On our trip to Cape Breton Island we took a drive from Baddeck to the Highland Village Museum in Iona, Cape Breton Island. The museum is a living village that explores and explains the Gaelic heritage of Cape Breton Island. It was so interesting to learn about the Scottish Gaelic history of the region.
The Highland Museum is set-up like a trip through time and we start by climbing a hill to the Black House which is a simple home made of stones and sod roof where families would live with little comfort and many animals!
As you walk through the town you go from past to present and meet the people who were ancestors of the original settlers of the region. We loved seeing the lovely horse and sweet little pig that DD made friends with. The church on the site had been moved by barge onto the site and the old schoolhouse and general store had so much to see!
The general store was often the pharmacy and post office and we looked at old catalogs and watched some great sewing and hooking demonstrations from the costumed woman behind the counter.
The schoolhouse was open to visit and we sat in the small desks and looked at maps and books that were written years ago…what a treat to see how things were done long ago.
At the blacksmith shop we had a young fellow make an old-fashioned nail for us right in front of our eyes in the oven. He banged with his hammer as he told the stoiry of his family and of how things would have worked hundreds of years ago.
At the turn of the century house we met a woman who would have been five generations later from the family living in the black house and she had been trying to make some butter but the cow must have given sour milk because she couldn’t get the butter to work! But she and DD had a nice chat about the pig and what sort of leaves could be rubbed on infections to reduce swelling.
The Highland Village Gaelic Folk life Museum was one of our memorable moments on Cape Breton Island. It is so nice that people are involved in this way to present a living history because it is so interesting and fun to talk to people from the past!
DD will probably add some more about this but I wanted to get started…we’ve done so much this summer that it’s hard to update our website as much as we’d like!!
Demonstrations at the general store at the Highland Gaelic Village MuseumSpinning wheel and Gaelic housewife at the Highland Museum explaining the spinning and dye technique of the old Scottish settlers.
Visit the Highland Museum Website : http://highlandvillage.ca