In July 2016 the walls on the replica Flume House were raised. The reproduced building which was a key part of the Shubenacadie Canal is now complete. The Flume House and barge cradle, which in 1860 were integral parts of the Shubenacadie Canal Marine Railway, are located in Starr Park in downtown Dartmouth.
The Shubenacadie Canal Commission held a ribbon cutting ceremony at the Flume House and recognized our valued supporters on Friday, October 19 at Starr Park.
“The project to daylight part of Sawmill River has created renewed interest in this historic part of Dartmouth,” said Commission Chair Bill McIntyre. “The addition of the Flume House to the area helps bring an important piece of Nova Scotia history back to life.”
The original Shubenacadie Canal Marine Railway was modelled after the Marine Railways on the Morris Canal in New Jersey. This, along with the rail system at Portobello were the first in British North America. The wooden flume carried water from Sullivans Pond to power a turbine and winding drum in the Flume House that hauled canal boats on a special cradle (pictured) from the harbour. In the mid-1800s, canal boats entered Dartmouth Cove and were hauled up the inclined plane to man-made Sullivans Pond. Vessels then proceeded through Lock 1 to Lake Banook and on to the greater canal system.
The Flume House includes replicas of the cable drum, bevel and crown gears, which are visible through large windows. A replica of the reaction turbine is also contained in the turbine chamber under the Flume House. Interpretive panels provide information about how the structure worked. The excavation and reconstruction of parts of the Shubenacadie Canal Marine Railway were supported by the Halifax Regional Municipality and the Shubenacadie Canal Commission. SCC has fundraised almost $100,000 and now are looking to raise the final $30,000 cost of the inner workings.
Flume House Dedicated to Doug Brownrigg
The late Doug Brownrigg, Vice Chair of the Shubenacadie Canal Commission (SCC) and Chair of the Greenway Committee was a vital contributor to the Commission as friend, co-worker and champion of the Greenway project.
On the occasion of the ribbon cutting of the Flume House SCC was joined by members of the Brownrigg Family. Helen Brownrigg and her family graciously agreed and supported our wish to dedicate the Flume House in Doug Brownrigg’s memory. Before Doug’s passing last year, he spent countless hours and energy leading a team of dedicated volunteers on this project. In leading the Greenway Committee team, Doug is well remembered for his infectious enthusiasm for this project along with his attention to detail in the design and development of the numerous elements. A true professional, his expertise as an engineer and his love of community are represented here with the project dedicated in his memory.