Ship Hector Passenger Descendant: Isaac Matheson
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This passenger descendant of Ship Hector would start one of the oldest continuous manufacturing companies in Canada still operating in 2023. Isaac Matheson founded his company in 1867, which began as the Acadia Iron Foundry in New Glasgow, Nova Scotia.
Born in 1814 in West River, Pictou County, Young Matheson became an apprentice at the Acadia Foundry in Albion Mines (Stellarton). Coal was discovered here in 1798 and large-scale production began in 1827 when British interests ran the General Mining Association.
In 1854, Matheson packed up his family and moved to the Miramichi area of northern New Brunswick, where he was employed making iron furniture for the shipbuilding industry.
Matheson moved back to Pictou County in 1867 and formed the Acadia Iron Foundry. Where they advertised, “We prepare orders for crushers, engines, boilers, lathes, and Acadia cookstoves.” This deal was very successful, particularly for local shipbuilders, including working with his famous shipbuilding brother-in-law, James W. Carmichael, in the construction of the first all-steel schooner made in Canada.
Matheson became very active and very popular in the community and has been described as “popularizing himself in the hearts of the people of New Glasgow”. Described as a devoted Christian, he was involved in the session of the Primitive Church and was also the superintendent of the Sabbath School, where “he labored with the utmost zeal and skill.” Matheson was also heavily involved in the development of the local YMCA. He was defined as a man who undertook everything half-heartedly, the motto being “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might.” In 1873, Matheson and Hannah (Carmichael) began building a new house in New Glasgow, a structure with five chimneys, impressive architecture, large courtyard and gardens. Unfortunately, Matheson only enjoyed his new home for a few months. Matheson died on March 17, 1874. Acadia Foundry employees carried the coffin.
If you believe your family is descended from the ship’s passenger Hector, you are encouraged to get in touch with the project via www.facebook.com/shiphestordescendants or by email [email protected]