The artifacts in a Lake Charlotte, N.S., heritage village may be rooted in the mid-1900s, but the museum’s outlook definitely reaches into the 21st century and beyond.
Memory Lane Heritage Village on the province’s Eastern Shore depicts coastal life as it was in the 1940s and 1950s.
An old-fashioned gas station with a Packard vehicle out front and a wood stove emitting smells of freshly baked bread draw visitors back to the last century, but electric car chargers and rooftop solar panels are reminders that the facility is making use of efficient and modern technology.
On Canada Day, the heritage village introduced its recently installed electric-car charging station, which features both a a universal charger for most electric vehicles, as well as a Tesla outlet. The service is free.
“We would like as many people as possible to come to the museum, so this makes us unique, it’s likely to attract more people and it’s also a good public relations thing. Come to the heritage museum where you can mix the new and the old,” said Gordon Hammond, a senior project volunteer at the facility.
There’s a certain irony about the addition, he said.
“We’ve now got a charging station in Lake Charlotte, but no gas station. We lost our gas station almost 10 years ago and it’s not going to get replaced.”
The heritage village, which also houses the Eastern Shore Archives, is located about 60 kilometres east of Dartmouth, which is where the closest Tesla charger is located.
By this fall, the heritage village hopes to be the first museum in Nova Scotia, and possibly in Canada, that is fully solar powered.
Hammond said the plan is to install 66 400-watt solar panels on the main building’s flat roof, which is about 550 square feet.
“The electricity from those panels, over the course of a year, will equal the power consumption of the entire Memory Lane Heritage Village. It is roughly four times the size of a large home solar installation. The estimated output of the system is 33,000 to 40,000 kilowatt hours a year.”
The cost is estimated at about $85,000, most of which will come from donations through fundraising and crowdfunding efforts.
The facility is encouraging individuals and businesses to sponsor individual solar panels.
“This system will also offset 25 per cent of our greenhouse gases per year,” Hammond said.