Barrington Woolen Mill

Barrington Woolen Mill

Established in 1882, this turbine-driven woolen mill changed the way local fishing and farming families made the yarn and cloth they needed to produce warm, wool clothing. Before the introduction of the mill and its machines, turning raw fleece sheared from sheep into wool products had to be done at home and by hand; a chore that could consume countless hours. The mill gave residents a new, faster way to process fleece and, additionally, contributed to the community by broadening the local economy and providing job opportunities.

Peak production at the mill took place from 1900 to 1910 and also during World War II (1939 to 1945), when the demand for wool products increased. By 1962, the mill ceased production and, as one of the last small mills from the 1800s, was adopted into the Nova Scotia Museum system in 1968.

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Old Meeting House

Old Meeting HouseWhen the 50 Cape Cod families who founded the Barrington Township came together to build a community meeting house in 1765, it served as a religious gathering place for all preachers of the Gospel, as well as a centre for community meetings and elections.

Eventually, the townspeople built a courthouse and most religious denominations in the community constructed their own churches. Neglected, the province's oldest New England-style meeting house was almost demolished until a community group rescued it for posterity. Today it is managed by the Cape Sable Historical Society on behalf of the Nova Scotia Museum.

The adjacent graveyard, where many of the early townspeople are buried, is of particular interest.

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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.

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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.

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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, the site of a murder and a potential nuclear power plant. This is one display certainly worth reading.

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

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Shag Harbour Incident Society Interpretative Centre

witnessAn extraordinary event in 1967 would put the small fishing village of Shag Harbour on the map. This rural community would play host to one of the most well-documented UFO events in the modern era.

The Shag Harbour Incident Interpretive Centre chronicles the sighting of the UFO which crashed into the waters of Shag Harbour leaving no trace other than yellow foam. Visitors to the Centre can view television documentaries, newspaper articles, other memorabilia, and an exhibit on outer space. 

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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 its formation, the society has collected the genealogy of the families who settled this area in the 1760s. 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 the Old Meeting House Museum built in 1765 and the Barrington Woolen Mill Museum, part of the Nova Scotia Museum family.

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