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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
*Due to public health guidelines surrounding Covid-19, research requests will be by appointment only.
Please call 902-637-2185 to make an appointment.
Check out the many locally sourced and site produced goods at our gift shop located in the Old Court House!
The Cape Sable Historical Society operates the Barrington Museum Complex, which includes four separate museums within a two minute walk of each other in one Historic District. These Museums are: the Old Meeting House; Barrington Woolen Mill, Seal Island Light Museum, Western Counties Military Museum as well as our Archives and Research Centre located in the Old Court House.
The Barrington Museum Complex is located in the Kespukwitk region of Mi'kma'ki, the traditional and unceded territory of the Mi'Kmaq/L'nu people. As settlers, we're grateful for the opportunity to live, work and gather here and we thank all the generations of people who have taken care of this land - since time immemorial.
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 and third Monday of every month 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 visitors that date back to the early 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.
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.
2401 Highway 3
10:00 a.m. – 04:00 p.m.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, our sites are open from Tuesday to Saturday, 10am-4pm. Closed for lunch and sanitizing from 12:30-1:30 daily. The Seal Island Light Museum is open by appointment from Tuesday to Friday and open regular hours on Saturdays.
Our sites will close for the season on October 15th.
The Cape Sable Historical Society Archives and Research Centre is open by appointment only.
For the protection of our staff, mask use is mandatory in all of our sites.