Monday, July 5, 2010

Low Tide in the Lower Town

It has been a while since I have indulged my interest in images of Annapolis Royal during the age of sail. For some reason our nautical history seems to be at the forefront of my mind today. Perhaps it is because I have been chatting with guests at the O'Dell House Museum and talking about all of the activity we once had on our waterfront. More than likely it is because I found a file today which contained information on the captures of the privateer Dart which worked out of Annapolis Royal during the War of 1812. There is something about our local connection to privateering during the War of 1812 that always catches my attention.

The image in today's post comes from the Annapolis Heritage Society's archival collection. For those familiar with our local geography, this image was taken from the Granville Ferry side of the Annapolis Basin looking back at the town. The photographer was standing somewhere near the location where the causeway currently ends. The picture features the Acadia Steamship Pier which was located at the end of St George Street in the lower town. The large structure on the wharf was an apple warehouse. The warehouse walls were filled with sawdust so that it would be insulated enough to protect the fruit. On the right of the picture you can clearly see St Louis Roman Catholic Church which was demolished in 1930. The slim black line which seems to extend from the bow of the ship is actually the ferry slip. At the very end of the ferry slip is a vessel which would be either the Joe Edwards or the John Hancock. Sadly, of all the structures show in in this image the only one which still survives is the Railway Wharf which is on the far right hand side of the image.

One of the parts of this image that I find very appealing is how active the Annapolis Royal waterfront actually is. Under magnification I can count three schooners, a barque, the steam ferry and a full rigged ship. There may be a fourth schooner hiding behind the ship since there is a mast I cannot account for. To walk along the Annapolis Royal waterfront today you may never know that all of this activity was once at our feet.

All for now,
RGS

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