The Dartmouth Heritage Museum started from humble beginnings; a group of like-minded citizens began presenting collections of artifacts in two local schools to promote awareness of heritage in our region. Interest in this project grew as the schools, other community groups, and City Council saw merit in their efforts. The Dartmouth Museum Society was formed by many of these original citizens. Members of the Dartmouth Museum Society, concerned with the demolition of many of the sites of historic significance in and around the then City of Dartmouth, lobbied the municipal and provincial governments to establish a community museum. The Museum itself was established in 1967 as a Canadian Centennial Project by the City of Dartmouth and was set up at 100 Wyse Road.
After the Halifax Regional Municipality amalgamation in 1996, the Dartmouth Heritage Museum became known briefly as the Regional Museum of Cultural History and then returned to its original name in 1999. During 1999/2000, the Halifax Regional Municipality worked with the community to establish the Museum as a non-profit community operated facility.
In 2002, the Wyse Road location was condemned and demolished; soon thereafter the Museum headquarters moved to Evergreen House and the main collection was moved to storage.
Today, the Halifax Regional Municipality and the Dartmouth Heritage Museum Society continue collaborating to deliver quality interpretation and educational programming to the community. While HRM owns the collection and both Historic Houses, the Society, as an independent non-profit association, develops, manages, promotes, operates and administers the properties and the collection. This ongoing relationship enables the Dartmouth Heritage Museum to continue to celebrate our local heritage as a Canadian Charitable Organization.
DHM's Guiding Principles
Established in 1965, by 2030 we envision a fully-accredited and vibrant community museum housed in a facility supporting research, development and display of thought-provoking interpretive programmes. Achievement of this vision requires collaborative partnership with the Halifax Regional Municipality and engagement with the Dartmouth community.
We use storytelling to inform the public and strengthen community bonds. Our programming will help frame an understanding of past choices, present circumstances, and future possibilities. We commit to: Engagement, Education, and Storytelling.
We exist as a non-profit society formed under Articles of Association. We subscribe to mutually agreed Guiding Principles and collaborate with our partner, the Halifax Regional Municipality, in accordance with a multi-year Management and Operating Agreement.
We conduct ourselves with honesty and integrity. We commit to truth and deliver what we promise, being accountable to one another and the community. We are inclusive and recognize community diversity, treating all persons with dignity and respect.
We agree that success derives from teamwork to achieve common objectives. Effective leadership and a motivated team of staff and volunteers combine to produce a healthy, productive and results-focused work environment. We recognize the importance of and are committed to personnel training and development.
We acknowledge communication is vital. We must engage with and understand our community so that we may best serve it. The measure of our success is feedback.
We focus on the heritage, culture and stories of the Dartmouth area, with the objective of protecting, promoting, and preserving Dartmouth community culture within the integrated Halifax Regional Municipality.