Shelburne Doors

Sometimes you don’t have to travel very far to be blown away by your own history. We took a little drive. About 2 hours south. To the town of Shelburne, Nova Scotia.

Here, we wandered along Historic Dock Street.

Shelburne has an interesting history. During the American Revolution pro-British refugees (Loyalists) gathered in New York. The wealthier classes went to England while others sought refuge here, in Nova Scotia.

In 1783, four hundred such families associated to form the Town of Shelburne (named after the British Prime Minister). Within a year the population of the town mushroomed to 10,000.

The fledging town was not prepared and could not support so large a settlement. Most of the refugees moved on to other parts of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, or on to England. Some returned to the United States.

But of those who stayed, many focused their entrepreneurial spirit into this Nova Scotia town, infusing it with a distinctly New England flavour.

This door takes you into what maybe the last remaining commercial barrel factory in Canada. Traditionally, barrels were used to store and transport fish, food and other items and the staves and hoops were from this factory were exported in huge quantities. Today, are used to store salt bait for the lobster industry.

Across the street is The Coopers Inn. The house was originally built for George Gracie, a blind Loyalist who started the first whaling company in Shelburne.

Next door is a lovely example of a Greek Revival building. I love the storm doors.

The next building was, during the 1780’s, the home and tavern of Patrick McDonough – who was also the customs officer.

On the water side of the street, is a dory shop where the wooden boats are still built to order. It’s part of the Shelburne Historical Society complex.

A glance up Charlotte Lane.

This impressive structure (with a relatively modest door) was the store and warehouse of George A. Cox, an (obviously) prominent merchant. He constructed his own vessels and carried on an extensive world trade.

A former store front on Ann Street.

This former mill is under restoration. That’s good news as it looks like most of the foundation is missing!

The mill is part of the Muir-Cox shipyard which was in almost continuous operation from the 1800’s to 1984. The property launched everything from square riggers and schooners to motorized rum runners, minesweepers and luxury yachts.

The shipyards of Shelburne produced whale boats, life boats, row boats and canoes which were exported to Newfoundland, Bermuda, Ontario, Quebec, the Arctic and the United States. In 1928-29 one boat shop shipped 29 rail cars of boats to Northern Ontario and Quebec in what is believed to be the largest shipment of boats in Canada. Seriously? I had no idea! This waterfront must have been booming.

It was a short visit. But we’ll be back again to visit pretty little Shelburne (pop. 1743) and her intriguing Doors. It seems that she has more stories to tell.

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Machine Shop Door

Later this month the Lunenburg Foundry (est 1891) plans to demolish the Old Machine Shop building  (which dates from 1907).

This is the building in which items cast at the foundry were machined and the patterns for casting were created in wood.   And here, too, the Atlantic brand make-and-break engine was designed and built.  These engines were sold world-wide.

This building has witnessed the rise and fall of the Grand Banks fishing schooner, the end of the age of sail as well as both world wars.  With it goes a a significant piece of Lunenburg’s, Nova Scotia’s and Canada’s built history. 



And here are just a few of the patterns that were offered up for sale last weekend in advance of the demolition. 


I think these were specifically parts for the Little Cod wood stove.  My grandfather had one of these sweet little stoves on his schooner.  Seems an unlikely combination: a wood burning stove aboard a wooden schooner. 

Linked to Norm’s Thursday Doors.

A Walk in Gatineau Park

With all the heart breaking news reports and difficult conversations taking place at this moment, it kinda feels like a good time for a walk in the woods.  About a month ago, we were in Ottawa, with a day all to ourselves. We opted to leave the city behind and explore Gatineau Park. Come along, and I’ll show you a little of what we saw ………

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This conservation park covers 361 square peaceful kilometres of land, but is just 15 minutes from downtown Ottawa.  It is popular with locals and visitors alike, apparently attracting 2.7 million visits a year.  But on this day we were lucky…. It was a chilly, damp Monday and the place was relatively quiet, but as you can see, still very beautiful.

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After a couple of hours of exploring, we made our way to the Mackenzie King Estate, a country property of the former prime minister, bequeathed to all of Canada. It’s now part of the Park.

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It seemed like the right thing to do, so we finished off with a warming visit to the Tea Room.

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That Was A Treat!

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Two weeks ago, I was in Ottawa with my travelling husband and the trip happened to coincide with our Federal  election.  I was very curious to witness the atmostphere in the capital city during an election.  Would it be like being in the home town when an important sports games was being played?(cue the “O-K! Blue Jays” anthem)  It wasn’t!  A cold, grey, drizzly night – it was especially quiet.  Even for Ottawa.

But the next day was an entirely different story.  There was a buzz of chatter everywhere, as the reality of our newly elected majority government sank in.  The place felt a little lighter, maybe a little hopeful. Even the sun came out.

I found myself on Wellington Street in the afternoon, sharing a crosswalk with our handsome, newly minted Prime Minister.  He was surrounded by a gaggle of photographers – I was not. I did have my camera, however, and I’m pretty sure he’s looking straight at me in this shot!  What a treat for me!

In addition to the relief and happiness of the election results, which the majority of the population obviously feel is a treat for the country, I can’t help but reflect on what a treat it is to live in a country in which the Prime Minister can share a crosswalk with the likes of me.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Treat

Symmetry

IMG_1780Welcome to the Centre Block of the Canada’s Houses of Parliament, in Ottawa, Ontario.  Begun in the mid 19th Century, this Victorian High Gothic structure was was destroyed by fire and subsequently rebuilt in 1916. The finishing touch was the central tower – The Peace Tower, dedicated to those Canadian who fought in WWI – was completed in 1927.  It is an imposing structure, perched as it is high on Parliament Hill, but I think its’ beautiful symmetry creates  balance, a calm and a kind of confidence.

Photo taken with my iPhone last May.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_photo_challenge/symmetry/