Council of Nova Scotia Archives

Antigonish Heritage Museum

Domestic Service

Outmigration has been a way of life for many of our people. Generations have left Antigonish, seeking a better life in the cities of America. Boston was a particularly attractive destination from the 1880’s through the 1930’s, as it was readily accessible by train and by boat. Young women facing poor economic prospects here in Nova Scotia sought employment opportunities in the textile and sewing trades, clerical and sales work, institutional and domestic service.

Seen here in this 1906 photo is a young Mary (AKA Minnie) MacDonald who left Arisaig for Boston to work in the home of a well to do family there. Soon she marries Allan MacIsaac, another expatriate Nova Scotian living in the city. They move west to Butte, Montana and raise a family.

Date: 1906

Reference:  Antigonish Heritage Museum 2016.063.005

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For further information, please contact the Antigonish Heritage Museum.


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