Pictured is the schooner “Marie,” under the direction of Andre and Philemene Boudrot.

Ephrem Boudreau wrote Riviere Bourgeois from which this history is taken and translated.

Acadians were, for the most part, men of the sea because many of their ancestors came from French maritime ports, or they became fishermen out of necessity because they had to adapt to their new environment in Acadia.

The Acadian settlers whose fathers had returned to Acadia after the Expulsion lived close to the water. They had to be fishermen, but to be fishermen they also had to be builders of fishing boats. They needed vessels large enough and solid enough because fishing took place on the high seas, on the banks which were found generally in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. In these waters cod, haddock, halibut, herring, salmon were in abundance, but the main fish, which lasted longest and paid the best was the cod fishery.

The Acadians quickly learned the craft of naval construction. Also, craftsmen came from France and their knowledge was passed from father to son and from generation to generation. These boat builders had no trouble finding the species of wood that were essential because virgin forests came up to the shoreline or were at a reasonable distance from the construction sites and pine, spruce, larch, oak, maple could be found. The schooners that the Acadians built were not large because they were built for a small crew, perhaps a father and his sons and a few others.

River Bourgeois was always a small village whose only industry was fishing. However many of these residents, especially the merchants, owned schooners, some of which were built on the premises. It goes without saying that the merchants had Acadian crews which were often shamelessly exploited. They barely supplied them with the necessities for their livelihood. Such were the customs of the time.

The following is a list of schooners built at River Bourgeois:

Sophia 27 tons 1816

Sir James Kempt 94 tons 1821

Martha 28 tons 1824

Temperence 16 tons 1842 I. and W. LeVesconte

Mary 24 tons 1843 Basile Boucher

Espérance 25 tons 1844 Charles Landry

Friend 84 tons 1853

Elisabeth 17 tons 1856 Basile Boucher

Annie 25 tons 1858 Donald Boyd

Adelaide 18 tons 1858 Charles Landry

Bright Star 18 tons 1859 Urbain and David Samson

Charlotte 27 tons 1859 Fabien Fougere

Sophia 19 tons 1859 Placide and Désiré Bourque

Philomel 26 tons 1861 Placide Dugas

Maria 28 tons 1861 Abram Fougere

Morning Star 25 tons 1861 Eusebe Boudrot

Express 31 tons 1862 G.H. Bissett

Martha 25 tons 1862 James McLean

Elizabeth 30 tons 1864 William Urquhart

Elizabeth 18 tons 1865 Gilbert Bourque

Partners 25 tons 1865 Celestin, Aime, Andre Dugas

Hector 35 tons 1865 and Minnie 52 tons 1865 James McLean

Union 29 tons 1865 G.H. Bissett

Two Brothers 32 tons 1866 William Urquhart

G.H.B. 35 tons 1866 G.H. Bissett

North East 32 tons 1866 Martial and Isaie Dugas

Ajax 40 tons 1867 Urbain and David Samson

Jenny 24 tons 1867 and Janie Louise 24 tons 1867 Henri Carré (Currie)

Julia 20 tons 1867 Maurice Bourque