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Pugwash Shipbuilding

A Look Back from the Oxford Journal files.

Nov. 14, 1974 - "Probably the most colorful days of Pugwash, which was
once visited by Captain Kidd and other pirates, and which has been
visited many times by treasure seekers, were the days of shipbuilding.
The harbour front was lined with wharves, stores, warehouses and
shipyards. The air rang with the sounds of axe blows and the whine of
saws busy fashioning the ships which won fame the world over.
Squared timber, called tun timber, was brought to Pugwash for this
purpose, as it was to River Philip, where the logs were driven down
river to the yards located where the Port Philip bridge is.
In the earliest days of Pugwash, travel was mainly by water, and the
first houses were all accessible by boat.
In winter, the settlers travelled over the ice to visit their friends.
Ship building brought prosperity to the village, which, was the fishing
industry, made Pugwash a boom-town. Stores were built on wharves which
reached out into the harbour, to receive the goods unloaded from the
All merchandise was shipped in and the bills of lading showed items such
as flour, spice, silk, sugar, molasses, rum, nails, wool yard-goods, and
hardware. The smells of tar and rope mingled with the scent of spices
in the air drifted back from the cargo vessels which called at Pugwash.
Later years saw the harbour so packed with lumber vessels that they had
to be loaded by barges as there was not enough available wharfage.
Eighteen sailing ships have often been anchored in the inside harbour at
one time, so it was possible to cross the harbour by walking over the
decks of the closely packed ships.
One of the most famous sailing ships ever built in Pugwash was the 'City
of Halifax', built by the DEWOLFES. Another queen of the sea was the
'Scotia', with Captain YEAMAN as master. The 'Eliza Oulton' was built
by the OULTON family. Other Pugwash ships were the 'Alpha' and the
'Beta'. The 'Mortola' was the last square rigged ship built at
Pugwash. Joseph JONES was the builder. The 'Sara A. Townsend', built
by Dave REDMOND, was one of Nova Scotia's fastest ships.