Grand Manan Museum


Statement of Purpose: The Grand Manan Museum collects, preserves, and displays items that represent the human and natural history of the Village of Grand Manan, and the Islands of the Grand Manan Archipelago. It promotes education and appreciation of the community heritage, culture, and physical environment through public programs and exhibits. Your can read our full Statement of Purpose & Mission (revised June 2014) here.


mUSEUM - History &
Fish Warehouses and Wharves, Seal Cove, Grand Manan.
L. Keith Ingersoll along with other interested residents of Grand Manan formed the Gerrish House Society in 1961. On the 18th of June, 1974, the name was changed to the Grand Manan Museum. The Museum preserves local Island history and is permanent home to the three hundred birds in the Allan Moses Bird Collection. This Collection was given to the children of Grand Manan in 1951.

A 1967 centennial project, the original museum building was constructed through donations and with funds from the provincial and federal government. In 1967, the Gannet Light house Fresnell lens was moved beside the Museum and in 1997 the new Gallery was built around it.In 2013 the Museum became a Member of the United

States Lighthouse Society, and visitors can now purchase a Lighthouse Passport in our gift shop and have their passport stamped for visiting the Gannet Rock Light, one of over 400 member lighthouses in North America, only a handful of which are in Canada, In 1979, the historic Deep Cove One-Room School House was also moved to the grounds behind the museum.

In 1997, the Museum was doubled in size in order to store the many artifacts and the Archives. Islanders and island industries of Grand Manan have always been generous in keeping the Museum alive and vibrant, and its operation depends on volunteers, gifts, and donations.
Grand Manan people live by the sea, from the sea and for the sea.
How well do you know Grand Manan?
Take the Grand Manan Museum Quiz!

Grand Manan's first recorded visitor was Diego Homen, a Portuguese Captain who described a cape of Islands at the mouth of the Bay of Fundy.


Captain William Owen, a British naval Captain visited in 1770 and may have caused the Island to be surveyed ten years later. He recognizing it as a potential area for settlement.

In the early nineteenth century, Grand Manan attracted small groups of fishermen from the United States and Nova Scotia. Farming played a key role in the development of the early settlement.


In the years prior to 1820, farming competed with fishing as a way of life. However, by 1850 torch fishing, weir fishing and lobster fishing became more popular.

During the last half of the century Grand Manan fishermen became masters of their fishing grounds by skill and determination. As fishing became a commercial venture smoke houses, ice and salt houses, and sawdust sheds sprang up along the shoreline.

Tourism has played a significant role in the economy of the Island since the late 19th century. There are several hotels and cottages available for the summer visitors. Daily whale and bird watching tours are also a big draw to the Island. Many trails of various distances allow the hiker to experience the serenity of the out doors and spectacular views of the Island.


With treacherous ledges and tides of 29 feet, it was soon realized that light and fog stations were essential to protect the shipping route in and out of the Bay of Fundy. Before automation nine manned lighthouses were in operation around Grand Manan. The first of these was the lighthouse built in 1831, on Gannet Rock.


Our iconic lighthouse at Swallowtail Head was first lit in 1860, and today it is one of the most photographed lights in Canada. The light keeper's house, the grounds and the light tower are now the property of a local preservation group.