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Blair House Museum:

A bite out of Apple Valley history


On May 29, 1981, during the celebration of the 50th Apple

Blossom Festival, the Nova Scotia Fruit Growers’

Association opened the Blair House Museum to the public. The museum was created to preserve and display the history of the apple industry and the Atlantic Food and Horticultural Research Centre (AFHRC). Located on the AFHRC grounds, the Blair House museum offers an informative and educational look at the history of the apple industry in Nova Scotia, along with the current research being performed at the AFHRC.


The museum was named after the station’s first Superintendent and 20thPresident of the Nova Scotia Fruit Growers’ Association, Dr. William Saxby Blair. Constructed in 1911, the beautiful oak trimmed home in which the museum is located served as the superintendants’ residence until 1979. The house was built with large rooms which accommodated more than one family. In addition to the superintendants’ living quarters, additional rooms included the station office, a spare living room, and an extra bedroom and bathroom for scientists visiting from Ottawa.


The Nova Scotia Fruit Growers’ Association (NSFGA) wing of the museum tells the history of the apple industry in Nova Scotia through a unique collection of pictures, stories and artifacts. The NSFGA is celebrating it’s150thanniversary this year, 1863-2013.  Coopering tools, apple baskets, peelers and an old sprayer show how fruit farming operations were run over half a century ago. The collection includes an original Scotian Gold Cider jug, a pictorial demonstration of coopering, a slide show pictorial history and photographs that recapture laborers in local evaporating processing plants.


The Agricultural Canada wing offers a look at the past and present research performed at the AFHRC. One room delves into the original research performed at the AFHRC through photographs and equipment from the early 20thcentury, including an old camera, balance scales and microscopes. Another room boasts more modern pictures that depict the current research occurring at the AFHRC and a “Kids Corner.”  These rooms complement each other to provide a well-rounded look at the apple industry from the past to the present.


Unfortunately Blair House Museum closed in 2013. It will not be re-opening in 2015. The museum is in the process of being decommissioned. 

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