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“Fantastic trip back in time” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Sydney Mines Heritage Museum and Fossil Centre

Sydney Mines Heritage Museum and Fossil Centre
Cochrane, Canada
Level Contributor
13 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“Fantastic trip back in time”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 January 2013

The Sydney Mines Fossil Centre displays a wonderful outlook of life back in time in the Cape Breton area. The coalfields played such a dramatic role in the development of the economy in Cape Breton, and the fossilized remains of the plants that helped form this viable resource are prominately displayed. Staff are friendly and wonderful! This is a definite must see for anyone touring Cape Breton!!!

Visited September 2012
Helpful?
3 Thank CaperJenn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
James T, Manager at Sydney Mines Heritage Museum and Fossil Centre, responded to this review, 4 February 2013
Thank you very much for your very positive review. It is our mandate to preserve the culture of the coal mining era and to educate people about our history, as well as the Carboniferous plant fossils associated with the coal. We are very happy you enjoyed your experience here.
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23 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Lebanon, New Hampshire
Level Contributor
25 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Enthusiastic Curator”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 September 2012

Dr. Stuart Critchley the Curator of the Fossil Centre was AWESOME! Who knew that what we thought were only rocks were so interesting. The man was very enthusiastic and entertaining. He kept telling my wife and I that after we concluded the tour of the Centre we'd wake up in the middle of the night and say "WOW today I held a seed fossil that was millions of years old." Well it wasn't that dramatic but we did have a much better appreciation of rocks fossils and petrified materials after his explanation and our tour of the Centre. It was very evident that Dr. Critchley loves what he does

Visited August 2012
Helpful?
4 Thank tonyvanilla
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
James T, Manager at Sydney Mines Heritage Museum and Fossil Centre, responded to this review, 7 September 2012
Mr. Jim Tobin, Chair, and I thank you very much for your kind words and support.
We hope to see you again in the near future.

Stuart Critchley
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ottawa, Canada
Level Contributor
40 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Enthusiastic staff make the visit”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 August 2012

The Cape Breton Fossil Centre is a small museum exploring the natural history of the coalfields that were for many years the lifeblood of Cape Breton's economy. Coal and fossils go together.

The centre, located near the former railroad station in Sydney Mines, is staffed by a curator and summer student employees. The student employees are well-trained and bilingual, but on our tour we were lucky enough to have our student pulled away to serve a French couple. Our replacement was Dr. Stuart Critchley, curator, whose enthusiasm and passion for the field of fossils is impossible to ignore. He was able to interest even the two pre-teens in our group in the exhibits and communicate the story of fossils in this area with humour and zest. Many exhibits, some dinosaur mockups, and a hands-on, relaxed atmosphere make this a great family visit for tourists and an underappreciated asset for locals.

Visited July 2012
Helpful?
3 Thank bobledrew
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
James T, Manager at Sydney Mines Heritage Museum and Fossil Centre, responded to this review, 7 September 2012
Mr. Jim Tobin, Chair, and I thank you very much for your kind words and support.
We hope to see you again in the near future.

Stuart Critchley
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Neptune, New Jersey
Level Contributor
38 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“Fossil lover's small gem”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 August 2012

I have loved fossils since I was a child and try to see them whenever I can. The collection at this small but loving museum is made up of specimens of early plant life found in Cape Breton around the ancient coal seams that make up part of the island. We were shown around the displays by enthusiastic college students who clearly love the fossils and were very well-informed about them. A tour of the entire museum is only about half an hour. (Next door is a lovely, equally small, heritage museum about the history of Sydney Mines, also quite worthwhile and included in the admission price.) But we were also lucky enough to get the opportunity to go with the museum curator, Dr. Stewart Critchley, on a fossil hunt, and that was amazing! We spent several hours at a rocky shoreline and he showed us how fossils of plant life are everywhere in the layers of sedimentary rock. We found some nice specimens. He truly loves finding fossils and sharing his love of the subject with others. We were told that, during the summer months, he will take people on fossil tours several times a week if there are requests to do so. If you are planning a visit to the area, call ahead and ask if you can join him. This was an experience we won't forget.

Visited August 2012
Helpful?
5 Thank freckles00
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
James T, Manager at Sydney Mines Heritage Museum and Fossil Centre, responded to this review, 7 September 2012
Mr. Jim Tobin, Chair, and I thank you very much for your kind words and support.
We hope to see you again in the near future.

Stuart Critchley
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cape Breton
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Don't m iss this”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 July 2012

Excellent, and Stewart Critchley is great with kids and very knowledgeable.

Visited June 2012
Helpful?
2 Thank J M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
James T, Manager at Sydney Mines Heritage Museum and Fossil Centre, responded to this review, 7 September 2012
Mr. Jim Tobin chairperson and I would like to thank you for your kind words and support.
We hope to see you in the future.

Stuart Critchley
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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