Shipbuilding in Port Union, 1942


Charles R. Granger

Editor, Fishermen's Advocate

(Originally published in the Fishermen's Advocate, July 24, 1942)

In the days when shipbuilding was an essential and favoured enterprise Port Union had an enviable reputation for shipbuilding. Port Union is a comparatively new town and shortly after it started a shipbuilding company was added to the enterprises.

In the period from 1918 to 1933 thirty-two vessels were built in its yard. They were the Fisherman, 125 tons; Nina L.C., 405 tons; Mintie, 126 tons; F.P. Union, 82 tons; President Coaker, 304 tons; Port Union, 180 tons; B. & A. Blackwood, 60 tons; James Jones, 93 tons; Standard Cull, 80 tons; C. Bryant, 179 tons; Lloyd Elsworth, 54 tons; Garland S.C., 61 tons; Harold Johnson, 56 tons; Stella H., 49 tons; Gullpond, 65 tons; Gander Deal, 59 tons; Humber Deal, 54 tons; Convention, 60 tons; Janie Blackwood, 69 tons; Maggie Blackwood, 92 tons; Julia R. Blackwood, 69 tons; Episcopus, 51 tons; G.W. Blackwood, 70 tons; M. & G. Rogers, 64 tons; L.M. May, 49 tons; Young Harp, 101 tons; Roy Algar Russell, 68 tons; Swile, 111 tons; Young Hood, 106 tons; Sir William, 111 tons; Imperial Oil Scow, and Governor Anderson.

The first ship the "Fisherman", was launched in 1918. The last to be built here was the Governor Anderson in 1933. As many as three vessels were built simultaneously. In this paper are a number of pictures showing vessels under construction in the Port Union shipyard. The shipbuilding was under the management of the late Capt. James Jones. Although the yard has been mostly idle since the Governor Anderson was launched, the plant is still in first class condition and can be put back into operation within a couple of days. It contains large circular saws, band saws, planers, etc., electrically operated and compressed air drills, caulkers, etc. - all the mechanical equipment necessary for rapid production, and it is the popular wish that the buzz of machinery and the ring of mallets will again herald the building of ships in the Port Union shipyard.

Meanwhile, Capt. John Blackmore is shaping out the two hundred and twenty ton vessel he is building on his premises here in Port Union. Many of the frames are up, and the courageous skipper, who launched a one hundred and sixty ton vessel in may of last year, is handicapped now by the delay in receiving plank he has ordered. We strongly recommend that every effort be made to facilitate the transportation of plank for his vessel. Capt. Blackmore and his men cut the timber locally themselves.

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