After debates amongst citizens, the town council, and Ottawa, construction of the Amherst Armoury finally in 1912. Crews finished construction on the Armoury in late 1914, and the building was put to immediate use. The Armoury became an integral part of the recruiting, drill and training mechanism as part of the regions contributions to the war effort, which continued on through the Second World War.

Constructed for military use, it also played a major role in hosting social functions as well as serving as a community center. The Armoury continues to support the youth and the military with three Cadet Corps and one Army Reserve Unit. The Armoury was once again put in the spotlight as it celebrated its 75th Anniversary in 1989, which coincided with the Centennial Anniversary of the town raising the level of festivities even more.

In February 1990 the Amherst Armoury received special status of a Heritage Building, and later on was formally renamed the Colonel James Layton Ralston Armoury on the 9th of November 1991. Colonel James Layton Ralston was born in Amherst in 1881, he received a university education, and went on to command the 85th Battalion, Nova Scotia Highlanders during World War I. Following WWI he turned to politics, becoming the Minister of Finance and twice held the portfolio of Minister of National Defence.

The Armouries is also of course home to the Nova Scotia Highlanders Regimental Museum.

On July 2nd, 2019 a celebration was held at the Amherst Armouries to mark the 100th Anniversary of the closing of the Prisoner of War Camp in Amherst, Nova Scotia. 

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