Atlas Obscura

This Former Morgue for Titanic Victims Is Now a Restaurant

Coffins were stacked outside Snow & Co. in the aftermath of the Halifax Explosion.

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There is a seafood place near Halifax Harbour that was once home to the city’s oldest mortuary. It’s now the Five Fishermen Restaurant but was once Snow & Company Undertakers, who tended to the bodies of not one but two major tragedies of the early 20th century.

In the morning hours of April 15, 1912, 350 miles off the coast of Newfoundland, the R.M.S Titanic went down. Rescue operations took place out of Halifax, the largest nearby port, and many of the recovered bodies were brought to Snow’s funeral home, including John Jacob Astor IV, the richest of the ship’s passengers.

Five years later on Dec. 6, 1917, the Halifax Explosion, at the time the largest manmade explosion in history, claimed nearly 2,000 lives when a French munitions ship struck another vessel in the Harbour. Again, Snow & Co. was overwhelmed with bodies, with a photo running in the newspaper showing the funeral home with coffins stacked high in the street.

The building was originally constructed as a schoolhouse in 1817, right across from St. Paul’s Anglican Church, the oldest building in Halifax. In 1883 the building was sold to John Snow, and the family’s mortuary occupied the space until 1973. They are still a Halifax business today.

There are many claims that the Five Fishermen Restaurant is haunted, but don’t let this deter you. Its food is apparently to die for.

Written by Atlas Obscura contributor Sam Reeve

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