Peeking Inside: Domestic Objects from a 200-Year-Old Irish House in Ingonish
A house can be an historical document.
This exhibit results from the restoration of the house of James Donovan and Catherine Power. James, son of Jeremiah Donovan and Elizabeth Robinson, were among the first Irish to settle in Ingonish. This exhibit will focus on some of the objects and home-made furnishings that were found within the interior and walls of the house.
The Irish first came to Cape Breton with the French, British and New Englanders from 1713 to 1768. Caught between the imperial rivalries of France and Britain, hundreds of Irish came to Cape Breton during the 18th century because they shared a common religion with the French and a distrust of the English. By 1766 there were 707 people in Cape Breton with the Irish numbering 169. During the 1780’s more Irish immigrants came to the Island. By the 1820s 22 Irish families had settled in Ingonish.
Other Irish immigrants moved on to Dingwall, Cape North and Bay St Lawrence. The Irish have traditionally represented 10 percent of Cape Breton’s population.