For a term of years, the whole shipyard on Indian Point in the town of St. Andrews, together with a large and commodious Work Shop, two Blacksmith’s Shops, two saw pits with bed pieces ready for laying down three vessels with three brows on stages ready built. The known great conveniences of this place for ship building make it desirable for those persons wishing to carry on their lucrative branch of business.
Apply to John Wilson
—St. Andrews Herald, Feb 15, 1826
Sept 21, 1833
Port of St. Andrews
Vessels arrived and Cleared
Schooner Lively, Kennedy, Eastport, Allanshaw and Co., general cargo
Sloop Reform, Smith, Eastport, Curry, general cargo
Brig Lubec, Means, Eastport, Allenshaw and Co., staves etc.
Schooner Wm. Henry, Katch, Eastport, Wilson, staves,
Schooner Betsey, Peters, Eastport, Marter, general cargo
Brig Nelson, Tilley, Eastport, Wilson, general cargo
Schooner Thomas, Dennis, Yarmouth, Master, ballast
Schooner Shepherd, Baker, Bridgeport, C. B. coals
Schooner Lively, Kennedy, Eastport, Allanshaw and Co., general cargo
Schooner St. Croix, Blaney, Eastport, Simes, general cargo
Sloop Reform, Smith, Eastport, master, general cargo
Ship Isabelle, Tait, Boston, Allanshaw and Co., assorted cargo
Brig Nelson Village, Kenu, Liverpool vias Eastport, Rait, bread
Schooner Emily, Paul, Boston; Master, flour, meal, bread, etc.
Schooner Lively, Kennedy, Eastport, Parkinson, flour, meal and bread
Ship admiral Moorsom, Moorsom, New York; Wilson, assorted cargo
Schooner Rosalie, Crosby, Yarmouth; master, assorted cargo
Schooner Chance, Ryarson, Digby, master, staves, cordwood and eggs
Ship Christlana, Wilkie, Boston,; Allanshaw and Co., ballast
Schooner, Gilbert, Hopkirk, Yarmouth; master, furniture
Entered for Loading
Brigantine Walker, Arnold, Newfld.
Brig W. Fourth, Vogler, Belfast
Brig Morning Star, Revend, Belfast
Sept 16 Brig Nelso Village, Renn, Kingston, Jam.
Brig Nelson, Tilley Eastport
Ship Isabella, Tait, Emerara
Ship Admiral Moorsom, Demerara
Schooner, Catherine, Trefry, Eastport; master
Schooner, British Tar, Smith, New York; P. Smith
Brig Friendship. J. Vogler, Demerara; Jas. Rait
Schooner Thomas Dennis, Windsor; master
Brig Baothers, Whitney, Torquay; Douglas
Brig Liori, Fletcher, Kingston, Jam. Wilson
Brig Erin, Thorn, Honduras; Allanshaw
Brig Wm. Nery, Hatch, Eastport; J. Wilson
Ship Sir Edward Hamilton, Lundy, Bridlington; Douglas
Brig Stamfordham; Ayer, Droheda; J. A. and Co.
Brig Morgian a, Hethington, Belfast; J. Douglas
Brig Lubec, means, Eastport, master.
Oct 5, 1833
On Monday the 30th ult from the building yard of Mr. J. N. M. Brewer, the fine ship AVA, of 462 tons register, built for James Douglas, Esquire, of this place. And intended for a regular trader to Liverpool.
This very superior vessel is named the Ava, in compliment to Sir Archibald Campbell, our Lieut_Governor; being the name of the capital of the Burmese Empire; the scene of his Excellency’s victorious campaigns.
The above circumstance has suggested the compilation of the article AVA, which will be found below, and which, we think, will be acceptable; whether we consider the political importance of the extensive regions described, their fertility; their adaptation to commerce (especially in the present state of the cotton trade) of their being but recently noticed in Europe and as yet comparatively little known.
Continuation of piece on St. Andrews Scenery. See photocopy.
Rambles and Remarks on Scenery Near SA, NB
After descending a steep bank we were all at once among the bustle and activity of the extensive establishment of John Wilson, Esq. a merchant of standing in SA, whose intelligence and enterprise have blended the ocean and the waters of Chamcook for the purposes of manufacture and commerce. There is an air of precision . . . about the place, which together with the embosomed snugness of its position, tenders it an agreeable scene to the eye of a fisher.
