Six Pennsylvania families came in 1767 and settled here, joined in the next decade by immigrants from the Scottish highlands after an 121 week voyage on the ship Hector. The harbour has three rivers, creating an excellent location for lobster fishing and for shipbuilding.

This community is more important in recent years as one of the jumping-off points for ferries to PEI, and in recent years — since the completion of the Confederation Bridge — is the only way to get the sea-faring exposure on the way to PEI.

Other Links


The seaside town of Pictou, Nova Scotia

Barney’s River Station School Museum

Trans Canada Hwy 104, exit 29, 300 m south
NS-4, Barneys River Station, NS B0K 1A0

Designated as a Heritage Property in 1994, the Barney’s River Station School Museum – a restored, fully furnished one-room rural school – is now entering its third century of community use. The goal for this small but unique institution is to preserve and enhance the past while retaining purpose and integrity.

The collection of memorabilia includes items relating to the history of the school and the community. Recent additions and donations include a built-to-scale model of the building itself, wall-lamps and brackets and photographs of former students who served in World War II. Books written by a local resident which focus on school and community are available, with proceeds for continuing restoration projects. Our building tells the story. Open July 1-September 1, Mon closed, Tues-Sat 10:00 am-5:00 pm, Sun noon-5:00 pm. Admission, free, donations welcome

Carmichael-Stewart House

86 Temperance Street, New Glasgow, NS B2H 3A7
(902) 752-5583

A general collection relation to the history of Pictou County. Primarily aimed at items from one hundred years ago. Items of Trenton glass, extensive photograph collection are in a Victorian house, formerly owned by the Carmichaels — influential family in County history, shipbuilding and business. Historic garden is being developed. There is an extensive exhibit of turn of the century textiles. Operated by: Pictou County Historical Society Open June-August, Mon-Fri 9 am-4:30 pm, Sat 1 pm-4:30 pm, Sun closed. Admission, free, donations welcome

deCoste Entertainment Centre

Water St, Pictou

Northeastern Nova Scotia’s centre for the performing arts. “The Summer Sounds of Nova Scotia” informal ceilidhs, held every Wednesday night in July and August. “Hector Festival” is held annually in August: concerts, pipebands, highland dancing, re-enactment of settlers landing. Admission charged for performances. Season: March 1 to December 31

Grohmann Knives Limited

116 Water St, Pictou B2H 3S8
(902) 755-5180

30 minute guided tours of this knife factory. Monday to Friday 9 am to 3 pm (minimum 4 people per tour)

Hector Heritage Quay

33 Caladh Avenue, Pictou
(902) 755-3463

Offers unique insight into the journey of early Scots settlers to Nova Scotia, and their arrival in Pictou. The centerpiece is the continuing construction of a full-scale three-masted sailing ship, a replica of the Dutch ship Hector that brought the early settlers from Loch Broom, Scotland in 1773. You can experience the rolling motion of the deck as the passengers disembark the Hector to begin their new lives. The Hector Heritage Quay provides a glimpse into 18th-century life, with working carpenter and blacksmith’s shops. Open: May 13 to October 20 Mon-Fri 8 am to 9 pm, Sat 9-6, Sun 10-6. Admission, with family rate.

Loch Broom Log Church

On Loch Broom side of West River, 10 min. from Pictou rotary, follow signs
RR 2 Pictou, NS B0K 1H0
(902) 485-4891

Replica of the first church built in Pictou County. First service held in the original church in 1787 by Dr James MacGregor who came from Scotland in 1786. Nova Scotia Historic Site. Operated by: West River Presbyterian Church Open early July-early September, Mon closed, Tues-Sat 11:00 am-6:00 pm, Sun 1:00 pm-6:00 pm, service at 3:00 pm. Admission, free, donations welcome

Malagash Heritage Museum

Off route 6, on the Sunrise Trail, 3 miles from Jost Winery}
RR 1 Malagash, NS B0K 1E0
(902) 257-2407

Malagash Heritage Association provides exhibits relating to the “Malagash Salt Mine” which ran from 1918-1959, including many artifacts and photos are on display concerning this very interesting industry. The museum displays many old school photos, and covers the natural and social history of the area, including the industries of lobster fishing and farming. Open July & August: daily 10 am-5 pm; June & September: hours vary. Admission.  Children under 12 free.

McCulloch House Museum

86 & 100 Old Haliburton Rd, Pictou
902 485-1150 485-4563
The historic McCulloch House is located on the hill behind the Hector Centre, as part of the Nova Scotia Museum Complex. The house, originally called ‘Sherbrooke Cottage’, is the former home of Reverend Thomas McCulloch, D.D. Dr. McCulloch and his family sailed into Pictou Harbour in the fall of 1803 on their way to PEI to begin a Presbyterian ministry. The people of Pictou were impressed by this learned man, and convinced him to stay. The house was built in 1806 from bricks imported from Scotland, and features plaster cornices, hand-carved woodwork, a signed Audubon print, and original furniture. Open June 1 to October 15: Mon-Sat 9:30 – 5:30, Sun 1:30 -5:30 pm,

Mcpherson’s Mill & Farm Homestead

{Route 347take exit 26 from Route 104}
Box 403, New Glasgow, NS B2H 2E5
(902) 752-6266

Water-powered gristmill with a farm house and outbuildings on the site. Local handcrafts available for sale. Model of up-and-down sawmill on display. Operated by: East Pictou Women’s Institute. Open summers. Admission free.

Museum Of Industry

{147 North Foord Street}
Box 2590, Stellarton, NS B0K 1S0
(902) 755-5425 fax (902) 755-7045

Constructed on the site of the Foord Pit of the Albion Mines, this 80,000 square-foot museum chronicles the industrialization of Nova Scotia and the impact of industry upon the people, economy and landscape of the province. The museum tells the story Nova Scotia’s transformation from an rural colony of farmers, fishermen and craftsmen, into an industrial economy, society and landscape. Life-sized two-dimensional figures, interactive models and interpretive programming tell the story. The collection includes the two oldest steam locomotives in North America (Samson and Albion), a 1912 McKay car, the first Volvo assembled in Canada, Nova Scotian bottles and pressed glass, coal-mining implements, and some 14,000 other artifacts ranging in size from locomotives to fraternal pins. Open May 1-June 30, Mon-Sat 9:00 am-5:00 pm, Sun 1:00 pm-5:00 pm; July 1-October 31: Mon-Sat 9:00 am-5:00 pm, Sun 10:00 am-5:00 pm; November 1-April 30: Mon closed, Tues-Sat 9:00 am-5:00 pm, Sun 1:00 pm-5:00 pm. Admission, with group tour & school tour group rates.

Northumberland Fisheries Museum

Front Street, Pictou
902 485-4972

The museum contains an original fisherman’s bunkhouse furnished with authentic items used by fishermen from the turn of the century until the company cookhouses closed. Displays include: items relating to the fishing industry including a “spar and boom” used on lobster boats in the late 1800sthe Silver Bullet lobster fishing boat built locally in the 1930s, which won 3 consecutive races in the famous Pictou Lobster Carnival, and a collection of photographs dating from 1900-1950. Admission. Allow 30 minutes. Open June 15 to October 15: Mon-Sat 9 – 7, Sun 1 – 7. Free admission.

Pictou Nova Scotia Area Map