Past Events

The Impact of the Spanish Influenza on Nova Scotia

Thursday, Oct 25 at 7:30 pm

Dr. Allan Marble – The Impact of the Spanish Influenza on Nova Scotia, 1918-1920 – When ‘the great pandemic’ hit 100 years ago the results were 50 million, or more, deaths. Hear about Nova Scotia’s experience from a master story teller.

The Music of Clary Croft

Thursday, October 4 at 7:30pm

Concert by Clary Croft. Tickets $20.

Over his long career Clary has released many recordings and has written several books including, Helen Creighton: Canada’s First Lady of Folklore, that has been re-released in both hard copy and e-book form and his most recent title is, Witchcraft: Tales, Beliefs and Superstitions from the Maritimes. His concerts include traditional and contemporary songs and stories.

The Accidental Farmer

Thursday, September 27 at 7:30pm

Joan Watson (CBC Marketplace) & Murray Creed (CBC Country Canada) – The Accidental Farmer: Who was the real hero of The Story of Ross Farm? Learn how William and Mary Ross immigrated to Nova Scotia in 1816 and overcame many challenges.

Fairy Dells & Rustic Bowers Book Launch

Thursday, June 7 at 7:00pm

Book Launch of Joseph Ballard’s new book, Fairy Dells & Rustic Bowers: The Creation of Victoria Park in Truro, NS.
Meet the author and view an exhibit about Victoria Park.
Free admission, everyone welcome!

Annual General Meeting

Thursday, May 24 at 7:30pm

The Annual General Meeting of the Colchester Historical Society followed by a talk about Watson Smith and the Shubenacadie Tinsmith Museum presented by Betty Stonehouse. All are welcome!

One Hour, Two Books

May 17, Thursday, 7:30 pm

A.J.B (John) Johnston will present a one-hour illustrated talk about the background to his two, brand-new 2018 releases, both novels. The Hat is a fresh 21st century take on the Acadian Deportation; Something True tells the coming-of-age story of Katharine McLennan, a NS nurse in France during the First World War.

Free admission, all welcome!

Historic & Cultural Perspectives on Death, Dying, & Grief

May 8, Thursday, 7:00pm

A panel discussion on the historic and cultural ways of dealing with end-of-life, end-of-life care, and grief.

Moderated by Hospice Executive Director, Craig Johnson, the panel will explore current and past cultural practices surrounding end of life. Panelists include:

Dr. Lynn Jones – African Nova Scotian leader and activist, Dr. Jones is passionate about the way her community approaches notions around end-of-life, death, and grief.

Cynthia (Cyndi) Martin- A Mi’kmaw artist with a keen interest in heritage, culture, and archaeology. Cynthia just completed her degree from NSCAD University where she based her ceramic and textile art on the natural beauty of Mi’kma’ki.

Ashley Sutherland – A researcher and archivist, Ashley Sutherland has a Masters in Art History (with a concentration in curatorial museum studies) and currently serves as Archivist with the Colchester Historeum.

Samantha Molen – A Palliative Social Worker with the Colchester East Hants Hospice, Samantha Molen completed her Master of Social Work at the University of Calgary. Samantha’s role at Hospice finds her most often in community providing a variety supports to families and individuals living with life limiting illnesses. Samantha works closely with the NS Health Authority’s palliative care team at the Colchester East Hants Health Centre.

This event is part of a week of events marking National Hospice Palliative Care Week. Learn more about the week’s events by visiting our website:

Gems of Remembrance

Thursday, May 3rd at 7:30pm

The Annual Dawson. Dr. John Grant will present “Gems of Remembrance: The ‘Normal’ Autograph Books of Ermina Downie, Richard Woodland, Madeline Hines, and Annie Black, 1878-1929”

Until they were replaced by school and university year books, autograph books were a popular device for the storage of memories. Dr. Grant’s paper is based on an examination of the autograph books of four students who attended the Normal School/College in the fifty years between 1878 and 1929. The paper considers the autograph book entries within the social mores of their time and how they reflect changing public attitudes during a period of political and social upheaval.

