Making Connections: Fisheries Museum partners with Pictou Island Historical Society

actual ice boat

Victoria Bailey Thompson, left, manager and curator of the Northumberland Fisheries Museum and Morgan Baillie, summer student with the Pictou Island Heritage Society, stand beside the Pictou Island ice boat that is in the process of being returned to the Island.  

PICTOU, NS – The ties that bind the Northumberland Fisheries Museum and Pictou Island have gotten stronger. 

The Pictou Island Heritage Society is currently in the process of researching the Island’s history and is using the Northumberland Fisheries Museum has a valuable resource.

The Society has hired summer student Morgan Baillie to continue on with her project from last year, but she is currently working out the museum rather than the Island.

“I am looking at different information and research that relates to Pictou Island,” she said. “My first summer with the Heritage Society, I did an archive of the living experience on the Island and now I am creating a reflection for a heritage site that is being built on the Island. “

Her work term last year was eight weeks, but this summer it has been doubled to 16 weeks which means she has started earlier in the spring.

Since the Pictou Island Heritage Society wasn’t quite ready for her on the Island, it contacted the museum to see if she could use its archives and also be of some assistance to the museum.

“We are looking to expand our community partnerships outside of the Pictou waterfront.  We want to expand as many ways as we can. We have a huge collection of archival material, but it is not organized in such a way it is accessible to other researchers,” said Victoria Bailey Thompson, manager and curator of the Northumberland Fisheries Museum.   “Morgan has come in and is finding information for herself, but also starts the organizational process of documents, videos and other materials that currently aren’t accessible.”

ice boat picture

The Northumberland Fisheries Museum Board of Directors is also in process of returning the Pictou Island ice boat to the Society where is be on display as part of its exhibit. 

 In the early 1900s, the main way to get to or from Pictou Island during the winter months before the arrival of the airplane was by the ice boat.

The model of the Lorina Mae that was built by Pictou Island resident Chester McCallum without any electricity will also be returned to the Society.

More information about the Pictou Island Heritage Society can be found on Facebook under the same name.

The Northumberland Fisheries Museum is expected to open its doors for this season in mid- June. The Museum, Lobster Hatchery and Lighthouse Research and Interpretative Centre in Pictou pays tribute to the fisheries industry of the region by preserving the rich sea heritage and culture and to help conserve the vulnerable lobster populations in the Northumberland Strait.