DescriptionThe shipbuilding center of Shelburne was founded in 1783 by Loyalists who fled the United States at the close of the Revolutionary War. By 1784 the number of refugees had grown to such an extent that Shelburne's population exceeded that of both Montréal and Québec. Eventually adverse economic conditions and the government's inability to supply free land and provisions to all the refugees caused thousands of Loyalists to seek homes elsewhere.
A number of trophy-winning yachts have been built in Shelburne. Shelburne native Donald MacKay, an American shipbuilder noted for the remarkably sleek clippers he produced in Boston, learned his trade in Shelburne shipyards early in the 19th century. Just outside town, The Islands Provincial Park affords picnicking and camping opportunities.