Kings County (barque)

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Name: Kings County
Owner: William Thompson, Saint John, New Brunswick
Port of registry: Windsor, Nova Scotia
Builder: C.R. Burgess Yard, Kingsport, Nova Scotia
Launched: June 2, 1890
Identification: Code Letters LWBF
Fate: Lost River Plate, 1911
General characteristics
Tonnage: 2061 Gross Tons
Length: 255 ft.
Beam: 45 ft.
Depth: 25 ft.
Decks: 2
Propulsion: Sail
Sail plan: Four Masted Barque

Kings County was a four masted barque built in 1890 at Kingsport, Nova Scotia on the Minas Basin. She was named to commemorate Kings County, Nova Scotia and represented the peak of the county's shipbuilding era. (A much smaller barque also named Kings County had been built in 1871.) Kings County was one of the largest wooden sailing vessels ever built in Canada and one of only two Canadian four masted barques. (The other being the slightly smaller John M. Blaikie of Great Village, Nova Scotia.) At first registered as a four masted full rigged ship, she was quickly changed to a barque after her June 2 launch.[2] Over three thousand people from Kings and Hants Counties attended the launch. She survived a collision with an iceberg in 1893 on a voyage to Swansea, Wales. Like many of the large wooden merchant ships built in Atlantic Canada, she spend most of her career far from home on trading voyages around the world. In 1909, she returned to the Minas Basin for a refit at Hantsport and loaded a large cargo of lumber. In 1911 she became the largest wooden ship to enter Havana harbour when she delivered a cargo of lumber and was briefly stranded. She was lost a few months later on a voyage to Monte Video when she ran aground at the River Plate. Too damaged to repair, she was scrapped in Monte Video where her massive timbers were visible for many years.


  1. Lloyd's Register 1910
  2. Hantsport Shipbuilding: 1849-1893, St. Clair Patterson, Hantsport: Tug Boat Publishing, 2008, p. 108.
  • Historic Wolfville: Grand Pre and Countryside, Tom Sheppard, (Halifax: Nimbus, 2003), p. 150-151.
  • Sailing Ships of the Maritime Charles Armour and Thomas Lackey (Toronto: McGraw-Hill Ryerson, 1975), p. 180
  • In the Wake of the Windships, Frederick William Wallace, (London, 1927), p. 223-224.

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