Working the Bay

Brick Mold

Brickmaking was a big business in Brewer, Orrington, Penobscot, and a few other places around Penobscot Bay. The mold formed the clay, six bricks at a time, until it was dry enough to be fired.

Loading Granite aboard Schooner "Annie & Reuben"

Schooners like the Annie & Reuben carried most of the granite quarried on the Maine coast during the nineteenth century. Though not as dangerous a cargo as lime, granite was so heavy that its weight could wear down a vessel, shortening its life and opening its seams.

Annie & Reuben was built in 1891 in the backyard of lumberman Reuben S. Hunt's house in Bath and named for his two children.

She was bought by John I. Goss & Co. of Deer Isle for their Crotch Island quarry, to carry stone primarily to Boston.

Time Book at Dix Island Granite Quarry

Time list for granite cut on Dix Island for the Iowa State Capitol outside steps. Dix Island is off Spruce Head, St. George, in southwest Penobscot Bay.

Tug Bismark Towing Lumber Schooners

Tug Bismark off Odom's Ledge, Fort Point, towing six schooners up the Penobscot River to Bangor.

The 103' Bismark was built in Philadelphia in 1888 for the Ross and Howell Penobscot RIver fleet, by the Chas. Hillman Company, with a compound (two cylinder) engine by well known engine builder Neafie and Levy. She was the most popular towboat on the Penobscot, powerful and smooth. Her career ended in New York Harbor after being sold in 1910 along with a number of other Penobscot tugs.

Tern Schooner with Lumber

Tern schooner (3-masted schooner) with a load of lumber, including a large deckload. Since lumber floated, masters were not as concerned about overloading as they were with other cargoes. Schooners like this one were frequently loaded so that water was almost at deck level. Lumber came into Belfast for shipbuilding, building construction, and for the Matthews Brothers business of making doors and windows.

Bangor Waterfront

Penobscot River from the Brewer Bridge, looking down river at the rafts of cut long lumber, ready for shipping. Schooners on both sides of the river are waiting on loads.

Cooper's Chamfering Knife

The cooper, or barrel maker, used this type of drawknife in making barrel staves. It carved the inside curve of the barrel stave.

Schooner Bertha E. Glover

The November 1898 "Portland Gale" forced the schooner Bertha E. Glover into Martha's Vineyard while carrying a cargo of lime. She sprung a leak; water got into the cargo, and it began to burn. The ship was lost as a result of the lime cargo getting wet. The vessel had been rebuilt in Rockland in 1882 for the lime trade.

Lime Kilns in Rockport Harbor

Lime kilns in Rockport harbor. The elevated railroad line allows lime to be dumped into the top of the kiln. Three of these kilns still exist and may be visited.

Penobscot Bay Geological Map

Preliminary Geological Map of Maine, showing soil and rock types. Note especially the avacado green line that extends from Thomaston almost to Camden; that is limestone. Also, the pink with red flecks on the map shows where there is granite. Note the granite from St. George, across Penobscot Bay to the southern part of Vinalhaven, on to the Stonington area. Also, there are significant granite resources in northern Penobscot Bay, where there were quarries in the Mt. Waldo area of Frankfort.


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