Old St. Andrews



Ship Building in St. Andrews



St. Andrews had at least three shipyards - one at Indian Point, one at Brandy Cove, and one at Chamcook Harbour. The earliest newspaper reference to the Indian Point yard appears in the "St. Andrews Herald" in 1826, where John Wilson advertises his yard to let for a period of years, along with workshop and saw pits. A later owner of the Indian Point yard was James Starkey of Robbinston, Maine, who seems to have begun his trade in St. Andrews around 1870, terminating with his suicide at the yard in 1901 after losing his two teenage sons and his recent diagnosis of cancer. This yard may have been located close to the lighthouse, as early references to this place mention that it is near the railway yard.


The Brandy Cove shipyard turned out many vessels and like the others went through many owners and operators. It is not known when this operation ceased.


Perhaps the largest and most productive yard, also owned by the aforesaid John Wilson, was located at Chamcook Harbour at the base of the river running from Chamcook Lake. This property had been originally granted to Robert Pagan as a mill privilege, as in the days before dams the river was brisk and ideally suited to saw mills. The earliest reference to this mill dates to 1835 when a visitor to the town tours Chamcook mountain and describes the mills and something of Mr. Wilson's ship construction business. Mr. Wilson was a very prosperous local businessman. He was President of the Charlotte County Bank, of the St. Andrews and Quebec Railroad and held various other public offices. He built the Chamcook Chapel of Ease, and is buried in that cemetery.