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A perfect day in Shelburne, Nova Scotia

Historic Dock Street

Historic Dock Street sign, Shelburne, Nova Scotia
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Historic Dock Street sign, Shelburne, Nova Scotia

Dock Street was the backdrop for the 1994 movie The Scarlet Letter.

Historic Dock Street, Shelburne, Nova Scotia
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Historic Dock Street, Shelburne, Nova Scotia

It runs along Shelburne’s natural harbor, the third finest in the world. 

The influx of thousands of British Loyalists, Freed Blacks, and British soldiers fleeing the American Revolution turned this fishing village into one of the largest communities in North America. Most families now living in Shelburne can trace their ancestry to the founding Loyalists. Shelburne became one of the top shipbuilding centers on North America’s eastern seaboard and the “Birthplace of Yachts.”

We stayed at The Cooper’s Inn, “Where History meets Hospitality”, right on Historic Dock Street.

The door to our guest room was labeled George Gracie, from Boston,  the original owner who lived in and ran a store in the original log home here. The structure has been expanded from the original two-story log home brought here from Boston in 1784 and has served an inn since 1987The old cooperage out back has four additional guest rooms. 

George Gracie Room, The Cooper's Inn, Shelburne, Nova Scotia
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George Gracie Room, The Cooper’s Inn, Shelburne, Nova Scotia

The period furnishings included a four poster bed with a hand-crocheted canopy.

George Gracie room at the Cooper's Inn, Shelburne, Nova Scotia
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George Gracie room at the Cooper’s Inn, Shelburne, Nova Scotia

Itineraries for scenic drives to lesser-known local spots, binoculars, and flashlights are in the room. As part of the gracious service offered here, a Happy Hour with complimentary Nova Scotian wine is held in the beautiful flower garden from 5-6 P.M.

garden of The Cooper's Inn, Shelburne, Nova Scotia
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garden of The Cooper’s Inn, Shelburne, Nova Scotia

garden of The Cooper's Inn, Shelburne, Nova Scotia
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garden of The Cooper’s Inn, Shelburne, Nova Scotia

Breakfast is served in a room overlooking the garden.

breakfast at the Cooper's Inn, Shelburne, Nova Scotia
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whipped yogurt with a drizzle of maple syrup, home made granola, Canadian back bacon, and fresh fruit was among the breakfast options at the Cooper’s Inn, Shelburne, Nova Scotia

The Waterfront Heritage District’s Shelburne Museum Complex includes the artifacts at the Shelburne County Museum,

Shelburne County Museum shipbuilding display, Shelburne, Nova Scotia
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Shelburne County Museum shipbuilding display, Shelburne, Nova Scotia

the makings of a Shelburne dory at Dory Shop,  

The Shelburne Museum's Dory Shop, Shelburne, Nova Scotia
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The Shelburne Museum’s Dory Shop, Shelburne, Nova Scotia

Learn about Shelburne’s patented dory clip that simplified the making of a dory knee by joining two pieces together rather than requiring a single suitable piece of wood.

patented dory clip, Shelburne County Museum, Shelburne, Nova Scotia
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patented dory clip, Shelburne County Museum, Shelburne, Nova Scotia

dories at the Shelburne Museum, Shelburne,, Nova Scotia
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dories at the Shelburne Museum, Shelburne,, Nova Scotia

an authentically stocked 18th century store…

wooden toys, Shelburne County Museum, Nova Scotia
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wooden toys, Shelburne County Museum, Nova Scotia

and a typical Loyalist house staffed by a knowledgeable guide.

