Barkentine Mary Jenness by Luigi Renault, signed, 1876
Captain George Harrison Oakes took Mary Jenness on her first voyage down to New York, and there loaded and sailed her to Livorno. He was proud of the new ship, the 505 ton, 132’ product of his father Joseph’s yard in Brewer. He hired Renault to paint her. Renault was a good choice for he would be appointed marine artist to the King of Italy.
Salmon kept a catalogue of his paintings, numbering each painting and indicating where he was when it was painted. This is number 395 which, according to the catalogue, must have been second to last painting he did in 1823 in Liverpool, before he emigrated to Boston.
This whaling scene shows a boat rowing close enough to the whale so that the harpooner could 'dart' the iron. This sperm whale has already destroyed one boat, a risk that whalers took. The whaleship is in the backgound. Shore whaling would use a similar boat. This somewhat dramatic whaling scene was painted by Waldo Peirce, who lived in Searsport.
The St. Leon was built in Castine, Maine in 1835 at a cost of $33,462. She was owned by a consortium of Castine merchants with Witherle and Jarvis the principals. She made frequent voyages to Liverpool (where she was painted by Liverpool artist John Huges for 5 pounds sterling and 50 pence for the crate) and European ports. She worked in the New Orleans cotton trade, carrying fish and ice to New Orleans, then cotton to Liverpool and returning with salt for the Penobscot Bay fisheries. The salt came from British mines near Liverpool.
Oil on canvas painting of ship William H. Conner, built in Searsport in 1877. It was the last and largest full-rigged ship built in Searsport, costing over $100,000. Apparently in three voyages she earned her construction costs, but that was the exception; 15% was closer to the rule. Marlboro Packard was her master builder, working at the Carver yard. The Museum has his half model of the vessel. Such a vessel would have attracted much attention including that of artist Percy Sanborn from neighboring Belfast.