’Round Town

Ship to shore

Wed, 05/04/2022 - 7:15am

Looking out across the open bay this time of year emphasizes some of the luxuries of our coastal community. Lots of unoccupied space, which for me, appeals to my appreciation for calm. In a world full with all sorts of distractions the simplicity of this view helps me be grateful for the gifts we have been given by the coast of Maine. Sort of whittles down to basics without much fluff. A boat, a church and lots of water. The same as it’s always been, at least during our brief stay. This is a view for the ages. A hundred years ago it very well could have been the same.

Our Lady Queen of Peace church was dedicated in 1926. It has been a landmark visited by many but also a welcomed sight for those in the world of the sea. It must have been a welcomed sight for those coming home from ocean journeys. Its location is ideally situated and can be seen from a fair distance. More precisely, back in the day, the church viewed from the water meant a nice hot bath/shower wasn’t far off!

Part of what makes the church so interesting, on the inside, is the wonderful structural composition of beams, supports and layout. One is readily reminded of fine woodworking for which Maine, especially coastal boatbuilding communities, are known. I have no firsthand knowledge of the people who did the building, but my bet is that some very capable hands were involved. The same hands, perhaps, that built many of the large vessels launched from our shores. The church interior is quite amazing, even without Jane Conley playing “Trumpet Voluntary” from the balcony with yours truly operating as sidekick photo person!

Sound and light are well managed inside the church too.

But, the other occupant of this view is the historic sardine carrier Jacob Pike, which holds many stories of the Maine coast. I love this boat and the series of similar carriers that were built to transport the catches of many. And, I have been lucky enough to see these critters over the years as they trudged along the coast loaded to overflowing. Others of similar kind include Kelani and Donna, Grayling, Pauline, Double Eagle, William Underwood and the Glenn-Geary which lives in memory only through a wonderful painting by our friend and artist, Allan Walton, while “on the hard” at Bristol Marine in Boothbay Harbor.

I can also recall one of my first real estate photo projects for the late Rupe Neily of Maine Coast Realty. My mission – photographs of the Sardine Packers Association “clubhouse” in Dennysville, Maine. It’s not the end of the Earth, but it’s close! You could barely get there from here. The sardine industry was ramping down then with assets being liquidated.

Hard to believe how far one’s mind can wander with just a glimpse of an all but empty harbor.

We live in an amazing place, much of which remains unseen but very real. There is much history here, as there should be.