Shipbuilding – Saulnierville

By Delbé L. Comeau

Ship registers show that a number of large sailing vessels were built in Saulnierville. Starting with the 621-ton barque PRESTO in 1863, three other barques followed: the 690-ton SCIOTO in 1864, the 1104-ton NATANT in 1875 and the 1017-ton NARVACH in 1887. A large full-rigged ship of 1367 tons named NARWHAL was built in 1897. Several schooners were also built, the last being the 494-ton NETTIE C. in 1919.


The NETTIE C. was built by Frank P. Comeau in Saulnierville for the Acadian Shipping Company. Her name was later changed to DAWN WILKIE after being sold. She was lost off the Nova Scotian coast in 1933.

ship-saulnierville-captain-john-duffyCaptain John Duffy was a master mariner from Saulnierville whose descendants can still be found in Clare today. He commanded several locally built ships including the AUDACIEUX, the BESS, the EDWARD D. and the JOSIE. He was also captain of several foreign‑built barques, notably the EMMA L. HALL and the ATLANTIC. (Courtesy of Evelyn Duffy-Robicheau)