We proceeded directly to the lake from which the stream debouches at an opening between the surrounding hills, and ere its brief course has measure the extent of a furlong, it is lost in the waters of Passamaquoddy Bay. But in that short distance the genius of enterprise has applied its current as the motive power of a series of machinery, which thousands of streams that roil their mightily length in volumes to the sea, cannot boast of. These varied and useful works consist of a number of detached erections comprising the following particulars, viz. a barley mill in full operation, and I can bear witness that it produces as fine pearl barley as can be imported from any country in the world. Here is also a grist mill, set aside particularly for the convenience of the farmers of the surrounding country. Lower down we find three saw mills, with gang saws, and circular plates for edging deals and trimming their ends; a process which enhances their quality and consequently brings a higher value in the market than can be obtained for those manufactured in the ordinary way. Every convenience has been has been studied for hauling up logs and piling the sawed lumber. Below these are a kin and Mill for making Oatmeal, and for grinding Indian corn. The lower mill is now manufacturing 2300 bushels of wheat per diem from a cargo of 15,000 bushels imported by the proprietor this season from Hamburg. The flour is of a superior quality; they pack it and make it up in barrels that might receive the banks of Genessee or Howard Street.
My attention was particularly attracted by a capacious Wet-Dock constructed immediately below the mills capable of containing a number of vessels in 22 feet of water, which is the depth of the channel of the inlet when the tide is out.
this is the first basin of the kind I have either seen or heard of, on this continent; and it is much to be desired that he great facilities offered to the shipping interests by this stupendous undertaking may be widely embraced, and secure to the spirited projector, a remunerating and well deserved patronage. I had the satisfaction of seeing the first vessel that had entered in the process of loading. She lay close to the mills, and received the deals directly from the piles clean and dry. . . . It may be a homely remark but I will make it that owners and masters must feel great satisfaction in the consciousness that their vessels ride in perfect safety—their boats, crews and property quite secure—light work in loading and the utmost despatch given, consequently, much expense inconvenience and delay obviated. In touching on these matters, the wrier should be better informed of their general nature then I can pretend to be, as I am indebted to the gentlemen who accompanied me for all their prominent points. Our last look was at the shipyard where several vessels had been built—the last of which was the Princess Victoria, a fine ship of 561 tons. A. Z.
Nov 19, 1845
Launched on Saturday last from the shipyard of Messrs. E. and J. Wilson a splendid through built ship of 773 tons, called the Sea King. She is owned by Messrs. E. and J. Wilson, and was constructed under the superintendence of Mr. George Gelly. [same yard in Chamcook mentioned in 1835 Rambles articles. Also many ships being turned out of Brandy Cove.]
Launched at the building yard at Chamcook, on Saturday last, a beautifully modeled and substantial built copper fastened vessel, named the Ocean Queen, of 450 tons, news measurement. This ship was built by Messrs. J and R. Townshend, for William Whitlock, Esq. and others, and adds another laurel to the fame of the Messrs. Townshends as ship builders. She was immediately afterwards towed into the harbour by the Steamer Nequasset.
February 10, 1847
The subscriber will receive tenders up to 1st of march from persons disposed to fit the rigging of athe new ship at Chamcook. The rigging to be recvied in the coil at the rigging loft as may be wanted from Messrs. J. S. and R. Jarvis’ Rope Factory; the standing rigging and stays to be wormed by the rope maker. The rigging to be fitted, and hip fitted for sea and sails bent. The rigging to be taken to the ship by the rigger from the rope loft, all the tar parceling etc found.
Also—tenders will be recived for making a complete suit of sails; Canvas twine and points found by the subscriber. John Wilson
Feb 3, 1847
May 19, 1847
Launched On Thursday last from the shipyard at Chamcook, a beautifully modeled and substantial built ship called the Alice Wilson, measuring 1020 tons new measurment. She is owned by our enterprising towsman John Wilson Esquire, and is constructed of the best materials her stem, stern post, main transom, binding streaks, aprong and windlass bit are white oak, wails, top timbers, breast hooks and knees, hackmatack. Her sealing from the kilson to the floor timber heads—pitch pine—long spruce timbers 14 inches square, bolted through the floor timbers, and clinched before planked.
She has been pronounced by competent judges to be one of the best constructed and faithfully built vessels ever launched in Charlotte and from her model, will no doubt be a fast sailer. She is commanded by Capt. John McBean.
Chamcook Shipyard keeps turning them out. Little from Indian Point in paper. Nothing from Brandy Cove mentioned for while.
"Laura," 242 ton schooner, launched at Indian Point. Not much from this yard advertised at least. Builder Charles Short.