Ross-Thomson House, Shelburne County Museum, Nova Scotia
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Ross-Thomson House, Shelburne County Museum, Shelburne, Nova Scotia

Shelburne Museum. Shelburne, Nova Scotia
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Shelburne Museum. Shelburne, Nova Scotia

The Shelburne County Museum. Shelburne, Nova Scotia
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The Shelburne County Museum. Shelburne, Nova Scotia

Canada’s top wind-driven event, The Whirligig & Weathervane, named the Best Community Event in Nova Scotia, is held here in September.

whirligigs, Shelburne, Nova Scotia
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whirligigs, Shelburne, Nova Scotia

whirligigs, Shelburne, Nova Scotia
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whirligigs, Shelburne, Nova Scotia

Boxing Rock 

We noticed signs for Boxing Rock beer.  A microbrewery named for the place where a ship captain left argumentative seamen to sort out their differences or come to terms and and share a beer is a short drive from the historic area. 

Boxing Rock microbrewery, Shelburne, Nova Scotia
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Boxing Rock microbrewery, Shelburne, Nova Scotia

On Fridays and Saturdays, by reservation only,  tours and  four-4 oz samples are offered for $15 a person.

Their brews have names like Hunky Dory.

Hunky Dory beer, Boxing Rock microbrewery, Shelburne, Nova Scotia
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Hunky Dory beer, Boxing Rock microbrewery, Shelburne, Nova Scotia

 Shelburne Harbour

We topped off our stellar day with a boat tour of Shelburne Harbour and a Lobster Luau aboard the MV Brown Eyed Girl.

Sherri and Ken Taylor, The Brown Eyed Girl, Shelburne Harbour, Nova Scotia
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Sherri and Ken Taylor, The Brown Eyed Girl, Shelburne Harbour, Nova Scotia

Captain Ken hauls in the lobster trap.

Captain Ken aboard the Brown Eyed Girl, Shelburne, Nova Scotia
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Captain Ken aboard the Brown Eyed Girl, Shelburne, Nova Scotia

First Mate Sherri cooks and serves the catch.

lobster dinner aboard the Brown Eyed Girl, Shelburne, Nova Scotia
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lobster dinner aboard the Brown Eyed Girl, Shelburne, Nova Scotia

And we just sat back and enjoyed the view.

Shelburne harbor cruise aboard the Brown Eyed Girl, Shelburne Harbour, Nova Scotia
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Shelburne harbor cruise aboard the Brown Eyed Girl, Shelburne Harbour, Nova Scotia

The theme that night was Mackerel Monday. One of the passengers caught one right away.

 mackerel caught aboard the Brown Eyed girl, Shelburne Harbour, Nova Scotia
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mackerel caught aboard the Brown Eyed girl, Shelburne Harbour, Nova Scotia

Another couple onboard were folk artists from Pubnico. We had seen a sign shaped like an arrow that was painted “folk art” en route to  Le Village historique acadien de la Nouvelle Ecosse, but, unfortunately, were hungry for dinner and hadn’t taken the time to stop by.

Maggie and Laurie Horton of Sticks and Stones folk art aboard the Brown Eyed Girl, Shelburne, Nova Scotia
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Maggie and Laurie Horton of Sticks and Stones folk art aboard the Brown Eyed Girl, Shelburne, Nova Scotia

Laurie and Maggie Horton were walking along the beach one day when they spotted a piece of driftwood that they simultaneously thought looked like a duck. They couldn’t resist taking it home, where Maggie painted it and they went on to fill their home with beach art they created from driftwood that washes up in southwestern Nova Scotia. Laurie sometimes added a bit of wood to complete the design and Maggie painted while Laurie went to sea as a fisherman.  You can see their one-of-a-kind colorful animals, birds, and sea life creatures, and people at Sticks and Stones Folk Art in Pubnico.  

Sandy Point Lighthouse, Shelburne, Nova Scotia
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Sandy Point Lighthouse, Shelburne, Nova Scotia

Dock Street, Shelburne , Nova Scotia
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Dock Street, Shelburne , Nova Scotia

The boat docked in time for a sunset stroll back to the Cooper’s Inn.

The Brown Eyed Girl, Shelburne Harbour, Nova Scotia
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The Brown Eyed Girl, Shelburne Harbour, Nova Scotia

 

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