Marconi Centennial

Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia

A Day In The Bay
A Self-Guided Tour For Tourists In The Glace Bay Area

If you visit Cape Breton, the Cape Breton Wireless Heritage Society invites you to go on a self-guided tour of leading heritage attractions in the Glace Bay area.  This tour is called "A Day In The Bay". It includes the following four attractions:

(1) The Marconi National Historic Site.

The Marconi National Historic Site's interpretative centre

The Marconi National Historic Site's interpretative centre.

The Marconi National Historic Site is the site of Marconi's first wireless station in North America built for transatlantic communications.  The first radio messages were transmitted from this station to Poldhu, Cornwall in December, 1902.  Parks Canada operates the site, which includes an interpretive centre and the remains of the foundations of the buildings and wooden antenna towers.

(2) The Glace Bay Heritage Museum.

The Glace Bay Heritage Museum

The Glace Bay Heritage Museum.

The Glace Bay Heritage Museum occupies the newly renovated old town hall, a landmark heritage building built in 1901, the year of incorporation of the town of Glace Bay.  The museum contains exhibits representing the history of the town, its people, and its industries, chiefly coal mining and fishing.  The museum hosts an exhibit of historic photographs and artifacts that tells the story of the first transatlantic wireless communication service, which began in 1907.

(3) The Cape Breton Miners Museum.

The Cape Breton Miners Museum

The Cape Breton Miners Museum.

The Cape Breton Miners Museum tells the story of coal mining, a major industry in the region from the nineteenth century through much of the twentieth century.  Displays in the exhibit area describe the geology of Cape Breton's coal fields and mining techniques, and include a variety of mining equipment.  Beneath the museum you can tour the Ocean Deeps Colliery, guided by retired miners.  The Miners Village adjacent to the museum features authentic replicas of miners' houses and a company store, and the attractive Miners Village Restaurant.

(4) Marconi's Cape Breton Residence.

Marconi's residence near Glace Bay, Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia

Marconi's residence near Glace Bay, Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, as it looks today.

This house was home to Marconi, his chief engineer, Vyvyan, and their wives during the hectic days circa 1905-07 while the Marconi Towers station was being built and tested.  The station buildings and large antenna arrays were in the fields and woods behind the house. After the Marconis left it was the station manager's residence until the station closed in 1945.  The large station property was then bought by Russell Cunningham, a local citizen, and the house has been the Cunningham family home ever since.  The house is in fairly authentic condition, and some of the furnishings date back to Marconi's occupancy.  The Marconi Towers station site is located on Marconi Towers Road, about one kilometre west of Sand Lake Road.
Note: this is a private residence.  If you wish to visit it, please phone ahead to Douglas and Diane Cunningham, (902)849-6273.

A free brochure with a description of the four "A Day In The Bay" attractions, including a map showing their locations, is available at Cape Breton tourist bureaus.

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First uploaded to the WWW:   03 December 2006
Latest update:   March 14, 2011.