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The Macdonald Notebook is your source for exclusive Business & Inside Politics publishing every Saturday and Sunday, as well as breaking news throughout the week.

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Summertime & The Beaches Are Fun…But: A Chat With NS Lifeguard Service’s Paul D’Eon
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QE II Foundation’s Champion Bill Bean Retired After Logging 24-Years – He Made Mansion & Cottage Lotteries Famous In Nova Scotia
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MacPolitics: The NDP Political Intrigue Of Chester-St. Margaret’s Denise Peterson-Rafuse – Sure Sign Her Political Life Is Being Sidelined – Takes A New Day Job
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MacPolitics: With Premier Stephen McNeil Bowing Out, What Is Next For The Governing Party?
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MacPolitics: Why Sean Fraser Would Be Real Competition In Race To Replace Premier Stephen McNeil
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MacPolitics: Scott Brison As Premier – Tiny Village Of Cheverie Would Become Power Centre – Once Again
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Notebook Archives: David Hennigar On Clifford Brison & Whether There’s Another Political Life For Scott Brison
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Alison Strachan: A Tale Of Two Lunenburg Brides, An Era Of Volunteerism & The Enduring Gift Of A Blueberry Buckle Recipe
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Alison Strachan: Edith Morash’s Lunenburg’s Blueberry Buckle – Dutch Oven Cookbook
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A Maritime Photo Moment: Jon Dimick’s Chester Artwork Includes 1902 Photograph Of The World’s First Seven-Masted Schooner
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Part II: Boston Financier Of Seven-Masted Schooner Had A Nova Scotia Connection
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Saturday Edition, Below: More Free Stories
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Golfing With Tom Peters: Fox Har’br At 20 Years Old
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This Edition Is FREE To Read: Meet Some HFX-NS Movers & Shakers Who Read Our Many Exclusive Articles – We Specialize In Old Fashioned News Scoops!
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MacPolitics: Mark Boudreau Mulls Over Halifax Run For Tories In Next Election – Believes Peter MacKay Can Defeat Popular Liberal Andy Fillmore
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Opinion: Mary Clancy On The Greatest Legacies Of Premier Stephen McNeil
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Friday Edition, Below: More Free Stories
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Exclusive: MacPolitics: The Liberal Opponent Feared The Most by Team Tim Houston Is Ultra Popular Mike Savage
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MacPolitics: Exclusive: Jamie Baillie Endorses Peter MacKay For National Conservative Leader – ‘With MacKay No Liberal NS Seat Safe – Even Halifax’
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The Notebook Soundtrack: This Week Tuning Into The Talent Of The Late Glen Campbell
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More Free Stories: Saturday Edition, Below
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Golfing With Tom Peters: Rating The Inverness Courses — A Visit To The Luxurious Cabot Links & Cabot Cliffs
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Yarmouth Notes: ‘Mr. Yarmouth’ Clifford Hood Met Gina Lollobrigida In The 1970s While The Celebrated Actress Was At Irving Pink’s Law Office
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A Maritime Photo Moment: A Five-Masted Schooner In Nova Scotia In 1927, A Rarity Even During Age Of Sail
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The NS Tourist: Highland Village Animators Bring Scots Gaelic History To Life
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Art: Cape Breton’s J. Franklin Wright ‘Canada’s Foremost Marine Painter’
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Art: J. Franklin Wright Painting Of ‘Royal William’ Yours For $28,000 — Or A Print For $100
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A Maritime Photo Moment: A Five-Masted Schooner In Nova Scotia In 1927, A Rarity Even During Age Of Sail

Jul 31, 2020 | Arts & Culture, Latest Issue

By Andrew Macdonald

There’s not much reference material to a five-masted schooner plying the waters of Nova Scotia. A Wikipedia page lists some five-masted vessels, but the only reference at the Maritime Museum of The Atlantic to a five-masted schooner is to one sailing the New England coast in the late 1800s and early 1900s.

The Maritime Museum on the Halifax Waterfront does contain information about four-masted schooners:

“This design attempted to reduce individual sail area, raise tonnage, and still manage with a small crew. In the early days, sails were hoisted by hand, but gradually the gasoline hoisting engine was introduced, saving work, wages, and food. She could operate with eight hands and reached 500 to 700 tons. At the turn of the century, these schooners were used in the coastal trade between Canada and the United States, the West Indies, South America, and some trans-Atlantic voyages were made to Europe and West Africa,” says the Maritime Museum of The Atlantic.

Fisherman's Market: Seafood Delivered Overnight Throughout Canada

Nova Scotians built and operated between seven and eight hundred big schooners, but by the First World War, most had passed out of the picture. Along the New England coast, a number of five- and six-masted schooners were built, plus one seven-master, the steel-hulled Thomas W. Lawson,” adds the museum.

But, in this edition of Maritime Photo Moment, we showcase a rare find: a five-masted schooner at work in Nova Scotia, carrying lumber in 1929 in Antigonish Harbour.

The five-masted schooner Edward B. Winslow sailed in Antigonish Harbour in 1927, transporting pulpwood. (The Notebook collection).

The five-masted schooner contained in this edition of my new column, Maritime Photo Moment, featuring the 1927 photograph from my personal art collection. What is stunning about this black and white photo is that it depicts a five-masted schooner being loaded with pulpwood.

Back in the 1920s and ’30s, Liberal politico A.S. MacMillan operated a pulpwood company in Antigonish Harbour. He would go on to be highways minister in the 1930s in the Angus L. MacDonald government, the first to pave dirt roads in the province. A five-masted schooner was always a rare sight. Much more common were the two-masted fishing schooners like the Bluenose and its modern replica, Bluenose II.

The S.S. Mont Louis in Antigonish Harbour, June 1927 loaded with over 1500 cords of pulpwood. (The Notebook collection).

The photo was in my dad’s collection, given to him in the 1960s by an engineer with the federal Public Works department who would supervise my dad’s building of marine wharves across the Maritimes. At the time, Public Works was cleaning out old files in its Dominion Building compound on Bedford Row, Halifax. 

The engineer ensured the photo and others depicting marine vessels in the 1920s working in Antigonish Harbour did not end up in the waste bin.

This article includes the photo of the five-masted schooner, and one of the Bluenose II taken by me during summer 2018, as it sailed out of its homeport of Lunenburg.

The Bluenose II sails out of Lunenburg Harbour Sunday, July 8th, 2018 heading to the next port of call Sydney. The Notebook file photo.

Today, you’d never get a five-masted schooner into Antigonish Harbour, even modern fishing vessels can only enter or exit at high tide.

Back in the 1920s, the historic photos in my collection depict a massive and ambitious dredging project in Antigonish Harbour, as you can see from my photos in this article. There are also some photos from the 1920s of Antigonish Landing and Ballantyne’s Cove.

Ballantyne’s Cove, Antigonish County in 1928. (The Notebook collection).

The other year, I donated a copy of these heritage photos to the wonderful Antigonish Heritage Museum, which is housed in a century-old former passenger train station so these heritage photos can be enjoyed by the town’ s history buffs.

Speaking of Antigonish Harbour, engineer Ernie Porter, former chairman of Lindsay Construction, plans to build an oyster farm there so he can keep his children in Nova Scotia. The proposed farm site is where members of Canada’s First Nations introduced oysters in the 1750s to the United Empire Loyalists led by Anglican Timothy Hierlihy.

Antigonish Landing in 1923. (The Notebook collection)

The site has an element of NIMBY opposition attached to it, mainly a residential enclave that the late ‘Pizza Joe’ Stewart, built 40 years ago.

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