In the 19th and 20th centuries the prosperity of the communities of the Minas Basin region was driven by fishing, logging, farming, mining and shipbuilding. Twice a day the tides of the Bay of Fundy fill the Minas Basin with water providing a means to get lumber and various ores to insatiable markets in the United States and Europe. As a result most communities had wharves built to take advantage of tide and materials. Cribs were built beside wharves so that ships could safely sit on the bottom at low tide while they were being loaded. In the late 19th century the shipyards of the Basin produced some of the highest numbers of wooden ships in Canadian history. Walton was home to gypsum, manganese and barite mining, a saw mill and a shipyard that produced some of the vessels that carried product to market. Two large wharves with cribs and a rock breakwater sheltered the small harbour from the tides and storms.