This is “Fish Cove,” named for Joseph Fish, a carpenter from Waldoboro who came over from Waldoboro. He established the first major shipyard in the area on the north side of “Fish Cove,” on the right side of the photograph, and also owned a store in Port Clyde. In 1840 he built the schooner Baltimore, in 1842 the schooner Richmond, and then the Savannah, Boston, and Kendrick Fish. In the 1870s he sold his business to Charles W. Stimpson, who had married into the family. Fish’s businesses were very successful. During the Civil War he made loans to some local men to pay substitutes to do their military service, and when he died he left $250,000, a very large amount for the time.
This view shows the Brennan Bros. fishing operation on the left. The shore road shown in the photograph is no longer there.
Port Clyde, which allegedly took its name from a place in Nova Scotia, was previously named South St. George but commonly called “Herring Gut.” In the 1976 booklet Coaster Days, Roy E. Meservey writes:
During the 19th century, the shores of St. George were lined with the frames of ships. Today, not one thing remains to show that St. George was once a prosperous ship-building town. The ways have all disappeared, the railway is gone and only two buildings remain standing which contained sail lofts. . . In the early (eighteen) sixties, there were six ships being built at the same time, all being constructed with local capital. About every family in town had its cash tied up in one or more shares.
Info provided by Gene Dalrymple and James Skoglund
St. George Historical Society