$5 admission, free for members.

Everyone welcome!

The Provincial Normal School Book Launch

May 5, Saturday, 2:00pm

Carol Campbell and James F. Smith will present their new book The Provincial Normal School, A Biographical Record, 1855-1869.

Free admission, all welcome!

From Colchester to Rochester:
Thomas Henry Blair and the Birth of Amateur Photography

Thursday, April 26, 7:30 pm

Jeffery Ward will give a public talk about Thomas Henry Blair. Born in Colchester County, Blair (1855-1919) became the main competitor of the Eastman Kodak Company before finally selling out to George Eastman in 1899. In his quarter century as a father of amateur photography he made notable advances in camera technology and manufacturing processes and his influence would also extend into the realm of motion pictures. Ward’s presentation will provide an overview of Blair fascinating but largely forgotten life and career.

Colchester Historeum, 29 Young St., Truro. $5 admission, free for members.

March Break at the Historeum

March Break at the Historeum is back!
Monday, March 12 – Friday, March 16

Reduced Admission, only $1 per person.

All week long:

Dress up station
Crafts & colouring
Family tree activity

Monday: Dale Swan will provided guided tours of the Travelling Circuses exhibit with many stories and detailed information about Anna Swan and her life.

Thursday: Knit in from 1pm-4pm. A time to share skills, conversation and more. Stop by to learn to knit!

Colchester on Ice Exhibit Opening & Heritage Day Open House

Monday, February 19, 10:00am-4:00pm

Stop by the Historeum for our annual Heritage Day Open House!

Opening of “Colchester on Ice” exhibit, history of rinks, skating and hockey. Guided tours of the exhibit throughout the day.

10:00am: Brookfield’s David Carter will discuss, through an illustrated talk, the origins of ice hockey and Colchester’s hockey.

2:00pm: Hot Stove League with special guests: David Carter, Lyle Carter, and Terry Henderson.

Free admission! Please bring a donation for the Colchester Food Bank.

All welcome!

Heritage Night

Thursday, February 22, 7:30 pm

A time to celebrate the contributions made by individuals and organizations in preserving and revealing Colchester’s heritage.

Free admission! Please bring a donation for the Colchester Food Bank.

All welcome!

Anna Swan and P. T. Barnum –
Colchester’s Giantess & the Greatest Showman

Dale Swan, North Shore Archives, will give an illustrated presentation on the life of Anna Swan and her relationship with P. T. Barnum, the ‘World’s Greatest Showman’.

Thursday, January 25 at 7:30

$5 admission, free for members.

Everyone welcome!

Travelling Circuses and Other Entertainments Exhibit Opening

An exhibit on some of the exciting and bizarre acts that visited Colchester County in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Everyone welcome!

An Historical Miscellany of Debert & Area

Chat with Stacey McCully Culgin author of An Historical Miscellany of Debert & Area and see an exhibit of Debert photos.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017 at 2:00

All welcome! Regular admissions charges apply.

Heat the Historeum

GivingTuesday November 28, 2017

The Colchester Historeum is one of the few community museums and archives in Nova Scotia that are open to the public year-round.

We are proud to provide services to our community but heating our beautiful heritage building is costly with average annual energy costs of over $17,000.

We are asking for the public’s support to help us cover these costs.

Join us on GivingTuesday, for our Heat the Historeum event! A fun-filled day with entertainment, refreshments, and special guests. With performances by the Happy Harmonies, the Flirtatious Five, Bob & CJ, and more!

Free admission! All welcome!

Donate. Volunteer. Share.

What is GivingTuesday?

GivingTuesday is a National Giving Day

Most people know about Black Friday and Cyber Monday  …now GivingTuesday is coming to Canada on November 28, 2017.

It is a new Canadian movement for giving and volunteering, taking place each year after Cyber Monday. The “Opening day of the giving season,” it is a day where charities, companies and individuals join together to share commitments, rally for favourite causes and think about others.

Steal Away Home

Dr. Karolyn Smardz Frost will present the true story of Cecelia Reynolds who escaped slavery in the US, finds a home in Canada, and years later returns to her childhood home as a free woman.

