Historeum Building

A Unique Site in Colchester

December 8, 1900 — An article in the Morning Chronicle praises the Science Building’s design and importance as a Nova Scotia institution.

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Our building was constructed in 1900 to serve as the Science Building for teachers-in-training at the Provincial Normal School (est. 1855).  Also used by the School of Agriculture (est. 1885), it featured a greenhouse at the south end for botanical studies.

The Science Building served teacher education until 1961—the year that the Teacher’s College relocated to the site of the present-day NSCC Truro Campus.  After 1961, the building continued to be used by the local school system for industrial arts classes.

Since 1976, this building has been the home of the Colchester Historical Society and is used for public history programs and research.  Because of its important link to the educational and architectural heritage of Colchester County and Nova Scotia, the building became a Registered Heritage Property in 2004.

With its subtle polychrome finish, unique combination of building materials and a respect for all things symmetrical, the Science Building is a good example of the Beaux-Arts Movement in Canadian architecture.  Amherst red sandstone, combined with red brick and cast iron detail, would have been an unusual sight on earlier neoclassical structures. By mixing local materials and European forms, this building represents a truly North American style.

The Colchester Historical Museum is an architecturally unique Truro landmark, symbolic of the leading role that the Provincial Normal College played in the educational system of the province during the 20th century.