Swan’s Island------1900-1920

By Frank Milan

Date: 1974

 

The people of Swan’s Island have just had a reprinting of the History of Swan’s Island by Dr. Hermon Small which was published in 1898.  It was my hope when advised of the project that someone would bring the history up to date and thus provide a history of the Town from its settlement to the present.  I am sorry to say this was not done.

 

It has been 76 years since Dr. Small’s history was published and few now are living who were contemporary with the events that happened in the years immediately after the history was published.  I happen to be one of those few, having been born on the Lighthouse on Hockomock Head in June of 1898.

 

This discourse is titled ‘Swan’s Island – 1900-1920’ but it is not intended to be a true history.  Many facts and figures may be found in the town records and will be readily available to anyone who, in the future, writes a history of the Town.  I will only concern myself with some noteworthy events that happened in the period and might be forever lost if not recorded now.

Doctor War

Although my people were on one side of the so-called doctors’ war, I will try to give an unbiased account of what happened.

 

Dr. Small left Swan’s Island in 12904 and was succeeded by Dr. Hawkes who stayed only a few years and then was succeeded by Dr. Gage.  Not long after coming to the Island Dr. Gage was taken sick and had to leave for a rather extended treatment.  Before leaving he got Dr. Fuller, then just out of Medical School, to take care of his practice while he was gone.  By the time he was well and returned to the Island Dr. Fuller was well established, liked the Island and its people and refused to leave.  Thus began the ‘Doctor’s War’.  Many things were said and done in the heat of the controversy which had better be left unsaid or recorded.  Anyway both Doctors stayed put on the Island until some time in the teens and left at about the same time.  The end of the ‘Doctor’s War’.

Granite Quarries

Before 1900 there were several granite quarries on the Island.  All on the Minturn side.  There were one or two quarries up back of where the Advent Church now stands.  They hauled the finished granite to the shore where it was loaded onto schooners for shipment.

 

I believe the wharf belonged to Addison Bridges.  The last load of granite was loaded onto a schooner and the boat hauled out into the harbor to await a favorable wind to sail.  Something happened and the schooner sank right there in the middle of the upper harbor.  All during my growing up years she lay there half submerged and half above the water.  At one time Frank Bridges had a car moored along side the hulk and bought lobsters and sold gas there.

By far the largest and long lived quarry was situated further down in Minturn and continued to run for quite some time after the above event occurred.  It was at this location that Stinson Hooper had his accident which was described in a recent issue of Down East and where he finally met his end in a similar accident.

 

This was a paving block quarry situated on a hill some 6 or 7 hundred yards from the shore.  Stone in large chunks would be taken out of the quarry and then carried by rail car to stalls situated along the track where they were quarried into paving blocks.  Periodically the blocks would be put onto the car and taken to the dock for loading onto a schooner, usually three-masted.  Since the quarry was on a fairly steep hill, the car could go down by gravity then would be pulled back by a winch in the engine house at the quarry site.

 

The quarry is now used as a swimming hole with the swimming area closed off with a fish net and a lifeguard standing nearby for safety.

Recreation

The present generation often wonder out loud what we ever did in those times for recreation.  I can assure you that even if we didn’t have autos, cigarettes, liquor, or dope we had a very full recreational life and found little time with nothing to do.

 

The Redman’s Hall was built in 1908 and the Odd Fellow’s Hall a year or two later and I believe the Seaside Hall in Atlantic was built sometime before either of the above and I believe socials were held in the Epworth League Hall opposite the Methodist church.  At Fourth of July time a dance was held at the Odd Fellow’s Hall the night before the Fourth and two more the afternoon and evening of the Fourth.  The Redmen would hold sort of a carnival all day the Fourth and have dances in the afternoon and evening.  All these events were well attended.   Then dances were held at the Seaside Hall in Atlantic.  We thought nothing of walking the four or five miles to the hall, dancing all evening, and then walking back home arriving at two or three o’clock in the morning.

 

The Union School on the Swan’s Island side of the Island was very well situated for recreation of the students.  An ice pond was about 6 or 7 hundred yards from the school and we skated there every recess and noon; also after school and often in the evening.  If there was too much snow for skating, we could slide on Grindle Hill on the other side and nearer the school.  Normally we could get in three slides during recess but we soon learned that if we hurried we could get started on a fourth slide before the bell rang and would, of course be allowed to finish the slide.

