The Waverley Inn, Halifax, Nova Scotia

SLR_8460-003While attending the Festival of Tall Ships, Man The Capstan, had the opportunity to stay at The Waverley Inn in Halifax. This Inn is tucked away at 1266 Barrington Street, and is a reasonable walk to the waterfront. There are many other Hotels and Inns in this downtown core, but none offers quite the same experience and ambiance of this unique three story bed and breakfast.

waverly1-001Once an elite Victorian private residence, the Waverley Inn is definitely pretty special, especially if you’re like me and prefer smaller and more intimate places to stay, and particularly if they are historical houses.

Lobby-I-001This house was built in 1865-66 by a wealthy merchant named Edward W. Chipman and his wife Mahala Jane Northup. Interestingly both these last names are listed in the family trees of certain Man The Capstan Crew members. Could there be a family relationship there? Perhaps!

The Chipman home was purported to be one of the most expensive and extravagant homes in the city of Halifax. Mrs. Chipman was a very fashionable lady, who was well known in Halifax society and she immediately began to host many dances and social events. These were attended by not only the local society, but also by the officers who were stationed at the Garrison. Hence, it seemed just the place for a group of Royal Navy Re-enactors like us, to spend a night or two.Roman-Sisters-II-001

Unfortunately, Mr. Chipman’s dry goods business failed and in just a short while (1870), the family could no longer afford this home. It must have been heartbreaking to see their lovely home turned over to the Sherriff of Halifax. Much of the furnishings were seized, and the house was sold at auction where it was bought by a real estate speculator named Patrick Costin.SLR_8285-001

He sold the house to two spinsters named Sarah and Jane Romans, who had been operating their father’s business, The Waverley Hotel. They added a new wing to the rear of the house and in October of 1876 they moved into their new location. Since then the Waverley has functioned as an Inn, owned by a variety of different owners. In 1960 the Sterling Hotel Company purchased it and did extensive restorations.

SLR_8270-001Today this house still operates as a lovely historical Inn, and Man The Capstan certainly enjoyed their stay there. We stayed in the Vanderbilt room, and the twin room right across from it, and were indeed very comfortable. The house is filled with antiques and period furniture, and beautifully decorated with the opulence of the Victorian period.  The breakfast room downstairs offers a healthful and generous breakfast with lots of variety. The staff is friendly and helpful, and the rooms are beautiful and very clean. I would definitely stay there again, and would recommend it as a place to stay if ever you are visiting Halifax , Nova Scotia.

Don’t for get to click on the pictures to get their full size and effect!waverly4-001


Hello There, from the Tailor!

21st century serger

Well it seems my designation is to be that of Lead Tailor, and of course it is true that I’m the one who does the sewing. I suspect however, that my title is largely due to the fact that I’m the only one who can man the serger. No easy task I’m told…

I have always loved to sew and create “things” so this project is just up my alley. Costume making is one of my favourite past times and attention to detail and authenticity is very important to me. When my son David’s interest in the British Royal Navy became apparent to me, the thought of creating a “Royal Navy Captain’s Uniform” began to take root in my head. Soon he and I were planning and scheming and searching the world over for the proper materials. We wanted to make as original as possible a reproduction of such an early 1800s uniform. It has been so much fun, that we are planning a number of other costumes for other members of the family as well!

As a historian I’m largely self taught, having acquired an appreciation of history and genealogy from time spent in discussions with my father and other family members around the kitchen table when I was growing up. The importance of history, and that of my family’s place and cultural background within it, are deeply ingrained in me. Today, as they say, I am the keeper of the family pages on both sides of the tree, and I’m happy to know that when I’m gone both my children are capable of picking up the threads I’ve left them.

The white ensign—a flag commonly flown from R.N. ships of war

I am far removed from the origins of my own family history, having been born in the Netherlands; however, my husband’s family roots are firmly planted into the Canadian soil, and they certainly were among the pioneers of this country. There were many seafaring men among them, both in the form of Ship’s Captains, Merchantmen, even a few impressed Royal Navy Service men, and in more recent times in service to the Canadian Navy during times of war.  Some were born at sea, a number of them were laid to rest there, and most lived their lives within a short distance from and within the confines of her shores and tides.

Almost three hundred years of Maritime history has been deeply embedded into the souls of this family, and you just can’t walk away from that, now can ye? Hence this project and what it represents.

Man the Capstan Launches!

After some difficulty deciding how we’ll set this blog up, we’re finally live and ready to go.

Clicking on the History link to the right will offer a brief summary of Man the Capstan and its intended purpose; to highlight naval and other historical reproductions. Blog posts will be categorized according to that particular project.

There are two people presently working on Man the Capstan, and hopefully both will be providing content to share.

That’s all for now, but here’s a painting of the historic HMS Victory at sea.