Steeped in a history of wooden ships and iron men, Hantsport is a picturesque Town in which you may spend a few hours or a few days. Your first stop might be Churchill House. A grand Victorian home tucked among stately cedars and oaks trees. The Churchill House, once known as The Cedars, was the wedding gift of shipbuilding magnate Ezra Churchill to his son, John. Upon touring the house, you will view exquisitely decorated molding, original flooring, and wall coverings embossed with the Churchill Coat of Arms. Records of many of the ships that were built and that sailed from this tiny hamlet are archived in the former nursery. Be sure to ask your guide about the legend of Ondine and the painting that behaves mysteriously during a full moon.
Nearby on the lawn of the Baptist Church is the cairn of William Hall, a local naval hero whose valour during the Relief of Lucknow in 1857 earned him the Victoria Cross. Friday evenings in the summer offers another unique glimpse into HantsportÙs heritage, as Nova Scarcity Storyteller, Heather Davidson, regales residents and visitors alike with tales of the Towns illustrious forefathers through her Candlelight Cemetery Tours. A trip to the wharf at the end of William Street offers a view, one of natureÙs most extraordinary spectacles the rise and fall of the worldÙs highest tides. These tides lift fishing boats and tug boats alike skyward at high tide, and then ever so gently sets them on the ocean floor at tideÙs ebb. Hantsport is set to be this fall the home of North AmericaÙs fastest ship loading facility. With every freighter that arrives 40,000 tonnes of raw gypsum must be loaded and the boat departed within three hours, at full tide. If you time your visit well, you can explore the shoreline just west of the Town along Blue Beach on the Horton Bluff Road. This area has become a famous site for fossils and ancient track ways. Those less geologically inclined may still enjoy a stroll along the dark shale and a view of the Avonport Lighthouse. Here you may chance upon the resident eagles, or voracious herons stalking along the mudflats. Beachcombing and fossil hunting are best done during a retreating tide. (Tide times as well as docking times for gypsum boats are available at the Hantsport Tourist Bureau. Feel free to ask the friendly tourism staff for information about events, accommodations, and restaurants in the area.)