In 1885 Edward P. Lawrence built a fine Queen Anne style house on North Lubec Road overlooking Johnson Bay, and his brother Elias followed suit in 1900. They were the sons of Moses P. Lawrence, who with two partners opened the Lubec Packing Company in 1881. It was one of the first sardine factories in Lubec and the beginning of the Lawrence family’s long prominence in the Maine sardine industry. Moses, his sons Edward M., Elias P., and Frank Lawrence, and other descendants expanded their businesses, the North Lubec Manufacturing & Canning Company and Lawrence Canning Company, to include factories in Rockland, Stonington, Stockton Springs, and elsewhere, which operated with the most modern equipment.

Elias Lawrence was president of the company in 1907 when it registered its “Double Eagle” trademark, which stayed on the market until the company was dissolved in 1990. After he died at age 51, Edward succeeded him as president. Edward also was an inventor. He introduced a cutting table that improved speed, efficiency, and quality; an improved flaking machine; and a cooking method in which canned sardines were immersed in oil before they were sealed. The innovations were quickly adopted throughout the sardine industry.

Today none of the North Lubec canneries stands, but the Lawrence homes and Lawrence Brothers Store building survive. Pauline Lawrence Baily, who ran the North Lubec Manufacturing & Canning Company with her husband Roy in the 1960s and ‘70s, lives in one of the houses.

Information from Pauline and Harold Baily and A History of the Maine Sardine Industry, Part I, by John Gilman

Catalog Number LB2007.1.101856