Shag Harbour Post Office

Shag Harbour Post Office

Type of Business: Postal

One of the old post offices of Shag Harbour located at the edge of the road near the foot of Cecil and Avery Shand’s driveway.

(Sometime before the 1950’s when the post office was moved to Moyle Crowell”s store)

       The Shag Harbour post office is located next to the Temperance Hall before Chapel Hill and it is the main postal service of Shag Harbour. In 2001, the post office came out with the 1967 UFO Cancellation Stamp because a lot of people were coming to Shag Harbour to get their mail stamped and even have their picture taken outside of the building!

W. Sears Seafoods Ltd.

 W. Sears Seafoods Ltd.


Type of Business: Fisheries

Owners: Wilbert Sears; Greg Sears

Established: 1969

Sold: 1997 (to Dean Quinlan)



     Wilbert Sears bought this plant from St. Clair Shand in the late 1960s. He used it as a salt fish plant and he also had a lobster pound on Cape Sable Island. Wilbert’s son, Greg, started working at the plant in 1980 and ended up taking over the lobster pound ten years later. In 1997, the fish plant was sold to Dean Quinlan.

St. Clair Shand & Sons Ltd

St. Clair Shand & Sons Ltd

Type of Business: Fisheries

Owner: St. Clair Shand

Established: 1934

Sold: 1969 (to Wilbert Sears)



     St. Clair Shand worked in Woods Harbour and had to walk on the railway tracks to work every day. He was making $2.00 a day. In 1934, he started cutting fish in his home, where he and his wife also had a small grocery store. In the 1940s, he built the fish plant across the road from his home. St. Clair taught many young men how to split fish and paid them with penny candy from his store. In 1969, the plant was sold to Wilbert Sears.

Shag Harbour Train

Shag Harbour Train

Type of Business: Travel

Established: 1899

Shut Down: 1983


      The first train came through the village in November of 1899.  The idea came four years earlier, in 1895, when they started working on the fencing and telegraph line on the railroad. This project provided employment for many local men. They really got down to business in October of 1899, following a September meeting of which Ernest Nickerson was the chairman. They drew up a schedule and the men of Shag Harbour, including Ernest Nickerson and Gilbert Nickerson, came together to finish the task, for which they had set a deadline of December 1, 1899. In 1909, there was an explosion at the train station that tragically killed three young boys and injured three more.

R.I. Smith Company Ltd.

R.I. Smith Company Ltd.

Type of Business: Fisheries

Owners: Robert Smith, Wilber Smith; Elnathan Smith

Established: 1933

Shut Down: N/A

     The R.I. Smith Fish Factory opened December 2, 1933. It was owned by Robert Smith and his brother Wilber. They worked on salt fish and live lobsters. The company became incorporated as R.I. Smith Company Ltd. In 1956, Elnathan Smith, Robert’s son, joined the company full time and took over after his father’s death in 1977. They continued to work on both salt fish and live lobsters until the salt fish business closed down in 2001. Elnathan Smith possesses.

M.S. Swaine

M.S. Swaine

Type of Business: Store

Owners: Elnathan Smith; Wilbert Smith; Ivy & Merle Swaine; Burnley & Heather Waybret; Violent LeBlanc

Established: early 1900s

Shut Down: 1980s

     The store was opened in the early 1900s by Elnathan Smith. He died in 1938 and ownership of the store went to his son, Wilbert Smith. Wilbert owned the store for almost a decade before passing it on to Ivy and Merle Swaine. They ran the store for thirty years. In 1977, they sold it to Heather and Burnley Waybret. After three years, Violet LeBlanc bought it and, after running it for a few years, she made the decision to finally close the doors of the old store.

Larkin & Shand Boatbuilders

Larkin & Shand Boatbuilders

Type of Business: Boat Shop

Owners: Andrew Larkin, Elroy Shand

Established: 1930

Shut Down: 1972

     Andrew Larkin originally worked as a fisherman. During the off season of 1929, he tried his hand at building a few small skiffs and dories and found success. In 1930, he and his son-in-law, Elroy Shand, began building boats full time. The business started in Andrew’s barn, and eventually moved to a bigger building on Prospect Point. In 1943, Larkin & Shand Boatbuilders were contracted by the Royal Canadian Air Force to build three vessels to be used in Halifax Harbour. In 1964, Andrew Larkin passed away. The business continued until Elroy’s retirement in 1972.

Fisheries of the Late 1800s

Fisheries of the Late 1800s:

1891: Lobster Packing Co.

Workers: Names unknown

1896: Lobster Canneries [3]

Workers: E. Larkin, Chas. Wickens, H. L. Shand, W. H. Rodgerson, John Shand Jr.

1897: Floating Factory

Workers: John M. Shand; Messrs E. Larkin, H. L. Shand, H.E. Kendrick

      The first lobster factory was built at the shore about the year 1857: Operated by Solomon Kendrick.

Around 1900 a lobster factory was constructed by John Shand Sr.


Howard Shand’s Lobster Cannery on Squaw Point

He passed away in 1920 which is around the time the canneries died out.