Colors shine at Widgery Wharf

Posted Sept. 29, 2011, at 6:21 p.m.
Last modified Sept. 30, 2011, at 9:25 a.m.

The colorful fishing shacks on Portland’s Widgery Wharf caught photographer Robert Bukaty’s eye. Built in 1777, Widgery is one of the city’s oldest working wharves, but a few years ago it was looking its age.

“Our fish houses had to be painted for preservation so we decided to paint them bright colors,” said 87-year-old Leland Merrill, one of the wharf’s three owners. “We could have painted them all gray, but that wouldn’t have been any fun.”

Most of the shacks now match the colors of each fisherman’s unique lobster buoys. Capt. David MacVane’s shack is white with black polka dots and a fluorescent orange trim.

A large “no trespassing” sign is mounted at the entrance to the wharf, but it hardly keeps nonfishermen away.

“They cleaned this place up and now it’s become a tourist trap,” laughed lobsterman Doug Cressey.