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Prospect Harbor in Hancock County, Maine — The American Northeast (New England)
 

When the ocean was the great highway for travel

 
 
When the ocean was the great highway for travel Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Steve Stoessel, October 18, 2021
1. When the ocean was the great highway for travel Marker
Inscription.  
Prospect Harbor "is the home of sea Captains…who sail the high seas…eleven in number. Many own ships built in the area."


"Roads of that time were few and bad" In contrast, the sea offered an open road to travel and trade. Winds blowing "downeast” to Maine from Boston lured enterprising captains brave enough to navigate our swift currents and rocky shores. Though not settled until the 1790s, a 1728 navigational chart names this harbor “Watering Cove” for its fresh water supply. Early exports included lumber, barrel staves and ice-followed by locally canned lobster and sardines.

Generations linked to the sea
Since 1862 when a Mr. Hilton set the first lobster trap here, fishing has been key. In 1904 a writer fretted that “the scarcity of lobsters has increased the price to...20 cents apiece." How have things changed?

Dry goods, groceries and three churches
The vibrant little village centered here once supported three churches, and three grocers who delivered on different days of the week. As early as 1799 the U.S. Mail traveled from "Scoodic [sic] by way of Machias...to Gouldsboro
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once a week... 85 miles.” By 1900 the first telephone had already been installed to serve the growing fishing industry.

Over decades, ever larger canneries were built here. The factory shown below in this 1920s photo burned in a 1968 fire.

Changing Tastes: Canned sardines were once a staple found in lunch boxes and pantries. Before refrigeration and fast shipping, a factory here canned lobster. [1904]

Of Fish and Factories: Generations of hardworking men and women have brought the ocean's harvest to the tables of millions.

Wooden Sidewalks kept school children's boots out of the mud [1909]

Prospect Harbor Gateway:Signs funded by National Scenic Byways Program and MaineDOT www.SchoodicByway.org

photos: Gouldsboro Historical Society; Nancy Montgomery: Penobscot Marine Museum; Dorcas Library for Historical Researches of Gouldsboro; Alton West's "The Last Sardine Canned in America; & Mary Evelyn for the main photo.
 
Erected by Maine Department of Transportation.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Waterways & Vessels. A significant historical year for this entry is 1728.
 
Location. 44° 24.394′ N, 68° 1.627′ W. Marker is in Prospect Harbor, Maine, in Hancock County. Marker
When the ocean was the great highway for travel Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Steve Stoessel, October 18, 2021
2. When the ocean was the great highway for travel Marker
Replica of Prospect Harbor Lighthouse is in the foreground. Marker is just left of the replica.
is at the intersection of Main Street (Maine Route 186) and Kelley Lane, on the right when traveling south on Main Street. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 59 Main Street, Prospect Harbor ME 04669, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 4 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Down East Lights (here, next to this marker); Gouldsboro Veterans Memorial (within shouting distance of this marker); Gouldsboro Town Park (about 700 feet away, measured in a direct line); Life on the Ocean’s Edge (about 800 feet away); Karl A. Jacobson (approx. 2.7 miles away); Lighthouses Warned Ships of Danger Down East (approx. 2.9 miles away); Fires Changed the Face of Winter Harbor Again & Again (approx. 3.1 miles away); Discover Architectural Gems in a DownEast Village (approx. 3.1 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Prospect Harbor.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on October 30, 2021. It was originally submitted on October 24, 2021, by Steve Stoessel of Niskayuna, New York. This page has been viewed 95 times since then and 8 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on October 24, 2021, by Steve Stoessel of Niskayuna, New York. • Michael Herrick was the editor who published this page.

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Apr. 19, 2024