 

At other times we would go skating in the evening at either the ice pond or the Goose or Lilly ponds which were over on the Minturn side of the Harbor.  I remember once my feet were so sore that I took off my shoes and walked home in my stocking feet.  We didn’t have skates in those days permanently attached to a pair of skate shoes.  At first we had skates that clamped on to the soles of our shoes and many a shoe was destroyed by the clamps pulling off the soles.  Later we had skates that screwed into the heel and was strapped over the foot.  These skates had little brads to help keep the skates from slipping but if the straps got loose these brads would cut the soles of the shoes completely in two.  Another pair of shoes for Pa to buy.

 

About 1914, five citizens including my father, started up moving pictures into the Redman’s Hall; silent, of course.  The light for the movie machine was furnished by a carbon arc which wasn’t too satisfactory by present day standards.  The carbons were continually wearing away and had to be adjusted.  Electricity was furnished by a generator run by a stationary engine.  Frequently this engine would break down and then about half the men in the audience would go to the engine room to help get the engine going again or perhaps just to kibitz.

 

Also about this time the Odd Fellow’s started roller skating in their hall.  This was a welcome diversion but didn’t in any way slow up the dancing.

 

No mention of recreation of those days should be without mention of the picnics that were frequently held in the summer.  Usually the women would get together by telephone on some fine morning and make their plans for a picnic.  By the time the men got back from their traps all the plans would be made.  The Verna C., the Bridges boys lobster smack would pull into a dock and everyone would climb aboard; high water or low, it didn’t make any difference.  They would then sail to one of the outside islands, usually Gooseberry about a mile from the Lighthouse.  The Verna C. would be anchored and everyone taken ashore in the tender.  The first ones ashore would set to gathering the firewood and making the chowder.  It was always a fish chowder.  By the time everyone was ashore the chowder and coffee was ready.  After the chowder came the goodies consisting of cookies, cake, and pies.  Then followed a social hour until it was time to go back home.  What a pity we couldn’t have some of these times now.  Perhaps it would help us forget Watergate and other so called ills of the country.

Education

For the times the Island had a very good school system.  Two room fairly new schools were in Atlantic, Minturn, and Swan’s Island..  At first we only had 30 weeks of school but that was soon increased to 36 weeks.  Probably the teachers were not the best by present day standards of education but they certainly were as good as would be found in other towns of comparable size.  I well remember two of my teachers, Evelyn Bridges in the primary school and Sidney O. Young, Jr. for the last two years I was in grammar school.  That was the ninth and tenth grades, mind you, for we had ten grades in those days.  I have always considered them the two very best teachers that I ever had and I went up to two years in college.

 

            Now Swans’ Island has a consolidated school for the whole island which could well be the envy of any town.  In those times if we wanted to go to high school, we had to go away somewhere and board.  I managed to take in four high schools in this manner.  Now, high school students are bussed each day to the high school on Mt. Desert Island and no one must go to the expense of boarding or being away from home for a whole year.

 

In the early years Swan’s Island had a surplus of Lodges.  The Odd Fellows had the first Lodge but I don’t know where they met until the built their three story hall about 1910.  The Redmen met in a building on a wharf owned by Ed Bridges at the very head of the Harbor and I remember attending suppers, socials, etc. there while they were earning money with which to construct their new hall which was constructed in 1908 mostly with volunteer labor.  The Redmen passed out sometime in the twenties and the hall fell into such a state of disrepair that it was later torn down.  The knights of Phythias also had a lodge which met in the Epworth League Hall where the early town meetings were held. They soon succumbed, however, to the over supply of Lodges.  There just were not enough people to keep up so many lodges.  As said before, the Redmen passed out some time in the twenties.  I understand also that the Odd Fellows no longer hold meeting.  The hall still stands in a fair state of repair and the town has offices there also.  I also understand that the Rebekas, the distaff order of Odd Fellows, continue to hold meeting.

Communications

            Up to the turn of the century there was no form of communication on the Island except by horse and buggy and mighty few of them.  Shortly after that the citizens got together and formed a telephone company and strung telephone wires over the island.  I remember our number was 3 ring 11 so there must have been at least 3 lines.  The Lord only knows how many there were on each line.

 

            Somewhere about 1910 a telephone cable was laid from Naskeag Point in Brooklin to the Island, passing over several islands on the way.  I remember when the dedication ceremonies were held in the Redman’s Hall.  Capt. Alvah Barbour and Herbert Joyce were on the stage and probably many others including my father.  I never will forget the watch chain that Herbert Joyce wore.  It was big enough to sink the proverbial battleship.

