About Us

The Sydney Mines Heritage Society is a non-for-profit organization dedicated to preserving the history and memories of the area as well as educating future generations about the richness of our town and lineage. The old Sydney Mines Train Station is home to the Sydney Mines Heritage Museum. 

Experience our heritage in coal mining, steel making and the railway through our collection of historical artefacts and archives, photographs, pottery, and memorabilia. Take a guided tour of the museum for an animation of history via description of the artefacts and external historical walks.

Sydney Mines is one of eight important fossil sites in Nova Scotia, and is known internationally for excellent examples of plant fossils. The Cape Breton Fossil Discovery Centre showcases the rich deposits found in the Sydney Coalfields.

These Coalfields extend 21 miles along the Cape Breton coast dipping under the Atlantic Ocean. Shales and sandstone of the coal fields produced fossils from 300 million years ago in the Carboniferous Period. A walk along the shoreline near Sydney Mines uncovers many treasures from an era when Cape Breton Island was close to the equator.

The Centre is an excellent place for school children to learn about fossils and the history of our region. Bring the entire family for a day of fun and exploration! See 300-million-year-old plant fossils from the rich deposits of the Sydney coal field, enjoy stories from our guides and explore the coastline to find your own hidden treasure


Mandate Of The Sydney Mines Community Heritage Society (Our Mission Statement)

The mandate of the Sydney Mines Heritage Society is to preserve and display artifacts from the coal-mining era in Cape Breton and to educate school children, the general public, and visiting tourists about the culture of the people who lived in Sydney Mines during the coal mining era. Also, the mandate is to preserve and display Carboniferous plant fossils found in the area that were closely related to the coal-mining industry and to educate school children, the general public, and visiting tourists about the Carboniferous plant fossils formed 315 million years ago, how coal was formed in the area, and the general geology of Cape Breton Island. This is with the hope of developing ways in which the rich history of Sydney Mines and the Carboniferous plant fossil discoveries can create a major tourist attraction for the area. As a result, this may provide us with the ability to provide employment and stimulate growth in our business community.

Objectives of the Sydney Mines Heritage Society In Order to Achieve Our Mandate

  1. The Sydney Mines Heritage Society operates three museums from the end of May to the middle of September each year. The three museums are: Heritage Museum (opened in 1998)  – The Heritage Museum tells  the story of the coal mining history and culture in Sydney Mines; Cape Breton Fossil Centre (opened in 2004) – The Cape Breton Fossil Centre houses over 1500 plant fossils from the Carboniferous Period, 315 million years ago;  Sports Museum (opened in 2012) – The Sports Museum tells the story of how sports were an important part of the coal mining culture in this area for many years.
  2. Educating Children – Our visiting school package involves educating school children about the coal mining industry and its culture, and allowing children to learn about the Carboniferous plant fossils found in this area.
  3. Outreach Program – During the off-season, our curator will give presentations to schools and community groups about our coal mining heritage and geology. 
  4. Identifying Geologic Items for the Public – Our curator is always busy identifying fossils, rocks, minerals and rock formations for the public. Just e-mail a picture of the geological object to our curator.
  5. Outdoor Field Trips – During July and August, our curator takes visitors on field trips along a designated beach on Thursdays and Saturdays.

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