A notice to our supporters regarding COVID-19

Canada Post Building

Under Construction in 1902

A Bustling Waterfront

In the Early 1900s

Guysborough Historical Society

Founded in 1973, the Guysborough Historical Society is a non-profit, volunteer organization created to preserve the history of Guysborough County.

In 1976 the Society restored the old Court House in Guysborough to create a community museum to exhibit objects that help illustrate the story of Guysborough County and its people, and accommodate a visitor information centre for tourists to the area.  





COVID-19 Impact on Museum Summer Operations 2020

Updated July 23, 2020

Visitor Information Centre Open / Museum Exhibit Area Closed

The Visitor Information Centre (VIC) is now open. Museum staff is onsite Monday to Sunday from 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM.

Visitors will enter by the VIC door at the rear of the museum (across from the outdoor washroom) and will exit through front door of the Museum.

COVID-19 Safety PosterWe are following COVID-19 Health protocols.

    • Please maintain physical distancing.
    • Masks are strongly encouraged particularly indoors and in situations where physical distancing may be difficult to maintain.
    • Masks are available in the VIC for a small donation.

We also have an unstaffed physical kiosk beside our parking lot with a pick-up box attached to a large Guysborough County map display. Staff will keep the box full of tourist materials which can be picked up at any time.

Visitors to the Museum, via the VIC entrance, are welcome.  Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the main exhibit areas of the Old Courthouse Museum are closed to the public at this time. Limited viewing of the Museum space is available through the courtroom area as part of the exit route when leaving.

We will continue to evaluate opening access to the main exhibit areas, based on the advice and recommendations of Nova Scotia’s Chief Medical Officer, Public Health and Safety, and the Government of Nova Scotia. We want to be sure we have the appropriate protocols in place to ensure the safety of our staff and our visitors.

Staff will be happy to assist you with:

    • Travel related needs
    • Provide research assistance to assist with genealogical inquiries, however, access to the Research room is not available to the public at this time.
    • Provide information related to diverse culture and history of our communities and their people.
    • Purchasing from our collection of books and clothing

If you are unable to visit in person, you are encouraged to contact us with any questions you may have related to our historical and genealogical roles. We will be happy to assist you with your inquiries.


Our online store (https://www.guysboroughhistoricalsociety.ca/shop/) is still open.  We will continue to fill your book or clothing orders as usual.

We wish to thank you for your continued interest and support as we navigate our way in this “new normal” during this pandemic. Stay Safe!


Hours of Operation 2020 

COVID-19 Impact on Operations 2020

Summer Hours 2020 (June – August)
  • 7 Days a week Monday – Sunday: 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM.
    Visitor Information Centre Open to Public (COVID-19 Safety Plan in place)
    Museum Main Exhibit areas CLOSED to public at this time (staff only)
  Fall Hours 2020 (September)
  • TBD

During the Off-Season appointments can be arranged by sending an email to guysborough.historical@ns.sympatio.ca

The Historical Society Executive meets the 3rd Wednesday of each month at 7:00 PM (winter weather permitting)

Our Historic Walking Tour is open all year.

Genealogical Research Services

The Guysborough Historical Society offers genealogical research services. Research requests may be made by contacting the Old Court House Museum from June to the first of October.

Find more information about our research services click here.

Museum News

New Edition – Recollections of a Life in Guysborough 3rd edition

Recollections of a Life in Guysborough 3rd EditionA New Edition of Laurier C. Grant’s book titled “RECOLLECTIONS OF A LIFE IN GUYSBOROUGH”  is now available for purchase.  This new edition includes a new chapter, written by Laurier in 1966 and updated in 1982, detailing the history of the Guysborough Hospital.

Laurier began writing sometime in the late 1970’s in order to, in his own words, “…attempt to put in writing a condensed genealogy of my parents’ families as well as excerpts from my experiences during my long life in Nova Scotia…”. The book provides an entertaining and informative perspective both relating to his family and significant times in the history of Guysborough.



Interred Within The Pioneers of Guysborough

Interred Within documents the history of those in one of Nova Scotia’s oldest cemeteries. Researched by various authors over a period of four years, it tells the stories of 47 pioneers of Guysborough. Included are:

Rev. Peter De La Roche, the first Rector, who provided clerical services to all regardless of race, religion and class at a time when slavery was still legal and before Catholic emancipation.

Daniel Aikens, ordinary seaman, who served aboard HMS Temeraire at the Battle of Trafalgar, who’s ship turned the tide of battle.

. . . and 44 others whose biographies will appeal to historians, genealogists and those who just want a good read!


Erin’s Sons: Irish Arrivals in Atlantic Canada

The Guysborough Historical Society recently purchased Terrence M. Punch’s 4 volumes titled Erin’s Sons: Irish Arrivals in Atlantic Canada.  Volumes  I and II cover the years 1761 – 1853, Volume III encompasses 1751 – 1858, and Volume IV up to 1863.  These volumes were written using a variety of sources to identify as many Irish pioneers in Atlantic Provinces of Canada as possible and disclose where they came from in the Old Country.  These volumes are available in our research room during regular hours for those seeking to discover more about the Irish settlers who came to and through Atlantic Canada in those years.

Dr. Buckley’s Archive

In 2018, the museum acquired a digital copy of Dr. Buckley’s medical archive.
It is available for researchers in the museum.