From the community

Maritime Month Kicks Off April 2 at the Camden Public Library

Posted March 25, 2013, at 10:05 a.m.
From its genesis in New England during the 1800s, the purse seine fishery for menhaden expanded south and by the early 1900s ranged the length of the eastern seaboard. By the late 1940s landings from the fishery comprised 35 to 40% of the total U. S. fisheries landings, ranking menhaden first in total volume. Crews from the deep south sang chanties as they hauled the nets. (Photo from the National Fisherman collection of the Penobscot Marine Museum.)
From its genesis in New England during the 1800s, the purse seine fishery for menhaden expanded south and by the early 1900s ranged the length of the eastern seaboard. By the late 1940s landings from the fishery comprised 35 to 40% of the total U. S. fisheries landings, ranking menhaden first in total volume. Crews from the deep south sang chanties as they hauled the nets. (Photo from the National Fisherman collection of the Penobscot Marine Museum.)
Mending nets is a never-ending chore if you’re a fisherman! (Photo from the National Fisherman collection of the Penobscot Marine Museum.)
Mending nets is a never-ending chore if you’re a fisherman! (Photo from the National Fisherman collection of the Penobscot Marine Museum.)
This crew from New Harbor, Maine pursed 60,000 bushels of sardines at Greenland Cove only a few miles from their homeport. The carrier in the background is the Muriel built in 1918 at Goudy and Stevens in East Boothbay. (Photo from the National Fisherman collection of the Penobscot Marine Museum.)
This crew from New Harbor, Maine pursed 60,000 bushels of sardines at Greenland Cove only a few miles from their homeport. The carrier in the background is the Muriel built in 1918 at Goudy and Stevens in East Boothbay. (Photo from the National Fisherman collection of the Penobscot Marine Museum.)
Model of the Portland under construction by Camden shipmodeler Gil Carlson.
Model of the Portland under construction by Camden shipmodeler Gil Carlson.

Maritime Month at the Camden Public Library will feature shipwrecks, fishing, paleo-Indians, doomed colonists, and the visit to Maine by the Prince of Wales, all during April, 2013. Dave Jackson will kick off Maritime Month on Tuesday, April 2, at 7:00 pm with an illustrated talk, “A Picture History of Our Oldest Industry,” based on the photo collection of National Fisherman magazine. The photos are now part of the permanent collection of the Penobscot Marine Museum, and the museum will be displaying selected images throughout April in the Picker Room at the Camden Public Library. Dave Jackson was the publisher of National Fisherman from 1967 to 1982, and the photos will include some of his favorites from his years in the industry. Jackson also worked on the fishing boats out of Gloucester in the 1950s.

The National Fisherman photo collection is both unique and comprehensive, ranging from herring seining on the coast of Maine to king crabbing in the Bering Sea, and from schooners to stern trawlers. Scholars could write a history of US fisheries from these photos alone, spanning the time from the abundance of fish in the first half of the twentieth century, to fish depletion by foreign fishing in the 1960s, to the recovery of the seventies and eighties, to the collapse of the resource in the nineties due to our own over-fishing.

Other events in April will include, in addition to the photo display:

– Dr. Bruce Bourque, Maine State Archaeologist, speaking on his new book The Swordfish Hunters about Maine’s paleo-Indians, the Red Paint People, on April 16;

– Historian Bud Warren speaking on the failure of the Popham Colony of 1607, which predated the Plymouth colony and was the first attempt by the English to at settling the New World, on April 23;

– Dr. Richard Cornelia on the sinking of the side-wheeler Portland in the Great Gale of 1898, on April 25; and

– Author and poet Duane Robert Pierson, speaking on his historical novel, Annie and the Prince of Wales: Portland, Maine 1860, on April 30.

– The library will also display a brand-new model of the Portland by Camden’s ship modeler Gil Carlson.

– The National Fisherman photos from the Penobscot Marine Museum will be on display all month in the Picker Room.

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