John McLean & Sons fonds

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

John McLean & Sons fonds

General material designation

  • Textual record
  • Graphic material
  • Technical drawing

Parallel title

Other title information

Title statements of responsibility

Title notes

Level of description



Reference code


Edition area

Edition statement

Edition statement of responsibility

Class of material specific details area

Statement of scale (cartographic)

Statement of projection (cartographic)

Statement of coordinates (cartographic)

Statement of scale (architectural)

Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area


  • 1858-1965 (Creation)
    John McLean & Sons

Physical description area

Physical description

4.5 cm of textual records
118 photographs
72 blueprints

Publisher's series area

Title proper of publisher's series

Parallel titles of publisher's series

Other title information of publisher's series

Statement of responsibility relating to publisher's series

Numbering within publisher's series

Note on publisher's series

Archival description area

Name of creator


Administrative history

John McLean was born in 1835 at Port Clyde, Shelburne County. In 1861 he married Agnes Elizabeth Blysteiner of Mahone Bay, where McLean established a shipyard in 1865 and also worked as a local photographer. As his shipbuilding business grew, McLean was joined in 1882 by his son, Charles Angus (born 1865). Another son, William Delmont (born 1875), joined the firm in 1897. The two brothers expanded the business following their father’s death in 1910, in 1917 acquiring the John H. Zwicker yard. After Charles’s death in 1950, William continued to operate John McLean & Sons until 1961, when he retired and sold the business. From 1941-1950, the yard was leased and operated as the Mahone Bay Shipbuilding Company.

Custodial history

The photocopy of the document concerning the Mahone Bay Shipbuilding Co. Ltd. and the Winding-Up Act was received from the Yarmouth County Museum in 2003. The photographs and legal documents were donated to the Mahone Bay Museum in 2010 by Judith Van Ryckevorsel. The shipbuilding blueprints and related textual records were received from the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic in 2010. The group of 29 photographs in the 2020 accrual were donated by Judith Van Ryckervorsel c. 2010 (Acc, Nos. 2010.2.1 - 2010.2.27). The 70 glass negatives (which were originally found in a building adjacent to a property previously owned by John McLean) were donated in 2019 by the Heritage Boat Yard Co-op (Acc. Nos. 2019.5.1-2019.5.60AB).

Scope and content

Fonds consists of legal documents, correspondence, notes, blueprints, and photographs that primarily document the shipbuilding activities of the John McLean & Sons shipyard in Mahone Bay. The photographs feature annotations (on the front or back of mounts) that identify vessels, members of the McLean family, some shipyard workers, and other subjects, including some early views of Mahone Bay. Among the vessels depicted are the schooners Crofton U. McLeod, H.H. MacIntosh, and John W. Miller. There is also a photograph of the CPR steamer Mount Temple aground on West Ironbound Island in 1907. The blueprints and related textual records document vessels built by both John MacLean and Sons and the Mahone Bay Shipbuilding Company. The legal documents pertain to real-estate issues. An accrual processed in 2020 comprises a group of 29 photographs (mostly tintypes) and a group of 70 glass negatives. The tintypes and related photographs date from the c. 1861-1890 period and consist mostly of portraits of John McLean’s wife and children. The glass negatives date from c.1891 -1895 and consist of street views of houses, portraits of people (including two portraits of John McLean), and one military photo. These glass negatives have been attributed to John McLean who was best known as a local shipbuilder but self-identified as a photographer in the 1871 census and on his daughter’s marriage record in 1879. It is possible that McLean was also responsible for the tintypes.

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition


Language of material

Script of material

Location of originals

Availability of other formats

Restrictions on access

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

Finding aids

A file list is available. In addition, an item-level listing is available for the photographs in the 2020 accrual.

Associated materials

Related materials


Alternative identifier(s)

Standard number area

Standard number

Access points

Genre access points

Control area


Accession area