers.

Also included are tools and stories of the traditional trades that formed the basis of our early economy, from fishing and transport during the 'Age of Sail', to agriculture and lumbering. 

Make a day of it

Pick up a "lunch to go" at the famous LaHave Bakery just down the road, and enjoy eating your picnic surrounded by the gorgeous views overlooking the river and Atlantic Ocean before taking a stroll through the museum. 

Also nearby: 

The LaHave river cable ferry, a popular and fun short-cut to Lunenburg
Crescent Beach, renowned for walking and swimming
Rissers Beach Provincial Park and campground
LaHave Islands Marine Museum

 

Our Local History

 

The Mi’kmaq

The Mi’kmaq were once known as the porcupine Indians. Their incredible skill in crafting art pieces out of only birch bark and porcupine quills is a wonder to see. The story of their settlements and historic use of the land and rivers around Petite and LaHave is yours to explore at the museum.

 
 
The small quillwork container pictured here is a lovely example of the items which would have been crafted for trade by native Mi’kmaq women.

The small quillwork container pictured here is a lovely example of the items which would have been crafted for trade by native Mi’kmaq women.

The museum grounds celebrate Mi’kmaq heritage with a small interpretive village including a teepee, communal fire setting, and native plant medicine knowledge. Local Mi’kmaq community members often sell and showcase many of their traditional crafts at our heritage events.

The museum grounds celebrate Mi’kmaq heritage with a small interpretive village including a teepee, communal fire setting, and native plant medicine knowledge. Local Mi’kmaq community members often sell and showcase many of their traditional crafts at our heritage events.

 
 

The Acadians

European settlement of Canada began with Fort Point, when Razilly established the first capital of what was then called ‘New France’ in 1632. Among the displays chronicling this story and other aspects of Acadian history in the LaHave area, visitors can hold one of the hand made bricks from France which were used as ballast in the ships carrying new settlers here, then used to construct the base of the fort itself.

 
 
This is a reconstruction of an authentic oven of the type used by the Acadians. It is made of "bousillage", or cob, a mixture of clay, straw and gravel or coarse sand and was used to bake everything from bread to cookies. 

This is a reconstruction of an authentic oven of the type used by the Acadians. It is made of "bousillage", or cob, a mixture of clay, straw and gravel or coarse sand and was used to bake everything from bread to cookies. 

Local artist sketch of Razilly’s landing here in 1632. Intent on establishing a permanent settlement in LaHave, Fort Saint Marie de Grace was named the first capital of New France and was a well established fort with as many as 40 canons and 100 settlers, before his untimely death.

Local artist sketch of Razilly’s landing here in 1632. Intent on establishing a permanent settlement in LaHave, Fort Saint Marie de Grace was named the first capital of New France and was a well established fort with as many as 40 canons and 100 settlers, before his untimely death.

 
 

The English and German Settlers

They came to work the land, harvest the forests, and make their way as carpenters, shipbuilders, cobblers, iron mongers, school teachers and more. Our displays capture the life and work of these early settlers, with tools they used in their work, a typical home set-up, a peddle piano and more.

 
 
Bringing in the hay at a classic, cedar-shingled barn.

Bringing in the hay at a classic, cedar-shingled barn.

Our adjacent cemetery contains generations of the area’s founding families and is a fascinating walk through time.

Our adjacent cemetery contains generations of the area’s founding families and is a fascinating walk through time.

 
 

The River

From its history as a Mi’kmaq portage trade route, through to tall ships, fishing schooners, and trading ships, to today’s essential cable ferry and recreational boating, the LaHave river has been an important waterway with the people who live and work the here. Come see our ship displays and photos of the river’s many past lives.

Fishing schooners and trading ships were a common sight along the LaHave river and its bustling ports.

Fishing schooners and trading ships were a common sight along the LaHave river and its bustling ports.

Ships such as the Jean F Anderson (middle) sailed from LaHave to Newfoundland, to Morocco and the West Indies and traded goods from lumber and molasses to fish and coal. Captain Andy Publicover owned and sailed a large fleet here in LaHave and he was a major employer even through the depression. 

Ships such as the Jean F Anderson (middle) sailed from LaHave to Newfoundland, to Morocco and the West Indies and traded goods from lumber and molasses to fish and coal. Captain Andy Publicover owned and sailed a large fleet here in LaHave and he was a major employer even through the depression. 

 

Experience the History of the LeHave Community

Visit the museum or attend one of our social events.
We're open daily from June 1st - September 1st
10:00am - 5:00pm

Our new gift shop is now open!