McCulloch House Museum and Genealogy Centre

The Hector Exhibit Centre, now known as the McCulloch House Museum & Genealogy Centre, was opened on July 21st, 1973 as a project by the Federal Government in commemoration of the 200th anniversary of the landing of the Ship Hector. 



McCulloch Genealogy Centre

The Genealogy Centre hosts a broad range of temporary exhibits focusing on local history and culture during the summer months. It is also the location of the archival facility and research centre. With a growing interest in the heritage of Pictou County, this abundance of archival material includes hundreds of personal and corporate documents as well as family histories, newspapers on microfilm, vital statistics and much more. These resources combined with an extensive local history library provide visitors, students and academics alike with the opportunity to deeply explore the heritage of Eastern Canada.

Dr. Thomas McCulloch

In November 1803, a ship arrived at Pictou from Scotland. Among its passengers were Reverend Thomas McCulloch D.D., and his family, bound for Prince Edward Island, where McCulloch was to minister a Presbyterian congregation.

A man of Thomas McCulloch's sort was much needed in Pictou in 1803. He was born in Renfrewshire, Scotland, in 1776, educated at Glasgow University where he intended to study medicine at Whitburn, but went on to study theology. He was ordained as a minister in Ayrshire, and offered his services as a missionary to the colonies. Since there were no practicing doctor at that time in Pictou, and he had a course in medicine, he served as the Town physician.

Dr. McCulloch never reached Prince Edward Island. On June 6th, 1804 he was inducted as minister of the "Harbour" congregation of Prince Street Church.

In 1816, Dr. Thomas McCulloch founded Pictou Academy. McCulloch was named principal of the Academy, and the first students met in 1817, a regular academic curriculum being combined with training for selected divinity students. This was the first school of its level where the students were not required to belong to the Church of England. Thomas McCulloch is remembered primarily as the father of a liberalized education system in Nova Scotia.

In 1838 he became the first president of Dalhousie College, a position which he held until his death in 1843.




McCulloch House Museum


The McCulloch House Museum is a locally managed site of the Nova Scotia Museum family of provincial museums It boasts interpretive materials designed to tell the story of Thomas McCulloch and his roles in education and politics in Pictou in the early 19th century. As well, the McCulloch House museum is host to a large collection of artifacts, many being Dr. McCulloch's personal belongings from his teaching at Pictou Academy.

The house is listed on the Canadian Register of Historic Places, and is built of brick with sandstone accents. It was built by McCulloch circa 1806 as a one and a half story cottage, also knowns as Sherbrooke Cottage. It is situated on top of a knoll overlooking Pictou Harbour. In about 1890 a gambrel roof and dormers were added.