December 16, 2018
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Canadian islander: ‘I own the fact that I am a scavenger’

Photo courtesy of Craig McCaslin
Photo courtesy of Craig McCaslin
In this photo from Jan. 5, people gathered along Lubec Narrows to watch the remains of the herring brining shed of McCurdy's Smokehouse as it floated out to sea.

Dianna Parker isn’t too thrilled about the comments Lubec Landmarks President Rachel Rubeor made.

A 45-year-old waitress and artisan who lives on Campobello Island, Parker is one of Rubeor’s alleged “vandals” who cannibalized the remains of the nonprofit group’s brining shed, which as of Friday were still on a beach on the tiny Canadian island.

“She speaks no firsthand truths,” Parker said Thursday of Rubeor. “She speaks all hearsay.”

[Lubec leaders apologize for jab at Canadian ‘vandals’]

Parker visited the beach site, where the nationally historic brining shed landed after the Jan. 4, blizzard, for a few hours every day from Sunday to Wednesday.

She counted eight others, including some Lubec residents, grabbing shed remains and taking pictures. Parker took several pieces of wood from the circa-1906 structure, cutting them up with a chainsaw and stuffing them into her small sports utility vehicle, she said.

[Scavengers now threaten Lubec landmark swept to Canadian island by blizzard]

“I own the fact that I am a scavenger. My basement is full of it. I repurpose all of it,” Parker said. “I have endless friends and tourists who bring me stuff to have me make them stuff out of old things they love. That’s what I do in my spare time.”

The first indication of problems, she said, was when a Lubec Landmarks volunteer screamed at her to leave behind the wood boards when Parker returned to the beach on Tuesday.

The shed’s remains looked like junk to her, but Parker stopped taking things from the shed. Royal Canadian Mounted Police visited the site Tuesday to stop people from removing items, she said.

Parker said she might return the portions of the shed to Lubec Landmarks or she might give them to others who once worked there — to whom, she expects, the shed’s remains are very dear.

Under laws described in the International Convention On Salvage, Lubec Landmarks might have to pay Parker for the remains, if its operators seek to recover the items she took. But she doubts she will seek money from them and predicts that any tensions between Campobello and Lubec residents over the shed will recede.

“The two communities will rally for a solution,” Parker said. “It’s what they do.”

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