History of The Museum

Wile Carding Mill is located on Victoria Road in Bridgewater on a stream that runs from Whitman’s Pond eastward to the LaHave River. The carding mill is just one of a number of industries which once were situated along this stream. During the last half of 19th century this area, then known as “Sebastopol”, was the industrial centre of Bridgewater.

In 1870 there were ninety-nine fulling and carding mills in Nova Scotia, seven of which were located in Lunenburg Country.

The carding mill was built in 1860 by Dean Wile when he was 27 years old. Dean Wile’s sons Arkanas and Otto later joined their father in running the carding mill. Business began dropping off in the early 1900’s and by the time Otto Wile’s son Vernon inherited the mill in 1936, there was only enough business to keep the mill running part time. Vernon Wile operated the mill until his death in 1968 when the mill ceased to operate altogether.

The availability of the mill came to the attention of Nova Scotia Museum in 1973, and the property was purchased on May 1, 1974.  In 1975 Judy Boss of Nova Scotia Museum completed a report on the possible restoration of the Wile Carding Mill.  The Carding Mill was opened as a museum to the public on August 7, 1974.

DesBrisay Museum manages Wile Carding Mill Museum on behalf of the Province of Nova Scotia.  DesBrisay Museum is owned and operated by the Town of Bridgewater.