Ken's Journal
No. 6 - Summer 2007

Pictou, NS
Aug 3-6, 2007 - Days 19-22 on the road. Part I.

Pictou, Nova Scotia is on the Northumberland Strait - the tidal body of water between Prince Edward Island and the coast of western New Brunswick and Northern Nova Scotia. Find a map here. The Confederation Bridge (P.14), crosses the Northumberland Strait. Why did I choose to go to Pictou? Luck I suppose. My plan was to leave Moncton, NB for Truro, NS on the way to Yarmouth, NS (map here). Apparently this was a busy holiday weekend and I waited until too late to call the campground in Truro - I couldn't get a campsite. So I changed my plans (pretty flexible anyhow) and decided to head for Cape Breton (map here) instead of the southern coast of Nova Scotia. Pictou was the logical first stop in that direction.

The port of Pictou was the entry point for many Scottish immigrants moving to a new home in northern Nova Scotia and Cape Breton Island following forcible eviction from the Scottish Highlands in the late 1700s and early 1800s.  The town's slogan is "The Birthplace of New Scotland." On September 15th, 1773, the ship Hector landed in Pictou harbour with the first wave of immigrants aboard. These 189 people, thirty-three families and twenty-five single men, began the first Scottish settlement in Nova Scotia and what is now the town of Pictou. If you are interested, you can find more on the history of the ship Hector and Pictou here.

The ship Hector - a full-scale replica of the original completed and launched in the year 2000. The "Hector" was a Dutch ship designed for cargo, and originally built in the Netherlands in the mid 18th century. She was rigged as a three-masted ship of 200 tons with an overall length of 110 feet, a breadth of 22 feet and a depth inside the cargo hold of 11 feet, 6 inches. By 1773 when it was used to transport the Scottish immigrants to New Scotland, the Hector was reported to have been in poor condition. Apparently, the trip was not pleasant.

Very nice workmanship on the reproduction. The replica was built entirely on site by many local craftspeople and volunteers, some of whom were descendants of the original Hector passengers.

Rigging. The replica actually sails as the original did.

More rigging. In the movies, when the pirates climb to the crows nest, they start here.

A shot of one of the exhibits in the Hector Interpretive Center. The Interpretive Centre is an impressive four story post and beam structure.

Another exhibit. More of the tools used in the construction.

The Blacksmith shop - actually used in the reconstruction to fabricate many of the iron pieces needed. Behind the forge however, a small collection of power metal-working tools is hidden.

The ship's dinghy.

The Blacksmith shop on the right and the Carpenter's shop on the left. The Pictou light reproduction is in the background - serving as a museum which was unfortunately not open when I was in Pictou.

John Speirs, Captain of the Hector during the voyage to New Scotland. Also a replica.

The different wood used in the construction of the replica of the Hector. If you can't read the legends --

White Pine-Decks White Birch-Carvings Red Oak-Planks/Ribs Douglas Fir-Masts
White Ash-Blocks White Oak-Frames/Rails/Rudder Red Spruce-Knees Spanish Cedar-Mermaids

"It is not down in any map; true places never are."  -- Herman Melville

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