Musée un peuple de la mer

Travel responsibly and sustainably

As anyone who lives by the sea will tell you, coastal life is both fortunate and fraught. As long as humans have been coming to the Magdalen Islands archipelago, the sea has been a source of sustenance: initially, the Mi'kmaq came to the islands seasonally to hunt walrus, and the earliest settlers who came from England, Scotland, Ireland, the Channel Islands, and France lived largely off bountiful fish. The sea also provides transport, and many ancestors of today's Magdalen Islanders sought refuge on the islands from famine or instability elsewhere. Yet the waves, storms, and shoals can also be dangerous. Over a thousand vessels have wrecked in the sandy banks and shallow waters of the archipelago. In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries especially, heavier navigation, combined with strong currents and the absence of lighthouses, meant many vessels were lost in the area, each with its own legends and lore, which have become part of the Islands' history over the years. The former Anglican church of St.-Peters-by-the-Sea, in the village of Old Harry, was built with wood salvaged from shipwrecks. Given the building's origins, it is fitting that today the deconsecrated church is home to a permanent exhibit that tells the stories of many of the Magdalen Islanders who have perished by the waters, including in shipwrecks. The moving “A People of the Sea” exhibit features photographs, interpretative panels, and artifacts that bear witness to losses that have touched every family on the Islands at one time or another. “A Wreck at Old Harry” exhibit To live on an island is to live with the ocean—its bounty, its beauty, and its storms. The shores and shoals of the Magdalen Islands have seen hundreds of shipwrecks over the years, most in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, before the advent of modern navigation. This interactive exhibit recounts the voyage of one of these ships, the Miracle, through the eyes of a fictional character.

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866, road Principal
Grosse-Île, G4T 6B7
(Quebec, Canada)

Phone : 418 985-2116 #7 Phone : 418 985-2116 #7

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General information

Island Grosse Île Island
Nearest Beach Grande Échouerie Beach
Distance from the beach 1 km
We speak Français, English
Additional Information
  • Non-Smoking

Partner establishments

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    Musée de la Petite École Rouge

    Come and discover a place where time seems to stand still. The Little Red School House is part of CAMI's Historical Heritage Complex, and is nestled in the small village of Old Harry within the Municipality of Grosse Ile. The Little Red Schoolhouse is a reminder of simpler times where students gathered into a one room schoolhouse to learn their daily lessons. At the Little Red Schoolhouse one can visualize the old classroom with the aid of the existing hardwood floor, chalkboard, and two original desks. Over the years the museum's collection has grown and evolved to include old photographs, stories, and artifacts that help depict days gone by. These items will bring you back in time and give you an inside view of the English speaking community and their way life. Veteran's Museum In any war, and certainly in the major global conflicts that riddled the twentieth century, small towns perhaps feel the human cost more sharply: the lives lost ripple through families, and through communities. The Veterans' Museum in the CAMI Heritage Complex is dedicated to the memory and historical role of English- and French-speaking Magdalen Islanders who served in World War I, World War II, and the Korean War. The museum collection includes interpretative panels, artifacts, letters, and medals, and notably features the diary of William Welsh, which he kept while he was in a prisoner-of-war camp in Hong Kong. The intimacy of history is further exemplified by the contributions of museum tour guides, whose anecdotes and local lore, often gleaned through word of mouth from relatives and friends, lend a personal authenticity to the broader, universal sweep of history. Located beside the Veterans Museum, the Memorial Park honours the brave men and women from the Magdalen Islands who died during World War II. Rates: Entrance for two museums (Veteran museum and the Little Red School House): Adult: $8, 65 years old and older: $6, 11 years old and under: free.


Dates and opening hours

  • Open year round

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Les Îles de la Madeleine
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