Monday, June 22, 2015

Shelburne County on Nova Scotia's South Shore

We had four days to explore the historic waterfront towns in the Shelburne area.
We began in Shelburne, whose historic dock street can be seen from our campground across the bay.
This Old Salt greets you as you enter the village.
A fishing village as old as this one wouldn't be complete without a memorial to lost seamen. 

The village of Shelburne began as a refuge for American Colonists who sided with the British in the Revolutionary War. After the war the Loyalists fled their homes and were given land in Nova Scotia where they could remain under British rule.
Former black slaves who sided with the British were promised their freedom after the war, and they settled here also in nearby Birchtown, named after General Birch who signed their freedom paper.
The large building was once a store and warehouse for Cox's shipbuilding company. Space in the building is now leased by small businesses.
The Dory Shop Museum is the only remaining original Dory Shop of what were several in the 1800-1900s. Dories are still made to order here, but what was once the staple, are no longer used by commercial fishermen. There are Dory Clubs and Dory Races, so there is still some limited demand of these rugged boats.
In the museum we are introduced by way of a documentary film to Master Dory Builder, Sidney Mahaney.
He was 96 when the documentary was made, and still working in the Dory Shop where he began his career at the age of 17.  
He is shown here working on a dory.
Today other master dory builders demonstrate their craft to visitors at the museum. This dory is awaiting a second coat of paint. 
The size of a dory is determined by the length of the bottom.  
This shows how the ribs are attached for the side planks to be attached. 
The cracks are caulked with oakum…wool. 
This small, lightweight (275#) dory can be yours for just $1470. I think I'll keep my 13# Hornbeck.
Sidney Mahoney built this dory when he was in his late 80s. 
 About the Shelburne Dory and how it was used:
And a history of the dory shop: 
 This dory is rigged for trawl fishing.
These two fishermen are coming alongside their schooner after a day's fishing, circa 1911. 
And of course, Nan had to try on a fisherman's hat. 
The Dory Shop was visited by the Prince and Princess of Wales. 
Across from the Dory Shop is the Shelburne County Museum which focuses on Black, Loyalist, pre-Loyalist, and shipbuilding history of the area.
A display of shipbuilding tools.
Acadians from France were the first European settlers here. They made friends with the Native Indians, the Mi'kmaq who showed them how to live off the sea.
Most Acadians were removed from their lands during the French and Indian War. Planters from the New England Colonies came next.
And after the American Revolution, the Loyalists came.
We also learned that the movie, The Scarlet Letter was filmed in Shelburne.
This building was built for the movie set.
It was time for lunch, so we made our way up Charlotte Lane to a restaurant that was recommended to us.
Here we are.
The entry. 
Halibut and salad….very good. 
Just down the street is the Ross-Thomson House and Store Museum. As we enter here we travel back to the 1780s, shortly after thousands of settlers arrived from the colonies with a promise of free land.

They needed stuff…and the Ross brothers provided that stuff in their store on Charlotte Lane. The south end of the building provided housing for the brothers and their clerk, Robert Thomson.
Barrels of tobacco…just one of many products the brothers traded for. They carried on international trade in tea, coffee, rum, port, and wine, as well as both necessities and luxuries to the town's residents.
The room over the store was used as a militia room.
How the militia room may have looked. 
Here we enter the house part of the building. 
This was the clerk's quarters. 
The key to this lock still works. 
A sitting room and dining room were downstairs, and two bedrooms upstairs. 
And the kitchen was in the basement. 
The door key…and the pestle is made of Ironwood. 
Bulls-eye glass windowpanes. 
 The shipyard buildings were used for building sailing ships…mostly schooners.
The local grocery store displays a mural depicting two sailing ships that were built here. 
About the ships 
And in the harbor today you can take sailing lessons.
This 1908 building with a clock tower was once the Post Office. They building was made of locally quarried granite, called Scotia Gray. 
This box in the middle of the street marks a public well from 1783. 
We drove west along the seashore to Birchtown, settled by Black Loyalists. This park is believed to be a burial ground, but there are no marked gravesites.

 St. Paul's Church in Birchtown, circa 1888.
There is a new Heritage Center/Museum in Birchtown, but it was closed so we didn't go inside.

We continued on along the coast….through lobster country. 
 Cunning Cove
We drove down side roads just to see what was there. We liked these unusual scarecrows. 

There will be a barn sale in this old barn on Saturday. 
This road dead-ended at another old barn. 
Another old church, 1891 
Nan was very brave driving on gravel roads in the rain. 
We came across some pretty seaside homes for sale. 
An old cemetery…many old cemeteries had a view of the sea. 

Oh the places we'll go... 
On a nice day, there's a beautiful secluded beach here. 
Salt marshes. 
 Almost every home has lobster traps.
A large boat being built or stored inside. 
 We arrive in Barrington….Lobster Capital of Canada!

We stop to tour the old woolen mill first. 
 This fast flowing river ran the mills machines.

The first floor houses old looms and spinning wheels. 
This hand-made quilt depicts the three nationalities that settled here and raised sheep. The Acadians, THe Scottish, and the Irish. 
A costumed historian is making a blanket with the Nova Scotia tartan pattern. 
The story of the tartan. 
A relic from the mill days.
The Nova Scotia tartan. 

Raw wool being washed before processing. 

Upstairs are the mill machines. 

And when in the Lobster Capital…what's for lunch? 
Chowder sounds good on a rainy day. 
We can follow the chowder trail around Nova Scotia and get our passport stamped and vote on our favorite chowder. 
The tables at the Lobster Shack have NS tartans as table cloths. 
Lobster Chowder 
we said goodbye to all the live lobsters in the tank. 
On to Seal Point Light Museum 
Inside were artifacts washed up from various shipwrecks. This is a whale harpoon. 
A ship's door 
This anchor was brought up in a fisherman's net, not far from the site of an old shipwreck. 
View from the top. 
Nan coming down the skinny steps. 
The lens 
Notice the big light bulb inside. 
Another day and a drive eastward along the coast. This is St. Peter's by the Sea Community Church, 1889.
Sandy Point Light in Shelburne Harbor. 
At low tide you can walk out to it. 
 More seaside homes for sale. They had a long hard winter here, maybe that's why.
I liked this little farm for sale on an island in Jordan Bay. 

Another side road. 
Another old church…Jordan Ferry Union Church, built 1874. 
A peek inside. 
Jordan Falls Anglican Church 
Meanwhile back at the campground, sailboats are heading for the lighthouse near sunset.
A loon is fishing. 

 Or just hanging out.
Thistle likes it here. 
A mallard family comes to dabble near our sites. 

And Saturday was another great day to kayak. 
This time we headed up the river to see how far we could go. 
Watch out for submerged rocks.
Sea foam swirls as the incoming tide meets the fresh water river flow.
We could only go as far as the bridge.
An osprey flies over.
Notice the deck built over the boulders.

A deer comes to drink, and now it's hiding behind a tree,
I love this stuff!

1 comment:

  1. What a fabulous tour Liz. Sounds like so much fun!


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