Here is the story of the well known schooner Bowdoin and of the people whose lives were touched by her. Virginia Thorndike has immersed herself in personal journals and published records, and has listened to the tales of dozens of people whose lives have changed because of their time spent with the Bowdoin, Maine's Official Sailing Vessel. Photos throughout. Paperback. 259 pgs.
The years between 1850 and 2000 brought constant change to the islands of Casco Bay. This pictorial history features more than 200 images that illustrate how the residents of Peaks, Cushing, House, the Diamonds, Long, Cliff, Chebeague and Jewell Islands have adapted to changing times yet remain rooted in their traditional lifestyle. Black & white photographs throughout. Paperback. 127 pgs.
In Coastal Maine, Roger Duncan recounts four hundred years of Maine's rich maritime history, from the early seafarers dicovery of its valuable resources and the families that settled the land, to Maine's role in the history of the U.S. in peacetime and war. 1992 paperback, 573 pages.
A delightful romp through history with all its economic forces laid bare, Cod is the biography of a single species of fish, but it may as well be a world history with this humble fish as its recurring main character. Cod, it turns out, is the reason Europeans set sail across the Atlantic, and it is the only reason they could. What did the Vikings eat in icy Greenland and on the five expeditions to America recorded in the Icelandic sagas? Cod, frozen and dried in the frosty air, then broken into pieces and eaten like hardtack. What was the staple of the medieval diet? Cod again, sold salted by the Basques, an enigmatic people with a mysterious, unlimited supply of cod. As we make our way through the centuries of cod history, we also find a delicious legacy of recipes, and the tragic story of environmental failure, of depleted fishing stocks where once their numbers were legendary. In this lovely, thoughtful history, Mark Kurlansky ponders the question: Is the fish that changed the world forever changed by the world's folly? Paperback 294 pages
This engaging overview of Maine’s maritime history ranges from early Native American travel and fishing to pre-Plymouth European settlements, wars, international trade, shipbuilding, boom-and-bust fisheries, immigrant quarrymen, quick-lime production, yachting, and modern port facilities, all unfolding against one of the most dramatic seascapes on the planet. When the first edition was published in 2000, Walter Cronkite―a veteran Maine coastal sailor as well as The Most Trusted Man in America―wrote that “Paine’s economy of phrase and clarity of purpose make this book a delight.” Paine went on to write his monumental opus The Sea and Civilization: A Maritime History of the World (PW starred review), but now returns to his first and most abiding love, the coast of Maine, to revise and update this gem of a book. The new edition is printed in a large, full-color format with a stunning complement of historical photos, paintings, charts, and illustrations, making this a truly visual journey along a storied coast. 261 pgs.
Perched midway across the mouth of Casco Bay on a barren ledge of two acres, Halfway Rock Light Station is a remote, wave-swept beacon, nearly inaccessible and totally exposed to the ravages of Mother Nature. Built in 1871 to guide mariners approaching Portland Harbor, the lighthouse was staged until it was automated in 1976. Thereafter, maintenance was limited to the bare essentials required to keep the light and fog horn functioning. Declared surplus government property in 2014, Halfway Rock Light Station was offered at auction and purchased by Ford Reiche in 2015. In this book, Reiche surveys the historical background of early light stations and chronicles the lives and duties of lighthouse keepers. He then describes the adventure of restoring the property, with compelling "before and after" photos. "In 1875 an assistant keeper wrote of Halfway Rock Lighthouse: 'This dangerous rock so long the terror of seamen . . . lies midway between Cape Elizabeth and Cape Small Point.' In 1935 author Robert P. T. Coffin observed that 'Halfway Rock is exactly centered there above the breakers that come from the other end of the earth.' Thanks to Ford Reiche, seafarers will continue to be protected from 'this dangerous rock,' and its proud stone tower will still battle 'the breakers that come from the other end of the earth.' - Earle G. Shettleworth, Jr., Maine State Historian, author of numerous books on Maine history. Black & white and color photos and maps throughout. Paperback. 189 pgs.
Though tiny, the herring has played an enormous role in history. Battles have been waged over it. International economic alliances have formed over it. Major cities owe their prosperity to it. Political powers have risen and fallen with herrings own rise and fall in population. How can this all be attributed to this unassuming little animal? In Herring: A Global History, Kathy Hunt looks at the environmental, historical, political, and culinary background of this prolific and easily caught fish. Over the centuries, herring have sustained populations in times of war and hardship, and the fish’s rich flavor, delicate texture, and nutritious meat have made it a culinary favorite. Its ease of preparation just grill, broil, fry, pickle, salt, or smoke and serve have won it further acclaim. Engaging and informative, the book features fifteen mouth-watering recipes. It will appeal to food lovers, history buffs, and anyone who has ever enjoyed a British kipper, German Bismarck, Dutch matjes, or Jewish chopped-herring. Color photography throughout. From "The Edible Series". Hardcover. 143 pgs.
A few short decades ago, fishermen used to stalk herring through moonless nights among the wild outer islands off the coast of Maine. Deep in the night, with surf close at hand and phosphorescence firing in the depths below, they would work for that one good haul that could spell the difference between lean times and a prosperous winter. "Herring Nights" is a memoir of nighttime passages by radar through rock-strewn waters, and of David, a purse seiner who had powers, who could find fish in the heart of a storm when no one else dared venture forth. Originally published in 1986 as "Amaretto" this new edition, with a new epilogue from the author to bring the story up to date, "Herring Nights" speaks with the urgent, haunting intensity of a voice from a lost world. Black & white photos and maps throughout. Paperback. 223 pgs.
