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Joan Hickman schooner was built 100 years ago in Charlottetown

An archive photo of the building of the Joan Hickman.
An archive photo of the building of the Joan Hickman. -

CHARLOTTETOWN, N.L. — It was 100 years ago this month, in 1917 in Charlottetown, Bonavista Bay the Joan Hickman schooner was built and launched.

It was the first of six large tern schooners to be launched at Charlottetown between 1917 and 1923 by the Charlottetown Shipbuilding Company, owned by J.T. Swyers Ltd. of Bonavista, and A.E. Hickman Co. of St. John’s.

The Joan Hickman was a three-mast tern schooner with a length of 129-feet, a width of 28-feet, and a depth of 12-feet. It had a 332 gross tonnage and was designed and built for A.E. Hickman Co. for foreign going trade.

The ship went into service 100 years ago in 1917, but was lost on Feb. 16, 1920, after leaving St. John’s for Gibraltar, Spain — filled with salt cod.

In the Gulf of Cadiz, the ship was caught in a gale and blown ashore and wrecked between Bonanza and Huelva at Arenas Gordas beach on the Spanish Coast.




Trevor Chaulk of Charlottetown is helping mark the centennial anniversary of the Joan Hickman.

His great-grandfather master shipbuilder Archibald Chaulk ran the shipyard during the schooner’s construction.

Trevor says he’s glad to bring attention to history of the community that current generation may not know about.

“(We can) try to keep it out there. It was a big undertaking in its day,” said Chaulk.

He recalls his own grandfather talking about the shipyard when he was young and thinks it’s a good idea to recognize the history of the community.

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