Object Name: Painting
Date of Object, From: 19180000 Later Than
Date of Object, To: 20070627 Prior To
Material: Paint, acrylic; Wood; Fibre, canvas
Description: In the central foreground is a three-masted, fore-and-aft schooner. It is a side profile of the ship: the bow is toward the right and the stern is toward the left. The treed horizon line is in the lower one-third of the painting. There are clouds in the sky.
Narrative: The Hazel Trahey was a schooner that sailed the eastern coast of North America. It made a stop at Ellis Island on April 24, 1918, on a return voyage from Bahia, Brazil. It had been in port at Bahia on March 8, 1918. The master of the ship during this voyage was Gace Gosse, and his mate was Nate Gosse. The ship was lost in the mid Atlantic on September 7, 1926. This ship was most likely connected to John Hiram Trahey, a shipbuilder that lived and worked in South Maitland, Lunenburg County, Nova Scotia. The town of Maitland was host to prominent shipbuilders, among them was William D. Lawrence who founded his own shipyard in 1855. In 1874 Lawrence was responsible for the launching of the largest square-rigged ship ever built in Canada. John Hiram Trahey was the builder of the 'Inveresk', a barque that was 850 tons, and that was built in 1874 in Maitland. Also built in Maitland by Trahey was the 'Edward Barrow', a barque that was 958 tons, 181 feet long, three masted, and that was launched in 1871. He was part owner of the Barrow with eight other men. He also had owned the 'Nancy', a 295 ton brigantine built in Five Mile River in 1867. John Hiram Trahey relocated to Parrsboro, Nova Scotia sometime in between his time building ships in Maitland and his marriage to Reta J. Blenkhorn on March 30th, 1891. It seems that Trahey continued building ships in Parrsboro because when his daughter, Nita Mae nee Trahey Fullerton was born on June 13, 1893, the occupation of John Trahey is recorded as 'shipbuilder' on her birth certificate. There is a schooner named 'Hazel' registered under the number 126593 that was built in Parrsboro in 1910. John and Reta had had a daughter named Hazel nine years prior to the construction of this ship. The record also states that the ship 'Hazel' was transferred to Lunenburg, but does not state when. Nita Mae married Varley Bent Fullerton on July 10, 1913 in New York City. Varley was also from Parrsboro, Nova Scotia. Hazel Trahey was born on April 1, 1901 in Parrsborro. She married Roland McDade in 1924 in Parrsboro, and died in Toronto, Ontario. Hazel and Roland had Carolyn Ann nee McDade Fullerton in Rio de Janiero, Brazil circa 1932. It seems appropriate to assume that Hazel and Roland had sailed to Brazil—given that the Hazel Trahey schooner had gone to Bahia Brazil in 1918. If so, they were most definitely on another ship, because the Hazel Trahey had sunk in 1926. Ship portraits from Nova Scotia represent a Post-British presence in the province. Ship portraiture is considered Nova Scotian when it is of a ship that was built in Nova Scotia, or when it is of a ship that had a local owner, or when the artist is native to Nova Scotia. Ship portraits constitute different cultural ideas of the ocean that surrounds Nova Scotia, and also, in some circumstances, have acted as publicity pieces for the sea vessels and their makers. They can also be made to commemorate a vessel, or out of a passion for the sea and boats. A ship portrait is typically of a specific vessel that is depicted in a seascape setting—the ocean or harbour that surrounds the ship, give the composition atmosphere. The vessel can be rendered with accurate rigging, or it can be painted without an understanding of the sails and how they were set. The artist, in this case, is an untrained artist, but they have a clear understanding of how the ship was rigged.
Institution: Fort Point Museum. LaHave, Nova Scotia
Accession Number: 07.02.01
Category: Communication Artifacts