Voyaging Thru Time: Photographs from Penobscot Marine Museum, Part 12

January 17, 2018

Avatar Maynard Bray

Below are the latest selections from Penobscot Marine Museum’s wonderful National Fisherman photo collection. There are thousands more, and you can view them all at our website. They’re not ancient, but go back far enough to show what it was like when fish were plentiful and most boats were built of wood. How things change!

While it’s possible to make your own prints from the images here, we encourage you to order from us; we’re convinced that the quality will be noticeably better. 

If you want to enlarge any of the images below to better study details, simply click on the image and it will double in size.

We hope you’re enjoying this series as it unfolds. Believe me, there are no end of great photos at PMM. We’ve scanned and posted over 100,000 and that’s only the half of it.

—————–Kevin Johnson, Photo Archivist, Penobscot Marine Museum.



RESTLESS is launched at Cambridge, MD, with her builder, Robert Meekins, guiding the boat’s progress down the beach. She’s a Chesapeake deadrise, and is shown under construction in Part 11 of this series. (LB2012.15.8022 from National Fisherman July, 1977, page 18C)


Chinook salmon, also known as king salmon, as adults, range between two and three feet in length and are the most prized of all. They’re native to the northern Pacific and, like this big one, are caught by trolling. (LB 2012.15.8058 from National fisherman January, 1966, page 25)


Halibut comes aboard and this is a big one! (LB2012.15.8061 from the 1976 National Fisherman Yearbook, page 21) 


This guy knows how to build skiffs without an elaborate setup. The sides, the stem, a single mold amidships, and the transom give the boat its shape, and three piles of blocking bring it to a convenient height for cross-planking the bottom. Lewis G. Wright is a Virginia builder. (LB2012.15.8687 from National Fisherman, October, 1986, page 41)


Bangor, Maine, thrived as a lumber port during the last half of of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th. Millions upon millions of white pine boards and timbers left the city aboard schooners until the biggest trees were used up. Passengers and freight came from Boston by steamers like the big side-wheeler PENOBSCOT, named for this river that runs well into Maine’s forestland. It’s less certain what’s happening this day in the canvas-covered peapod. Has a rower jumped overboard and left his or her oars like this, or what? (LB2012.15.9408 from National Fisherman, October, 1954)


Takes a good boat and fast action by lifeguards to get through the New Jersey surf and off into deep water. (LB2012.15.9531 from National Fisherman January, 1977, page 1A. Photo by Greg Kohl)


How many logs do you suppose have been trod upon by Leonard Hurlburt of Whitneyville, Maine? Nicknamed “Hunk,” drivers like him  jump as grasshoppers from one log to another, pushing and prodding with pikes, to free jams and keep logs rushing with the river’s springtime current toward the sawmill. Dangerous? You bet! But here, the driving is over and Hunk stands at ease. (LB2012.15.9685 from National Fisherman, May, 1971, page 12A. Photo by Boutilier)  


SERAFINA N’s fishing days are over and a backhoe makes quick work of her demolition. But she’s wood and this dragger’s remains will soon degrade into soil. She was launched in Port Clinton, Ohio, as a WWI subchaser in 1917, but fished out of Gloucester, Massachusetts, for most of her life. (LB2012.15.10000 from National Fisherman, March, 1974, page 13A)


Her nose out of joint and then some, the 156-foot barkentine FREDA A. WILLEY has been hauled out for repair after being hit by the outward-bound 370-foot British steamer MARTELLO. The collision occurred on May 8, 1887 near the Sandy Hook lightship, in the fog, with MARTELLO found at fault for excessive speed. The WILLEY was carrying yellow pine from Florida to New Haven, and was built only seven years earlier in Thomaston, Maine. (LB2012.15.10263 from National Fisherman, February, 1970, page 10C)


Two landmarks of the early 20th century were the Menawarmet Hotel in Boothbay Harbor and the schooner EFFORT that carried the mail (and passengers) from that port to Monhegan. Daytrippers may be leaving EFFORT by dory for their rooms ashore, while a scow sloop looks about to round up at the wharf, just out of sight to the right. The hotel burned in 1913, about when EFFORT left the scene. (LB2012.15.10782 from National Fisherman, June, 1972, page 9B)


The dragger RHODE ISLAND burns as her crew prepares to abandon ship. Two dories, carried on racks near her stern as part of the outfit, have been launched and lie at the ready. (LB2012.15.10576 from the 1982 National Fisherman Yearbook, page 62. U.S. Coast Guard photo.)


Help arrives courtesy of the U.S. Coast Guard to put out CARA CARA’s engineroom fire, the most recent equipment being a helicopter-delivered fire pump. (LB2012.15.10579 from National Fisherman, October, 1967, page 12. U.S. Coast Guard photo) 


Eastport, Maine, in 1930 viewed by 90-year-old Edward Woods and his daughter, Mary Benton, standing in front of various commercial craft, a Friendship Sloop and a Carryaway Boat among them. (LB2012.15.10504. Photo by Fred G. Milliken)


Built as a coaster to carry freight, but in later life ENTERPRISE carried passengers. In the end, she wore out and was burnt up on the shore at Camden, Maine, in 1957. (LB2012.15.10681) 


Mostly Elcos from the 1920s, this Connecticut River parade took place around 1970 and also shows a few post-war power cruisers. Elco, based in Bayonne, NJ,, was a leading builder of standardized cruisers and built some of the best. (LB2012.15.9206 from National Fisherman, February, 1974, page 1A)


Guests crowd BOWDOIN’s deck in 1950 at Boothbay Harbor, Only a few, however, will remain onboard when Adm. Donald MacMillan’s schooner shoves off for her annual voyage to the arctic. Now (2018) Maine’s offical tall ship, BOWDOIN is based in Castine. (LB2012.15.9579 from National Fisherman, January, 1968, page 12B. Photo by R.P. Vennerbeck) 


In 2012, Diversified Communications of Portland, ME, donated National Fisherman magazine’s entire pre-digital photographic archive to the Penobscot Marine Museum (PMM). Although the Museum has Fair Use rights to the images, responsibility for determining the nature of copyright and obtaining permissions to publish, transmit or reproduce these materials rests entirely with the researcher. You can view many more photos of this collection here.



4 Responses So Far to “Voyaging Thru Time: Photographs from Penobscot Marine Museum, Part 12”:

  1. Avatar Walt Schmidt says:

    Some photos don’t load …

  2. Avatar Craig Mudge says:

    Great series, Ben. Thanks.

  3. Avatar Ben Fuller says:

    The pod published above is in the collection of the PMM. It turned up in the 2000’s along with some more photos of the boat underway. Lots of things you don’t seen in the photo. Planking runs transversely fastened to a light set of longitudinals. She is very fancy, beads everywhere, upholstered removable horse hair filled cushions. We figured her date somewhere in the early days of canvas experimentation, the 1870s. The other photos show a lady rowing single handed, this gent rowing with the lady , and there are several photos showing the pod at a camp or down in the Eggemoggin Reach. She’s light enough for a two person lift so would be easy to put onto a wagon.

  4. Eric T. Pomber Eric T. Pomber says:

    This photo series from the PMM has been awesome, here’s hoping for more!


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