PORT HASTINGS: The “Strait Area Museum” will be the new name for the Port Hastings Museum and Archives.

The decision was made at the June monthly meeting. This is not meant to take away from the museums in Point Tupper and Mulgrave, but to better reflect their collection which has expanded to cover the entire Strait area.

The Port Hastings Historical Society was founded in October 1978 to prepare for the 25th anniversary of the official opening of the Canso Causeway. That meant researching the earliest history of crossing the Strait of Canso. The emphasis then was on the communities of Mulgrave, Point Tupper, Port Hawkesbury, Port Hastings, and Auld’s Cove.

The local group was able to hire students via grants by the summer of 1979 and had displays ready in St. David’s Church hall. With more grants, in 1980, they were able to take leadership of the anniversary celebrations. By this time, the emphasis was very much on the construction of the Canso Causeway, Canso Canal and the official opening activities.

The Daniel MacIntosh estate donated the family home on Church Street in the village of Port Hastings to the historical society in 1981, and by 1982, the group hosted the official opening of the Port Hastings Museum and Archives. Their collection continued to grow, as well as the communities they cover.

In 2009, they moved to their present location at the Port Hastings Rotary, the entryway to Cape Breton. The artisans collective, a group of quilters and crafters, joined them in the south end of the building which has been a great asset.

The historical society has the largest collection of photographs, publications, artifacts, and scrapbooks on the first industry to be built after the opening of the Canso Causeway – Nova Scotia Pulp Ltd. – as well as the industries that came later.

The group has “House Display” binders of all of the communities they serve and genealogical records on families, school records and pictures.

The group is fortunate to have students again this spring and summer. Visitors have been in already from Israel, Germany, the United States, the Netherlands, Austria, Italy, and other parts of Canada. The staff is very busy giving tours and helping prepare for an evaluation in July.

Their vision is to maintain the community museum, one that makes a difference, to inspire and motivate new interests and provide information to residents (past and present), visitors and tourists about the life and times in the Strait of Canso area.

For more information, call 902-625-1295 or e-mail: porthastingsmuseum@gmail.com.