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Visit the Museum

Enjoy an event; starting with our annual lobster supper we have festivals, monthly guest speakers and special exhibits throughout the season to make every visit unique.

Share a Journey; these historic grounds hold the memories of ancestors past from the local Mi'kmaq who have lived in Nova Scotia for thousands of years to the early French settlement known as Fort Ste. Marie de Grace.

Take a tour; we offer private, group and topic specific tours. Our eclectic collection includes archaeological finds from the early French fort, the lighthouse stories along the LaHave river, to the tools and homestead stories of traditional tradespeople that formed the basis of our early economy including the "Age of Sail", lumbering and agriculture.

Make a Day of It; enjoy the museum, stroll the private shore of the Atlantic, watch the sailboats on the river, pack a picnic and relax under a grand apple tree or in the French designed inspired gardens.

 

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. Visit during a festival and be sure to try some bannok from the oven.

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. Visit during a festival and be sure to try some bannok from the oven.

 Sir Isaac de Razilly's family coat of arms done in stain glass is a stunning piece of art at the museum. Razilly landed 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 Razilly's untimely death.

Sir Isaac de Razilly's family coat of arms done in stain glass is a stunning piece of art at the museum. Razilly landed 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 Razilly's 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 daily life of these early settlers, with traditional tools they used in their work, a typical homestead exhibit, and schoolroom display.

 
 
 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 the days of 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 enjoy our exhibits and photos showcasing the river’s many past lives.

 Traditional sea faring beliefs were that women on board were unlucky. Figureheads however were most always women and believed to be the best navigators. The eyes of the female figurehead were thought to help a ship find its way through the seas when lost. 

Traditional sea faring beliefs were that women on board were unlucky. Figureheads however were most always women and believed to be the best navigators. The eyes of the female figurehead were thought to help a ship find its way through the seas when lost. 

 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 LaHave 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!