History of our site
The Museum of Industry can be found just off exit 24 of the Trans-Canada Highway 104 on 13 acres, once the site of two of Nova Scotia’s earliest coal mines. The rich coal mining heritage of this area is the primary reason the Museum of Industry is located here. The beginnings of coal mining as an industry in Nova Scotia started in 1827 when a British mining company brought the technology, money, and skilled labour to a spot just south of the Museum and started digging pits. Some of the buildings associated with that early period can still be found scattered throughout Stellarton, our town (known as Albion Mines in those days). On our site are the buried archaeological remains of the foundry and locomotive shed, while nothing can be found of several other buildings, such as the sawmill.
In 1866, the deepest coal mine in the world at the time, was sunk just north of the Museum. It relied on a Cornish beam engine to remove water from the mine to make it possible to find the coal. One of the few visible remnants of that mine (the Foord Pit) is the partially-reconstructed sandstone pumphouse which stands outside our doors. The beam engine is long gone.
Interpretive panels and a commemorative plaque on our site tell you more of the story.
Download interpretive panels
- Museum of Industry Site (PDF 4.1MB)
- The Cornish Pump (PDF 4.62MB)
- Legacy on the Landscape (PDF 4.15MB)
You can park in our spacious and free parking lots, enjoy our picnic tables and shade trees, and access the community walking trail.
Try your luck with a game of quoits (similar to horseshoes). The quoits pitches are on our lawn in front of the pumphouse. You can sign out the equipment at our Admissions Desk.
The archaeological features associated with our site are buried. You can learn more about them from our interpretive panels located outside in front of the pumphouse.
National Historic Site
The Museum of Industry site is a Canadian national historic site dedicated to the Nova Scotia coalfields. This designation recognizes the significance of the Stellarton area and the museum site to the development of the Nova Scotia coal mining industry. Together with Springhill and Glace Bay, we commemorate the importance of Nova Scotia’s contribution to Canadian history and development.