The Chestico Museum has operated as a community museum since 1986. Highlighting the history and heritage of the Port Hood area, its mission has been to provide local residents and visitors with a unique heritage experience. Port Hood’s marine heritage during the Age of Sail, its heyday as a coal mining town in the early 20th century, and its status as the county seat and commercial centre for Inverness have all been sources for displays over the years.
Most of the artifacts in the Chestico Museum came from the estate of John Smith (1876-1964), a merchant and long-time resident of Port Hood. These artifacts reflect the household of a middle-class family in the area during the late 19th- and early 20th-century. The collection includes furnishing, dishware, photographs, clothing, and books.
In addition, the museum also includes unique items such as a printing press belonging to former Port Hood Greeting printer D.W. Jones, a bottle manufactured by the Port Hood Bottling Factory, a 1919 Thomas Edison working gramophone and records, locally made ship models, agricultural and fishing implements, and an extensive collection of antique clothes irons dating back over two hundred years.
The Chestico Museum Archives houses a large collection of records, maps, photographs, and family histories. Histories of the heritage houses and buildings, as well as extensive genealogical material on Port Hood families are also available.
At present, plans are being made to establish an Inverness County Archives to house the large collection of documents pertaining to the history of the area.
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