First Floor

Miner's House Exhibit

A slice of life depicting the first 50 years of a miner's homestead in the town. The items in this composite room were needed for everyday laundry, bathing, grooming and feeding the family between 1900 and the 1950s. Please note the wooden ice box, the pickling crocks, the organ and various toys.

Mining Exhibit

A room and pillar coalmine, representing # 20 colliery. This includes tools and equipment used by the men in the mines. Notice the "Piece Can" - so named as it usually held a piece of what ever could be found for the miner's lunch. Ponies were used for smaller coal seams and horses in the larger, higher seams. The Mining Display Cabinet holds a variety of tools as well as a mining telephone. Glace Bay had the first telephones in Nova Scotia, saw the first use of the telephone underground and first commercial use of the telephone in the world. All this taking place in 1887 in the Caledonia Mine.

Fishery Exhibit

A typical Cape Breton shore line with a mural depicting the Glace Bay Harbour in the 1940's when the sword fishery was at its haydays. This includes shore birds such as Ring Billed Gulls and Terns. Harpoons were used to hunt down the huge swordfish. The exhibit also details the individuals who acted as the driving force behind the towns seafood industry.

School Room Exhibit

A map of the Island of Cape Breton from 1903 with coal mining areas and other mineral deposits marked off in boxes, hangs in the Museum's School Room. Note the teacher's Rules on the desk. The Union Jack was prominently displayed in every school room. This exhibit also plays host to a gallery of all former superintendents of Glace Bay's Schools.

Military Exhibit

This display of photos, uniforms and a variety of military artifacts is dedicated to the brave service man and women of the Canadian Armed Forces of Cape Breton. A permanent exhibit features Glace Bay Native Pte. John Bernard Croak, the only Cape Bretoner to receive, posthumously, the highest military honour, the Victoria Cross Award for bravery in WWI - 1914 - 1918 - overseas.

Police Exhibit

As an important part of the town's history a display is dedicated to all who answered the call to serve and protect this community. From a force of one chief and two deputies in the 1900's, to a full sized force of the 1990's prior to amalgamation; this exhibit chronicles the evolution of the Glace Bay's police service. Included are uniforms, equipment, badges, and decals of The Glace Bay Police Department.

Sydney & Louisbourg Railway

Glace Bay was the home and reason for the existence of the Sydney and Louisbourg Railway, which was built - not to connect Sydney to Louisbourg - but to connect Glace Bay to its two winter coal shipping ports, Louisbourg and Sydney - with Louisbourg preferred, since it did not freeze over. The display includes photos, passes, ticket stubs, and artifacts such as an original desk from the station master's office and a brass bell from The Old 42 engine.


Portraits of all Glace Bay's Mayors, two town clerks and the first magistrate grace the walls of the former courtroom . Monthly meeting of the Glace Bay Historical Society, Glace Bay Heritage Museum Society as well as a variety of functions are held here throughout the year - this included two small weddings. The courtroom also acts as a gallery of the former mayors of the town as well as Glace Bay's first Magistrate A.B. MacGillivray. To view former mayors, the magistrate and two town clerks and their biographies - click here.

Second Floor

Hallway Display Case

the middle cabinet holds items found in the walls and ceilings by workmen during the restoration of the second floor. A pair of nylon stockings with black seams was pulled from the ceiling in the Council Chamber. If the walls could talk!

The Council Chamber

This impressive room was restored to the way it might have looked in 1903, when the Town Hall contruction was completed (no photos were ever found). Here the Mayor and Councillors carried on the business of the Town of Glace Bay, once known as "Canada's largest".

Mayor's Chain of Office

Names of Glace Bay's merchants are engraved on the back of the Mayor's Chain of Office, which is displayed in the Council Chamber.

Marconi Room

In 1902 Glace Bay became the birthplace of radio technology in North America and the birthplace of international radio, when Marconi transmitted the first wireless ( radio) message across the Atlantic Ocean. This former Mayor's office houses now numerous historical photographs and artifacts depicting the first Trans Atlantic Wireless Service, which was established between Table Head in Glace Bay and Ireland in 1907.


The long, open room gives you a glimpse into various pastimes of the town folks in the last century. For example the Colliery League was established for coal miners who wanted to play hockey or baseball or softball. It gave the miners a chance to escape from day to day problems and added to closeness of the community. The large oil painting by well known local artists Kenny Boone, depicts the Glace Bay Miners Forum, built in 1938/1939. It has been described as the heart of the community and was the focal point of entertainment for the Town of Glace Bay and its neighbouring communities. Here NHL hockey games were played. Big Bands such as Louis Armstrong, Benny Goodman and Duke Ellington, to name a few, played for dances. Royal Lipizzaner Stallions, Gene Autry and his Rodeo Show, circuses and Military Tattoos entertained large audiences. The Centennial Military Tatoo of 1967 started its Cross - Canada Tour in the Miners' forum. In May of 1994 the Miners' Forum was replaced with the Bayplex.

Joseph "Joey" Mullins

In 1956 Mullins established a world indoor record for 600 yards = 1:11.4. This pair of running shoes was worn by Glace Bay's own in the 1960 Olympics. He was inducted into the Nova Scotia Hall of Fame in 1980.


This basketball and its carrying bag dates back from 1931 and is autographed by many outstanding local basketball stars Coach Earl " Boss" Wilson is fondly remembered.

Heritage Heroes