P.O.Box 67, Barrington, NS B0W 1E0

Museums & Research Centre in the Historic District of Barrington NS

Our Sites

Barrington Woolen Mill

In the 1800s, the Barrington Woolen Mill was an important local business that used machinery and water power to turn raw fleece into the yarn and cloth needed to make warm, durable clothing.

Old Meeting House

Built in 1765, the Old Meeting House was the centre of the community for the early settlers of the Barrington area. The building was used for township business as well as religious meetings.

Seal Island Light Museum

A unique experience awaits visitors to the scenic community of Barrington on Nova Scotia’s South Shore, where the Seal Island Lighthouse Museum had stood sentinel by the headwaters of the Barrington River for 30 years.

Western Counties Military Museum

A handful of Veterans, 20-30 items of memorabilia, and the desire to preserve the mementos and information of "those who served" from Shelburne County became the beginnings of what is now the Western Counties Military Museum.

Research Center

A treasure trove of research material awaits researchers and genealogists, or anyone who wants to learn more about our history and culture, in the Old Court House.  

Free WiFi

Free Guest Wifi is available.  Be sure to scan the QR codes in our museums!

About Us


To expand the knowledge, encourage research in, and awareness of, the history, heritage, culture, and genealogy of Barrington Township (Municipality of Barrington, Town of Clarks Harbour, Shelburne County and Seal Island).


The Cape Sable Historical Society is committed to collect, preserve and acquire all documents, information and artifacts that promote the study of Barrington Township ( Municipality of Barrington, Town of Clarks Harbour ,Shelburne County and Seal Island). Once collected, this material will be used for display, research and to publish materials relating to our history.

The Cape Sable Historical Society meets the first Monday of every month (except July, August and September) and often include special guests presenting interesting and informative talks on historical matters. 

The Cape Sable Historical Society is a non-profit volunteer organization, whose members hail from throughout Nova Scotia, New England and beyond. New members are always welcome.


The Cape Sable Historical Society, incorporated in 1937, is so named in commemoration of the Barrington area’s early European roots that date back to the 1600’s, when the area from Cape Negro in the Municipality of Barrington to Chebogue, Yarmouth County was known as Cap de Sable.

Over the past 68 years the Cape Sable Historical Society has worked tirelessly to preserve a treasure trove of historical and genealogical records as well as numerous artifacts, books and photographs of the area.


The Cape Sable Historical Society hosts several special events every year including the popular Strawberry Tea at the historic Old Meeting House in July, and an Old Fashioned Christmas Concert in December, also held at the Old Meeting House.

Kitchen parties at the historic Barrington Woolen Mill are also a popular Friday night activity during the summer months. All music lovers and musicians are welcomed to attend.

The "Centre"

The Cape Sable Historical Society Centre, located in Barrington (Highway 3) on the beautiful South Shore, is dedicated to the preservation of local history through exhibits and archives for Barrington and the surrounding area.

With a large collection of records and data in various mediums, including indexed binders of local newspapers (births, deaths, marriages) dating back to the 1800s, the Cape Sable Genealogy Department is a treasure trove of information, and provides research facilities to assist in the quest for knowledge of ancestral roots. You may choose to research your own or commission the Centre’s staff to assist.

We are located in the Old Court House (built in 1843) along the banks of the Barrington River. The Historical Society is curator to the Western Counties Military Museum, The Barrington Woolen Mill Museum, The Old Meeting House and the Seal Island Light Museum – all within a short walking distance.

Media Releases

May 1, 2018:


The Cape Sable Historical Society has gotten a jump start to what promises to be a stellar season by opening up part of the Barrington Museum Complex on May 2 to host a group of cruise ship clients from aboard the cruise ship Marina, who had made Shelburne a port of call for the day.

The last-minute opportunity to get involved with tour operators as a special itinerary excursion was too good to pass up, says the new director for the Barrington Museum Complex, Sam Brannen. The board of directors agreed and through volunteer efforts the Seal Island Light Museum and Old Meeting House Museum were readied to welcome the visitors.

While the Barrington Museum Complex doesn’t officially open for the season until June 1, there is other pre-season excitement happening in Barrington on May 19, when Nova Scotia Museum archaeologist Katie Cottreau-Robbins hosts a public session starting at 1 p.m. to talk about the archaeology research project at the site of the early 17th century French fur trading post in Port LaTour known as Fort St. Louis. The event will include presentations on what was found last summer and what is planned for this summer, as well as an artifact display, and conversation centered around maps of the local area.

The Cape Sable Historical Society is proud to be partnering with the Nova Scotia Museum and Dr. Cottreau-Robbins during the summer months by hosting a special Fort St. Louis exhibit at the Society’s center in the historic Old Court House in Barrington from June through to September.

The annual strawberry shortcake tea, a Planter’s weekend, kitchen parties at the Barrington Woolen Mill the last Fridays in June, July and August, and a concert at the Old Meeting House are among the special events being organized by the Cape Sable Historical Society for the Barrington Museum Complex this summer. Improved displays and children’s activities are also planned for the Seal Island Light Museum.

In the Old Court House, the Cape Sable Historical Society also operates the Western Counties Military Museum, a genaeology research center, and the Barrington Yarn and Tartan Shoppe, where some of the finest fibres for knitting and expert advice can be found. 



We offer a variety of seasonal positions.  Open positions will be posted on https://www.jobbank.gc.ca/ and our Facebook page.

In the News


  • Planters’ heritage encampment happening in Municipality of Barrington (Aug 5, 2017)
  • Municipality of Barrington Festival of Lights coming up with lots of events taking place (Nov 17, 2017)
  • Barrington Christmas House Tour lineup announced (Nov 21, 2017)
  • Seal Island Light Museum to shine purple (Dec 4, 2017)
  • Seal Island Light Museum shines a light on women abuse; Shelburne vigil draws attention too (Dec 8, 2017)
  • Christmas House Tour a seasonal treat in Barrington (Dec 26, 2017)
  • THE BIG REVEAL: Lobster sculpture artwork wows the crowd in Municipality of Barrington (Feb 07, 2018)

Contact Us

Get in Touch!

Cape Sable Historical Society

(902) 637-2185


Off-Season: Wednesday's 10 AM - 4 PM