Skip Navigation

Collections - MF 154 Stinson Sardine Collection

MF 154 Stinson Sardine Collection

Number of accessions: 25
Dates when interviews were conducted: March 30 and 31, 2010
Time period covered: last half of 20th century to 2010
Principal interviewers: Pauleena MacDougall, Cindy Merrill, Kyle Kernan, Andrew Catalina
Finding aides: some transcripts and indexes
Access restrictions: none
Description: Interviews with the employees of the Stinson Sardine plant in Prospect Harbor, Maine, on March 30 and 31, 2010. These interviews were conducted a couple of weeks before the plant closed on April 18, 2010 during the work day. The Stinson Sardine plant was the last sardine canning plant in the state of Maine. Included with this accession are notes by Pauleena MacDougall regarding the people the interviewers spoke with as well as job descriptions. Also part of this collection are a documentary, a slide show, photographs, and a collection of poems “Sardine Songs, Herring Hymns.” In October 2011 Keith Ludden sent to the Maine Folklife Center an additional nine interviews, some with photographs, that he had conducted during April through September 2011.

 

3658 Stinson Seafood Employees, interviewed by Pauleena MacDougall, Cynthia Merrill, Kyle Kernan, Andrew Catalina, Edward Fontaine, Atlin Mendizadegan, Elizabeth Nurse, March 30 and 31, 2010, Prospect Harbor, Maine. This accession contains notes by MacDougall regarding the people the interviewers spoke with as well as job descriptions. Also included are a description of 2 slide shows and a list with descriptions of photographs taken by Bill Kuykendall at Stinson (See NA 3805). The interviews concern the Stinson Seafood plant, which was the last sardine canning plant in the state of Maine, and were conducted a couple of weeks before the plant closed.

3662 Penny Beal, interviewed by Cindy Merrill, March 31, 2010, at the Stinson Cannery, Prospect Harbor, Maine. Beal talks about different jobs found at the cannery; duties of a block feeder; taught how to read a can by Richard Davis and Kathy Won; introduction of new technology such as the printer; printer’s impact on labor and production; pay role; code system for labeling cans. Text: 6 pp. transcript. Recording: CD 2176 10 minutes.

3663 Donna Eckland, interviewed by Kyle Kernan, March 31, 2010, Prospect Harbor, Maine. Eckland talks about her responsibilities as a cutter at the Stinson Cannery; traditions of the factory; close-knit bond of workers; other relatives who worked at the cannery; basic day of a worker; incident with seagulls. Text: 6 pp. transcript. Recording: CD 2177 9 minutes.

3664 Gail Smith, interviewed by Kyle Kernan, March 31, 2010, Prospect Harbor, Maine. Smith talks about working as an assistant supervisor at Stinson Seafood Company; duties as a block feeder; duties as quality controller in the sealing room; daily routine of a factory worker; growing up with the factory as a part of her life; bond of factory workers; social aspects of work; fires that destroyed the old factory May 8, 1968; memories of the old factory. Text: 9 pp. transcript. Recording: CD 2178 13 minutes.

3665 Lela Anderson, interviewed by Pauleena MacDougall, March 30, 2010, at the Stinson Sardine Cannery, Prospect Harbor, Maine. Anderson talks about working at the Stinson Cannery for 53 years; cutting sardines with scissors; reasons for not retiring; aftermath of the fire of the old factory; her family; packing with cooked fish; reaching a million cans; working in quality control; being friends with Nancy Harrington; injuries at the factory; pranks. Text: 12 pp. transcript. Recording: CD 2179 20 minutes.

3666 Betty Faulkingham, interviewed by Pauleena MacDougall, March 30, 2010, Prospect Harbor, Maine. Faulkingham talks about working at the Stinson Sardine Company for 43 years; working in the shipping department, in the casing department, and in the sealing room; working as fish packer with scissors; working with family members; working at the old and new factories with Nancy Harrington, Myrtress Harrington, and Lela Anderson; humorous stories and pranks at the factory; injury of Dallas Pennellton. Text: 8 pp. transcript. Recording: CD 2180 10 minutes.

3667 Arlene Hartford, interviewed by Cindy Merrill and Pauleena MacDougall, March 31, 2010, at the Stinson Seafood Factory, Prospect Harbor, Maine. Hartford talks about her experiences working as a packer, in quality control, and switch gauge operator; pranks; number of workers; accidents; leniency of smoking at work; reasons for not retiring; husband’s work at Stinson. Text: 7 pp. transcript. Recording: CD 2181 12 minutes.

