I recently had the good fortune of spending a day at the Highland Village in Iona. My mom and two girls joined me for a trip back in time to a living history museum and cultural centre that celebrates the Gaelic experience in Nova Scotia for settlers from the mid 1700’s through to the early 1900’s.
The 40 acre site features 11 historic buildings depicting life for Gaelic settlers in Nova Scotia. From the Blackhouse, built in the style the Highland Scots used at home, through the log house representing their first home here in Cape Breton and on through the 1800’s to the early 1920’s.
We were amazed at the progression made in housing over those 120 or so years. From a grass roof and walls made of stone to the Turn of the Century House with its telephone and other modern conveniences.
While my Mom and I loved seeing the costumes and amenities, my kids enjoyed the animals the most! Their favourite was a friendly little pig who was trying to dig his way out of his pen. He loved the sound of the kids and came running to the fence when we came to see him.
Mira Jean, a Clydesdale Horse, also entertained us by rolling in the field and then galloping gracefully across the field in front of the impressive Malagawash Church. We also saw rare Soay sheep Aindreas, Annag, Beasag and ewe lambs, Eala and Eithne.
The General Store was also a favourite for the kiddies. You can buy rock candy and other sugary treats at the Store which kept the kids occupied while we checked out the goods that would have been available for purchase a century ago. Amazing to see all those artifacts!
I have to say, the beautiful view of the Barra Strait and the lovely gardens on site really topped off the day as we enjoyed a picnic on the hill in front of the Highland Village. You can view my pictures on Flickr.
Our next trip to the Highland Village, we are going to make use of Roots Cape Breton, a computer-assisted research service for those in search of their Cape Breton roots using census, cemetery, birth, marriage and death records. We’ll see how deep my Cape Breton roots go and hopefully find some scandalous family drama. Well, one can hope anyway!
Until then, why not head to Highland Village this weekend for the 51st Annual Highland Village Day Outdoor Concert on Saturday, August 4th.
The Highland Village Day Concert is one of Cape Breton Island’s original Outdoor Scotch Concerts. The concert runs from 2-6 pm. Admission is $15 per person – children 12 and under free when accompanied by an adult.
For more information call (902) 725-2272 or 1-866-442-3542 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.