The Nicolas Denys Museum

Contact: Judy Madden, Curator
Phone: (902) 535-2379

46 Denys Street
St. Peters   NS   B0E 3B0

Located on the west side of St. Peter's Canal the Nicolas Denys Museum was built to commemorate the valiant efforts of the early settlers of the area in helping to make a nation in this vast wilderness. Of the many capable and hard working men and women who chose to settle here, the efforts of Nicolas Denys were the most out standing. It is most fitting that the museum is named in his honour.

The museum contains artifacts identified with the Mi'Kmaw and the early French and British. It houses a small reference library of the history of this area and all of Cape Breton Island. A developer of the fisheries along the Nova Scotia coast, Denys established a trading post and a fort. Here he exploited the timber resources, exporting the cuttings to France. He was probably the first lumber exporter long before Canada became a nation.

Denys was the author of the book which gave Cape Breton its first real recognition. It was published in 1672, and includes interesting accounts of fisheries, with illustrations of the storehouses, fishing stages and descriptions of the nearby harbours and rivers. It also contains a curious map of Cape Breton Island even though all the harbours appear to be the same size. A copy of the book in English and French "Description Geographique Et Historique Des Costes De L'Amerique" is in the library.