Everything you need to know about Nova Scotia's South Shore


103 Reasons to Leave the 103

71. Chester Playhouse:The Chester Playhouse has been entertaining theatre patrons from the South Shore and beyond in a variety of capacities for decades.

Located in the Village of Chester, the building the playhouse calls home was first built in 1938 by Ken Corkum and Eric Redden and, for years, housed a movie theatre.

It wasn’t until 1963 that the first live performance was given at the theatre, when Dick and Teka Burwell directed the Chester Jesters, in what would become the first of five annual productions overseen by the pair.

In 1987, the Chester Theatre Council leased the building and hosted the first Chester Summer Festival. In the fall, the building was purchased by Christopher Ondaatje and his family through the South East Asia Plantation Company, and was renamed the Chester Playhouse. Five years later, Mr. Ondaatje donated the playhouse to the Chester Theatre Council and, the next year, the building underwent the first of two large renovations.

Along with a full slate of productions, the Chester Playhouse still hosts its annual Summer Festival of Performances.

72. If sailing is your passion, then bring your boat, slip it into the water and enjoy the wondrous waves of the Atlantic.

This coastal region has had, for years on end, a celebrated and vaunted heritage on the water like few other areas in the world.

The sheer number of yacht clubs, from Chester to LaHave and beyond, speaks volumes about our love for the water and our heartfelt intent to share that same passion with the next generation of South Shore citizens.

73. The Founders' Monument: In July of 2003, as part of the 250th anniversary celebrations for the Town of Lunenburg, a new monument was unveiled on Blockhouse Hill dedicated to the founding families of Lunenburg and, on a broader scale, Lunenburg County.

In conjunction with the existing Montbeliard Monument, the Founders’ Monument stands as a testament to the sheer will and strength of European pioneers who braved the wilderness of 18th-century Nova Scotia to carve out a living and lay down a legacy for the generations that followed.

The monument was formally unveiled on July 12, 2003, before hundreds of locals and visitors who had gathered for the ceremony.

In total, some 409 family names appear on the monument, from Acker to Zwicker.

74. The Knaut-Rhuland House in Lunenburg is a wonderful example of Georgian architecture, dating back to 1793.

Designated a national historic site, as well as a provincial and municipal heritage property, the home reflects the lavish lifestyle of a successful merchant just prior to the turn of the 19th century.

Originally built at 125 Pelham Street for Benjamin Knaut, and later sold to Conrad Rhuland in the early 1800s, Knaut-Rhuland House is the only publicly open period home in Lunenburg, and contains four furnished rooms, an exhibition space and a research library.

Interpretive guides in period costume give tours of the house, providing insights on the cultural, economic and political life of Lunenburg hundreds of years ago.

Come see exactly how much has changed over the years, and what still remains the same.

75. Luxurious beaches: Whether it’s the soothing serenity of an undulating ocean current washing against the shore, or the excitement of some beach volleyball fun under the sun, you’ll find the beach of your dreams along the South Shore’s Lunenburg and Queens county coastlines. From Crescent Beach to Bayswater, Bachmans and Beach Meadows, sandy perfection awaits.
76. Lake Mush-a-Mush, which stretches from Cornwall to Sweetland, is a summer hot spot for swimmers, boaters and water skiers.

While lots of private cabins line the shores of the lake, there are also a number of public access points along the shoreline, in particular the municipally run Mush-a-Mush Beach Park on the Sweetland Road, which can be accessed from both the Northfield and Cornwall roads.

During the summer months, the park opens each day at 9 a.m. and closes at dusk.

Ideal for those interested in a light swim, a picnic, a leisurely walk or even a game of Frisbee, the Mush-a-Mush Beach Park is always one of the South Shore’s most sought-after lakehead beaches during the sizzlin’ summer season.

77. The Shore Club in Hubbards has been the home to dances featuring the absolute best in contemporary rock, blues, reggae, zydeco, swing and big band sounds every summertime Saturday evening since first opening its doors in 1946.

The 2007 dancing season revs up on April 28 and runs right through October 27, beginning each Saturday evening at 9:30.

Officially recognized by the province as Nova Scotia’s last great dance hall, Rhys Harnish’s Shore Club is also known for its famous lobster suppers, which first began in 1936. Freshly boiled lobsters, a full salad bar, fresh mussels and more are available at the dinners, held Wednesday through Sunday, beginning May 13 and wrapping up on October 7.

Mr. Harnish is the third generation of his family to operate the club, which had its beginnings in 1936 when his grandfather, Guy, was asked by the National Gyro Club to host a lobster supper. The event was such a success that many groups started asking the Harnishes to co-ordinate similar events. This led to Guy’s son, Roy, building the Shore Club building in 1946.

78. It was not so long ago that the theatrical nature of the Town of Lunenburg appeared to be in peril.

The old Starlight Theatre, located on Hall Street, closed its doors, its future uncertain.

Enter Jeremy Wellard who, in 2000, purchased the vacant Starlight Theatre and set up the then-fledgling video game developer HB Studios in one portion of the building.

The actual theatre section of the building eventually reopened under a new moniker, the Pearl Theatre.

The Pearl hosted its first production under new ownership in December of 2002 — the musical comedy “Rumplestiltzkin.”

Since then, the Pearl Theatre has played host to countless shows, including the regionally famous Lunenburg Summer Opera Festival.