Shipbuilding--this branch of business we are happy to state is becoming brisk in this locality which presents unequalled advantages for its successful prosecution. Mr. Anderson, in addition to his other in course of construction, has laid the keel for a large ship within a few days, and is shortly to commence a vessel of 1400 tons. Mr. O. B. Rideout has also commenced building a large vessel. the Messrs. Townsend are getting a ship frame down by rail which is to be set up and built in their yard at Chamcook, during the next few months. These vessels, with Mr. Whitlock's, Mr. A. Cookson's, and Peacock's and Berry's ships, give employment to a large number of men. It has been acknowledge by men of judgement and large experience, who have visited SA, that it possesses superior advantages for ship building. Mr. Rideout has been building ships for 25 years.
Review of year. Things looking good in SA, SS, St. George. "The crops were abundant, and there is plenty in the land for man and beast. The people are contented and happy, and business generally has flourished. Ship building is carried on extensively in various parts of the Province, with success. In SA, there are several new vessels on the stocks. Our RR has been doing a good business--and prices of articles have been maintained. Details for St. Stephen and St. George follow.
J. N. M. Brewer, Shipyard. Brandy Cove. 1837
Shipyard--Chamcook. E. and J. Wilson. 1837
Shipyard, Indian Point. William Babcock and Sons. 1840
Boat Builder, James Roberts. 1843
Dimock and Wilson Ship Chandlery and Co. Oct 1843. Constant Dimock and John Wilson.
Shipwrights, E and J Wilson. Nov 1845
Sail maker. Samuel Cochran. Sept 1848
R and R Townsend, Chamcook. Shipwrights. 1852
Shipyard at Chamcook. John and Robert Townsend. 1853 but in papers already long time
J. and W. Shaw. Small boats. Nov 1856
Shipyard, Railway Terminus. Alex Anderson. First ship May 1863
SA possesses more advantages as a place for ship-building, than any other place in province. Needs only capital, initiative. Same as winter port rhetoric, later, in Beacon.
A 100 ton ship called the “Laura Clinch” launched at wharf near Railway Station. Ships still being constructed on a regular basis at present lighthouse and elsewhere--Bayside, SG, SS, Calais, Eastport. I believe this ship sinks about a dozen years later on a trip south.
407 ton barque “Atlanta” owned by Harris Hatch. Built and launched at Indian Point.
Trader to Europe.
Another vessel begun at Indian point
Launched at SG--200 ton brig. Hackmatac, copper-fastened.
Brig of 291 tons launched at Pennfield.
J and C Short launch “Ellen DeWolfe” in SS--324 ton barque--copper-fastened, iron-kneed. Owned by Chipman and Bolton.
150 ton brig “Florence” from this Port purchased by Robert Ross for West India Trader.
175 ton schooner “More Light” launched from Calais.
Robinson and Co. have 400 ton barque under construction at Indian Point. “Within a few yards of the Railway.”
Schooner “Nettie” launched from Smith’s Shipyard--88 x 26 feet. 118 tons. Master builder James Starkey. Owners J. Watson (our James), J. W. Street, A. D. Stevenson, P. Quinn, D. Budge, Capt. N. Clark, J. Burton, M. Andrews (also captain of vessel). June 22--laying keel for 300 ton vessel “at the building yard, near the railway,” seems to be a new business--Starkey’s.
June 22, 1870
New Vessel. We are happy to learn that Mr Starkey, the builder of the “Nettie” is laying the keel of a new vessel of upwards of 300 tons, at the building yard, near the Railway. It is to be hoped that every encouragement will be extended to our young friend in his efforts to establish shipbuilding at this Port, where so many large and fine vessels were built formerly.
Launched from the building yard at the lighthouse this forenoon, a beautifully modelled and well finished vessel of 147 tons register; 314 carpenters measurement, which on entering her future element was named the “Greta.” She is constructed of spruce, with hackmatac top, the planks hardwood, and is to be commanded by Capt. Harry Stinson, who, with John Watson, A. D. Stevenson, Jas. Scallion, Jas. Starkey and others are owners. T his is the second vessel built by our young townsman, Mr. James Starkey, whose fame as a builder is now established.
Schooner Greta lost in Nova Scotia. [built in St. Andrews by James Starkey]
Sarah Beach launched from Indian Point
Jottings on the Street. No.1
Standing at the upper end of the town, and just where Harriet Street coyly touches Water Street, we look away down Water Street, taking into view as best we can its length and its breadth. One mile long it is said to be, by actual measurement. The statement is accepted.
