The Seal Cove Smoke Sheds, located on Grand Manan, comprise 54 wooden structures, most of which were constructed between 1870 and 1930. During the smoked herring industry’s prime, these buildings were utilized for hanging herring to be smoked, cured, or transformed into fillets for preservation. These red-roofed wooden buildings led to Seal Cove being designated a National Historic Site in 1995.
In the 19th century, the smoked herring industry on Grand Manan exported to destinations as far away as Europe and the Caribbean, with Seal Cove playing a central role. It remains one of only two village enclaves with a concentrated area of smoke sheds still standing.
Today, the smoke sheds resemble abandoned houses, uniformly colored grey and red, exuding a rustic fishing atmosphere. Not all of the Smoke sheds are inactive. Many are privately owned, with some left vacant or repurposed. Lobster fishermen use the sheds as warehouses and workspaces. Additionally, several summer residents have purchased and converted them into seasonal dwellings (Like the one pictured). As a result, Seal Cove remains active and it is fortunate that some of Seal Cove’s properties have been repurposed (Like the one in the Photograph), as many historic fishing buildings in Atlantic Canada are often demolished.
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