Lunenburg, a Real Treasure

Monday, September 17, found the Traveling Basenjis in Lunenburg, NS located on the south shore of Nova Scotia at 44°22’35.38″ N and 64°19.07’25” W.  This small port town was founded in 1753 and incorporated in 1888.  It has a storied past as it was founded as a Protestant town inhabited by Germans and raided nine times by the Catholics in the early years.  During the War of 1812 three residents purchased a privateer schooner and used it to raid American ships which were then brought back to Lunenburg.  Lunenburg has a long history of building wooden sailing vessels and ultimately served as seaport for “Rum Running” to organized crime in the USA during the Prohibition.  Enterprising Canadian fishermen would load barrels of liquor off larger ships at sea and deliver it to smaller American craft just outside the 12 mile international limit.  A “Banana Boat” sunk off the coast of Louisiana sparked an international event resulting in the United States ultimately paying damages to the Banana Boat Capitan and crew.  As per a sign in Lunenburg “It paid better than fishing and provided a boost to the Town’s economy during the great depression”.  When the US Coast Guard’s presence made the Canadian fishing boat insufficient, the craftsmen in Lunenburg developed a “Banana Boat”, a faster, lower profile boat designed to elude the American Coast Guard.  Their shipbuilding skills still exist as the Bluenose II, 240 ton sailing craft, is being restored in Lunenburg since 2010 and is due to set sail again within this year.

A smaller wooden sailing craft with beautiful lines; the Norseboat is currently constructed in Lunenburg and sailed and shipped around the world.  We were able to go inside the shop and visit with the builders.  They just returned from a trip to Newport, RI for a show.  Check out their options:  http://www.norseboat.com/Swiss_army_knife_of_sailboats%21.html

We saw a large tanker truck on one of the docks and discovered it was waiting for a shipment of salmon, which the driver called a product of Marine Agri-Culture, and said he would take on 2 large cargos of salmon to be taken back to New Brunswick and processed. About 60% of the worlds salmon production is cultured. Cultivation takes place in large nets in sheltered quiet waters (fjords, bays) or in tanks on land. Most of the cultured salmon come from Norway, Chile, Scotland and Canada.  Amazing!

Lunenburg was designated a UNESCO site in 1995 (Check out links http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/741 & http://www.explorelunenburg.ca/)  Approximately 2/3 of the community has retained its original architectural flavor.  Many of the homes and buildings have plaques describing the house and listing the original owners name and year constructed.  This time of year there is a flurry of paint brushes as the lower humidity allows the varied colors to be applied to the homes quickly before winter moves in.  An exceptional building is the “Academy” originally constructed at a cost or $40,000 in 1895.  It has been destroyed twice by fire and rebuilt.  It was constructed by local families originally as an academy to assure an education superior to what “one room schools provided”.  Lunch on the harbor at The Grand Banker provided the Leader some Broiled Scallops and I had Butternut Apple soup and a great salad. Yum!

A carriage ride with Becky provided a glimpse of most the streets, homes, churches, parks and shops in town.  “Charlie” the draft horse who had spent his first 8 years as a Mennonite work horse, now wears padded hoofs and knows his way about town quite nicely.  The Traveling Basenjis even wanted to check out his new gig.   Then it was back to the rig to prepare to leave this area and return to New Brunswick.

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