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

We had hoped that we would be opening to the public on June 1st, however, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Old Courthouse Museum and Visitor Information Center will be closed to the public at this time.

We will continue to evaluate opening, 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 visitors.

Museum staff will be onsite, working on long term projects, on weekdays from 9:00 AM -5:00 PM daily beginning Monday June 1st, 2020. 

You are encouraged to contact us with any questions you may have related to our historical and genealogical role.  We will be happy to assist you with your inquiries.

The Visitor Information Centre will still be available by phone or email to address your travel related questions and assist you with your travel plans and arrangements. We 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. If you want us to prepare special materials for you based on your specific needs, we can do that on request and we can make arrangements to deposit a package of materials to a safe and secure spot where you can access them up once they are ready for pickup.

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

Staff can be contacted by phone (902-533-4008), by email (guysborough.historical@ns.sympatico.ca), on Facebook (Guysborough Historical Society (Old Court House Museum), or on Twitter (@CourtHouse1843).

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)
  • Monday – Friday: 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM. (Staff only)
    CLOSED to public at this time
  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 Tuesday 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.