Three vintage churches along a grass-fringed shoreline set a tranquil tone for this pastoral town that wraps around a sweeping curve of water. Of course, life here wasn’t always so serene. Mahone Bay was once a thriving shipbuilding center. Before that, it was popular with pirates and privateers. In fact, Mahone Bay was named for the type of low-lying ship they used: it's a corruption of the French word mahonne (a low-lying barge-like boat).