My first long voyage was to St.John’s Newfoundland in the brig Stella owned by James MacDonald of Cardigan Bridge. She was sailed by Capt. Neilson and mate Donald Stegle, better known as bald headed Donald. I had a brother, Charles on board as an able seaman while I served as cook. The Stella was built in Cardigan Bridge by Duncan MacLaren and I must say a noble little ship she was. They may talk about other ships under sail, but the Stella was a bird in a breeze for a gale of wind.
1.) Over 100 ships were built in Cardigan between 1825 and 1920
2.) The busiest years were 1853 – 1878.
3.) The busiest sites were the Owen shipyard and the James E. Macdonald shipyard located across the river from one another. The Owen shipyard was below Kelso Gordon’s on the south side of the river and James E’s was on the north side of the Cardigan river beside the first government wharf.
4.) Cardigan’s busiest resident shipwright was Duncan MacLaren.