Lunenburg is an extremely charming town. The centre of the town is located near St. John’s Anglican Church, the most well known ecclesiastical structure in town. This church was built in 1754 and gothicized in 1870 to 1875. Just recently, on Halloween night in 2001, the church was gutted by a spectacular blaze under mysterious circumstances. The community was dismayed, but they raised the money and the church was rebuilt in its entirety.
The famous St. John’s Anglican Chruch
Further up the hill is Lunenburg’s most prominent landmark: the Lunenburg Academy, an elementary school for grades one to five, is located at the top of Gallows Hill, overlooking the town. It was built from 1894 to 1895 and each floor has six entrances, six classrooms and six staircases connecting up to the next level.
The Lunenburg Academy, Lunenburg’s most prominent landmark
From the top of the hill I walked back into the town’s centre and came across a monumental red brick building, the town’s courthouse and city hall. A beautiful park located on an upslope is adjacent to city hall and just outside the building is a memorial commemorating Norwegian soldiers that were trained here as gunners in Lunenburg during World War II. Norway had the third-largest ocean going merchant fleet in 1940 with 1100 ships, and when the Nazis invaded Norway, the King and government ordered these ships to proceed to allied ports. From 1940 to 1941 Norwegian whaling and sealing vessels ended up in the port of Lunenburg when Norway was occupied by the Germans. More than 1000 Norwegians were trained here for military service at Camp Lunenburg, and many of their vessels were converted into naval vessels and armed freighters.
St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church
Strolling further down the hill I arrived back at the waterfront where I decided to pay a quick visit to the Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic. Lunenburg historically was a proud shipbuilding centre, and the world famous schooner Bluenose as well as her daughter, the Bluenose II, were built here. The Bluenose was a fishing schooner as well as a racing ship and was launched in Lunenburg in 1921. Fishing schooners had become obsolete after WWII and despite efforts to keep the Bluenose in Nova Scotia, it was sold as a freighter in the West Indies. In 1946 finally it ran aground on a Haitian reef.
The Lutheran Church
The Bluenose II was launched at Lunenburg in 1963 and built to original plans by many of the same workers who had worked on the original Bluenose. The costs of $300,000 were financed by a local family as a marketing tool for their brewery operations in Halifax and Saint John. As a result of her popularity, the Nova Scotia government bought the vessel, and it has become a goodwill ambassador and symbol of the province. The Canadian ten cent coin features the Bluenose and the Nova Scotia license plates also feature this famous vessel.
The Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic
I entered the Fisheries Museum and was lucky to just catch the 10 am lobster presentation in the aquarium. A resident expert was demonstrating the various body parts of a lobster and talking about the lifecycle of these crusty creatures. Fortunately this specimen had its pincers tied since it did not seem to be too happy about being included in this presentation. The presenter went on to educate us about lobster fishing, demonstrating the different types of lobster traps in use.