Half-Model for ship built at Bennett Shipyard
1818-1874 Hopewell Cape, Albert County, New Brunswick, Canada

The Bennett family came from England in 1635 and settled in the Saybrook Colony, a British colony established at the mouth of the Connecticut River. Zadack (Zadoc) Bennett left Lyme, Connecticut in 1761 with his wife Mary (Mercy) Hackett and their children to settle in Horton, near present day Wolfville, Nova Scotia. Their 500 acre land holdings included a town lot, a share of dyke land, and two farm lots.

In 1784 Benjamin Bennett, son of Zadoc Bennett, left his new wife in Horton while he went to Hopewell, New Brunswick, to clear land and build a home for his family. Unfortunately his wife died in 1788 and therefore she never made the journey to join Benjamin in Hopewell. In 1800 he married his second wife, Rebecca Stevens, of Harvey. They had several children together.

Half-Model for brigantine P J Nevius built at the Bennett Shipyard in Hopewell Cape in 1860 by Nathan Murray Bennett.
July 1860 Hopewell Cape, Albert County, New Brunswick, Canada

Benjamin's brother, George, was the first Bennett in what is now Albert County to build ships. The 61 ton Schooner 'Mary and Eliza' was launched in May 1818.

Several members of the Bennett family followed in the shipbuilding tradition including Benjamin's and Rebecca's son, Nathan Murray Bennett. Nathan's first registered vessel was the 75 ton Schooner 'Hopewell' that was launched in July 1835.

Detailed scale model of the Bennett Shipyard, Bennett Wharf and the Bennett Homestead. Circa 1870

Model made by Joe Cernan, Havelock NB

Nathan's son, Henry John Bennett, joined the family tradition and launched his first vessel, the 680 ton Barque 'Enoch Arden', in June 1867.

In all, there were 44 registered vessels built by the Bennett family. 36 of them were built at the family shipyard in Hopewell Cape, 7 in Hillsborough and one in Harvey. The Bennett shipyard in Hopewell Cape was well equipped with a large boarding house, moulding copts, a blacksmith shop, barns and stables, and a general store.

Henry John Bennett - born April 3, 1842 died March 10, 1905 - was a shipbuilder in Hopewell Cape, New Brunswick.
Father of Richard Bedford Bennett

Circa 1870

Credits: Archives & Special Collections, Harriet Irving Library, University of New Brunswick
Photo by A.M. Sanders, 16 King Street, St. John, NB

Henry Bennett is credited as the builder of the last vessel constructed at the Bennett Shipyard, the 298 ton Brigantine 'Romola'. It was launched in December 1874 and marked the end of an era for the Bennett family.