The Ship Hector arrived in Pictou Harbour on September 15, 1773, bringing 189 emigrants to their new home. The story of the Hector and its passengers is a unique tale of the first permanent, enduring Scottish settlement in Nova Scotia.
Those who arrived aboard the Hector, as well as those Scottish settlers who followed, made enormous cultural, political, intellectual and industrial contributions that shaped Nova Scotia and the rest of Canada.
This historic voyage marked the beginning of a massive wave of immigration that would shape the future of North America and gave Pictou the honour of being called “The Birthplace of New Scotland”.
The Hector Heritage Quay offers visitors the unique opportunity to step aboard a tall ship and experience what life was like for the Hector settlers. Explore the early history of Nova Scotia.
Ship Hector—this three masted was home to 189 Scottish emigrants for over 11 weeks at sea. The Hector is sometimes referred to as “Canada’s Mayflower” as it brought the first Scottish settlers directly from Scotland to Nova Scotia.
Interpretive Centre—Discover the story of the Hector settlers and why they decided to come to Nova Scotia in 1773. Learn the history of these early settlers and the hardship they overcame to become the backbone of settlement for Nova Scotia and Canada. The Indigenous community was instrumental in their survival for the first few years of settlement.
Blacksmith Shop—a working forge and lots of examples of early tools used in this intricate and important craft.
Rigging Room—located on the bottom floor of the Interpretive Centre, here you can learn about what it takes to prepare a tall ship for sailing. There are lots of early tools used in the art of rigging a ship as well as a variety of items needed for a sailing ship.
Carpentry Shop—the heart of the restoration project will be the carpentry shop, where planking, hatch covers, bollards, blocks etc. will be restored and rebuilt. A workshop with all the original drawings and plans is at the back of the building.