A bite out of Apple Valley history
May 29, 1981, during the celebration of the 50th Apple
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.
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.
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
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.
House Museum closed in 2013. It will not be re-opening in 2015. The museum is in the process of being decommissioned.