Wednesday, 14 August 2013



As soon as I walked into The Dory Shop in Shelburne Nova Scotia, a flood of memories pervaded my mind. I was once again a kid in a dory with a jig line that my father set up for me, happily jigging away in the hopes of catching a fish. Sometimes I actually did catch a fish but the memory was of having a fun time with my Dad, uncles and cousins.
My family has always lived by and worked with the sea so dories were a natural part of my landscape, at least in the Summer when we would visit my mother’s home of Grand Manan Island in the Bay of Fundy (home of the world’s highest tides btw!) or Swan's Island, Maine where my  mother's sister and family lived/fished.
My grand-father was a fisherman as were some of my uncles and my Dad fished for a while too before going back into the RCN.
Once in the Dory Shop in Shelburne, the smell of freshly cut wood mixed wtih the salt air greets your olfactory senses and you are transported to a time long ago when dory making was not just an art form but a much needed industry. Dories were the work-horses of the sea, where fishermen spent hours a day hauling in their catch. I won’t go into details about dories as I think that would be best left in the capable hands of Master Dory Maker, Milford Buchanan who took me of a tour of the making from start to finish of a dory. To say the least, it was very interesting and if you’re a boat/history buff, you’ll love the history of this fishing craft as told by one of the last master dory makers. Mr. Buchanan is a soft spoken but detailed orator and I leaned many facts I didn’t know about dories!

Mr. Buchanan learned his craft from Master Dory Maker, Sidney Mahaney who is featured in the Dory Shop museum. His story is fascinating to say the least!.....but you’ll have to go there to find out why!

Dories come in different sizes and even styles but there was one in particular that caught my eye as seen in one of the pics below where you’ll read the “why” to this little dory! :-)

Below is the little dory I mentioned above! It's a child's "sea"-saw! Too cute and I SO wanted to buy this for my little grand-daughters but not sure where they would now put it in their oh-so-full playroom! :-)
 Master Dory Maker, Milford Buchanan.

So, when you go to Shelburne, Nova Scotia, make sure you take the time to go through all three complexes of their museum but take a little longer to take in all the details of The Dory Shop and talk and listen to Mr. Buchanan. It will probably be your first and last time to talk and hear a Master Dory Maker and I guarantee you’ll be very pleased that you did!  :-)

No comments:

Post a Comment