79. The former HMCS Fraser: The former HMCS Fraser has been tied up dockside in Bridgewater for 10 years now.

And, whether you love it or hate it, one thing people on both sides of the Fraser debate will say is that it is, indeed, a sight to behold.

Operated by the Artificial Reef Society of Nova Scotia, the decommissioned St. Laurent class destroyer was towed to the Bridgewater Marine Terminal in 1997. She is the only survivor among the original seven St. Laurent class destroyers that were built.

The vessel has been the subject of much public debate in the community over the past few years, with some viewing it as a riverfront eyesore, while others see it as a potentially successful floating naval museum.

Either way, the Fraser’s impressive stature still stands as a testament to Canada’s past role in international relations and it shouldn’t be missed.

80. One of the exciting new attributes that Lunenburg will be welcoming in 2007 is the Gus Vickers Memorial Field.

The idea for the field project, located adjacent to Lunenburg Junior/Senior High School, was first conceived in November of 2005, with construction work officially beginning during the summer months of 2006.

While the new soccer pitch likely won’t be ready for use until 2008, the committee overseeing the project believes that the actual physical construction of the field will be complete before the end of 2007, if all goes according to plan.

The projected total cost for the project comes in at an estimated $375,000. As of April 2007, the committee was just $45,000 short of that goal, thanks to the outstanding fundraising efforts of local residents, and the support of municipal governments and the private sector.

Named for Gus Vickers, one of Lunenburg’s most illustrious sport and recreation figures, the field complex is sure to serve the greater Lunenburg County community for years to come.

103 Reasons to Leave the 103
  1. On the cover...
  2. Fun at the South Shore Exhibition
  3. If you’ll recall...
  4. Art galleries
  5. Lighthouse Route scenery
  6. The annual Chester Heritage Society’s...
  7. Canada Day celebrations
  8. Mahone Bay celebrates Scarecrow Festival
  9. If you’re looking...
  10. Community bands
  11. Were you ever picked on?
  12. There are beaches...
  13. Our local libraries
  14. The farm market...
  15. Something for the shopper...
  16. Marinas
  17. The Greenfield Dragway...
  18. An island adventure...
  19. Lunenburg’s unique fish signs
  20. Surf city
  21. A place to lay your head...
  22. The Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation...
  23. The LaHave cable ferry...
  24. On the way to the Classic Boat Festival
  25. Mahone Bay’s famed three churches
  26. Monthly breakfasts
  27. The Chester and Area Family Resource Centre...
  28. Serene walking trails
  29. Cycling offers an excellent opportunity...
  30. The public washroom...
  31. Antiques galore
  32. There’s nothing like a good night’s sleep...
  33. Shop ’til you drop
  34. The New Ross Christmas Tree...
  35. Rissers Beach Provincial Park
  36. Fishing for the big one
  37. The South Shore Exhibition grounds...
  38. The New Ross Community Fair...
  39. Glorious green space
  40. sightseeing underwater...
  41. Birdwatching
  42. Mahone Bay Flea Market...
  43. The Ovens Natural Park...
  44. Greenfield’s planked salmon supper
  45. Paint Mahone Bay...
  46. The LaHave Islands Marine Museum
  47. A summer swim
  48. Fort Point Museum
  49. Indian Falls: hidden beauty
  50. Miller Point Peace Park in Dayspring
  51. Need a quick pick-me-up?
  52. Delicious community suppers
  53. Card Lake Park
  54. Lunenburg’s International Dory Races
  55. Oak Island
  56. Old Lunenburg — UNESCO World Heritage Site
  57. Mahone Bay Settlers Museum
  58. Bluenose II
  59. Great Lunenburg Schooner Race
  60. Lunenburg Folk Harbour Festival
  61. If you’re in the mood for some horsing around...
  62. Halifax & Southwestern Railway Museum
  63. Lunenburg Academy
  64. St. John’s Anglican Church in Lunenburg
  65. Best opportunities for paddlers...
  66. Parkdale-Maplewood Community Museum
  67. Let’s have some wine!
  68. Lunenburg Festival of Crafts
  69. DesBrisay Museum
  70. Paint Sea on Site in Lunenburg
  71. Chester Playhouse
  72. If sailing is your passion...
  73. The Founders' Monument
  74. Knaut-Rhuland House
  75. Luxurious beaches
  76. Lake Mush-a-Mush
  77. Dances featuring the absolute best...
  78. Starlight Theatre
  79. The former HMCS Fraser
  80. Gus Vickers Memorial Field
  81. Make Sail for Lunenburg
  82. Queens County SeaFest
  83. Lordly House Museum
  84. Graves Island Provincial Park
  85. The Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic
  86. Mackerel Snappers Picnic
  87. Flower Show and Tea
  88. Shipyards Landing
  89. Riverport Rumrunners Sea Festival
  90. The Herring Choker’s Picnic
  91. World Tuna Flat Races
  92. Love of a fine automobile...
  93. Hubbards Barn Association
  94. Wile Carding Mill
  95. Farms, nurseries and greenhouses...
  96. Excellent golfing
  97. Bayswater Family Fun Day
  98. On the water during Chester Race Week
  99. Veterans’ Memorial Park, Bridgewater
  100. Lunenburg Summer Opera Festival
  101. Ross Farm Museum
  102. Walking tour of Lunenburg...
  103. Bert Corkum Memorial 5-mile Road Race
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