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

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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5 Responses So Far to “A DAY’S WORK, Part II—an excerpt: Friendship Sloops

  • Avatar

    Brad Bovee says:

    Since she still exists where can Dictator be seen?

      • Avatar

        Maynard Bray says:

        Hi James,
        The boat in A Day’s Work, Part 1 (page 368) is currently identified in the new book Lasting Friendships (page 20) as Genesee, still credited to Rob McLain, but in 1900, not 1904. Looks as if the earlier identification might have been in error. The lesson from this is to be on guard for further research; it’s apt to bite you.

        • Avatar

          James Thoen says:


          I was reconditioning some trim on my Dictator-model Friendship Sloop and an errant question popped into my head born of no purpose in particular:

          Do you know what the original color of Dictator was when Jarvis Newman bought her? Many of his replicas of her are dark green as you know, but I wondered if that was her original color.

          Anyway, if you could satiate my curiosity, I’d be obliged.



          • Avatar

            Maynard Bray says:

            Hi Jim,
            Dictator was painted white when Javis bought her.