Help Save the Dartmouth Heritage Museum

Deadline February 17, 2023

This is important!

The Dartmouth Heritage Museum is in danger of having its funding erased.

The Dartmouth Heritage Museum, Evergreen House, was the former home of a prominent Dartmouth resident and folklorist, Dr Helen Creighton.

Evergreen House and Quaker House are an important part of the current and past history of the Dartmouth Community, the greater Halifax community, and our national heritage.

Dr. Helen Creighton, Canada’s First Lady of Folklore, is nationally and internationally known and respected for her folklore research and collecting. She has received many awards over her lifetime and posthumously. Her legacy is a collection of stories, songs, and lore from many cultures of the Maritimes (40,000 items and more!).

The Dartmouth Heritage Museum is known for its excellent exhibits, podcasts, workshops and programs featuring the history of many cultures and communities, the Dartmouth community, the greater Halifax community and Dr. Helen Creighton’s legacy.

The Dartmouth Heritage Museum is our heritage.

Please write to your local councillor and ask that the funding for the Dartmouth Heritage Museum continue.

The decision on funding cuts is February 17th, so please act soon!

Letter From the Helen Creighton Folklore Society to Sam Austin, Councillor for Dartmouth Central

The following message has been sent to Halifax Municipal Council through Councillor Sam Austin.

Re: Funding of Dartmouth Heritage Museum

Dear Councillor Austin

I am writing to you on behalf of the Helen Creighton Folklore Society to express concern and alarm over the proposed elimination of municipal funding to support the Dartmouth Heritage Museum.

When Dr. Creighton’s former home on Newcastle Street, Evergreen, was acquired by the former City of Dartmouth, it was recognized as an iconic piece of built heritage which not only represented the life-long work of Dr. Creighton and the contribution she made to Canada’s folklore heritage, but it also told the story of Dartmouth’s history. As it became the Dartmouth Heritage Museum following the closure of the Wyse Road site, it took on even more importance of imparting the story of Dartmouth, and indeed all of HRM to the broader community through education, engagement, outreach and storytelling. This was a role that the City of Dartmouth embraced and supported before municipal amalgamation. The community was assured that it would continue following the merger of the respective communities in the new larger city.

The Helen Creighton Folklore Society is a major stakeholder in the future of Evergreen and the legacy it carries, not just for Dr. Creighton’s work but the heritage of the entire width and breadth of the community.

On a broader scale, we see the current proposed cuts to the municipal budget as essentially an attack on heritage in Halifax. Such a loss is far more costly than short term savings

The strength of a community is built on heritage. Conservation of both built and intangible cultural history is as important as streets, roads and other infrastructure.

The removal of support for the Dartmouth Heritage Museum will negatively impact the current and future development of Halifax as a vibrant community which celebrates its history while building a strong future.

I close with the wise words of Joseph Howe:
“A wise nation preserves its records, gathers up its muniments, decorates the tombes of its illustrious dead, repairs its greatest structures and fosters national pride and love of country, by perpetual references to the sacrifices and glories of the past.”

Jon Stone
Helen Creighton Folklore Society