The Avon River Heritage Society operates the Avon Heritage Museum and Avon Spirit Shipyard in Newport Landing, on the scenic shores of the Avon River on the site where Planter sloops, the Lydia and the Sally, landed in 1760. During the 19th century the Avon River area became one of the great square-rigged wooden shipbuilding centres in Nova Scotia. Where our museum now sits in Newport Landing was once the location of the Harvie and Mosher shipyards; between them, they built and launched 165 sailing ships during the “Golden Age of Sail”.
Our museum features exhibits on the New England Planters, African Nova Scotians, Acadian settlers, the Mi’kmaw people, local house histories, family histories, Avon River ecology and is home to the Avon River Arts Society, the Full Circle Festival, the Honey Harvest Festival and the North Along the Shore Jamboree. Together with the arts society we host a number of arts related events, including Artisans in Action and Hants County’s flagship art show, the Great Little Art Show, established in 1998.
Modeled after a late 18th century general store, our Planters Sea Chest Gift Shop features a wide variety of handmade products, all crafted by local Nova Scotian Artists and Artisans, as well as a selection of books on local history and the unique ecology of the Avon River area.
With a stunning view of the Avon River our licensed Lydia and Sally Café is open for tea & coffee and for special events in May, June, September and October and Wednesday through Sunday, July through August.
During the summer months we host a community BBQ on our patio every Friday evening starting at 7pm and throughout the season many events take place in our rustic Avon Spirit Shipyard. Visit our rentals page for information on booking the boathouse for weddings, performances and festivals.
Museum & Art Gallery entry by donation.
Hours of Operation for 2023
April by appointment and for special events
May, Saturday & Sunday, 12:00 pm to 5:00 pm
June – August, Wednesday to Sunday, 10:00 am to 5:00 pm
September & October, Saturday & Sunday, 10 am to 5:00 pm
November & December by appointment and for special events
To book an appointment please email email@example.com to book or visit our Calendar of Events for the full schedule of planned activities.
The Avon River Heritage Society is a non-profit, registered charity and organization dedicated to engaging our community through preserving, sharing, and celebrating Avon River area stories, heritage, arts, culture, ecology, and interrelationships among all peoples of this area and their environment. We acknowledge that we are in Mi’kma’ki, the ancestral and unceded territory of the Mi’kmaq.