Special guests for the evening will be the Zion Baptist Church Choir.

Thursday, November 23 at 7:30pm

All welcome!
Free to members.
$5.00 Admission for non-members.

Heroes & Hockey Sticks: Exhibits and Hockey Talks

Stop by the Historeum Saturday, October 28 and Sunday, October 29 to see trophies, sticks, photographs, and other artifacts that highlight hockey history in Truro and Colchester County. There will also be interactive talks by Nevin Jackson and David Carter.

Saturday and Sunday 10:00am-3:00pm

Free Admission!

Saturday – Hockey Talks

1:00pm – Nevin Jackson will discuss Black hockey history and the significant contributions of Black hockey players in Truro and Colchester County.

2:00pm – David Carter will discuss the stories behind a variety of the artifacts from the weekend’s displays.


The Scene of a Triumph of Surgery

Dr. Alan Marble presents a talk on “The Scene of a Triumph of Surgery: The Response of the Nova Scotia Doctors and Nurses to the Halifax Explosion.”

Thursday, October 26 at 7:30

All welcome!
Free to members.
$5.00 Admission for non-members.

Colchester to the Rescue

This display will reveal how the residents of Colchester County stepped forward to help after the explosion in Halifax Harbour, on December 6, 1917. It will feature stories from many communities throughout the County.

Saturday, October 21 at 2:00pm

All welcome!
Free to members.
$5.00 Admission for non-members.

HMCS Truro & her local Connections

An illustrated presentation and opening of an exhibit on HMCS Truro and her Connections with the People of Truro. This will be dedicated to the memory of the officers and men of the HMCS Truro and to Jack Sterling.
In particular, the staff and students of the Junior High School’s support of the ship will be examined.

Wednesday, October 11 at 7:00 p.m.

All welcome!
Free to members.
$5.00 Admission for non-members.

Mary’s ‘Ale Wifs Pater Noister’: The story of ‘Mary Miller Her Book’ and similar manuscript tunebooks

Dr. Nancy Vogan, retired educator from the Music Department of Mount Allison University, will discuss the contents of this wonderful music book. She will show images of other similar books she has found in three different countries over the last two decades.

Thursday, Sept 28 at 7:30 p.m.

All welcome!
Free to members.
$5.00 Admission for non-members.

150 Years of Remarkable Nova Scotians

In this illustrated talk, historian and novelist A J B Johnston offers his insights into the “Vanguard” exhibit, the Nova Scotia Museum’s Canada 150 project. Featured in the exhibit are three individuals from Colchester County: Peter Wilmot, Portia White, and Burnley ‘Rocky’ Jones. Truro native John Johnston was Research and Writer of the exhibit which honours women and men who changed and inspired Nova Scotia, 1867-2017.

Tuesday, September 26 at 7:30 p.m.

All welcome!
Free to members.
$5.00 Admission for non-members.


Her’itage Day

Saturday, August 19

We are celebrating Canada 150 with an all-inclusive, culturally diverse “Her”itage Day to inspire young women as well as recognize the strength and capacity of historical female figures in Canadian and local history. We encourage everyone to join us as we promote our local heritage, celebrate inspiring women and work towards creating a vibrant community through engaging, exciting and entertaining events.

The CNWRC and Colchester Historeum “Her”itage Day offers everyone the opportunity to step back in time as we offer free entrance into the Colchester Historeum, historical games and crafts, “her”itage displays, interactive presentations, and an afternoon tea with special guest speakers. Everything is free, but space for the tea is limited, so please RSVP by August 15. For more details and/or to RSVP, please call 902 895-6284.

Funded by the Government of Canada/Financé par le gouvernement du Canada.

Open House

Saturday, July 29

Colchester Historeum’s Open House! Take a tour of the museum, and complete an interactive survey! Fun for the whole family!

Free admission, all welcome!

Truro: Then & Now

A photograph exhibit of Truro curated by six Cobequid Educational Centre students.

Friday, June 23rd at 7:00pm.

Free admission. All welcome!

