On Highway 7 crossing Nova Scotia from Antigonish to the Eastern Shore we decided to stop and have a look at Baird’s Tradesmen Museum.
What a happy finding. This place is loaded with history and is a great place for anyone with an interest in craft, industry and how things are made. The walls and display cases are well organized with tools from the past for trades that we may not even have now – but were mainstays in the turn of the century. Anyone who works in wood will enjoy seeing how the tools they use today have evolved. You have to wonder about the minds and ingenuity of the people who designed these implements.
The tools and trades are organized into categories: cobbler, cooper, farrier, blacksmith, woodturner, carpenter/joiner, leatherworker, wheelwright, typesetter, saw filer/fitter, weaving and spinning; also the tools used in farming, fishing, logging, coal mining, automotive, retail and ice industries over the past 150 years.
Our guide was Sally Baird who was a wonderful tour guide and explained the use of the different tools. The museum started as a personal collection of Danny Baird who worked with tools himself and started collecting. The collection grew so large they decided to open to the public.
The place is very large and has an upstairs area with a huge spinning wheel, a floor loom, a couple of printing presses. The presses and type include the newspaper advertising from the early 1900s and will be valuable to researchers.
Outside there are wood tools and a fire engine. Danny Baird continues to make wooden barrels and you can see the workings as well as the finished products. You can easily spend an hour or two learning from these antique tools and machinery from vintage trades.
12455 Hwy 7, Aspen, NS
Danny & Sally Baird
The museum is open daily from July 1 – Oct 1. 10AM to 5PM. Or by appointment. Small admission fee.
Baird’s Trade Museum – Nova Scotia.com including a map on how to get there.