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On the Waterfront

This Exhibit Contains 9 Items
1
Launching of

Launching of "Florence" at South Bristol in 1894

Item 81712 info
South Bristol Historical Society

Shipbuilding, fishing, and lobstering have been the lifeblood of those who called South
Bristol home.

The birth of major shipbuilding in South Bristol can be attributed in large part to the Gamage family, especially brothers Albion and Menzies Gamage, who began building large wooden sailing vessels in the early 1850s and who over the next 50 years built more than 88 sail and steam boats.


2
Original shed at the Gamage boatyard, South Bristol, ca. 1930

Original shed at the Gamage boatyard, South Bristol, ca. 1930

Item 79583 info
South Bristol Historical Society

The A&M Gamage Shipyard was established in 1871 where the current Gamage Shipyard is located, on the north side of the western Gut.

The East Boothbay shore can be seen in the distance across the Damariscotta River.


3
Fowler, Foote & Company pogy factory, South Bristol ca. 1870

Fowler, Foote & Company pogy factory, South Bristol ca. 1870

Item 82091 info
South Bristol Historical Society

During the 1860s and 1870s menhaden fish, also known as pogys, were popular not only for bait but also for their oil.

Pogy was fished heavily off of South Bristol and numerous pogy processing plants were set up there to render the oil, which could be substituted for linseed oil.

Even the byproducts of the processing were sold as fertilizer.


4
Nets drying at the Gut, South Bristol, ca. 1920

Nets drying at the Gut, South Bristol, ca. 1920

Item 79582 info
South Bristol Historical Society

South Bristol boatbuilders capitalized on this situation by building many of the specialized sailboats and large steamboats used to catch menhaden.

At the same time, the dried codfish trade favored by smaller independent Maine fishermen was being replaced by a demand for fresh fish, a trend that kept A& M Gamage busy building strong fishing vessels for the large fleets operating out of Boothbay, Portland, and even Gloucester, Massachusetts.


5
Gamage Shipyard, South Bristol, 1946

Gamage Shipyard, South Bristol, 1946

Item 80765 info
South Bristol Historical Society

By 1900 A&M Gamage had stopped building boats, but in 1924 a young Gamage cousin named Harvey F. Gamage bought the same property and embarked on what would be a half-century of high quality boat building in South Bristol.


6
Minesweeper Construction at Gamage Shipyard, South Bristol, ca. 1942

Minesweeper Construction at Gamage Shipyard, South Bristol, ca. 1942

Item 79566 info
South Bristol Historical Society

From 1924 to 1976 Harvey Gamage oversaw the construction of more than 288 sailboats, powerboats, draggers, scallopers and windjammers, with a clientele including lobstermen, Grand Banks fishermen, owners of windjammers for the passenger trade, leisure yachtsmen, and even the US Navy.


7
Name plate  for Gamage-built vessels, South Bristol, ca. 1970

Name plate for Gamage-built vessels, South Bristol, ca. 1970

Item 79580 info
South Bristol Historical Society

Many vessels in New England still proudly bear the manufacturing name plate of the Harvey F. Gamage Shipyard.


8
Award to Harvey Gamage, South Bristol, 1969

Award to Harvey Gamage, South Bristol, 1969

Item 79567 info
South Bristol Historical Society

Harvey Gamage's quality workmanship was noted in a 1969 citation from the governor of Maine.


9
Packing lobsters at Farrin's Wharf, South Bristol, ca. 1973

Packing lobsters at Farrin's Wharf, South Bristol, ca. 1973

Item 79584 info
South Bristol Historical Society

Fishing continues to be an important economic force in South Bristol, as does boatbuilding, although the latter on a smaller scale.

The docks in the Gut and up and down the Damariscotta River are busy with lobstermen loading gear, or unloading their catch.

Many of today's fishermen are the second or third generation of South Bristol men who have made the ocean their livelihood.


This Exhibit Contains 9 Items