Robbins Mill, Bristol, ca. 1910

Contributed by Penobscot Marine Museum


From about 1820 through the mid-1800s, Bristol Mills was the wood capital of the area.

Small waterfalls on the Pemaquid River powered several busy mills in Bristol Mills. Calvin C. Robbins and his son ran the Robbins lumber mill for decades. The stacks of lumber lining the road, like those on the left, attested to a busy and profitable business.

Sawmills in Bristol Mills produced boards and ship parts for boat builders, clapboards, laths, shingles, boxboards, and other wood products. They also manufactured fish barrels and thousands of oil barrels a year for the pogy factories. Uses for the oil extracted from pogies, a type of herring also known as menhaden, included dressing leather and mixing into paints.

Calvin Robbins invested $4500 in his mill and employed eight men in 1870 to meet the demand for wood for building the large steamers that fished for pogies, constructing processing plants, and making oil barrels.

He and his wife, Lucinda, also ran a boarding house, one of the first accommodations for visitors to the Pemaquid Peninsula.

The pogy industry went into decline in the late 1870s. However, hotels and summer cottages provided new markets for the Robbins mill.

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About This Item

  • Title: Robbins Mill, Bristol, ca. 1910
  • Creator: Eastern Illustrating & Publishing Co.
  • Creation Date: circa 1910
  • Subject Date: circa 1910
  • Location: Bristol, Lincoln County, ME
  • Media: Glass Plate Negative
  • Dimensions: 12.7 cm x 17.8 cm
  • Local Code: LB2010.9.118788
  • Collection: Eastern Illustrating & Publishing Co.
  • Object Type: Image

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For more information about this item, contact:

Penobscot Marine Museum
PO Box 498, 5 Church Street, Searsport, ME 04974
(207) 548-2529

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