 

            When this cable wore out another one was laid from Bass Harbor and when that wore out it was linked to the New England Telephone Co. in Ellsworth by means of a short wave radio.

 

Of course, Swan’s Island was always noted for its lobster fishing industry.  In the early part of this period lobster fishing was carried on in small Friendship sloops or in row boats with maybe a small sail.  I remember, on calm mornings, seeing the sloops going out by the Lighthouse either being towed by a rowboat or being propelled by a long oar from the side of the sloop.  In those times 35 traps was a big string and I remember selling lobsters for less than 20 cents a pound.

 

            Another big industry of the time was haking by means of trawls.  A trawl usually consisted of a main line of ten lines long.  Since the length of a line was something like 47 fathoms the whole trawl would be more than a half mile long.  About every five or six feet a gangling would be tied on the main line and a hook tied to the other end of the gangling.  A little arithmetic will show that there were more than 500 hooks on each trawl.  Later the ganglings were put nearer together making still more hooks.

 

            These trawls were strung out along the ocean bottom some ten miles or more from the harbor.  The men then went back to the starting point and hauled the trawl back by hand together with what fish managed to get themselves hooked.  The hauls amounted anywhere from 1,000 pounds to 5,000 which brought a price of 50 cents per hundred pounds just as they came form the water.  There were three big fish stands that bought and processed them.  The Ferd Morse and Stanley Joyce stands were on the Swan’s Island side and Harry Johnson on the Minturn side of the harbor.  It was said at the time that several million pounds of fish, hake, Pollock, and cod were caught and processes at that time.

 

            The fish were split, the back bone cut out, and then heavily salted in terces which were huge barrels holding some 15 bushels or more.  The herring people did and do call them hogsheads.  In the fall or winter they were taken out and shipped by coaster to Gloucester or Boston and then transshipped, I believe mostly to the West Indies.

 

            Baiting these trawls was a lucrative occupation for us youngsters and some older men.  Most fishermen had nine trawls but only fished 6 at each setting.  The other three were baited on the mornings when he went out and then when he got back, anywhere from noon to three o’clock, his baiter would bait the other three trawls.  If he happened to get in early his baiter would usually have time to bait a couple trawls for someone else.  It took on the average of about 45 minutes to bait a trawl and the pay was 50 cents, thus one cold make 3 or 4 dollars a day.  This wouldn’t be much by present day standards but was magnificent in those days.  It bought a lot of banana splits for 15 cents each, and other goodies.

 

            Speaking of fishing I am reminded of my floundering experience.  I used to catch flounders off some dock, skin them and then peddle them to various houses.  I charged 8 cents apiece or 3 for a guarded.  That was fine until one day she wanted three but bought them one at a time.  That did away with the bargain prices.

 

            More about the lobster business.  In those days a lobster was measured over his whole length and if one did not quite fill the measure it was a simple matter to grab his tail and body and stretch him a little.  Later the measure went from the end of the jiboom to the end of the body.  Sometimes he wouldn’t quite go the measure se we just broke off the jiboom then he was measured to the end of the big part of the feeler, and this would be enough to fill the measure.  Of course, now the lobster is measured form the eye socket to the end of the body, thus doing away with all those shenanigans.

 

            Practically all the lobsters were bought by smacks, mostly schooners, that anchored in the harbor.  When they had bought a load they would take off for Rockland, Portland, or Boston to dispose of the lobsters then hoof it back for another load.  There were two steam smacks; The Herman Reesing with Capt. Weston Kennedy as skipper and the Grace Morgan skippered by Henry Moulden.

          Transportation

            No history of this period would be complete without telling about the steamboats of the time; the Vinalhaven and later the Governor Bodwell.  Since the Vinal started running to the Island in 1898, the year I was born, I just thought she had always been running there.

 

            The Vinal was built in 1892 to run to Vinalhaven in opposition to the Gov. Bodwell which was built the same year.  The Vinal was such an horrendous looking contraption and compared so unfavorably with the Bodwell that no one felt badly when she burned at Vinalhaven dock and sank.  She was raised, taken to Searsport under her own power, and completely rebuilt and a new engine installed.  The new Vinal was a far cry from the first one although still not as powerful or as fast as the Bodwell.

 

            This second Vinal was the boat that first came to Swan’s Island in 1898 and continued there until 1920.  In the winter of 1905 she was hauled off the route and 15 feet added to her length.  This made a much larger and roomier boat both for passengers and freight.  She continued in that form until she was condemned in 1938.