Here, at our starting point, a look in the opposite direction sees a dilapidated building—grim and war-like-looking, even in its antiquity. It bears the name of “Block House.” “It cants its head towards”—well, the East. Whatever service it may have rendered in the past—it promises none in the present or the future. Now, on each side of the Street, here at the Harriet Junction, are private residences. Those on the water side at not so cozy-looking as their opposites—neither have they fine garden plots as have the others. A few rods bring us to a vacant water lot—and here, some 40 years ago, James Rait, Esq., carried on a great trade as Merchant and Shipbuilder. The buildings were capacious, and in keeping with his very extensive business. Those were the times when grumbling over “hard times” were at a discount. The wail of “no work” was drowned by the busy hum of business on the shore, and the cheery “yo-heave-ho,” of the gallant tars in the harbor. Farmers, too, rattling along the streets with the rural products, found ready prices.
The wharves presented a lively scene, and prosperity smiled upon St. Andrews.
A sigh of regret escaped many a lip when the active business man, James Rait, left St. Andrews for Jamaica. His enterprise was not confined to the town of SA, only; it was felt in the Parish of Pennfield; and “Rait’s Mills” at Beaver Harbor will always be a household word. Nor there alone—out in the Bay on Grand Manan, his enterprise extended itself, as did also that of John Wilson, Esq., of Chamcook; (of whom we will have something to say hereafter) and many an old “saw long” can yet be seen imbedded in the island soil, that escaped the teeth of the . . . ill saw. Those whose memories can carry them back 40 years or more, may remember Mr. Rait as being in personal appearance of splendid physique—tall and portly—pleasing expression of features, and engaging in his manners, the true type of a gentleman-merchant; he was calculated to win esteem, and he did. He died on the island of Jamaica in the year 1842, where his remains are interred.
One can hardly pass along from this vacant lot, the former site of “Rait’s Store,” without a brief delay, as the feeling spontaneously wells up to moralise on the brevity of life—its shifting scenes—its vicissitudes—its joys, its sorrows, it entrees and its exits!
May 22, 1879
St. Andrews and Its Improvements
A handsome yacht craft can be seen on the “Stocks” near the Steamboat wharf. Connoisseurs in naval architecture pronounced her the model of a fast sailer; and when Lord Lorne and the Princess Louise visit St. Andrews, this little gem of a vessel, if ready, will be just the Craft to speed them over the dancing waters of the Passamaquoddy.
St. Croix Courier
By the death of Mr. Robert Townshend, at Chamcook, on Sunday last, one of the old landmarks of the town and parish of St. Andrews has passed away. The father of the deceased who was a shipwright, came to Saint John , NB, from England about sixty three years ago, where he went to work at his trade,; he sent home for his wife and family with whom, shortly after hey arrived, he went to Indian island, Charlotte county, where he built him a residence and engaged in shipbuilding, from Indian island he removed to SA, and established a shipyard at the Point, and built a residence now standing on the corner of Water and Ernest Streets. [vacant yard Salty Towers; see 1878 map] the deceased, Robert Townshend, got a contract to finish a vessel on the stocks at Chamcook, this led to his taking contracts to build ships for the late John Wilson, Esq., he associated with himself, his brother John, who under the firm of Robert and John Townshend, carried on an extensive shipbuilding operations at Chamcook for a number of years, principally under contract for Mr. Wilson. They bought themselves farms and built residences and settled down at Chamcook, in which they have resided for forty years, and where Mr. John Townshend still lives. The deceased. Mr. R. Townshend was held in high estimation by his friends and neighbors, was a man of fine social qualities, genial and kind hearted. An aged widow, two sons and two daughters survive him.
Dec 2, 1880
Mr. James Starkey is going into the woods with a crew of men to get out the frame for a hundred and fifty ton schooner he is going to build at the point. She will be owned by a company.
April 14, 1881
Mr. James Starkey in his shipyard at the point has laid the keel of a schooner for the coasting trade, to be owned by a company in town and commanded by Capt. John Maloney, her dimensions are to be keel 95 feet, beam 27, dept 10, tonnage 150 tons, frame hackmatac. The model was designed by Mr. Starkey, who is celebrated for building vessels that prove to be good carriers and fast sailors.
St. Croix Courier
Mr. Jas. Starkey, who has a first class reputation as a master builder, has laid the keel of a coasting schooner, in his shipyard at Indian Point, in St. Andrews. It will be commanded by Capt. John Maloney, who was formerly in charge of the Julia Clinch.
St. Croix Courier
James Starkey’s yacht Seven Bells . . .
Aug 31, 1882
The new schooner building at the Point by Mr. James Starkey for Mr. Andrew Lamb and others, will be launched this day (Thursday) at about one o’clock pm. As she will be the first vessel ever launched in this port, broadside on, no doubt a large number of persons will be attracted to witness it. She will be called the George Lamb. We hope that the good schooner will be launched with safety into her future native element.
