Memory Factory: Caribou Harbour celebrates Caribou Harbour, Nova Scotia, Canada past and present. The project invites contributions in terms of memories, facts and reflections of this place. It aims to be a receptacle for the oral histories gathered from near and far about lives lived in and around this area.

The inspiration for this website comes from the fact that for just over 100 years, from approximately 1875 until 1975, Caribou Harbour, specifically in its Eastern arm and what was known as the ‘Little Entrance’, was the location of several lobster canning factories. One of these factories, Maritime Packers, was purportedly the largest lobster packing plant in the world during its heyday with over 600 plant workers and approximately 1000 lobster fishers delivering their catches.

Today North Nova Seafoods continues to operate in Caribou Harbour and the lobster fishery continues to be an important part of the local economy. Maritime Packers is gone however and there is little evidence of its operations: a concrete pad and scant remnants of piers. Instead of a cluster of thirty or more buildings and sheds there is a stately condominium development built on the land where the factories once stood. The lobster factories at Caribou Harbour remain vivid memories for several generations of people who worked there and for whom the experience of working in the lobster business was not just work but also being part of a community. These were locally owned and managed businesses that were mainstays of the local and regional economy. It was also seasonal work that was deeply connected to the life cycles and migrations of the sea life of the area. This website was established as a container for the oral history and local remembrance of this fishery as it once was. It also hopes to provide greater knowledge of this area as it is currently and to encourage foresight in the shaping its future.

This project was developed by Katherine Knight of York University, Department of Visual Art with the assistance of David Craig and  Site Media Inc. (www.sitemedia.ca ) in cooperation with the Northumberland Fisheries Museum of Pictou, Nova Scotia. It intends to foster a greater awareness and understanding of the fishing industry and its history in this part of the Northumberland Straight.

Website designed by Foxhound. Technical support from York University, Maria Kubysh, Almerinda Travassos and Jim  Miller.

This research was supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council

SSHRC'S official visual identifier