Museum Programs 2024

After a long hiatus, museum programs are returning. Three program streams will start in April. All programs start at 7:00 pm in the Pisiquid Room of the Museum. Enter through the side door.

On the first Monday of each month will be a historical presentation on a given aspect of local history. It might be buildings, personalities, or events. An knowledgeable presenter will start the evening and prompt memories and discussion. Bring your stories to share. Admission by donation.

On the third Monday of each month the program will alternate between a movie night and a newcomers’ games night. We’ll chose a family friendly movie from the last century (1900s) to view. After a brief introduction, we’ll show the film and discuss it afterwards. No charge but popcorn and snacks will be available for purchase. You might want to bring lawn chairs or cushions for movie night to make yourself more comfortable.

In April, June, August, and October we invite people new to West Hants to join old-timers to learn why our community is so special. A welcome package with maps and history fact sheets will be provided. Games or activities will round out the evening. Admission by donation. Beverages and snacks will be available.

Retaining Wall Rebuilt

We’re pleased to announce the completion of the new wall at the front of the Old Parish Burying Ground along King Street. Many of the original blocks were used and the wall is backed by a concrete retaining wall. Along with the upgrading of the stairs that was done a few years ago, it makes an inviting entrance to our beautiful, historic burying ground.

Monument Restoration and Cleaning

When you are visiting the Old Parish Burying Ground you are sure to notice that some of the stones have a bright new look about them. This project was completed in the fall of 2023 and we are thrilled with the results. Many thanks to the Municipality of West Hants for their financial support of this project. The West Hants Historical Society is looking forward to our continued partnership as we maintain and preserve this valuable historic site.

Fort Edward Development

Over the past year WHHS has been leading a multi-cultural effort to build a Cultural Interpretive Centre on municipal land beside Fort Edward. The West Hants Municipal Council has decided to NOT proceed with selling the old swimming pool site for housing development. Instead, it remains zoned as public space which could be used for a public amenity.

WHHS has received a grant to draft a feasibility study for the building of a centre. A consultant has been hired and the report will be presented to Council before summer. Our hope (and expectation) is that council will decide to allow WHHS and our partners to use the land for the centre.

A concept drawing of the site is above. It shows a 5000 ft2 building with an interpretive display, an exhibit space upstairs and a genealogical library and archive in the basement. A Mi’kmaq longhouse and amphitheatre may be located on the grounds along with bus and car parking and other amenities. More information will be released on the WHHS website as the plan develops.

Genealogical Centre Reopens

The Genealogical Centre in the museum was closed for the winter as usual. It reopened on Wednesday, March 6 to allow researchers to access the files. Please email or call the Museum to make an appointment as space is limited. Volunteers will be on hand to assist in your research. A small fee for access and copies will be charged. We look forward to welcoming you back.

Volunteer at the Museum

For over 50 years the West Hants Historical Society has operated the museum and archives and offered programs with the assistance of volunteers. We are able to hire summer staff with grants and contracts but year-round work is done by interested people like you.

Potential jobs include artifact acquisition and cataloguing. Each new item in our collection (and some items already on hand) must be described, indexed and photographed to be put in our records. Volunteers with genealogical experience may be able to help researchers in their own search for their roots and family history.

Other volunteers help develop the programs by sitting on a committee to select speakers, movies, and program topics. Hosts and greeters can help on Wednesday evenings to set up equipment, chairs, and snacks (as well as the inevitable clean up). Perhaps your inner MC may emerge if you undertake to welcome and introduce the speakers and programs.

Other tasks such as building maintenance, display creation and public events may be of interest to you. If you have governance, fund raising or communications experience we can also use your talents.

Program activities happen on Mondays but occasional weekend events are scheduled as well. If you can give us one day a week or just a few hours a month, your help is appreciated. Check the volunteer form on the WHHS website or speak to any board member or current volunteer. You’ll get an orientation and a warm welcome.

Highway Signage for the Museum

The West Hants Historical Society was invited by the West Hants Regional Municipal Council to participate in discussions regarding signage indicating Acadian sites in Hants County, as well as updating an accompanying brochure. This led to being invited to a committee on highway signage for the Municipality and the areas of Windsor and Hantsport. Past President John Wilson and Vice-president Gary Nelson have been delegated to represent WHHS for these projects and attended meetings on each in the past couple of months.
For the Acadian signage and brochure project, the representatives have reached out to Susan Draper-Surette, Jacqueline Farvacque and Sally Ross of the Les Amis de Grand-Pré (Friends of Grand-Pré) to assist with the descriptions of these sites as well as providing the French translations for the brochure. Pat Whidden has been contacted with respect to any such sites in East Hants. It is hoped that these will be in place for the Congrès Mondial Acadien 2024 (World Acadian Congress 2024) being held in Nova Scotia from August 10th to 18th.

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