MF 037 “Life of the Maine Lobsterman” Project
Northeast Archives of Folklore and Oral History: MF 037 “Life of the Maine Lobsterman” project
Number of accessions: 20
Dates when interviews were conducted: 1974
Time period covered: 20th century
Principal interviewers: David Taylor
Finding aides: transcripts
Access restrictions: NA0887, 1089, 1131, 1318
Description: The bulk of the nineteen accessions (33 hours) in this collection consists of interviews by David Taylor conducted during the summer of 1974. Accessions NA 726, 727, and 747 – 750 have been added to the collection since they are on the same topic and were done around the same time.
Related: If you find this collection interesting, you may want to check out another related Maine resource: The Penobscot Marine Museum.
0726 Edwin Lawson, interviewed by Rita Swidrowski for FO 197, fall 1972, West Tremont, Maine. Lawson, 73, talks about lobstering on the Maine coast. Text: 139 pp. transcript. Recording: T 0534 – 0537 4 hours.
0727 Charles Dodge, interviewed by David Taylor for FO 197, fall 1972, Friendship,Maine. Series of interviews with Dodge, 84, about his life as a lobster fisherman. Also included: personal correspondence. Text: 258 pp. transcript. Recording: T 0538 – T 0544 5 hours. Photos: P 0347 – P 0379.
0747 Dale Torrey and Mrs. Torrey, interviewed by Mark Lafond for FO 197, March 3, 1937, Winter Harbor, Maine. Also included: 3 pp. Survey of Maine Lobstering Industry and 2 pp. biography of Torrey. Torrey talks about being a lobster fisherman; decision not to finish school; the company he works for; his house; children; learning lobstering from his brother and father; problems starting out; first wife’s death; second wife; wages; shrimping during the winter; co-op; his father’s love of being a lobster-fisherman. Text: 177 pp. transcript with 24 pp. catalog. Recording: T 0569 – T 0573 2 hours.
0748 Frank Dyer, interviewed by Becky Elwell for FO 197, spring 1973, Lincolnville, Maine. Also included: newspaper clipping; 5 pp. interview schedule; 2 pp. biography of Dyer. Dyer, born on High Island on April 2, 1896, talks about Warren Island; his grandparents; school on 700 Acres Island; moving to Maker’s Island (La Salle’s Island); tending traps with his father, a lobster fisherman; working on the roads in Camden, Maine; being in the Army in WWII; odd jobs he worked; going back to lobstering at age 29; loosing boats to a hurricane; his wife picking and selling crabs he catches; children and grandchildren; duck hunting; whittling; knitting the heads for the traps he builds. Text: 72 pp. transcript with 2 pp. catalog/biography. Recording: T 0574 – T 0576 2 hours.
0749 Sherwood Cook, Ernest Maloney, and Holace Chadwick, interviewed by Jayne Lello for FO 197, spring 1973, Tenant’s Harbor, Port Clyde, Maine. Cook talks about lobster fishing; the new equipment and laws that apply; it as a business; his lobster territory around Little Green Island, which he owns; his background; his wife; how his father and grandfather did lobster fishing; bird watching. Maloney, who grew up in Port Clyde, talks about his background; his father (a “man of the sea”); lobstering with his father; being a full-time fisherman. Chadwick talks about his background; past days of glorious sea captains and schooners; his mother; living in Port Clyde; coming from a long line of “men of the sea”; his childhood; working on a tanker for 10 years; switching to lobstering; share-fishing with Cook; living with his wife on Little Green Island; purse seining and stop seining; his children. Text: 177 pp. transcript with brief catalog. Recording: T 0577 – T 0581 3 hours.
0750 Joe and Evelyn Horr and Leon and Leila Horr, interviewed by Faith A. Rawding for FO 107 & 197, April 1973, Long Island and Casco Bay, Maine. The Horrs talk about lobster fishing; fishing; clamming; trawling; sword fishing; shad fishing; and the Seventh Day Adventist Church. Text: 295 pp. transcript and brief catalog. Recording: T 0582 – T 0589 / PM 0648 – PM 0655 / CD 0157 – CD 0164 4 hours. Photos: P 0442 – P 0444.
0754 Captain Sidney Sprague, interviewed by David Taylor for HY 183, 1973, Rockland, Maine. 165 pp. Tape: 4 hrs. w/ trans. & a 40 pp. ms. Sprague talks about the early history of lobster fishing. Text: 165 pp. transcript with 40 pp. paper. Recording: 4 hours T 0594 – T 0596. Photos: P 0450, P 0992 – P 0998.