Sept 7, 1882
The schooner George Lamb was launched from Starkey’s shipyard Thursday last at 12:30 o’clock pm. From the fact that the schooner was to be launched sideways, one hundred feet, a large number of spectators were present. The launch was effected without difficulty, the noble vessel glided gracefully into her native element amid the hearty cheers of the onlookers. The George Lamb was modelled and designed by her builder, Mr. James Starkey, and is another proof of his skill as a master workman. Her lines are very symmetrical with a clear run fore and aft, her frame is hackmatac and her dimensions are as follows, keel 95 feet, beam 27 feet, depth of hold 9 feet. She has a half poop cabin and forward house, and is fitted with all the modern improvements in naval architecture. The George Lamb is owned by Mr. Andrew Lamb and others, and is to be commanded by Capt. John Maloney, who is a part owner. Immediately after the launch she was towed to Gove’s wharf, where she will receive her spars and outfits. We hope that the George Lamb ill meet with favouring winds and bring her owners a rich reward for their enterprise.
Aug 12, 1886
Mr. James Starkey launched last week, a very neatly modelled and well finished fishing schooner of about 12 tons burden; which he has named “Crusoe.” Nautical men who have seen the pretty craft, decide that she will, like the vessels previously built by Mr. Starkey, prove a good sea boat and fast sailer. The Crusoe is for sale.
Delving in the Past
How We Did our Business a Century Ago
Interesting Extracts from the First Court of Sessions in Charlotte
. . . WHARF AND VESSEL BUILDING
On the 3rd September, 1789, Robert Watson asked permission “to put out a small wharf and erect a store on it for the convenience of fishing on the beach of the river St. Croix, in the line of part of the road running through Morris Town,” which was complied with.
At the same time John Campbell and Co. were given permission to use a lot of land to build a vessel on.
Suicide by Drowning
Capt. Starkey, A Victim of Melancholy, Takes His Own Life
A shocking tragedy, and one that is fortunately very rare in this community, occurred early on Saturday mornign last, when Capt. James Starkey, the well-known boatman, ended his life by his own hands.
For some time past, Capt. Starkey had been in a despondent mood. The recent deaths of his two sons (both remarkably brilliant students) the serious illness of another son at Aitken, South Carolina, and the discovery that he himself was affected with a cancer, so preyed upon his mind that the became melancholy and unable to sleep. Dr. Gove, his attending physician, tried to shake off this melancholy feeling, but in vain. On Friday, the doctor paid him two visits, and left with his wife a prescription to induce sleep. The doctor warned Mrs. Starkey that her husband was in a dangerous frame of mind and that he should be watched.
About midnight, the unfortunate man went out of his house, but soon after returned and warmed his hands at the stove. Between 1 and 2 o’clock, he left the house again. This time he did not return. His wife waited half an hour for him to come back, and the, becoming thoroughly alarmed, she visited Mr. James Ross, a neighbor, and imparted her fears to him. He aroused Mr Thomas Pendlebury and together they went over to the Starkey wharf to begin their search. With aid of a lantern hey soon discovered the body in the water, with a heavy weight fastened to it. The painful discovery was at once made known to his family and as soon as the tide receded the body was lifted. Coroner Wade, who viewed the remains, did not consider an inquest necessary.
The deceased was 64 years of age and leaves a wife, two sons and a daughter, for whom the heartfelt sympathy is felt. He was a man of more than ordinary intelligence, with a great deal of personal independence about him. His integrity was undoubted. As a mechanic, he had few equals.
During his time, he built some very fine vessels. Among those whose construction he directed were the schooners Nettie, Greta, Nellie Clark, Christina, Annie P. Odell, George Lamb and Telephone, all of which with the exception of the Nellie Clark were constructed at St. Andrews. The Clark was built at Robbinston.
Of late years, Capt. Starkey has devoted his time to building boats and taking out pleasure parties in his little schooner Crusoe. He was well known and greatly respected among the summer visitors. He was also buoy contractor for the port of St. Andrews.
On Monday, the remains were taken to Robbinston, Maine, for internment. Before leaving, a short service was held at the house by Rev. A W. Mahon.
St. Croix Courier
King George and Queen Elizabeth in Fredericton. Photos.