Annual General Meeting

Join us for our Annual General Meeting followed by a nostalgic look at growing up in Staples Brook, Colchester County by  Garth Staples, author of The Little Place: a Memoir.

Thursday, May 25, 7:30

All welcome. Free admission.

Some of the Oldest Houses in English Canada

Join us as Architect Syd Dumaresq gives an entertaining and informal walk through the Lunenburg County he loves, presenting some of the oldest houses in English Canada.

Wednesday, May 10 at 7:00pm.

All welcome. Non-members $5.

Plant Sale

Due to the weather forecast the time of the plant sale has been changed to 4pm-7pm. The date remains the same, this Sunday, May 7.

Drop off plants Saturday, May 6, 1pm-3pm or Sunday, May 7, 3pm-4pm.

Spread the word to you friends!

Entertainment & Sport in Halifax to the Time of Confederation

Thursday, April 27, 7:30 p.m.

Alex Boutilier, author of The Citadel on Stage, will deliver a lively and entertaining social history looking at life in Halifax during the period when Adams Archibald was Colchester’s representative in the NS House of Assembly. Boutilier will explore the theatre and recreation in taverns, coffee shops, and inns – including floggings and hangings, military parades and sports.

Everyone welcome. Non-members $5.

Used Book Sale

Our biggest used book sale yet!

Saturday, April 22, 9am-4pm.

We are accepting book donations and you can drop them off during our open hours, 10am-12pm/1pm-4pm Tuesday-Friday.

We would love some more soft cover books!

Please note that we are not accepting yard sale items and magazines.

Thanks for your support!

Dawson Lecture

Thursday, March 23 at 7:30 p.m.

Jim Smith & Carol Campbell “Forrester’s Normalites: Who Changed the World In Which They Lived.”

All welcome. Non-members $5.

March Break at the Historeum

March 14-17

All Week: Reduced Admission – $1 per person
Dress up Station • Artifact Exploration Station

Tuesday, March 14
• Spring time crafts, 10am-12pm/1pm-4pm

Wednesday, March 15
• Knit-in 1:30-5pm. Stop in and learn to knit!

Thursday, March 16
• Kids Genealogy program 10-11am. Ages 10-13. Limited
capacity. Please call Archives to register.

Friday, March 17
• St Patrick’s day crafts, 10am-12pm/1pm-4pm


Heritage Day Open House – Monday February 20, 10:00am-4:00pm

Celebrate Heritage Day at the Historeum with two presentations and an exhibit opening.

All welcome! Free Admission!

Exhibit opening – “Colchester at Confederation: Sir Adams G. Archibald and His World.” The display will reflect on our very own Father of Confederation and what the town and county were like in 1867.

11:00am – Burnley “Rocky” Jones Revolutionary

Social activist and Truro native Lynn Jones will reflect on her brother Rocky Jones and growing up in Truro’s Black community.

2:00pm – Sir Adams George Archibald: The Man and his Legacy

Dr. Allan Marble will give the second talk in the series on Colchester at Confederation – Sir Adams George Archibald: The Man and his Legacy.

“Lift Me Up” Fundraiser

Due to overwhelming response and the Historeum’s limited occupancy load, we have decided to move our Lift Me Up Fundraiser to the Marigold Cultural Centre. The date and time remain the same Thursday, February 2nd 4:00pm-7:00pm.

Help us raise the funds to meet our $6000 bill for elevator repairs and celebrate The Lincolns and the age of Rock and Roll. Special guests will include members of the popular band from the ‘60s and a Girl Group, the Flirtatious Five. A limited number of tickets at $20.

We are now selling 100 more tickets. Please call the Historeum to reserve your tickets. (902) 895-6284

Tickets will be available for pick up next week.

Hurry! tickets are going quickly!

Thank you all for your enthusiasm and contributions which are helping to make this event a success!

Special thanks to Scotia Bank for generously matching and significantly contributing to fundraising efforts!

The Life and Failures of a Forgotten Father of Confederation, P.S. Hamilton

Thursday, January 26 at 7:30 pm.