 

            The Skipper until about 1915 was Capt. Alvah Barbour and the purser for still longer was Isaac Stinson.  They were my heroes.  Every day during the three or four hours that the boat laid in Rockland they would walk a mile or so to the business district and shop for the Island people.  I often wonder if we ever appreciated what a service this was for us as they never charged a cent for doing those errands.

 

            Capt. Barbour, then a comparatively young man, began to get deaf and so was obliged to leave the boat.  He moved to Abington, Massachusetts, where he ran a chicken farm until his death sometime in the late twenties.  Next ‘Rube’ Pray took over the boat for two years and then came and then came Harry Gray.  In 1920 ‘Ross’ Kent took over and continued as skipper until the line was abandoned in 1942.  In all he was a member of the crew for more than 30 years thus becoming sort of an institution.

 

            By the late teens the Vinal was beginning to show the ravages of the rugged 60 mile route she had traveled for more than 20 years.  In 1920 she was transferred to the Vinalhaven route and the Gov. Bodwell was sent to Swan’s Island.  In the (???) the Vinalhaven route was combined with the longer Swan’s Island route and the Bodwell carried the whole load.

 

            As noted above, the Bodwell was launched the same year as the Vinal.  She was about the same size as the Vinal after the 1905 changes to the Vinal but had 120 more horsepower so was considerably faster.  The people of Swan’s Island were sorry to see “Old Faithful” go but soon became attached to the Bodwell.  What most Islanders don’t realize is that the Bodwell too was rebuilt twice.  When she originally came out she had two fairly large spars amidships.  She had a little cabin on the saloon deck only big enough for two windows.  The two lifeboats were placed on the saloon deck just aft of the so-called cabin.  She was rebuilt about 1914 when the two spars were taken out.  The cabin on the saloon deck was enlarged considerably and the lifeboats were put up on the hurricane deck above the cabin.  They never did carry the hurricane deck forward to the pilothouse as was the case with the Vinal.  It was handy for passengers on the Vinal to go up to the hurricane deck and disembark when the tide was low thus obviating the necessity of climbing a steep slippery gang plank.

 

            One day or night in January of 1924, while entering the harbor in a blinding snowstorm, the light at the lighthouse loomed so that Capt. Kent thought he was nearer the light than he really was.  As a result she struck on spindle ledge right opposite the lighthouse.  The next day she slid off into deeper water and her houses washed overboard.  The insurance underwriters considered her a total loss and paid the insurance.  She was, however, raised towed to Rockland and completely rebuilt.  This time her bow was enclosed and her cabin was carried all the way forward to the pilot house.  A stair way was put from the cabin to the hurricane deck so passengers could disembark from that deck.

 

            In the opinion of this writer she then became the best looking and most comfortable boat to ply the Penobscot Bay.  One night in March 1931 she caught fire at the Swan’s Island dock and was completely consumed.  As a result of this, the insurers paid for another loss.  She was probably the only boat for which a total loss was paid twice.  The Vinal as old and decrepit as she was, was dug out of cold storage and carried the whole burden of the route until a new boat came on the route in the summer.

 

            What followed had best be left to future historians who were on the scene and thus knew more about what happened.  Suffice it to say that the North Haven, an excellent boat, was purchased and put on the route.  The North Haven ran until May of 1942 when the line was abandoned.  Swan’s Island was then really in a fix.  A small boat carrying mail, passengers, and freight ran from Stonington.  Another small boat owned by Capt. Eugene Norwood ran to the Island from Bass Harbor.  These boats performed valuable services but, of course, were poor substitutes for the steamboats.

 

            In the late fifties or early sixties the state built four modern steel ferry boats and among the routes served was the one from Bass Harbor to Atlantic.  This service was better than the steamboats because it could carry six or eight autos.  It soon became evident that the

Swan’s Island ferry was too small for the service required as was the case with the Vinalhaven ferry so a new boat was built for Vinalhaven and the Everett Libby transferred to Swan’s Island.  This is much more satisfactory.

 

            There were several wrecks of freight schooners during this period.  Two of these wrecks occurred on John’s Island ledge.  The first one was loaded with coal.  Since the ledge was out of water at low tide it was easy to salvage the coal (Anthracite) and there was plenty of heat on Swan’s Island that winter.

