Fonds MS-4-124 - Halifax Graving Dock Company fonds

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Halifax Graving Dock Company fonds

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  • Textual record

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  • 1886-1942, prodominant 1918-1919 (Creation)
    Halifax Graving Dock Company Limited.

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Physical description

3 cm of textual records

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Administrative history

The Halifax Graving Dock Company was incorporated in 1885 by English investors for the purpose of constructing and running a dry dock in Halifax, Nova Scotia. The company was subsidized $10,000 annually for 20 years by each the British Admiralty, the Dominion government and the City of Halifax.The dock opened in 1889 on the western shore of Halifax Harbour in the community of Richmond. The following year the company purchased the Chebucto Marine Railway in Dartmouth Cove, at the mouth of the former Shubenacadie Canal.

Initially unprofitable, under the management of Samuel Manners Brookfield, and later his son, John Waites Brookfield, the company had paid off its arrears by 1918. On December 6, 1917 the graving dock facilities on the Halifax side of the harbour were badly damaged by the Halifax Explosion, which occurred 300 metres north of the graving dock.

Although Samuel Brookfield had the graving dock back in operation within two months of the explosion, the government used the situation to expropriate the company's properties in order to build an integrated building and repair facility for steel-hulled ships. The Halifax Graving Dock Company was compensated $1,250,000. Brookfield and the other shareholders unsuccessfully contested the expropriation before the Exchequer Court of Canada, which resulted in only a slight increase in compensation when the judgement was received in 1920.

The new shipyard facility was first leased and then sold to the newly formed Halifax Shipyards Limited. In 1920 the British Empire Steel Corporation acquired control of the shipyard's stock, which was subsequently purchased in 1930 by Dominion Coal and Steel Corporation. Over the next sixty years the shipyard was owned by various interests; in 1994 it was purchased by the Irving-owned Saint John Shipbuilding Limited and renamed Halifax Shipyard Limited.

Custodial history

Custodial history is unknown. Fonds was purchased by Charles Armour in 1977.

Scope and content

Fonds contains documents used in the legal proceedings taken by the shareholders of the Halifax Graving Dock Company in response to the company's expropriation by the government. Fonds also contains a 1942 court judgment of an unrelated case of land expropriation in Sydney, Nova Scotia.

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  • English

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There are no access restrictions on these materials. All materials are open for research.

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Materials do not circulate and must be used in the Archives and Special Collections Reading Room.

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No further accruals are expected.

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  • English

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