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The Loyalist Link: The Forest and The Sea
Shelburne County Museum
Shelburne , Nova Scotia


   Located on the
southwestern shore of Nova
Scotia, Port Roseway (later
named Shelburne) became a
major refuge for United
Empire Loyalists at the close
of the Revolutionary War
between Great Britain and the
American colonies.
   Arriving principally in

three fleets during 1783,
more than 12 000 Loyalist
refugees settled at Shelburne
and Birchtown on the shores
of one of the world’s great
   Shelburne was a boomtown
in every sense of the word.
The sudden influx of
Loyalists gave rise to

numerous commercial and
industrial concerns which
took advantage of the area's
natural resources. Fishing,
whaling, lumbering and
shipbuilding were pursued
with vigor. The town’s
citizens also traded along
the coast, and with the West
Indies and Europe.

   Just as quickly as
Shelburne arose, however, so
too did it decline. The
termination of government
rations to settlers,
dissatisfaction with land
grants, and an increase in
opportunities elsewhere
served to undermine the
growth of the community and

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