The Legacy of the Chignecto Ship Railway
The Legacy of the Chignecto Ship Railway

The Cumberland County Museum and Archives, located in the former home of Robert Barry Dickey, offers a 3-day Sails to Rails Tour that includes visits to the Tidnish Marine Transport Railway Interpretive Centre and Dock site, and the Henry Ketchum Hiking Trail.  The Tidnish Bridge Visitor Centre houses photographs of the Chignecto Ship Railway and details of the engineering challenges encountered during its construction.  At the Tidnish Dock Site the railway path can be seen entering the woods but there is no longer any sign of the tracks.  The Henry Ketchum Hiking Trail runs from the Tidnish Bridge Visitor Centre to the Tidnish Dock Provincial Park, following the route of the Chignecto railway.  It is approximately four km in length.

Tidnish Dock Provincial Park is situated at the northern terminus of the Chignecto Ship Railway.  The Fort Lawrence Terminus has very few remains except for the jetty and unused masonry.

Tidnish Bridge is probably the best preserved part of the Chignecto railway. The culvert spans the Tidnish River, while an overgrown railway line runs on the top of it. The Bridge is approximately seven metres high and 15-18 metres wide.

The Church of the Good Shepherd
The Church of the Good Shepherd was an Anglican Church built during the construction of the Chignecto railway.  It was constructed by Jacob Baxter on land donated by Robert Barry Dickey in 1892.  The first recorded service was held on 21 Aug. 1892.  Henry Ketchum donated $500 to the church in his will for the construction of a tower and a bell.  A small stained glass window was given by Sarah Ketchum in her husband’s memory.  In 1992 the church was designated a Municipal Heritage Property by the County of Cumberland.

St. Albans, an Anglican Church originally constructed at Fort Lawrence, was built to accommodate the large influx of people arriving there to work on the Chignecto railway in 1888.   The Rev. V.E. Harris and Miss F.E. Townsend appealed to local residents and Chignecto railway labourers for help in funding the construction of the church.  The railway labourers dug the foundation and cellar, and many of the village people assisted in the church’s construction, which was completed in 1889.  In 1910, the church was moved, piece by piece, to River Hebert where it still remains today.

Ketchum Cottage

The Ketchum Cottage
was built in 1882 at Tidnish Crossroads for H.G.C. Ketchum, who lived there with his wife Sarah, during work on the Northumberland Terminus.   The Ketchum Cottage has been upgraded and is now used as a summer rental accommodation.  

Chignecto Marine Railway was designated a National Historic Civil Engineering Site by the Canadian Society for Civil Engineering in 1989.

“The Chignecto Marine Transport Railway”.  Abridged from Tidnish Dock Provincial Park Brochure.  Prepared by the Department of Natural Resources
Cumberland County Museum. Tours. Sails to Rails
Glenn, Laurie A.  “Cumberland’s Built Heritage: Church of the Good Shepherd, Tidnish Crossroads - Foundation laid July 13, 1892”.
  The Citizen, July 16, 1994, p.33.
Trenholm, Gladys et al.  A History of Fort Lawrence - Times, Tides and Towns.  Edmonton, Alberta: Sherwood Printing Ltd., 1985

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UNB Archives
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Last Update:  2004/03/31