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While traveling throughout the Bay of Fundy region take time to visit some of its fascinating museums. Learn about the life and times of the region’s pioneers, local history and industry and see a variety of interesting exhibits.
In Saint John visit the oldest continuing museum in Canada and stroll through the Hall of Great Whales, the ship building gallery and learn, in general, about the Province of New Brunswick. In Yarmouth visit the Firefighter’s Museum of Nova Scotia to view photos, recollections and thousands of artifacts that chronicle the history of firefighting throughout the province. And, in St. Stephen, visit The Chocolate Museum to hear the story of the Ganong brothers, who started their popular candy-making business in the late 1800’s. Other out of the ordinary museums include a former scallop dragger, a sawmill and a museum dedicated to the history of the apple-growing industry.
The New Brunswick Museum
The New Brunswick Museum, found in Market Square in Uptown Saint John, contains three floors of galleries and exhibits. One of Saint John’s top attractions, there is literally something of interest for everyone at the New Brunswick Museum. Learn about the history of industry throughout New Brunswick from the 1870s through to the 1950s, view a large model replica of the Marco Polo (the most famous ship built in Saint John) and follow the province’s movement during continental shifting over billions of years. The museum is also home to galleries showcasing art from throughout New Brunswick, Canada and the world.
The Hall of Great Whales is a favorite gallery for most who visit the museum. Suspended from the ceiling are skeletons of several marine creatures including that of Delilah – a North Atlantic Right Whale that washed up on the shores of Fundy in 1992 following a ship-strike. Alongside her skeleton is an life-size, full-body model of Delilah. Interpreters are on-site to tell visitors Delilah’s story as well as to provide information on the other marine mammals found in the Bay of Fundy and show visitors neat items such as whale lice and baleen.
Another interesting feature found in the New Brunswick Museum is a tidal tower that illustrates the vertical variance of Fundy’s giant tides as seen in the Saint John Harbour. Tides in Saint John range from about 21ft to 28ft and the museum’s tidal tower – running from the lobby floor to the top of the third floor – is 29ft. Be sure to note the difference in the tides between the beginning and end of your visit. (It takes just over 6 hours to change from one end of the tide cycle to the other!)
Firefighters’ Museum of Nova Scotia
The Firefighters’ Museum of Nova Scotia chronicles the history of firefighting throughout the province with pictures, recollections and thousands of artifacts. The museum’s collection includes vintage pumpers, hose wagons and ladder trucks, antique toy fire engines, uniforms and an extensive assortment of shoulder crests, patches and badges from around the world. Two popular exhibits within the Museum are the 1863 Amoskeag Steamer, one of the oldest surviving steamers in Canada, and the 1933 Chev Bickle Pumper.
The Chocolate Museum
The Chocolate Museum is located in downtown St. Stephen, New Brunswick – only three blocks from the United States border – in the original Ganong candy factor, next door to the Ganong Chocolatier. (You may wish to visit the Ganong Chocolatier next to purchase delectable hand-dipped chocolates!)
First opening in June of 1999, the Chocolate Museum presents the story of James and Gilbert Ganong, who started this popular candy-making business in the late-1800’s. Today, Ganong’s is the oldest family-owned candy-making company in the country. Step inside the old factory to discover hands-on exhibits, interactive computer displays and collections of historic chocolate boxes and antique candy-making equipment. As a very important part of town’s heritage, St. Stephen was officially registered as “Canada’s Chocolate Town” in 2000 and hosts Chocolate Fest at the beginning of each August.
Fundy Geological Museum
At the Fundy Geological Museum in Parrsboro, Nova Scotia, discover the ancient world of dinosaurs that roamed the land millions of years ago. See some of the oldest dinosaur bones in Canada, the world’s first reptiles, ancestors of the frog, giant dragonflies and more. Examine mineral treasures such as beautiful amethyst and agate gemstones, revealed by the washing of the giant Fundy Tides.
This was the 10th article in our “52 Reasons to visit” series. Take some time to read our next reason: First European Settlement, or last week’s reason: Beautiful Bay of Fundy Gardens. We also think you may want to take a look at the overview of all the articles in this series and use our RSS feed so you won’t miss any further articles!