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Our History and Culture
For as long as the rhythm of the tides flowing with an epic force in and out of the Bay of Fundy like a steady primordial heartbeat, the tales of Earth have been recorded in our rocks, in our cliffs, and in our forests. For as long as people have lived, and danced and fought and sang and raised a toast to one another, friend and foe, we have celebrated our place and our history here. Spend some time talking with interpreters and taking in the offerings of our multitude of provincial and community museums like the charming Colchester Historical Society Museum in Truro and the industrial heritage honoured in the Springhill Miners’ Museum. Or get outside and come eye-to-eye with our history and culture in its natural setting in mineral -rich cliffs of Joggins where you’ll find the world’s most complete record of the Coal Age fossils. Or visit one of the region’s historic lighthouses, like the wooden “pepperpot” Five Islands Lighthouse . There are more than a dozen lighthouses on our stretch of the Fundy coast. Many welcome visitors with heritage displays – and given the nature of their traditional purpose, most reward visitors with an incredible coastal view.
300 million years of tidal action has given the Fundy Shore an amazing array of gifts including a window into a world that lies hidden in most of the earth. The erosion along our shorelines reveals a cache of fossils like no other in North America. The whole coast can lay claim to fascinating finds, but near Parrsboro alone, amateur fossil hound George Eldon made the discovery of the footprints of the tiniest dinosaur known to have walked the earth, and in the late 1980s, researchers unearthed more than 100,000 dinosaur bones and shards – the largest find of Triassic-Jurassic boundary epoch fossils in North America. Visit the Fundy Geological Museum in Parrsboro and take a day trip to the Joggins Fossil Cliffs , a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and take a guided tour so you don’t miss a thing.
Beyond the era of dinosaurs and the effects of the great tides of Fundy, our heritage has been shaped by the Aboriginal people of Nova Scotia – the Mi’kmaq - as well as the influx of intrepid Europeans explorers like Samuel de Champlain who arrived more than four hundred years ago, the Acadians and the Loyalists. From the very name of the Cape d’Or whose cliffs, glinting with sheen of rich mineral deposits, led Champlain to christen the place “Cape of Gold” to the spiritual myths of the Mi’kmaq people who believe Glooscap created the famous Five Islands when he threw a fistful of mud at an impudent beaver – the influence of our founding cultures is found everywhere.
History lives and breathes beyond our renowned historic sites as well. Take in our festivals and events celebrating our past like the Kennetcook Homecoming Cultural and Heritage Festival where music, food, and historical reenactments are the order of the weekend.
Photograph Copyright: Scott Munn, George Simhoni, Crystal Dorey, NS Dept. of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism