Historic ship’s figurehead returned to its Maritime home
Published Wednesday, May 17, 2017 6:41PM ADT
Last Updated Wednesday, May 17, 2017 6:53PM ADT
After 147 years, a piece of history from a legendary tall ship was returned to its New Brunswick home Wednesday.
The figurehead of the tallship Prince Victor will now be the centrepiece of the Quaco Museum in St. Martins, N.B.
The figurehead stands almost eight feet tall, and weighs around 600 pounds.
"Having something like this that we can say, this item came off this ship that was built right over here, is absolutely fantastic,” says museum manager Eric Bartlett.
The Prince Victor was launched in the Bay of Fundy, and sailed around the world 12 times until it was wrecked in an English river.
The figurehead had been in England ever since, and was recently restored by artist Richard Hunter.
"He's come back home to Canada, and I cannot be more proud of the fact that I was part of a project to bring back part of Canadian heritage," says Hunter.
Residents in the area raised $45,000 to buy the figurehead and ship it back to St. Martins from England.
Years ago, the small fishing village of St. Martins was home to a large shipbuilding centre. Dozens of tallships were built by local families who had established shipyards along the shoreline.
"We can trace alot of these ships right back and were just launched up the beach here," says local resident Rob Moran.
Moran’s family built the Prince Victor and he has since written a book about the ship, and the effort to repatriate the figurehead.
"Nobody really appreciates how big these ships were and even the average tourist driving down through the village today,” says Moran.“Unless they stop into the museum, they really wouldn't appreciate the history of St.Martins."
With files from CTV Atlantics Mike Cameron