DORY SHOP MUSEUM:
For almost one hundred years the dory was one of the most important small boats in the Atlantic Provinces and parts of New England. When John William's Dory Shop was established in 1880, it was part of a dory-building industry, which, at its peak, included at least seven shops along the Shelburne waterfront. During the early part of this century the Williams Shop employed five to seven men and produced 350 dories per year. Most of these dories were sold to Nova Scotian and American fishing captains who called at Shelburne to outfit their schooners before sailing to the offshore fishing grounds.
Visitors to the Dory Shop can see from start to finish how dories were built. The museum is managed by the Shelburne Historical Society for the Nova Scotia Museum.
The Muir-Cox Shipyard at the south end of Dock Street in Shelburne is one of the oldest shipyards in Nova Scotia, having been in almost continuous operation from the 1820s (William Muir) until 1984 (William and George Cox). It turned out everything from stately square-rigged barques to internationally acclaimed yachts and workmanlike fishing boats. The Yacht Shed re-opened in spring of 2001 as a year-round working boatshop, building wooden boats to order. The shipyard is also home to a seasonal Shipbuilding Interpretive Centre, describing much of the rich shipbuilding history for which the Shelburne area has been known the world over. The Centre depicts some of the history the many shipyards which once lined the shores of Shelburne and neighbouring communities and sports a display of original shipbuilding tools used by the shipwrights in the area.
This museum features one of the oldest fire pumpers in North America, permanent exhibits of Shipbuilding in Shelburne and the Shelburne Loyalists, and temporary and traveling exhibits. For the summer of 2000 the exhibit is on 20th century Shelburne. There is also a resource centre which includes microfilms of 18th to 20th century Shelburne newspapers, private papers and Court of Session records. Genealogy of many Shelburne County families is also available.
ROSS-THOMSON HOUSE & STORE MUSEUM:
By 1784 Loyalists on the run from the American Revolution had swelled Shelburne's small population to 10,000-twice as many as Halifax and more than Montreal or Quebec. The new settlers included George and Robert Ross, sons of a Scottish merchant, who opened a store on Charlotte Lane, adjoining their house. They traded Shelburne's pine boards, codfish and pickled herring in foreign ports for salt, tobacco, molasses and dry goods which they then sold to the new settlers. The store eventually closed in the 1880s. Today Ross-Thomson House, the only original store building remaining in Shelburne, is restored as it was in the 1820s. It is operated by the Shelburne Historical Society for the Nova Scotia Museum.
In the 18th and 19th centuries canvas sailcloth was used as a floor covering in many a seafarer's home. It was often the only material available to cover drafty floor boards. Decorative painting added color and charm and smaller mats were made from remnants.
The sailcloth artist was often inspired by traditional hooked rug patterns, nautical scenes and memories of home.
Nova Scotia artist, Mary Lou Keith, offers both traditional and her own original designs to this old maritime art form.
Mary Lou's Floorcloths are handpainted with non-toxic paint, finished with 5 coats of non-toxic urethane, and polished with paste wax for extra protection.
They are for use on flat, firm surfaces only.
Welcome to the 'Newest Gallery & Cafe in Canada', where they show some of the coolest stuff produced by your neighbors in the North and East. We're on the Beautiful Waterfront in Historic Shelburne, Nova Scotia, original home to the loyalist settlers from the American Revolution.
Just off Highway 103 in the 'banana belt' of Nova Scotia, we're only 1 hour from the Portland & Bar Harbor ferries and 2hrs from Halifax - smack dab in the heart of Canada's New bohemia!
At The WATERFRONT Gallery & Cafe, you can enjoy a cup of the freshest coffee and espresso the Maritimes - or a scone, sandwich or light meal - while sitting on the edge of one the most beautiful natural harbours in the world.
They are open 7 days a week! Stop on by, have a cuppa and see some of the finest art and craft made in Canada.