If I have not made it abundantly clear already, I have a great interest in the shipping and sailing, and ship building history of our community. In addition to the natural romance of the period, there was a great deal of economic activity taking place throughout the Maritimes. It is refreshing to think of Atlantic Canada as a boom economy. Annapolis Royal at the end of the Victorian era was a very different community than it is today. As long as the water was ice free, ships, schooners, dorys and vessels of all descriptions would have been plying the waters of the Annapolis Basin. While memories are quickly fading, there are still stories about the men who sailed these vessels.
I also know that I am not alone in my admiration of this period. One of the best ways to guarantee a crowd in Annapolis Royal is to have a tall ship sail into the Basin. If that ship happens to be the Bluenose, people will line the streets to see her.
The image in this post shows two schooners at the Queen's Wharf in Annapolis Royal. The wharf itself is located on the waterfront behind Fort Anne National Historic Site. While it is no longer operational, for a long time it was the principal wharf for Annapolis Royal and the fort. The small building is part of a shipyard once located at this site. Legend has it that this wharf changes its name depending on if there is a King or a Queen on the British Throne. I guess we will have to wait to see if this generation keeps the tradition alive and the wharf someday becomes the King's Wharf.
The photograph was taken by Charlotte Perkins between 1905 and 1910. At the front of the picture, you can see the top of an electrical pole which gives us the beginning date (electrical service started in Annapolis Royal in 1905). Miss Perkins, the author of The Romance of Old Annapolis Royal, was one of the great keepers of stories and history in Annapolis Royal. Annapolis Heritage Society Archives are lucky to have several of her photo albums in our collections as they do a wonderful job of documenting our community at the turn of the twentieth century. This particular photograph is damaged and it has several dark coloured stains.
All for now,