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Lost at Sea 1890-2004: Lunenburg Fishermen Memorial
Since there is no place in Nova Scotia further than 67 kilometers from the sea, it is not surprising that the sea plays a critical role in the provinces’s economy, culture, and history.  But the ocean can be very dangerous.  On August 25, 1996, the Fishermen’s Memorial was unveiled in Lunenburg to recognize those lost at sea. 

The monument is comprised of nine black granite columns.  It consists of eight 3-sided columns surrounding a 4-sided central column. The monument is organized on an 8-point compass.  On the 3-sided columns are engraved the names of fishermen and others who worked on the seas and lost their lives on Lunenburg Country boats from 1890 to 2004.  The 4-sided central column records the names of the 147 boats that never returned to Lunenburg.  These include 41 boats that were lost with all hands, presented alphabetically beginning with the Abeona (lost in 1911 with a crew of 16) and ending with the Leonora T. Winters (lost in 1891 with 5 men). The list also includes the following:

  • The Beryl M. Corkum was built at LaHave in 1914.  She was originally registered at Lunenburg, but was changed to Bridgetown, Barbados sometime in 1924. She plied between Barbados and Halifax and St. Pierre. TheBeryl M. Corkum was a tern schooner, used for rum running. In September 1924, she went down with all hands. The vessel was sighted capsized and derelict off Georges Fishing Banks with no trace of her seven-man crew.
  • The schooner Agnes J. Myra was last heard from on October 24, 1933. She was lost with all hands.
  • The long-liner Margaret Lou was built in 1957 by Smith and Rhuland Shipyards.  In March 1960 during a bad storm, she foundered; the nearly submerged wreck was found about 100 miles southeast of Halifax with no sign of her five-man crew.

The names of 86 Lunenburg sunken vessels are also listed on the monument’s central column.  In these cases, some crew members were rescued, but many others lost their lives.  An example is the Flora Alberta, a schooner built in 1941 by Smith and Rhuland and rammed by a steamship on April 23, 1943 off the coast of Nova Scotia.  Of a crew of 28 men, 21 lost their lives.

The names of 695 individuals are recorded on the Lunenburg Fishermen’s Memorial, located on the waterfront between the Adams and Knickle warehouse and the Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic.  Many of the names on the monument are well-known Lunenburg County family names, including Corkum, Demone, Eisenhauer, Heckman, Heisler, Himmelman, Hirtle, Knickle, Meisner, Morash, Mosher, Oickle, Tanner, Whynacht, Zinck, and Zwicker.  The memorial records three, four, even five people, sharing the same surname and going down on the same vessel.