In 1973, a group of interested citizens from West Pubnico met and decided to organize a historical society as a way to preserve their heritage. It now bears the name “Société historique acadienne de Pubnico-Ouest.” The Société has been very active since its founding, and in 1977, its members bought a house in the village, which they quickly turned into a museum. Thanks to local aid and donations as well as grants from the federal and provincial governments, the renovation of the site went very well and the museum compares favourably with other museums of its size in the Nova Scotia. Since its official opening in 1979, the museum has acquired an impressive selection of objects and artifacts from various sources that illustrate the life of the region’s Acadian ancestors. The museum is much more than a museum, as it brings to life Acadian traditions such as quilting and kitchen parties. Furthermore, visitors can also explore Acadian culinary heritage through the museum’s “Potager acadien” or Acadian vegetable garden. The Acadian spirit is still alive!
The museum also houses the “Centre de recherche Père Clarence-J. d’Entremont” and a rich collection of archives that are located on the second floor of the Museum and Research Center Annex. The archives house many collections, including the private collection of the historian Father Clarence-J. d’Entremont. Among the collections housed by the research center are more than 5000 books and periodicals (historical and genealogical), genealogies, land grants, deeds, microfilms, photographs, maps, photographs, parish registers, and more. The archives’ database is a genealogical gold mine, which is very useful in retracing Acadian history and showing the public why this proud people are so close to their roots.
The former family home that now houses the museum and archives dates from the 1800s. It has a solid frame and has good energy. But to truly feel the pulse of the museum, you have to meet the Acadians and listen to their stories. Take, for example, Simon “gentleman” d’Entremont. He was the first Acadian to join the Nova Scotia Legislature. Born in 1788, he learned to read and write in French, English, Latin and Mi’kmaw without formal education. One can learn about this interesting person with the help of our historical fonds and resources that are housed at the museum and archives.