Shiretown Items—Who Can Remember? On taking a stroll along the public landing one evening last week, I met up with a couple of guys who used to frequent this neck of the woods, fifty years or more ago. After the customary formalities and greetings had been gone through, sincere inquiries about each other’s health, and the usual inane remarks about the weather, which, despite of all good conversationalists to the contrary, most people continue to get off their chest as a sort of limbering up process, we launched into a talk of “old times.” Many of the incidents recalled, of course, were more or less personal, and would not be of interest to the general reader, but if the reference to the meeting of these friends of boyhood, whose paths have been widely separated over the intervening years, may perchance call up a pleasant picture of childhood days to any of the hundreds of our native sons who are now far away from the old home town, the object of this item will have been attained. How many readers can recall the “rope walk?” It was not a walk made of rope, but a walk along which ropes were made. The manufacture of rope from loose bundles of hemp, the process of braiding, weaving and rolling, being almost entirely done by hand, was carried on in connection with the ship building industry of those far off days. The rope walk, so called was located and extended for several hundred yards, along the bank to the eastward of the lighthouse at the head of what is now the CPR wharf. The last ship to be built at St. Andrews was launched from the shipyard there, about sixty years ago, and school was dismissed that the children might witness a scene, which, all unknown to them at the time, was to mark the closing of an era of romance and prosperity in the old town, and which now remains but as a dim picture in the memories of the oldest inhabitants.
St. Croix Courier
Feb 11, 1943
The Building of the Ship
The recent launching of a wooden mine-sweeper in a New Brunswick port stirs the memory of old-timers here who can recall when St. Andrews was one fo the leading shipping and ship-buldings centres in what is now known as the Maritime provinces. There are many lving who can remember the launching of the Annie P. Odell in 1878 and that of the George Lamb in September 1882. [George Lamb was the father of our own Andrew Lamb, owner-operator of the St. Andrews Foundry, Town Councillor and generally prominent businesman of the town] But how many know anytyhing about the building and launching of the first ship here? From a few facs which I have obtained from a directl descendant of the man who was the bilder, owner and master, I shall try to write the story fo that momentous event. The exact date is nost in the scanty records, but suffice it to say it was in the long, long ago. First the timbers were gathered and piled around, birch, spruce, pine and tamarack from our native forests, and oak for the keel from the motherland. About midsumer the keel of oak for this noble ship was laid, scarfed and bolted, straight and strong, and the real work was ready to begin. Day by day, ‘mid the sound of axes and hammers, mallets and saws, the vessel grew until a skeleton ship, framed with perfect symmetry rose to view. Week after week with toil and song, the building of this ship went on, till at long last, the planking done and the rudder hung, the ship was ready to be launched. The day appointed for the launching, though in the month of February, was like a day in march, mild and calm and bright and a full tide flowing. The ship was duly christened by the wife of one of the big shots of the town, whose name is nost in the mists of the past, and a prayer offered for the safety of the ship and of those who might sail in her. Then the blocking was knocked from beneath her keel, and the ship slid out to take the water as graceuflly as a swan. She was a square-rigger with three masts, in other words a full-rigged ship and was a goodly, staunch and strong as any ship that sailed the wintry seas. She was built, owned and siled by Capt. William Harvey, who was the great-grandfather of Mary Hunt, who still lives in St. Andrews. The ship was called “Mary Stubbs,” which was the maiden name of Capt. Harvey’s wife. Her first trip was to the West Indies with a load of lumber, returnign with a cargo of rum and molasses. Wherever her broken, or roted or distintegrated timbers may lie, may they rest in peace! Requiescat.
St. Croix Courier
A piece by J. F. W., author of Shiretown Items.
The above photograph of a bit of waterfront in St. Andrews was taken by the late W. D. MacKay about 1890, of which a copy was made by Archie Shirley to serve the present purpose. Many the happy hour I have spent playing around those two old schooners. Having come from inland I was of necessity always obliged to serve before the mast as a greenhorn. More experienced boys my own age or younger composed the officers. Frank Guerney always wanted to be captain. A tough captain he was, ordering us aloft in all kinds of weather. Leo Armstrong was usually the cook, and his unvaried menu of raw clams at times becoming monotonous, we were forced to forced to supplement it with soda crackers filched from our mothers’ pantries. In our imaginations we sailed the distant seas to far-off unknown lands.
The two schooners in the picture, which no doubt had been built many years before, in the shipyards of St. Andrews and given long and faithful service, in the time of which I write all lay high and dry on the beach in their last days in peace and repose. The one on the right is the Crandall, H. P. Crandall I think; and the other is the Mary Ellen. On the extreme left is the home of Mr. Starkey, ship carpenter, . . . schooner yacht Crusoe which he was then building. The square partly finished house on the left in the background was being built by Theodore Holmes. The small house in the center foreground was occupied by James Ross and family. Behind it to the left is the stove foundry, then operated by Michael McMonagle, called Mike Mulligan.
Behind Ross’s to the right is the home of Bat Donaghue, then conductor on the railway. And the large house further back was the home of Patsy Sheehan. I have forgotten who lived in the house showing just over the stern of the Crandall, unless it was Thomas Pendlebury, the present occupant, who has been there for a long time.
