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Settlers Museum

Settlers Museum

Mahone Bay Settlers Museum
Owned and operated by the Mahone Bay Founder’s Society since 1987, the Mahone Bay Settler’s Museum is housed in what was once the Begin family home. The Begin family were descendants of one of Mahone Bay's first foreign Protestant settlers. The museum stands on one of the original 30 acre lots that were offered as land grants. The house was built in 1855 by Benjamin Begin (1837-1886), a local sail maker and rigger. In 1874, Benjamin built an 'ell' on the back of the home to house a sail loft. His son Charles(1874-1959), a sail maker and artist, purchased the property from his father after marrying Emily Rhodenizer (1874-1932)in 1895. The couple had five children, Nora Belle (1896-1918), Anna Louise (1898-1985), Willoughby (1900-1983), Ellen Maude (1902-1989) and Gurney Aulden (1905-1991). Anna Louise would be the last of the Begins to live in the house. The interior decorative painting which adorns the 19th century home is attributed to Charles Begin. The ceiling in the front entrance and parlour are decoratively painted (water-based paint on plaster). The parlour ceiling hosts a circular medallion with an arrangement of moss-roses. The central circle is surrounded with a second medallion which features four separate panels depicting each of the four seasons. It is believed that the former owner, Graham Baker, may have touched up the central floral piece as the colours and techniques of application differ.

The entire circular layout is outlined with linear striping which features small flowers in the four corners. The parlour also houses a marbleized mantel complete with a painted mock fireboard, both of which were over painted by Graham Baker. The painted surface of the mantel which has been recovered is in poor condition. The painted vase of flowers on the fireboard is attributed to Graham Baker. The front entrance of the home features two small stencilled ceilings. The simple linear and floral motif found here is similar to the artwork in the parlour. Recently the museum opted to cover these painted surfaces with plexi glass in order to protect them from the debris and sun light that flow through the open front door.

Mahone Bay


Property Type:


Full Address: 
578 Main St. Mahone Bay Nova Scotia
Geographic Location: 

Latitude: 44.4488 Longitude: -64.3792

Construction Details: 
Construction Date: ??-??-1855 Builder Name: Benjamin Begin
Current Owner: 
Mahone Bay Founder's Society