3668 Myrtress Harrington, interviewed by Cindy Merrill and Pauleena MacDougall, March 31, 2010, Prospect Harbor, Maine. Harrington talks about working as a fish packer at the Stinson Seafood Company; losing scissors in the chum hole; working with cooked fish; automation at the factory; relationship to Nancy Harrington; reasons for not retiring; being an EMT for 19 years; stories of the factory. Text: 6 pp. transcript. Recording: CD 2182 9 minutes.

3669 Nancy Harrington and Josie Cowell, interviewed by Andrew Catalina and an unknown interviewer, March 30 and 31, 2010, Prospect Harbor, Maine. Harrington and Cowell talk about working at the Stinson Seafood Company; living in Milbridge; working as partners; working with other partners such as Evelyn; being widows; education; children; driving the carpool bus for workers; plans for work after the factory closes; working nearly all jobs available such as packing and sealing; typical work day; fire of the old factory; working at a fish factory in Wyman. Text: 16 pp. transcript. Recording: CD 2183 – CD 2184 32 minutes.

3671 Peter Colson, interviewed by Pauleena MacDougall, March 30, 2010, at the Stinson Cannery, Prospect Harbor, Maine. Colson talks about working at the Stinson Sardine Company; closing of the Bath and Belfast plants; Will Colson; running retorts; various positions; aftermath of the fire; purse seining; Richard Claim; Woodmen Harris; Bumble Bee; Conner’s Brothers. Accession includes interview log, photographs, audio interview, and release forms. Text: 11 pp. transcript, interview log. Recording: CD 2185 16 minutes. Photos: P 9623 – P 9626.

3672 Rose Davis, interviewed by Cindy Merrill and Pauleena MacDougall, March 31, 2010, at the Stinson Seafood Factory, Prospect Harbor, Maine. Davis talks about working as a packer at the Stinson Seafood Company; factory in Bath; physical harm experienced by factory packers; reasons not to retire; apprehensive feelings towards the closing of the factory; her religious thoughts regarding the future. Text: 5 pp. transcript. Recording: CD 2186 8 minutes.

3687 Alton West, interviewed by Pauleena MacDougall, May 2010, at the Stinson Cannery, Prospect Harbor, Maine. West talks about being the purchaser of herring for the Stinson Seafood Cannery; the institution of management; migration of herring; four ways of capturing herring; herring in Point Judith of Rhode Island and Cape May; regulations of herring fishing; Blacks Harbor facility owned by Bumble Bee; fish quotas; biographical information; other employment; working at the University of Maine; MariTech Incorporated; oyster agriculture; promotion given by Charlie Stinson; working in the cutting room, as a supervisor, second shift plant manager, and primary fish buyer; Dick Clinging bought the factory and ended second shift; byproduct program; changes in the factory. Text: 18 pp. transcript. Recording: CD 2561 37 minutes.

3745 By Gary Lawless, February 13 to May 14, 2010. Paper, titled “Sardine Songs, Herring Hymns,” is a collection of poems collected and posted on the internet by Lawless on the occasion of the closing of the Stinson Seafood sardine packing plant in Prospect Harbor, Maine. Text: 6 pp. paper.

3803 Betty Faulkingham, Lela Anderson, Myrtress Harrington, Arlene Hartford, Penny Beal, and Rose Davis, put together by Cindy Merrill, Bill Kuykendall, and Pauleena MacDougall May 3, 2010 for NMD 301/CMJ 361. Accession is a slide show with audio project (11 min.) titled “Fond Memories” and “Stories of a Lifetime.” Photographs by Merrill and Kuykendall; audio by Merrill and MacDougall. Recording: V 0314 11 minutes.

3804 “End of the Line: Stinson Seafood: The Last Sardine Cannery in America,” a slide show with music. Recording: V 0315 (DVD).

3805 By Pauleena MacDougall and Bill Kuykendall, March 30 and 31, 2010. 5 pp. “Visit to the Sardine Cannery, March 30 and 31, 2010,” by MacDougall. CD contains text of “Visit to the Sardine Cannery” and 96 photographs by Kuykendall with description of each photograph (list incomplete, ends with photograph 80) titled “Stinson Seafood Slide Shows and Picture Accessions.” Also included: 1 CD with photographs and documents. Text: 5 pp. paper, 11 pp. list of photographs. Photos: P 9322 – P 9411.