Also I notice the railway running up the waterfront, which was “the extension.” The wharf in the center was later extended by B. F. DeWolfe and is now known as the upper CPR wharf, and has rails running out to its end. Where the Crandall rests is now occupied by a thriving industry.
St. Croix Courier
April 1, 1943
Chamcook of Other Days
A century ago, the village of Chamcook was a thriving ship-building centre, had two or three saw-mills, a grist mill and a paper mill. The prosperity of Chamcook at that time was chiefly owing to the enterprise of one man, John Wilson, after whose death at the age of 70 years on April 1st, 1855, the place began gradually to decline. The following extract from Mr. Wilson’s obituary in the St. Andrews paper shows the important position he held in the community and how his loss would affect its prosperity.
“Mr. Wilso has been engaged in mercantile and other pursuits in this county for more than 30 years and such was the diversity of his business transaactions, embracing almost every occupation incident to the country, that he kept a great number of men in constant employ. As a merchant he had few equals, well acquainted with markets of the world, entirely familiar with the trade and resources of the province, energetic and temperate, always active and persevering, he seldom undertook a work that he did not complete. He devoted the whole powers of his mind to the construction of the St. Andrews-quebec Railroad.”
Mr. Wilson operated several sawmills on Chamcook stream as well as a grist-ill, where wheat flour, buckwheat and oatmeal were manufactured. Also, and most interesting of all, he owned and operated a paper mill, near the present site of Rankin’s sawmill. On this paper was printed the St. Andrews Herald, and the following advertisement appears in the issue of Feb. 5th. 1827, “Wanted,--an apprentice to the paper-making business. Apply to the mill at Chamcook or the Herald office.” Mr. Wilson built a beautiful stone house on the site now occupied by the Grimer residence. This house was destroyed by fire in 1882. The present generation will remember the grist mill which tumbled down and was removed just a few year ago. It was used for many years by Davideson Grimmer.
The two story building still standing on the Glebe road over the Chamcook stream was the Dimick and Wilson store, and no doubt at one time did a thriving busienss. There was a brickyard at Chamcook at one time, but whether during Mr Wilson’s residence there or at a later period, is not now known. It wa situated outside the dock gates adjacent to the shipyard. Its location can be easily found today by the bricks scattered around. But the most important industry carried on in Mr. Wilson’s time was ship-building. At an early date the inenr harbour at chamcook was coverted into a dock from which the tide could be shut out. A dam with gates was built, the remains of which can still be seen at half-tide. A flume was constructed which carried the water from the milll stream outside the dock gates. There were two sets of these, out and inner, and the gates were controleld b water pressure. Many ships were repaired in this dock. It is known to have been in operation in 1842 as a bill for repairs on the structure is still ixistence.
Closely associated with John Wilson in the ship-building industry was John Townshend and his four sons. The Townshends had been operating a yard at St. Andrews near Indian Point and were brought to Chamcook by Wilson to finish a dhip on the stocks there. They remaiend there and carried on an extensive business for many years, chiefly under contract with Wilson. At a later date wo of the sons were business partners, and Charles Short, when a young man, was employed by them and later became their master builder. Short in 1854 built the Homeward Bound, a ship of 594 tons, at Digdeguash. For some years William Townshend and Charles Short were partners, during which period they built the Lady Milton. The account with Dimick and Wilson re the building of this ship is still in existence.
Another record in an old time book says that Townshend and Short commenced work on the new ship, Even Star, Sept. 4th, 1855, at Indian Point. The Townshends operated three yards in Chamcook. There were two sets of blocks on what is known as the Public Landing, where the Pristman cottage now stands. William built on the east side of the stream, these two yards beign inside the dock. A third yeard was situated on the west side of the harbour jiust outside the dock. People still living can remember the remains of the old bed logs in these locations. I have a list of some of the ships built at Chamcook which I shall send in next week.
St. Croix Courier
A letter writen on the stationery of the Gardner-Templeton Street Railway Co., and dated at East Templeton, Mass., shows in the letter-head the name of Louis Starkey as Treasurer and General Supt. Here is another St. Andrews boy who has made good. Louis was so much younger than myself that I had really forgotten himalthoug I remember his father, his three brothers and his sister Natalie quite well. By the time he was growing up I had finished school and left St. Andrews for several years. I am sure Louis’ letter will be of interest to others and is given in full herewith.
