In the 1950s there were relatively few yachts on the Maine coast. Those that were here were all wooden like the lobster boat in the foreground. Lobstering was, as is now, a very important livelihood. Photograph by Carol Thayer Berry.
Originally named Buddy & Sylvia, the 33-foot lobster boat Genevieve had a long life, working from 1950 to the late-1990s. Originally, it had no shelter other than a piece of canvas over hoops to keep the engine dry. Later, a deckhouse was added, complete with Beals Island-style diamond ports.
In 1925, this was the largest sardine factory on the Atlantic Coast, owned by L.D. Clark & Son. And Eastport was the "Home of the American Sardine," as that is where sardines were first canned in the United States, beginning in 1875. By this time the plants numbered 10. This factory was 250 feet long, employed 500 men and women, and packed 4,000 cases of 100 cans each daily when there were herring.
This photograph is from the Atlantic Fisherman Collection.
A weir is constructed each season by pounding in vertical piles, then crossing the piles with long straight sticks, then filling in vertical branches. When fish swim to the weir leader (the straight part that comes out from shore), they are diverted into the pound, where they swim around in circles. The seine net is set inside the weir to catch the herring.
Weir fishing was practiced by Maine's Natives, and was especially popular further east where big tides made putting a "Fence in the Water" relatively easy.
In the 1940s there was a herring weir in Rockport Harbor, here worked by Harlan Hurd. After a seine net is set and pursed inside the weir, the fish are dipped from the seine into a herring carrier, a sizable power boat that carried herring to a cannery and usually were cannery-owned. The late 1940s saw the height of the canning industry with the largest amounts ever packed. Just after this photo was taken herring carriers started to use fish pumps which could pump herring out of a weir or seine and into the hold of the carrier, saving hours of work.