3833 Lela Anderson, interviewed by Keith Ludden. Recordings: CD 2544 1 hour 4 minutes (MIA). Photos: P 9621 – P 9622.

3834 Willard Colson and Peter Colson, interviewed by Keith Ludden, July 30, 2011, Southwest Harbor, Maine. W. Colson, who was born in 1923 and went to work for Stinson in 1943 and retired in 1990 when Stinson sold the plant, and his son P. Colson, who also worked at the Stinson Sardine cannery, talk about a typical day at the cannery; bus driver for workers; how workers were notified they were to work that day; W. Colson worked as shipping room foreman, then assistant manager, then manager, and finally Vice President of Operations; his children also worked at Stinson; Peter was born in 1955; description of retort; during WWII a big percentage of sardines went to the troops; early 1950s was peak of sardine industry; lack of fish was contributing factor to decline of the industry; fishing methods changed; weirs; fire in 1968; within a year plant was rebuilt; family; one of Peter’s first jobs was helping pump fish out of boat; pranks; process for manufacturing cans; story about using sardines to attract bears; changes in technology; modernized Prospect Harbor plant in 1987; primary brand was Beach Cliff; fires; mustard; story about electrician falling into barrel of mustard; description of processing of sardines in the cannery; sardines now promoted as healthy food; impact of regulation; competition for labor; personal attachment to sardine industry. Text: 28 pp. transcript, 6 pp. interview log. Recording: CD 2446 1 hour. Photos: P 9623 – P 9626.

3835 Myrtress Harrington, interviewed by Keith Ludden, July 30, 2011. Text: no transcript or abstract (being processed 08/2012), 4 pp. interview log. Recording: CD 2447. Photos: P 9627, P 9628.

3836 Arlene Hartford and Keith “Pete” Hartford, interviewed by Keith Ludden, July 31, 2011. The Hartfords talk about their work at the seafood canneries in Maine and at Stinson; picking blueberries; picking potatoes in Aroostook County; Arlene’s first job in cannery was cutting fish with scissors and putting them in cans; Pete worked maintenance at the cannery; explanation of operating switchgate; liked being with good friends when working; worked long hours; Bumblebee took over the plant; fire at the plant when they were living in Prospect Harbor; weir fishing; unloading fish; Beach Cliff; packed sardines in mustard; stories about workers; canneries died out partly because the government restricted the amount of herring that could be caught; description of plant closing; sardines lived in salt water in the ocean and after hauling they were stored in fresh water which made the sardines soft; use of powdered mustard; sold packed in mustard and soybean oil. Text: 5 pp. interview log. Recording: CD 2448 48 minutes, V 0314.

3837 Carey N. Lewis, interviewed by Keith Ludden, July 29, 2011. Text: no transcript or abstract (being processed 08/2012), 4 pp. interview log. Recording: CD 2449 1 hour 7 minutes. Photos: P 9629.

3838 Elaine A. Lowell, interviewed by Keith Ludden, July 30, 2011. Text: 2 pp. interview log, no transcript or abstract; being processed 08/2012. Recordings: CD 2452 48 minutes.

3839 Alton E. West, interviewed by Keith Ludden, September 10, 2011. Text: 6 pp. interview log, no transcript or abstract (being processed 08/2012). Recordings: CD 2456 1 hour. Photos: P 9630.

3840 Diana B. Young, interviewed by Keith Ludden, September 10, 2011. Text: 4 pp. interview log, no transcript or abstract (being processed 08/2012). Recordings: CD 2457 38 minutes. Photos: P 9631, P 9632.

3841 Charles B. Stinson, interviewed by Keith Ludden, April 19, 2011, Prospect Harbor, Maine. Text: no transcript or abstract; being processed 08/2012. Recordings: CD 2458 1 hour 29 minutes.

3842 Charles B. Stinson, by Keith Ludden, April 19, 2011. Photographs of Stinson. Photos: P 9412 – P 9415 (Photo CD).

3845 Clell N. Genthner, interviewed by Keith Ludden, August 29, 2011. Text: 3 pp. interview log (in control folder). Recordings: CD 2514 48 minutes. Photos: P 9633.


Back to Collections