“To the author of Shiretown Items:
It was with a gret deal of pleasure that I read the Saint Croix Courier of March 4th, and March 11th, especially the part telling about the St. Andrews of 40 years or more ago. The photograph of the water front brought back memories of mhy childhood, as the Mary Ellen and the Crandall were both there within my memory, although the Mary Ellen was farther down the beach. The Crusoe was completed and I enjoyed very much sailing with my father when he took out fishing and sailing parties. The two Starkey boys mentioned were my older brothers both of whom died when nineteen years of age, and before I left St. Andrews after the death of my father in 1901. My brother, Justin, sent me the papers. I believe he subscribes to it. Sincerely yours, Louis Starkey.”
Following is a list of old ship’s authentic records of which are still in existence, most of them having been built at Chamcook and St. Andrews.
Princess Victoria, ship, 561 tons. Built at St. Andrews, 1832, by J. Townshend.
Wilson, ship, 565 tons. Built at Chamcook, 1837, by J. R. Townshend. Sold Grenock.
Coronet, ship, 870 tons. Built at Chamcook by John Wilson, 1839. Sold Dublin, 1847.
Provincialist, ship, 880 tons. Built 1839 at Chamcook by Ed. Wilson.
John Moore, ship, 730 tons. Built at Chamcook 1841. Sold Liverpool, 1842.
William Bayard, ship, 802 tons. Built 1844 at Chamcook by John Wilson.
Alice Wilson, ship, 990 tons. Built 1847 at Chamcook, by John Wilson. Sold Liverpool.
Strang, bark, 418 tons. Built 1848 at St. Andrews, by J. and R. Townshend. Townshends and Steven Jarvis owners.
Silecia, bark, 844 tons. Built at St. Andrews, 1848, by J. Wilson. Owners Joseph and Edward Wilson
Cornelia, ship, 703 tons. Built at St. Andrews 1849, by J. and R. Townshend. Owners Robert Rankine and Townshends.
Isabella Stuart, ship, 643 tons. Built 1845 at Brandy Cove, by J. and R. Townshend.
Rienzl, ship, 912 tons. Built at St. Andrews, 1854, by J. and R. Townshend. Owner Robert Rankine, Dublin. Hail, Dublin 1868.
Lady of the lake, bark, 458 tons. Built at Chamcook by Townshends, 1840 Sailed many years between St. Andrews and Great Britain with Thomas Smith, Master.
Loodianah, ship, 915 tons. Built 1846 at St. Andrews by E. and J. Wilson, also owners.
Black Swan, ship, 896 tons. Built 1855, at St. Andrews by John Wilson (his last ship).
Anaconda, bark, 169 tons, Built 1856 at Chamcook. Thomas B. Wilson, owner.
Lammergier, ship, 703 tons. Built 1857 at St. Andrews by Bradford. Thomas Wilson owner.
Eldorado, ship, 977 tons. Built 1846 at St. George, by William Townshend and John Billings. Owned by Daniel Gilmore. Lloyds agent stated the Eldorado was one of the best colonial ships he had ever inspected (record in old time-book).
Virginia, brig, 193 tons. Built at St. Andrews 1856, by William Townshend. Hector MacKenzie owner.
Robert Ross, schooner, 128 tons. Built 1873 at St. Andrews by Townshends (their last ship).
Nell Gwyn, ship, 938 tons. Launched Nov. 27th, 1856. Owner Ed. Wilson.
Nellie Townshend, bark, 399 tons. Built at Chamcook. Launched Aug. 18th, 1864. Owner James W. Street.
Lady Milton, 903 tons. Built at St. Andrews 1856 by William Townshend and Charles short. Owners Ed. Wilson, St. Andrew and Joseph Wilson, Liverpool. Sold to Henry Barton, Liverpool, Feb. 1857.
Chimaera, brig, 205 tons. Built at Chamcook, 1859, by William Townshend. Owner Jas. W. Street.
Black Duck, 253 tons. Built 1856. Owner Robert Townshend, sold to George W. Houghton, Liverpool.
The Black Swan
There is a story connected with one of the ships in the foregoing list, the “Black Swan,” which may be worth telling. This shi was built at a yard near the foot of Edward Street, the yard being on the plot of ground now used as a vegatable and flower garden by Miss Leora Stinson. When the Black Swan was on the stock an old woman who used to come to gatehr chips made such anuisance of herself that she at last was orderd to stay way. Before leaving she put a curse on the place, the mena nd the ship in no uncertain terms. She declared that this ship would never be launced. She was launched, however, but with the greatest of difficulty, becoming stuck on the ways and requriing considerabl time, patience and ingenuity to get her in the water. The story goes that il luck followed the Black Swan ever after. Tehre are no records howeer to berar this out, but the records do show tha tshe was old in Liverpool for 600 pound ssterling Capt. Smith, grandfatehr of William Carson of St. Andrews, was her first master.