One of Canada’s oldest continuously settled communities; Guysborough is an important part of Nova Scotia’s history. From the landing of Prince Henry Sinclair on the shores of Chedabucto Bay in 1398 to historic homes, lighthouses and museums, the DesBarres Manor innkeepers are ready to help you discover the rich history of our unique region of Nova Scotia.
Old Court House Museum
Located next door to DesBarres Manor Inn, the Old Court House Museum features the rich history of Guysborough dating back to Prince Henry Sinclair’s landing in Chedabucto Bay in 1398. Built in 1843, the interior of the Court House has been restored and accommodates a reading room for research in County history and genealogy. On display are a collection of local artifacts related to farming and housekeeping and a large collection of photographs.
The Afrikan Canadian Heritage Friendship Centre
Located in Guysborough’s Chedabucto Place, the Afrikan Canadian Heritage Friendship Centre holds numerous valuable resources recording the history and heritage of African Nova Scotians in the Guysborough region. Guysborough is an important part of Nova Scotia’s Black history. A Loyalist ship with 226 Blacks arrived in Chedabucto Bay on June 21, 1784, creating one of Canada’s and Nova Scotia’s first Black settlements. The Centre holds a collection of photographs, publications and newspaper articles documenting the history of African Nova Scotians in and from the Guysborough area. The Centre runs many programs and invites speakers for students and teachers within Chedabucto Place, and is also open as a resource centre to other schools and educational institutions as well as the public. You can read more about the Afrikan Canadian Heritage Friendship Centre at the Guysborough County Heritage Association website by clicking here.
Prince Henry Sinclair Monument and Lookoff
Just down the road from the Queensport Lighthouse, on the way back to Guysborough, are the Prince Henry Sinclair Monument and Lookoff at Halfway Cove. High above magnificent Chedabucto Bay, the Lookoff provides spectacular views of the Bay while paying tribute to Prince Henry Sinclair of Orkney, who is believed to have landed on the shores of the Bay in 1398, almost a century prior to Columbus’ new world discovery. You can read more about the Prince Henry Sinclair Monument at the Guysborough County Heritage Association website by clicking here.
Canso Islands National Historic Site of Canada
Only 30 minutes from DesBarres Manor Inn, the Canso Islands and Grassy Island Fort National Historic Sites of Canada feature the ruins of 18th century fortifications and the remains of a colonial New England fishing station that are the reminders of a thriving community that was once the commercial heart of Nova Scotia. Free boat service to the island is available from the Visitor Centre on the mainland.
Whitman House Museum
Only 30 minutes from DesBarres Manor Inn is the Whitman House Museum, a three story historical home filled with relics from Canso’s past. The Museum features period furniture, art, photos and other treasures.
Only 20 minutes from DesBarres Manor Inn, the Queensport Lighthouse Look-off provides an excellent view of this functioning Lighthouse on Rook Island at the entrance to Queensport Harbour. Built in 1882, the Queensport Lighthouse became automated in 1967 and continues to be an active navigation aid for mariners.
Guysborough Historic Walking Tour
DesBarres Manor Inn is part of a self-guided historic walking tour developed by the Guysborough Historical Society. The walking tour starts beside DesBarres Manor Inn at the Old Court House Museum and the circular route takes you back to DesBarres Manor. The Guysborough Historic Walking Tour takes approximately one hour. You can download a PDF map of the walking tour here