The Parks Canada Agency manages one of the finest and most extensive systems of protected natural and historic areas in the world. The Agency’s mandate is to protect and present these places for the benefit and enjoyment of current and future generations. This management statement outlines Parks Canada’s management approach and objectives for Marconi National Historic Site.
Marconi National Historic Site of Canada (NHSC) was established on the location of Marconi’s first permanent wireless station in Canada, constructed in 1902. The first exchange of radio messages across the Atlantic took place at this station and it was recommended for commemoration as an event of national importance by the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada in 1938.
Marconi NHSC was established as a result of an agreement, signed in 1985, between the Minister of the Environment and the Marconi Celebration Trust. The Trust raised money for construction of a visitor centre to commemorate the efforts and accomplishments of Guglielmo Marconi in the field of wireless communications. The centre became part of Marconi NHSC site which is owned and administered by Parks Canada.
Marconi NHSC is located at Table Head, part of the former town of Glace Bay, which is one of the communities making up the Cape Breton Regional Municipality.
The Cape Breton Field Unit is responsible for the management of Marconi National Historic Site. Since taking over the site, the focus has been on partnerships with local and regional organizations to tell the story of Marconi in Glace Bay, and this management statement continues that focus on local and regional partnerships.
The cultural resources directly related to the reasons for the site’s designation consist of the designated place and the concrete foundations of two of the towers that supported the antenna and of the two buildings (receiving room and powerhouse) that were situated at the centre of the square formed by the towers. These resources are valued because they represent the physical remains of the structures that formed part of Marconi’s wireless station from which the first exchange of radio messages across the Atlantic took place.
Building Relationships with Local/Regional Partners: Parks Canada works cooperatively with others to enhance operations and awareness of the site with partners like the Cape Breton Regional Municipality, the Sydney and Area Radio Club and other organizations interested in local history.
Resource Conservation: Parks Canada protects cultural resources at its heritage places in accordance with its Cultural Resource Management Policy and the Standards and Guidelines for the Conservation of Historic Places in Canada. This includes basic monitoring of the state of cultural resources, and documentation of interventions at the site. At Marconi NHSC, the focus is on the archaeological remains of the tower structures located on Parks Canada administered lands.
Site Maintenance: Parks Canada maintains the property it administers so as to respect the site’s heritage values, present a positive image to the public, and reflect the Parks Canada brand.
Public Understanding and Appreciation: Parks Canada provides information about the significance of Marconi NHSC on its website, on the Canadian Register of Historic Places and participating in the community through events such as Table Head Days.
For more information, please contact:
Superintendent, Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site, Baddeck NS, (902) 295-2069