La Vieille Maison
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Save la Vieille Maison, a little museum that touches so many hearts
Why vote for us?
The one constant since Adolphe Robicheau moved la Vieille Maison to its present site has been the community’s support of Adolphe’s efforts and of the museum. After the move, families donated their heirlooms to be displayed in the museum and many people had a role in taking care of the site. Over sixty years later, our community is again supportive of the efforts to preserve this site.
At a time when our community is facing losing a number of its historical landmarks, people know this site can be saved and want to keep it for future generations. With their support, it will again be a monument to the area’s founding families while adapting to the times and new technologies.
This competition allows us to expand our supporters outside the borders of our small municipality on the southwestern coast of Nova Scotia to include people from across Canada. Please become part of this community and join our efforts.
Looking at the impact of our site is difficult as the museum closed over 20 years ago and left to the elements. In the last year, a group has made a commitment to saving the structure, which is one of the most well-preserved Acadian structures that date after the deportation: la Ferme Acadienne d’Archigny and l’Habitation Broussard, are in France and Louisiana.
Since the closure in 2002, the public has not seen these important artifacts from the period when Acadians returned from exile to settle in their new communities. With the re-opening of the museum, people will again be able to see, experience, learn from, and contribute to, the museum’s collection. Again, our children will be able to walk through the rooms and see how their ancestors lived instead of just reading about it.
It is our intention to focus on these early settlers, especially the Robicheau family and Adolphe Robicheau; local agriculture and weaving.
Our community has a unique history and character, one we want to help present to the world, especially next year with the 2024 World Acadian Congress expected to draw Acadians from around the world coming to our area to learn of their Acadian heritage.
About this place
Dating to 1796, la Vieille Maison is, based on the findings of William C. Wonders, published in 1979, the best-preserved example of a post-exile Acadian dwelling in Canada. In 1958, Adolphe Robicheau turned it into a museum of early Acadian re-settlers.
The museum was the passion project of Adolphe Robicheau (1906-1978), a Canadian-born, famed Boston-based ballet teacher and member of the LGBTQIA+ community. While his flamboyance could have gotten him shunned in many places, he spent his summers here producing plays and working on his museum, which he curated with partner Arthur Vaillancourt.
We also want the museum to document and to build on the inclusive nature of our community. There is the case of the mi’kmaq man who retrieved his daughter from a residential school and brought her here to be educated with her Acadian friends at the local convent. She would be the first mi’kmaq to receive a teaching certificate. Also, families such as the Duffy, the Lombards and the Hanna, moved to the area and became part of our community.
Inclusivity has been our reality since the first settlers moved here, a reality we want to document and build on.
A Heritage Property, by Municipal Decree, since 1993
La Vieille Maison seen before the protective tarp
Interior, Summer Kitchen
The iconic blue door.
1958 – Reassembling of La Vieille Maison on Meteghan site
As the swallow rebuilds his nest after the storm
Ecclesiastical Insurance is deeply committed to protecting the needs of organizations that enrich the lives of others; to preserving Canada’s distinct communities, cultures and history; and to supporting initiatives that help improve the lives of people in need. The National Trust for Canada has a long-standing relationship with Ecclesiastical Insurance – our most faithful sponsor – and we are excited to work with them to help fund the Next Great Save!
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