Dr. Stephen Henderson, professor of History at Acadia University, will give a talk on Peter Hamilton, a very colourful character from Brookfield who edited the Acadian Recorder in the 1850s and 60s. Hamilton was a strong proponent of Confederation who carried on ‘intermittent warfare’ with Joseph Howe.

Everyone Welcome. Non-members $5.

Myths and Realities of the Halifax Explosion

Thursday, November 24 at 7:30pm

As we approach the hundredth anniversary of the disaster, it is high time to examine some of the fictional versions of what happened and change the narrative to celebrate truth. For example, Boston did not save Halifax on December 6, 1917…. Truro did! And New Glasgow and Kentville and many courageous railwaymen, firemen, sailors, local medical people and extraordinary citizens. Janet Maybee, Research Associate at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic, will offer images and stories of real people invisible or wrongly blamed far too long.

Everyone Welcome. Non-members $5.


The Experience of Nova Scotian Soldiers During the Great War

Join us Thursday, October 27 at 7:30pm for The Experience of Nova Scotian Soldiers During the Great War, an illustrated presentation by Brian Tennyson, Emeritus Professor, Cape Breton University. Many men from Northern Nova Scotia went overseas with this battalion in 1915. Far fewer returned.

Everyone welcome. Non-members $5.


Camp Debert: The Impact of Building a Base

Join us Saturday, October 22 at 1:00 pm for Camp Debert: The Impact of Building a Base an exhibit opening and illustrated presentation by Elinor Maher and Stacey Culgin.


The Story of the No. 2 Construction Battalion

Saturday, October 15 at 1:00pm the No. 2 Construction Battalion exhibit opening and illustrated presentation by Mary Beth Sutherland, the granddaughter of Lt.-Col. Daniel Hugh Sutherland. A native of River John, Sutherland was commander of the country’s only battalion composed of black soldiers in the First World War, many from the Truro area. Includes many photos never displayed before.

Everyone welcome. Non-members $5.

The Katie Belle

Nick & Evan Densmore of Cameron’s Shipyard will give an illustrated presentation on the Katie Belle. The two cousins spent years working on their 24 metre schooner, continuing the proud tradition of shipbuilding in this area.

Everyone welcome. Non-members $5.

Wednesday, September 28 at 7:30pm


The Milk Can Age

Join Mayor Bob Taylor as he recalls the many challenges of hauling milk, in milk cans, to dairy plants from 1930 – 70. His recent book provides stories and facts about trucking and the local dairy.

Saturday, September 24 at 1:00pm

Oceans of Rum

Lunenburg native David Mossman is a retired geologist, author and professor emeritus at Mt. Allison University. Prohibition in the USA lasted from 1921-33 but rum-running lasted until 1938. Come to hear details on this very profitable and exciting period for many living along the coasts of Atlantic Canada, including members of Mossman’s family.

Thursday, September 22 at 7:30pm


Tea in the Garden

Join us for Tea in the Garden, every Wednesday, July 20th – August 24th, 1pm-3pm

Enjoy homemade biscuits, jam, sweets, tea and coffee.
$6.00 per person, reservations are appreciated, but not required.

The Colchester Historeum is a building with friendly accommodations, including a ramp and appropriate washroom facilities. If anyone does not feel comfortable with the garden setting, we are happy to provide an accessible indoor option.

Come rain or shine!

Tea in the Garden


Join Stephen Maher, Truro native and Ottawa-based journalist when he reads from his newest novel , Salvage. This fast-paced, gritty thriller is set along Nova Scotia’s South Shore and deals with drug smuggling, murder and intrigue.

Monday, August 15 at 7:00pm

Steve Maher August 2016

The Exile Begins: The Story of the Acadians of Beaubassin

Join Cumberland-Colchester MP Bill Casey for a presentation on the Acadians of Beaubassin and the British march through Cumberland and Colchester to Tatamagouche and back to Old Barns in 1755. Bill will present the story of the area in the 18th century as well as the efforts to preserve and explore the archaeology of the Amherst—Fort Lawrence—Fort Beausejour region in the 21st century.

Wednesday, July 27 at 7:00pm