0897 Tim Staples, interviewed by David Taylor, summer 1974, in Swan’s Island, Maine. 28 pp. Tape: 1 hr. w/ brief cat. & trans. Staples, a lobster fisherman, talks about learning where to set traps; equipment used; costs; money management; territoriality; opinions on laws, trap limits, closed season, etc. Text: 24 pp. catalog & transcription. Recording: T 0866 / CD 2013 1 hour.
0898 Sherm Stanley, Jr. interviewed by David Taylor, fall 1974, Monhegan Island, Maine. 25 pp. Tape: 1/2 hr. w/ brief cat. & trans. Stanley talks about lobster fishing, types of boats, gear, costs, traps, co-ops, laws, etc. Text: 21 pp. total: 3 pp. catalog & 17 pp. transcription. Recording: T 0867 1/2 hour.
0899 Al Roberts, interview by David Taylor, summer 1974, Friendship, Maine. 9 pp. Tape: 1/2 hr. w/ brief cat. Roberts talks about lobster buying and Friendship Sloops: when built, distinctive features, number still in existence. Text: 5 pp. brief catalog. Recording: T 0868 1/2 hour.
0970 Andy Gove, interviewed by David Taylor, July 9, 1974, Stonington, Maine. Tape: 1 hr. w/ brief cat. Gove talks about experiences as a lobster fisherman; his ideas on fishermen’s co-ops; how he started as a fisherman; his estimates on how much it would cost to get set up as a lobster fisherman today; the rising costs of gear and fuel; how the fathom meter and other instruments have affected the industry; headaches associated with fishing. Text: 6 pp. catalog. Recording: T 0970 CD 2440 53 minutes.
0971 Joe Charczynski, interviewed by David Taylor, summer 1974, Lincolnville, Maine. 10 pp. Tape: 1 hr. w/ brief cat. Charczynski talks about worming and lobster fishing. Text: 6 pp. brief catalog. Recording: T 0971 1 hour.
0972 Ralph Alley, interviewed by David Taylor, August 8, 1974, Beals, Maine. 3 pp. Tape: 1/2 hr. w/ brief cat. Alley, age 42, talks about lobster fishing. Text: 3 pp. brief catalog. Recording: T 0972 1/2 hour.
0973 Stillman Griffin, interviewed by David Taylor, August 30, 1974, Kennebunkport, Maine. Tape: 1 hr. w/ 7 pp. typed and 3 pp. handwritten brief cat. Griffin talks about what it is like to be a lobsterman; costs involved in maintenance and repairs, traps, buoyes, bait, etc.; what his opinions are on legislation, fishermen’s co-ops, trap limit, etc.; how much it would cost for a young man to get started; the future of the lobstering industry; different kinds of bait, boats, and traps. Text: 10 pp. catalog. Recording: T 0973 1 hour.
0974 Harold Finnemore, interviewed by David Taylor, summer 1974, Islesford, Maine. Tape: 1 hr. w/ cat. Finnemore, a part-time lobster fisherman, talks about lobster fishing. Text: 11 pp. catalog. Recording: T 0974 1 hour.
0975 Edgar Drisko, interviewed by David Taylor, September 12, 1974, New Harbor, Maine. Tape: 1 hr. w/ cat. Drisko, age 43, talks about lobster fishing. Text: 8 pp. catalog. Recording: T 0975 1 hour.
0982 Lyman “Gus” Alle, interviewed by David Taylor, summer 1974, Kittery, Maine. 45 pp. No Tape. Brief cat. & trans. Alley talks about his experiences as a lobsterman. Text: 42 pp. catalog & transcription.
1996 Stillman Havener, interviewed by David Taylor, summer 1974, Friendship, Maine. 3 pp. Tape: 1/2 hr. approx. Havener talks about lobstering. Text: 1 pp. brief catalog. Recording: T 1963 / CD 2000 1/2 hour approx.
2005 Les Dyer, interviewed by David Taylor, fall 1974, Rockland, Maine. 3 pp. Tape: 1 hr. Dyer of Vinalhaven and Rockland, Maine, the first president of the MLA, talks about the founding of the Maine Lobstermen’s Association. Text: 1 pp. index. Recording: T 1969 1 hour / CD 1187 is side 1 of T 1969 only. Side 2 volume so low, it’s inaudible.
2730 Correspondence, clippings, articles, and surveys relating to the Life of the Maine Lobsterman Project.