The Bigelow family was involved in shipbuilding in the Kings County region of Nova Scotia for five generations. Amasa Bigelow (1755-1799) arrived in Cornwallis c. 1762 with his New England Planter father and became a ship’s carpenter, later operating a sawmill on Deep Hollows Mountain. He married Roxana Cone in 1775. The eldest of their eleven children, Ebenezer (1776-1860), established a shipyard at Oak Point, Kingsport, where he designed, built and sailed a variety of small vessels. He was married in 1804 to Nancy Rand, with whom he had six children.
Ebenezer Jr. (1815-1899) followed in his father’s footsteps and in 1838 established his own shipyard in Canning, Nova Scotia. Over the next fifty years he was the master builder on 67 ships, from 12-tonne sloops to the 1164-tonne Arbela, designed by his son Gideon.
Ebenezer, Jr. married Waity Sanford in 1834 and had 10 children, three of whom (John, Gideon and Samuel) joined him in the Bigelow Shipyard, eventually taking it over after his death in 1889. They in turn were joined by Ebenezer, Jr.’s grandsons, Scott and Halle, whose vessels included 4 tern schooners and one steamship, the Brunswick (1909). The last ship built in the Bigelow Shipyard was the Cape Blomidon, which was launched in 1919.