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 © LaHave Islands Marine Museum Society   Web design by Robert Ylkos

We are now closed for the season. The museum will reopen June 1, 2024.

AGM: Friday, October 27, 2-4 pm

Museum Hall

Vera Mae Bush Island Boats


Originally built in 1946, by local boat builders Harris Bush, Max Bush and Guy Bush, next door to the current Marine Museum, for Peter and Aubrey Bush.

After Peter’s death, Aubrey sold the boat, whose name was unknown at this point, to Ernest Baker who named it after his wife, Vera Mae Baker. The Baker’s ran the Post Office on Bell’s Island at the time.

The boat was passed on to their son Theodore who eventually sold it to William Maher, a summer resident on Bush Island. It was later sold to John Fowler who donated it to the Avon River Historical Society in Avondale, Nova Scotia.

The Vera Mae

The “Vera Mae” is a “double ender” style Bush Island Boat. This means both her bow and stern are curved. She would have been a highly maneuverable boat, able to reverse her engine and go in both directions due to the dual curved ends. She is 27.5 feet long and 7.3 feet wide. The engine is an Acadia gas 5 horsepower “make or break” engine circa 1940 with engine ram of 108 tons.


The “Vera Mae” was a major part of life on the LaHave Islands. While, like many Bush Island Boats, she was used as a fishing boat, she also had another important role. Since her owners, the Baker’s, ran the Bell’s Island post office “Vera Mae” was the boat used to bring the mail to the Islands.


The LaHave Islands Marine Museum Society (LIMMS) acquired the “Vera Mae” in 2006. Late in 2005 the LIMMS learned about the existence of a Bush Island Boat at the Avon River Historical Society’s museum and were contacted to see if they were interested in acquiring the boat. They were and in April of the following year the boat, which they learned was the “Vera Mae” was transported from Avondale to the LaHave Islands. A site outside of the museum was cleared and funding was obtained to build a shelter or “retirement home” for the 60 year old boat and also to restore the boat. Today the “retirement home” is complete and restorations on the boat are also complete.

The “Vera Mae” coming up to a Bell’s Island church.

The “Vera Mae’s” Acadia Gas 5 hp engine on display in the boat.

The “Vera Mae” on her trip to the Museum

During the construction of the boat shed: notice the evergreen tree on top, which is a German building tradition when roof trusses are in place.

The Vera Mae during reconstruction. Her keel has been replaced and she was repainted soon after.