The Eastern Steamship Company built the Popham Beach wharf, also called the State Pier, in the mid-to-late 1800s. It was a gathering place for watching vessels arrive from and depart for
Bath, Portland, or Boston. The vessels carried passengers and cargo for the local stores, farms, and fishermen. Fishing boats also left from this wharf.
At the head of the dock was a little place that sold candy, gum, postcards, and cigarettes. The wharf agent slept in a small room adjoining his office on the pier; he had responsibility for setting out a red lantern on the ends of the wharf to help vessel captains in navigating a safe landing. People on land would blow horns and ring bells, with the arriving or departing steamer responding with two short and a long blast whistles.
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