This Is Shelburne
Shelburne lies at the southwest corner of Nova Scotia, at roughly the same latitude as Portland, Maine. The early settlers had small subsistence farms, but most of the inhabitants’ income from that time to the present have been derived from the sea. The first Europeans to make a settlement on these shores were the French. After the French were expelled in 1755, there were no settlers for several decades.
In the spring of 1783, more than 5,000 settlers arrived on the shores of Shelburne Harbour from New York and the Middle Colonies of the Thirteen Colonies. These settlers were Loyalists (referred to later in Canada as United Empire Loyalists), Americans who had opposed the Revolution and remained loyal to Britain. Opposition to the Revolution, as well as promises of free land, tools, and provisions lured many to British North America at that time. Four hundred families associated to form a town at Port Roseway, which Governor Parr renamed Shelburne later that year, after Lord Shelburne, who was the British prime minister. This group was led by the Port Roseway Associates, who had formed while still in New York and petitioned Governor Parr for the land.
In the fall of 1783, a second wave of settlers arrived in Shelburne. By 1784, the population of this new community is estimated to have been at least 10,000, making it the fourth largest city in North America. However, the initial prosperity was short-lived as a lack of agricultural land, poor inland transportation links and lack of some necessary skills for settlement, soon curtailed economic growth. The population fell sharply by the 1790s, leaving many abandoned buildings. However, the remaining residents gradually developed the harbour potential as a fishing and shipbuilding centre.
Shelburne Clock Tower
Historical Shelburne Waterfront
A British Flag wraps around a flag pole on the front of the Loyalist Inn Hotel.
Joseph McGill Building
A fishermen proudly stands above a boat full of new Lobster traps. Four workers worked for two months building 200 Lobster traps.
The new Lobster traps are admired from dock side by all who were involved.
The following morning the “Miss Jane” heads out to sea with the new traps and fingers crossed; hoping that when they return back to the traps in two days time there will be a big catch.
Heading out to check the lobster traps with the Sandy Point Lighthouse in view.
Steaming home into Selburne Harbour, these fishing boats tend to Salmon fish farms in the area. This can be a big business with a single farm having as many as 400,000 salmon in a one pen.
The Beauty of Boats
Salt water eats away the “Ryan Atlantic.”
Happy to have a job, this young fishermen works 12 hour days feeding farmed Salmon. Despite having to head 35 miles out to sea at 6:30am he’s able to smile and take life in stride.
Floats hang in a tree like giant Christmas ornaments, while on the horizon a Lobster boat zig zags back and forth checking his traps which are sometimes called “Pots.”
Keiko King moved from Vancouver to Sandy Point three years ago to work in the True World Foods fish plant.
Davy and Dave head home after a day of Lobster fishing at Jordan Bay.
Fishermen chat over the box of a truck about the future of fishing.
Coming ashore after a day of fishing.
Loading crates of Lobster destined for Halifax. Each crate full of lobster is worth $750 to the fishermen.
Lobster are kept fresh in a sea water holding tank at in the fish plant in Sandy Point.
Lemuel Lock puts a coat of fresh paint on his 130 year old house. Lemuel, 77, has been fishing in the Sandy Point area for 63 years.
“I’ve seen a lot of ups and downs I tell you, things aren’t like they used to be.”
Paul Osbourne is a longshore fisherman.
Boat building is alive in Shelburne with a number of smaller boats being built at the historical Shelburne waterfront.
Milford has built 100’s of model ships and is a Master Boat Builder. Milford is currently working hard on a wooden sail boat.
Preparing the wood for the mast of a tall ship.
26 wood clamps hold together 30 feet of spruce boarding that is to be hammered and shaped by hand into a new mast for a tall ship. The big time ship building days are long over for Shelburne. Nowadays it’s smaller boats for well-to-do clients interested in travelling in a traditional hand-built wooden sailboat or dory.
Boat Builder Bill Cox is 91 and is still hard at it!
People We Met Today
Offshore scallop fishermen beside the Atlantic Preserver.
“We work 14 hour days-we eat, work and sleep for one or two weeks straight.”
Canadian Flags Of The Day
Micheal Murphy with his dogs on the Shelburne wharf.
Maybe Tomorrow… I’ll put the boat in the water.
Reporting From The Canadian Landscape
The van parked beside the Earl Grey.