Things to Do
While visiting historic Isle Madame, named after the second wife of Louis XIV, Madame de Maintenon, you will find an intermingling of rich Acadian culture and pride of place and history. Arichat boasts two Provincial Heritage Properties, LeNoir Forge and Our Lady of Assumption Church which pre-dates Confederation since it was built in 1838. For a period it was the Cathedral for the Diocese since that was the seat of the Bishop. LeNoir Forge Museum houses an 18th century stone blacksmith shop with an active working blacksmith.
When prime Minister Sir Wilfred Laurier came to Arichat on Assumption Day, 15 August 1900 he addressed a mass gathering on the convent grounds during the afternoon and the cannons boomed a welcome to the Prime Minister of Canada from Church Lane.  
The French lost Isle Madame to the British in 1763 by the Treaty of Paris. Charles Robin, a noted merchant ran a fishing company from Arichat and in 1763 he received permission to pick up Acadian refugees and take them to Isle Madame to start his company in Arichat. The island was connected to Cape Breton via steel span bridges in 1916. With the opening of the Canso Causeway in 1955 shipping from Arichat by sea declined.
Isle Madame was organized as a Township in 1829 and it became part of Richmond County when the county was established in 1834-35. Isle Madame sent its own member to Halifax to the Provincial Government until 1933.  
With the closing of Richmond Fisheries in the 1990's, the lost of the large fishing factories, centuries of fishing history came to an abrupt end. The village of Arichat has a booming tourist industry and day walks are available through the village among the century-old homes of villagers, merchants, ship-owners, politicians and clergy.
The seminary, St.Francis Xavier was established in Arichat but later moved to Antigonish, making Arichat on Isle Madame, the birthplace of the University.
In St.Peters's (half-an-hour from Arichat) enjoy the Nicholas Deny's Museum and bring you and your family in touch with Nova Scotia in the late 1600's. This is a must trip while visiting our area as well as the Wallace MacAskill Museum which exhibits over 100 marine photographs from this pioneer photographer in a c.1800 wooden building with turn of the century furnishings. MacAskill's life, career and sailing hobby are also featured in this St.Peter's location. Enjoy the exhibits and beautiful photography housed in the Museum.
Another point of interest is St.Peter's Canal, established in 1650. It is accessible year round as you watch canoes, schooners and power cruisers pass between the Atlantic Ocean and the Bras d'Or lakes.
Other Points of interest:
  • Fortress of Louisbourg
  • Graham Bell Museum
  • Sydney Mines
  • The Wallace MacAskill Museum
  • Nicholas Deny's Museum
  • Rita's Tea Room
  • Isle Madame
Things to Do

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