 

            The next wreck on this ledge was loaded with hogsheads of molasses.  Since each hogshead held 60 or more gallons of the gooey stuff it wasn’t so easy to salvage it.  Nevertheless, there was plenty bread and molasses eaten on the Island that winter and probably for several winters after that.

 

            Next, a bark from Italy sailed up Jericho Bay in thick fog and for some reason turned around and came back down the bay.  In some unexplained way it got in by several islands and ledges and came to grief on Mason Ledge.  If there was any cargo on board it didn’t last long because the sea was extremely heavy and the ship soon broke up and washed away.  That didn’t, however, prevent the hardy fishermen from doing considerable salvage work on the ship fittings, etc.

 

            Not long after this a three masted schooner loaded with laths foundered on Outer Long Island.  Laths are one of the mainstays of a lobster fisherman’s trade.  In no time at all, the ship was surrounded with salvagers and they stayed at it long as a lath was left.  Soon an insurance man arrived planning to reclaim the laths but he didn’t succeed very well, the laths had already gone back from hence they came, the deep woods and what laths he found he could have carried off in his pocket.

 

            Not long after the turn of the century, a vessel tried to make the harbor in a heavy North West breeze.  He couldn’t make the harbor so he dropped his anchors but they couldn’t hold the ship from dragging.  It dragged onto Scrag Island just off the western end of Harbor Island where it stuck fast.  The next Sunday the Vinal and another steamboat which I believe was the Merryconeag tried to pull her off.  They put a hawser to the bow and stern and then they huffed and they puffed but the ship wouldn’t move.  Since that part was somewhat protected from the sea, she stayed there a great many years before disintegrating.

The Lighthouse

            As mentioned before, my father came to the Lighthouse in November of 1897 and I was born there the next June.  Since then quite a few changes have occurred.  When he went there, there were two light towers.  It was what was called a range light.  Supposedly if a captain got the lights lined up exactly he could come directly into the harbor no matter how dark it might be.  Unfortunately, the lights were so near together, it was possible to think they were lined up and still run right over the top of Quako Ledge.  That way wasn’t too good so they discontinued the small light.  When I was a very small boy, they put jacks under the back side and just toppled the tower into the brink.  Sometime about 1912 they built a bell tower and installed a bell which was sounded in foggy weather.  This tower had to be quite high so they could have room to hoist the weights that rang the bell.  When the weights were at the very top they would ring the bell for 5 ¾ hours.  I have wound them up a good many times and you can take my word that it wasn’t easy.  When electricity came the bell no longer needed the weights so about half of the tower was cut off.  Then they discovered that there were blind spots out to sea where the bell could not be heard so they installed a siren whistle on top of the main tower and discontinued the bell.  The shortened tower still stands there but the bell has been given to the Historical Society as a relic.

 

            There was at first a good sized shed near the house.  In the back end of this shed was a coal bin that would hold six or seven tons of coal.  That coal was landed on the bank by the crew of the lighthouse tender and my father had to wheel it up to the shed.  After the furnace was installed he would have to wheel it again around to a smaller bin in the cellar by the furnace.  I presume they now fire the furnace with oil as the shed has now been torn down and there is no longer a place to store a boat.

 

            When I was a youngster there was just a cow path leading up over the ‘Head’ to the Valley.  Now they have a nice tarred road leading right to the Lighthouse.

Anecdotes

            A Mr. Cram from Massachusetts spent his summer vacations at the Island.  He could usually see Joe Harmon on the dock at Stonington when he came through on the steamboat and make arrangements to hire a boat to use while on the Island.  This particular year Joe didn’t have a boat right then but said he would let him know if he came across one.  A few days later he got this card from Joe; “Dear Mr. Cram; I have just the boat you may want.  It is so long, so wide, has such and such an engine.  If you want the boat come up and get it.  Yours truly, Joseph Harmon.  P. S. since writing I have sold the boat.”

 

            And then there was Monte Annis who made gasoline tanks for lobster boats and made them ridiculously cheap.  One day someone asked him how he could make them so cheap.  He replied, “Well, you know, I lose a little on each tank but I have such a big business that I manage to make a living.”  He didn’t stay in business too long.

 

            There was the fellow who found a lobster trap that some one had lost.  He said, “Just go out the harbor with the Lighthouse over your stern until you get abreast of Turnip Point; then look overboard and the buoy will be about four feet under the water.”

