Male, Ship Builder
1808 – 1886
Who was Bennett Smith?
He was born in Windsor, Nova Scotia, the son of John Smith and Ann Grant. He learned the craft of shipbuilding from his father, and he and his brothers inherited their father's shipyard, located on Smith's Island at the intersection of the Avon and St. Croix Rivers, in 1832. In the same year, Smith married Rachel Harris.
During the early 1840s, Smith was involved in farming and the timber trade but returned again to shipbuilding. He built 27 large ships involved in foreign trade, owning and operating all but one; he also owned shares in other vessels.
Smith's final Windsor-built ship, launched in May 1877 to great fanfare, was the full rigged, 1318 ton Black Watch. The ship cost $50,000.00 to construct. The Black Watch was wrecked on the craggy coast of Fair Isle on 19 September 1877, four months after she was launched in Nova Scotia on her maiden voyage. The crew, the ship's provisions as well as the sails and any salvageable hardware were all saved.
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