History of East Hants

Frieze and Roy Maitland

Frieze and Roy, Maitland

The Municipality of East Hants is proud to be an area with a rich history of shipbuilding, forestry, railway construction and preserved natural surroundings.

Highlights include:

  • The shipbuilding heritage is celebrated annually with a re-enactment of the banishing of the whiskey peddlers and launching of a model of the W. D. Lawrence, the largest wooden sailing ship ever built in Canada. For more information, see the Lawrence House Museum in Maitland.
  • The Nova Scotia Railway ran between Truro Crossing (now the Lantz district) and Halifax, until it was later extended.
  • When completed in 1853, the The Shubenacadie Canal was an engineering wonder. It opened up and facilitated commercial and military travel from Halifax Harbour to the Bay of Fundy.
  • The East Hants Historical Society museum is housed in a former church that was built in the 1800s with a plaster interior that was hand-painted using feathers. The historical cemetery has an excellent view of the Cobequid Bay. The Museum has sections dedicated to War Heroes (WWI & WWII), quilts and flags of bygone era, as well as a Titanic display.
  • Court House Hill All East Hants Council meetings were held in Councillors’ homes until 1867. The Court House location was in the area now known as Gore, until 1907. The Court House stood as a historical landmark until it destroyed by a fire on July 22, 1956.
  • The Walton lighthouse is the last original, shingled, wooden lighthouse in Hants County. Visitors are invited to enjoy a panoramic view of the cliffs and Fundy tides from the top.
  • The Burntcoat Head Lighthouse was destroyed in 1972, but in 1994, a replica lighthouse was constructed. The replica contains a centre for the history of the area, the Fundy tides, and old lighthouses, along with a panoramic view of the Minas Basin. It is located at Burntcoat Head Park.
  • The Enfield Heritage Centre is located on Highway 2 in Enfield in the former EH Horne School and houses many artifacts from the area.

If you have a Heritage Property and would like to have it designated as such contact us.

The Municipality of East Hants is made up of historic villages, each with their own distinct heritage. You can also enjoy a compilation of Stories and Memoirs of Historical East Hants.