 

            Then there was Ralph Gordon who had a bad cold.  He bought a box of week’s Break-up cold Tablets, read the directions, and decided that if two pills would help then a whole box would cure the cold right off.  He dammed near died.

 

            I had several rather unique experiences in connection with either the Vinal or the Bodwell.

 

            Once about 1910, I was coming from Rockland on the Vinal one winter night.  We left Isle au Haut in a blinding snowstorm.  It was so thick that the searchlight was of no use whatever.  I always have felt that fishermen had a sixth sense when it came to navigating in thick weather, compass or no.  Capt. Barbour was an old mackerel seiner skipper and so had that sense.  On this particular time he had run his time for a spar buoy and then shut down the engine.  Just at that time he made the buoy; right aboard.  The Vinal hit the buoy about at the gangway and the buoy scraped the whole length of the steamer.  It didn’t do any damage as it rubbed along the guard rail which was ironbound.  Some navigating.

 

            The next event was the last day of December of 1917.  The harbor was full with ice and the Vinal could only just get in by the Lighthouse.  They dug a hole in the ice and put the anchor in the hole and went home.  That was one time that the skipper of a boat didn’t have to worry about the boat moving during the night.  The next morning I, along with the rest of the passengers, walked off on the ice and boarded the boat.  Since Stonington and North Haven were buttoned up with ice, the Captain set a course for Vinalhaven outside Isle au Haut and from there to Rockland.  It was quite a thrill to be taking that outside course to Rockland.

 

The winter of 1923 was another icy winter.  My father was sick with double pneumonia and I wanted to go down and visit him.  Since the North Haven thoroughfare was buttoned up, I made arrangements by telephone with Capt. Kent to pick me up off Pulpit Harbor.  I got a Mr. Cooper to take me out in a row boat to meet the steamer.  When the streamboat came, he just docked alongside the ice cake and I stepped aboard.  When I came back to North Haven, the ice was out so I disembarked at the regular landing place.

Wrecks (continued)

            When a schooner finished loading at the quarry dock, it would run a line to a ledge not far from the dock and haul itself off towards the harbor.  When the boat got nearly to the ledge the winchman would stop pulling and someone would unhook the line from the ledge and she would glide out by into the harbor.  This time someone goofed and the winchman didn’t stop his winch so the ship was hauled right on to the ledge and stuck there.  The schooner (three-masted) was the Waronock and its skipper was Capt. Anderson whose wife was a cousin to my father.  That night Capt. Anderson made a call on my father at the Lighthouse.  It was quite a thrill to a full fledged captain in the flesh to be in our house.  The next day at high water she was pulled from her perch on the ledge and went merrily on her way none the worse for her humiliating experience.

The Flu Epidemic

            In the fall of 1918 an epidemic of the flu struck all over the country.  This was before the days of the wonder drugs so no medicine could be given to cure it.  The flu itself didn’t kill anyone but it so weakened the body that the pneumonia that inevitably followed caused the death rate to balloon.  Swan’s Island was especially hard hit.  About 30 people died in less than a month.  That was a terrific calamity for such a small town.  Some families lost two members.

Anecdotes (continued)

            Addison Parker was called to Ellsworth for jury duty.  When he got back, someone asked him what kind of a time he had.  He replied, “I had a wonderful time, but you know, I found eleven of the most contrary men that I ever saw”.

 

            Then there was the fellow from a town not far from Swan’s Island who had been taken there as an infant by his parents.  He grew up there, attended the schools of the time, and then married and raised a family.  Finally, as must happen to all of us, he died.  At his funeral and old fellow got up and extolled his many virtues and help to the town.  In closing he made this statement, “It’s too bad, He was almost one of us”.

Fishing (continued)

            Before the turn of the century there were quite a few mackerel seiners, banks fishermen, etc. but they all disappeared early in this century.  When I was eight or nine years old I remember the harbor filling up with seiners just before a storm but that was the last of them.

 

            Capt. Ed Smith, however had a schooner named “Hockomock”.  He would start fishing down off Cape Hatteras in the spring and follow the fish north as far as Nova Scotia.  In fact he lost the Hockomock in a storm in Nova Scotia.  After that he built a larger and better schooner named “Sunapee” which he continued to run until he retired from the sea.

 

            Blanche Tainter was also a fisherman and had just had a new schooner built when he and his wife were both felled by the flu leaving 3 or 4 small children which were brought up by relatives.

           

 

Apparently Frank just didn’t get back to finish the rest of this or put a closing to his memories.   The manuscript just stops here…………………