Hamburg (barque)

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Canadian Red Ensign (1868-1921).svgCanada
Name: Hamburg
Owner: Ezra Churchill & Sons (George and John Churchill), Hantsport, Nova Scotia
Port of registry: Windsor, Nova Scotia
Builder: E. Churchill & Sons Yard, John Fox Davidson, master builder, Hantsport
Laid down: February 1886
Launched: September 29, 1886
Maiden voyage: New York to Liverpool, December 1886
Out of service: Cut down to barge 1908. Hulked 1925.
  • Code Letters KJHW
  • ICS Kilo.svgICS Juliet.svgICS Hotel.svgICS Whiskey.svg
Fate: Upper hull burned 1936
General characteristics
Tonnage: 1743 Gross Tons
Length: 216.2 ft (65.9 m)
Beam: 43 ft (13 m)
Depth: 24 ft.
Decks: 1 deck plus orlop beams
Propulsion: Sail
Sail plan: Three Masted Barque

Hamburg was a three masted barque built in 1886 at Hantsport, Nova Scotia. She was the largest three masted barque ever built in Canada .[1]


Hamburg was one of the last of over a hundred large sailing vessels built by the Churchill family of Hantsport, led by Ezra Churchill. The barque was named after Hamburg, Germany, continuing a Churchill family tradition of naming ships after ports where they often sought cargoes.


The barque's captain for almost her entire career was Andrew B. Coldwell. Hamburg worked mostly Atlantic trades but also made several long Pacific voyages, rounded Cape Horn many times and made one circumnavigation of the world in 1891. She called at her namesake port of Hamburg, Germany in 1895. She was converted to a gypsum barge in 1908 and served 17 years carrying gypsum under tow from the Minas Basin to New York. Her working career ended in 1925 when she was beached at Summerville, Hants County, Nova Scotia, just across and downriver from the site of her launch at Hantsport. In 1936, her massive wooden hull was burned to the waterline, leaving her lower hull partially covered and preserved in river silt.


Hamburg's surviving hull offers a rare surviving example of the structure of a wooden sailing ship from Canada's Golden Age of Sail. The vessel's history is presented at the nearby Avon River Shipbuilding Museum at Newport Landing and at the Churchill House Marine Memorial Room in Hantsport. A lower mast from Hamburg is preserved at the Age of Sail Heritage Centre in Port Greville, Nova Scotia while one of her massive iron bollards is on display at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic in Halifax, Nova Scotia.


  1. ^ "Life and Times of Hamburg, a Nova Scotian Barque", Darrell Burke, Maritime Life and Traditions, No. 23 Summer 2004, pages 28-39.
  • Hantsport Shipbuilding: 1849-1893, St. Clair Patterson, Hantsport: Tug Boat Publishing, 2008, p. 108.
  • Sailing Ships of the Maritime Charles Armour and Thomas Lackey (Toronto: McGraw-Hill Ryerson, 1975), p. 150

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 45°05′52.18″N 64°10′56.36″W / 45.0978278°N 64.1823222°W / 45.0978278; -64.1823222