Here Greenlaw tells her own riveting story of a 30-day sword fishing voyage aboard one of the best outfitted boats on the East Coast. Complete with danger, humor, and characters so colorful they seem to have been ripped from the pages of Moby Dick. Paperback. 265 pgs.
With woody intonation and a suitably somber cadence, Tony Award-winning actor Herrmann reads this chilling tale of the Essex, a whaling ship that was sunk in the middle of the Pacific by an 80-foot sperm whale in 1820. The story would come to mark the mythology of the 19th century as the Titanic did the 20thAHerman Melville, for one, based Moby Dick on certain key elements of the tragedy. In Philbrick's spare, well-paced version, we learn much about how Nantucket's culture was affected by the whaling industry boom, from its economy to its social habits. But the horrific heart of the narrative details the fate of the 20 sailors who attempted to sail several thousand miles back to Chile using only three pathetic open boats. Reaching home 93 days later, only eight sailors survived the ordeal of thirst, starvation and despair. Near the tape's end, Herrmann delivers one of the finest funereal orations ever offered on behalf of seamen. Paperback 302 pages
In this hilarious and moving true story, Greenlaw reveals her keen eye for the dramas of small-town life, as well as her talent for fascinating nautical description. A must read for anyone who loves boats and the ocean and lobsters, anyone who has ever reached a crossroads in life, and anyone who has wondered what it would be like to live on a very small island. Paperback. 238 pgs.
Veteran journalist Colin Woodard's startling portrait of the Maine coast and it's forgotten history is a fascinating tale of intrigue, conflict, and stubborn perseverance. Born and raised in Maine, Woodard is able to reveal a people with an Old World sense of ties that exist between blood and soil; many of the tiny fishing and farming hamlets that dot the coast are still ocupied by the families that settled them three or four centuries ago. These communities and their unique way of life are now threatened by the forces of suburbaniztion spreading north from the cities. Part history, part ecological fable, "The Lobster Coast" tells a story as big as America itself, one with poignant lessons for the inhabitants of a rapidly shrinking world. 2004 paperback, 372 pages.
Published by the Maine Historical Society in 1974, this bibliography is arranged as follows: (A) General Works, (B) Local Items, (C) Vessel Descriptions, (D) Allied Trades, (E) Records and Stats (F) Newspapers, (G) Periodicals, (H) Society Publications, (I) Dissertations (J) Manuscript Collections and (K) Miscellaneous.
In 1775, Captain Henry Mowat infamously ordered the burning of Falmouth-now Portland. That act cast him as the arch villain in the state's Revolutionary history, but Mowat's impact on Maine went far beyond a single border. In this book, historian Harry Gratwick examines the life of Mowat and whether he truly was the scoundrel of Revolutionary Maine. Black & white photographs and illustrations throughout. Paperback. 155 pgs.
Waldoboro was a major New England ship building and shipping center from the late 1700s until the early 1900s. Although, as in many Maine communities, records are scarce, we can be sure that over 600 sailing vessels were built, mainly within one-half mile of the village. The most common type of vessel built in Waldoboro was the schooner -- with two or three masts -- a "coaster," built to carry bulk cargoes such as wood, exported in the early days from local areas to the large cities of the East Coast. For example, between 1820 and 1840 eleven locally built schooners ran regularly between Waldoboro and Boston. Schooners operated like a trailer trucks of today, traveling back and forth, up and down the coast, making many trips each year. Cargo of any kind -- including animals and people -- was their business. Other types of vessels were also built in Waldoboro, including brigs, barks, barkentines, brigantines, sloops and ships. Many of the largest of these, particularly the ships, were sold to prominent firms that then used them in the trade to such faraway places as Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australia. In the closing decades of the 1800s, ships as large as 1700 tons were being built, followed in the early 1900s by the famous Palmer Schooner fleet, all of which exceeded 2000 tons. With his Palmer Schooner fleet, George Welt gave more hope that the shipbuilding industry would continue to flourish, but that was not to be. The forces bringing wooden shipbuilding and Waldoboro's glory days to an end were firmly in control. 332 Pages Paperback
Filled with black & white pictures and illustrations, this book gives a thorough history of Portland Head Light and Fort Williams from the 1790's to the late 1960's. 104 pgs. paperback.
The builder of the Observatory was Captain Lemuel Moody - he was also one of the founders of the Portland Marine Society in 1796. Captain Moody manned the Observatory from 1807-1846, and was active the in the Marine Society until his death in 1846. This book is a history of the Observatory and the man who built it. Paperback with black & white photos and documents throughout. 96 pgs.
For decades, Portland, Maine, was the closest ice-free port to Europe. As such, it was key to the transport of Canadian wheat across the Atlantic, losing its prominence only after WWII, as containerization came to dominate all shipping and Portland shifted its focus to tourism. Michael Connolly offers an in-depth study of the on-shore labor force that made the port function from the mid-nineteenth through the mid-twentieth centuries. He shows how Irish immigrants replaced and supplanted the existing West Indian workers and established benevolent societies and unions that were closed to blacks. Using this fascinating city and these hardworking longshoremen as a case study, he sheds light on a larger tale of ethnicity, class, regionalism, and globalization. Paperback. 288 pages
New information about a long forgotten 1711 shipwreck that occurred at the site of Cape Elizabeth's famous Portland Head Light. This book also provides new insight into the early colonial era in Casco Bay. Black & white photos, maps and diagrams. Paperback. 53 pgs.
Written by William Thomas Generous Jr., "Sweet Pea at War" is a definitive history of the USS Portland. He recounts her history from launch to scrapyard, proving that she deserves to be remembered as one of the most important ships in U.S. naval history. 290 pages paperback.