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Speakers needed

Posted by Laura de Boer on January 10, 2018 at 2:05 PM Comments comments ()

To our members and friends:

If you have any suggestions or know of an interesting topic or person pretaining to the industrial heritage of Nova Scotia, please come forward and let us know. We are always seeking speakers and or subject which would be of interst to our organization. Send us a note through email or post a message on Facebook.

[email protected]

[email protected]

[email protected]

A Piece of Starr Manufacturing History Revealed

Posted by Laura de Boer on January 5, 2016 at 10:45 PM Comments comments ()

We're pleased to share this photo with permission from one of Nova Scotia's archaeological consulting firms, CRM Group Limited. This die was once used to cast skate blades at the Dartmouth site of Starr Manufacturing, and was discovered last year in a Dartmouth garden. Here's what CRM Group has to say about this great find:


"While gardening at his Dartmouth home, 13 year old Oscar Jarsky uncovered this artifact and quickly realized he had found something important. What he had found was a skate die from the Starr Manufacturing Company which was in business from the 1860s until the 1990s.


Starr Manufacturing is world famous for the production of John Forbes’s Patent Spring Skate, which was one of the most important skating innovations of the nineteenth century. The site where the plant once stood is considered to be of National historic significance and is currently under development as an interpretive park with the city.


Thanks to Oscar for sharing this significant find with the people of Nova Scotia!"

Public Archaeology Dig A Great Success!

Posted by Laura de Boer on October 7, 2015 at 5:30 PM Comments comments ()

Our second annual public archaeology program at Shubie Park in Dartmouth was a fantastic success! We were joined by forty-six participants of all ages to help us excavate a worker's cottage occupied during the first phase of construction of the Shubenacadie Canal, between 1826 and 1831. See our photo section for an album of dig photos, and check out the scoop in the news stories below:

Dartmouth Tribune

The Canadian Press (Video)

The Canadian Press (via The Chronicle Herald)

Metro News

In association with the Shubenacadie Canal Commission, we have arranged to continue holding annual public digs at Shubie Park in Dartmouth. We are also pursuing holding public digs in other locations in Nova Scotia. If you are interested, please consider becoming a member of IHNS. Members have first pick of spots on the dig, and are notified of upcoming events in advance of the general public. The dig is free to all participants thanks to materials supplied by Boreas Heritage Consultants, Davis MacIntyre & Associates Archaeological Consultants, IHNS, and the Shubenacadie Canal Commission, as well as professional archaeologists who have volunteered their time and energy to supervise the dig.

A Great Steam-Power Video

Posted by Laura de Boer on November 29, 2013 at 2:35 PM Comments comments ()

For those interested in watching or sharing a great video on a steam-powered sawmill, including clear explanations on steam engines and the associated belt-driven machinery, we recommend this short feature:

The Woodwright's Shop - Steam Power Sawmill - PBS

Wile Carding Mill Museum to become a Registered Heritage Property

Posted by Laura de Boer on November 14, 2013 at 8:25 PM Comments comments ()

We're pleased to pass along the news that the Wile Carding Mill, which was visited during an IHNS field trip in recent years, will soon become a municipally registered heritage property. The Bridgewater museum, owned by the nearby DesBrisay Museum, is a structure built around 1860 by Dean Wile. The Wile family were among the first European descenants to settle in the Bridgewater area during the colonial period.

The Wile Carding Mill is one of only a few carding mills still extant in the province, and is the only remaining element of Bridgewater's early water-powered industries. The mill was part of Bridgewater's water-powered "industrial park" of the nineteenth century, known at the time as Sebastopol. The mill is notable for its original gable roof and clapboard elements, to which an ell and a shed over the flume were later added. of particular interest to our IHNS members is the original wooden gears and belt-powered machinery which is on prominent display.

Above: The Wile Carding Mill in the nineteenth century. Image courtesy Kendra Power.

Above: The Wile Carding Mill in the twentieth century, sometime prior to 1974. Image Courtesy Kendra Power.

Above: The Wile Carding Mill as it appears today. Image courtesy Kendra Power.

November Public Talk

Posted by Laura de Boer on November 14, 2013 at 7:50 PM Comments comments ()

Our public talk in early November featured a gold panning demonstration and some spectacular fluorescent and phosphorescent minerals from Nova Scotia and beyond. Check out our photo gallery for a few snapshots from the evening.