Sackville was a major centre for naval construction in 1800s. It was the largest in ship construction in Westmoreland County. A little over 30% of the vessels were built here in Sackville. In other words, 176 of the 580 ships built in Canada were constructed in Sackville.
There were three different shipyards here, Purdy, Dixon, and Boultenhouse. Christopher Boultenhouse shipyard was the largest shipyard in Sackville, though the Purdy shipyard lasted the longest. The three families collaborated in various ship building related ventures.
The ships were used for trade and transportation beyond our waters.
Ship building forms an important part of Dorchester's history also. Dorchester, nestled in Memramcook Valley provided some distinct advantages for ship building. Soil was rich for agricultural goods, which were exported. The Dorchester Island and surrounding wooded areas created a safe harbour. Local wood was used for making the vessels.
Three leading ship building families were Palmers, Hickmans, and Chapmans. They owned and operated the shipyards in the Dorchester area that supplied trade goods around the world.
Image Source: Tantramar Heritage Trust