Ruth Montgomery was a daughter of the sea; born into a seafaring family in East Boothbay in 1880, she travelled with her father, Capt. Adelbert Montgomery, and her stepmother, Mary A. “Mame”, on long voyages aboard the vessels her father commanded, from the age of five.
Ruth’s father took command of the bark Carrie Winslow when Ruth was 15 years old. It was around this time that Ruth began making photographs. Her images capture the three voyages to South America in 1899, 1901 and 1903. Through her work, one gets to know her family at work and at leisure, at home and abroad. She avidly documented her sea voyages and her visits to ports in the southern hemisphere, notably Buenos Aires and Rosario. She continued to make photographs on glass plates until 1916.
Adelbert Montgomery retired from the sea upon completion of his last voyage to South America in 1903. Both he and Ruth took positions at the Boston Cold Storage Warehouse. Ruth lived with her parents until their deaths; thereafter, she lived alone, retiring from BCS in the 1940s. She never married. Upon retirement, she returned to East Boothbay, where she had often vacationed with family in summer. In later years, she turned to her passion for gardening, enjoyed playing canasta with friends, and became active in the Methodist Church. Ruth died in 1967, at the age of 87.