History Conference To Examine Death Of Maine's Sardine Industry
Last Sardine Cannery Explored in Video, Photography, Oral History and Presentations
Photo: Kosti Ruohomaa. Courtesy of Penobscot Marine Museum
September 14, 2010 -- Maine has a history of disappearing industries. The once-sizable granite quarrying and ice industries are gone, while forest products represent a tiny remnant of a once great lumbering industry. And earlier this year, the state's last sardine cannery closed, ending yet another chapter in Maine employment history.
How can an industry that produces a popular food simply disappear? In today's difficult economy, does its loss hold any lessons for the state's policy-makers or for the only remaining fishery of any size – the lobstering industry?
These questions will be explored in a conference at Penobscot Marine Museum on October 22-23. "And Then There Were None -- The Rise & Fall of Maine's Sardine Industry" will present historical context, analysis, documentation and personal reminiscences of the final days of Maine's last sardine cannery, Stinson Seafood Co. of Prospect Harbor.
The conference draws together amateur and professional scholars and anyone interested in Maine's history or economy. It features an evening of informal sessions and a full day of formal presentations by experts from industry, government and academia, including: William Leavenworth (Ocean Process Analysis Laboratory, University of New Hampshire); David Libby (Maine Department of Marine Resources); Peter Colson and Al West (Stinson Seafood); Dr. Pauleena MacDougall (Maine Folklife Center); Bill Kuykendall (New Media Center, University of Maine); David Conover (Compass Light Productions); and photographer Mark Starr.
Saturday's luncheon will comprise The Great Sardine Cook-off, featuring creative "sardine cuisine." Conference attendees will vote for their favorite dishes, while Nancy English, restaurant reviewer for the Portland Press Herald, will provide a professional critique.