Preview: A DAY’S WORK, Part II—an excerpt: Friendship Sloops

March 9, 2015

Avatar Maynard Bray

Hosted by OCH co-founder Maynard Bray

Bill Bunting’s two books (Parts I and II) entitled A Day’s Work have intrigued us at OCH for some time, having been listed as a favorite read by at least one of our OCH Guides. They’re about life in Maine as it used to be between 1860 and 1920, told in photographs and marvelously informative essays written by Bill. Things maritime are included—about a third of Part II, in fact—and they are what we’ll feature, but there’s great stuff about farming, lumbering, quarrying, ice harvesting, and other commercial pursuits of the late 1800s and early 1900s as well. I guarantee you’ll learn more than you can imagine about how ingenious our forebears were in using brains, brawn, and natural materials like wood.

With Bill’s blessing and that of owner/publisher Jon Eaton of Tilbury House, and with assistance from Bill’s wife (and former Tilbury publisher) Jennifer Bunting, OCH will be periodically posting more excerpts as a way of reviewing these exceptional books. Although Part I is out of print, the 384-page second volume (Part II) is still in print and available. I hope these excerpts convince you to buy Part I used, and to place an order for Part II. For the latter, here’s the link to Tilbury House:, and to Amazon:



York Island Harbor in the 1890s (from page 160, Part II)

The sloops, some of which probably hail from Deer Isle, are likely products of Muscongus Bay, although the peapods were of local origin, probably from islands. The steam launch was likely associated with Isle au Haut’s summer olony, the patches of snow on northern exposures notwithstanding. The lack of topmasts on the “sloop-boats” also reveals the season to be winter.

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