Old Bill, gundalow crossing Penobscot River, Bangor, 1846

Contributed by Maine Historical Society and Maine State Museum

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John Martin (1823-1904) wrote a journal beginning in 1864 recounting his life and experiences in the Bangor area. Martin recalled that he and his mother and sister were returning in June 1846 from a visit to Ellsworth where his mother had grown up and where Martin was born, when they ran into bad weather.

They borrowed Rufus Prince's horse, Old Bill, and chaise for the trip. When they got to Brewer, they realized the ferry crossing to Bangor would be difficult due to the storm. Martin devised a way to get Old Bill on a ferry gundalow by "making the horses head fast and shocking the wheels." The illustration is on page 234 of the journal.

He described the challenging trip across the river.

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About This Item

  • Title: Old Bill, gundalow crossing Penobscot River, Bangor, 1846
  • Creator: John Martin
  • Creation Date: 1864
  • Subject Date: 1846
  • Locations:
    • Bangor, Penobscot County, ME
    • Brewer, Penobscot County, ME
    • Ellsworth, Hancock County, ME
  • Media: Ink and watercolor on paper
  • Local Code: Coll. 1972; 1997.16.4
  • Object Type: Image

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For more information about this item, contact:

Maine Historical Society and Maine State Museum
489 Congress St., Portland, ME 04101
207-774-1822 x230

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