Finished in 1861, the Dartmouth marine railway was the final portion of the Shubenacadie Canal to be completed. Although the original system was dismantled following the closure of the canal in 1871, full-scale replicas of the power house (also called the flume house) and boat cradle were constructed at the site in 2018. The reconstructed power house incorporates the original turbine chamber, which was excavated and restored as part of the project.
Starr Park is also the former location of the famous Starr Manufacturing Company, which specialized in ice skates and hockey sticks. In 1872, the company bought the canal works on this site and used the existing turbine chamber to help power its factory. It closed in 1996.
The outdoor portions of this site, including the exterior of the power house, the cradle, and associated interpretive panels, are open year-round. Visitors may also look inside the power house through the windows, which offer clear views of the recreated gears and machinery from ground level. Access to the interior of the power house is available seasonally as part of guided tours. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to learn when the next tours will be happening.
Free tours are happening every Saturday from July 6 to August 17, 2019, between 12:00 and 4:00 pm! Visit Facebook or Eventbrite for details. The tour season will end on Sunday, August 25, with the final tours being offered as part of Switch Dartmouth 2019.