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History of the Lumber Industry of America
Chapter XXII. Nova Scotia—Exports, Statistics


Nova Scotia has excellent shipping facilities. No part of the country is over sixty miles from tide water, and numerous navigable rivers flow into the Atlantic, Gulf of St. Lawrence and the Bay of Fundy. Three railway systems, namely, the Intercolonial, the Dominion Atlantic and the Halifax & Southwestern, are in operation and the rails extend the whole length of the Province. The shipping points of the railways are Sydney, Pictou, Pugwash, Windsor, Kingsport, Annapolis, Weymouth, Yarmouth, Tusket, Bridgewater, Lunenburg and Halifax, from which lumber is exported; and, besides these places, there are many ports and harbors on the coast available for good sized vessels and from which lumber is shipped. The bays and harbors indenting the shore are very numerous, making the coast line about one thousand miles in extent. The harbors on the Atlantic Coast have a good depth of water and very little tide. The shipping ports on the Bay of Fundy have strong tides, the rise and fall being from twenty-five to forty feet. In many of these places vessels load lying aground, or in the stream, where they can lie afloat, from barges and lighters.

At Ship Harbour, Halifax County, there is thirty feet of water at the mills; at Liscomb, twenty-two feet; at Sheet Harbour, twenty-eight feet; at St. Mary’s River, seventeen feet, and at Bridgewater and Lunenburg, seventeen feet. There is no better harbor in Canada than Halifax, from which the annual export of lumber is over 60,000,000 feet —more than that from all the other ports of the Province combined.

Particular stress is laid upon the shipping conditions of Nova Scotia for the reason that the Province depends entirely upon the export trade. The home consumption is so light that it need not be taken into consideration. Thus the small population or previously slow growth of the Province, slow compared with that of other countries, has not had the effect of conserving the timber. On the contrary, the continued activity of the export trade of the last fifty years has reached the stage where the annual cut of the Province has caught up with the yearly growth.

Nova Scotia has the following markets for its products: The United States, England, Ireland, Scotland, France, West Indies, Cuba, Argentine Republic, Brazil, British Guiana and Trinidad. Water transportation from points in western Nova Scotia ranges from 300 to 500 miles to New York, Boston and Philadelphia.

There are two grand divisions to be made in considering the lumber exports of Nova Scotia, brought about by trade conditions : The eastern end of the Province ships almost entirely to the English deal market, and the western end to South America, the West Indies and the United States. The cut for the English market is three-inch deals, and that for the West, boards, plank, rails and scantling. The deals are carried largely by liners or tramp steamers, while the western part of the Province engages a large fleet of sailing vessels from 150 to 1,000 tons register, a favorable size for the West Indies being a vessel of from

300.000 to 400,000 capacity, and for South America, a vessel of from 500.000 to 1,000,000 capacity.

Summing up, Nova Scotia may be said to possess the following specialties that are peculiarly conducive to the carrying on of the lumber industry: It has the nearest spruce timber for shipment to the European market; it has a monopoly of the West Indian trade for cheap lumber; it has a natural reproduction of woods that can not be excelled for rapidity of growth and quality, owing to favorable rainfalls and climatic conditions; its lumber fleet is largely owned in the Province; the shipping facilities are excellent and inexpensive, and the principal ports of shipment are open all the year around.

Among the leading exporters of Nova Scotia are: Dickie & McGrath, Tusket; Parker, Eakins Company, Limited, Yarmouth; Rhodes, Curry & Co., Limited, Amherst; Alfred Dickie, Lower Stewiacke; Davison Lumber Company, Limited, Bridgewater; the Nova Scotia Lumber Company, Walton; Charles T. White, Apple River, and Clarke Bros., Bear River. The average annual output of the latter firm is about 8.000.000 feet. Alfred Dickie is an extensive operator having mills at Ship Harbour, Lower Stewiacke and other points and owning 40,000 acres of timber land, the standing timber on which is estimated at 40,000,000 feet.

The following figures will give an idea of the extent of the lumber operations in Nova Scotia and of the export: Total area of the Province. 21,428 square miles, or 13,713,920 acres; estimated timber and wood land, 7,500,000 acres; estimated export from western Nova Scotia, 110.000.000 superficial feet; estimated export from eastern Nova Scotia, including Halifax shipments, 135,000,000 superficial feet; total export, 245,000,000 feet per annum.

The total value of the shipments of forest products from Halifax for the fiscal year 1903 was $1,048,160, which included spruce and other deals, $746,591; planks and boards, $115,282, and scantling, $34,797.

The Canadian census of 1901 gives the number of sawmills in Nova Scotia employing five hands or more as 228, the value of the product being $2,940,107. The quantities and values of forest products were as follows:


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