Barque Charles E. Lefurgey

Summerside enjoyed a golden age of wooden shipbuilding during the latter half of the 19th century.  Producing great personal wealth for a small group of shipbuilder-merchants, it drove the entire town forward economically.

In the late 1880s the construction of wooden ships declined due to the scarcity of local timber, the onset of steam-powered, iron-hulled vessels and the introduction of the railway to Prince Edward Island.

In 1884 the Charles E. Lefurgey, a magnificent 936-ton, 3-masted barque, was built by Donald Ramsay and owned by influential shipbuilder, politician and merchant John E. Lefurgey.  It was the last ship to be built from Lefurgey’s “Golden Shipyard” and was named in memory of his son who had died unexpectedly the previous year.

The ship was a solemn tribute to a dead son and its launching turned out to be a benchmark event in Summerside’s history.  On its maiden voyage it carried 80,000 bushels of oats – the largest cargo of oats ever shipped from Prince Edward Island up to that time.

In 1904 it was wrecked and condemned in Mobile, Alabama, U.S.A.

This mural is a reminder of Summerside’s great shipbuilding era and the dedication of the craftsmen and entrepreneurial skills of the residents who were involved in it.

Location: The Holland College Marine Training Centre, 100 Water Street (near the Silver Fox Curling & Yacht Club)

Facts:  Mural # 10.  Measures 10 x 15 feet.  Erected June 2001 with funding from the Canada Millennium Partnership Program (CMPP).

Mural Artist: Greg Garand