Eastport Architecture Book

Featuring nearly 200 large format black and white photographs and six brief thematic essays, this book was published jointly in 2018 by the Tides Institute & Museum of Art of Eastport, Maine and Anchorage Press of Jolicure, New Brunswick. The book examines the architecture of Eastport, Maine within the broader context of landscape and community. The book is a result of a nine year collaboration between photographer, Thaddeus Holownia, and architect, John Leroux. The 216 page hardcover printed version of the book can be purchased from the Tides Institute & Museum of Art and Anchorage Press.

Featuring nearly 200 large format black and white photographs and six brief thematic essays, this book was published jointly in 2018 by the Tides Institute & Museum of Art of Eastport, Maine and Anchorage Press of Jolicure, New Brunswick. The book examines the architecture of Eastport, Maine within the broader context of landscape and community. The book is a result of a nine year collaboration between photographer, Thaddeus Holownia, and architect, John Leroux. The 216 page hardcover printed version of the book can be purchased from the Tides Institute & Museum of Art and Anchorage Press.


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<strong>Eastport</strong><br />

Photography by Thaddeus Holownia<br />

Text by John Leroux<br />

Tides Institute & Museum of Art<br />

The Anchorage Press

Contents<br />

Preface 7<br />

Hugh French<br />

I. Place 11<br />

II. Borders and Boundaries 47<br />

III. Change and Continuity 61<br />

IV. Design and Detail 97<br />

V. Tradition and Memory 157<br />

VI. Traces of Nature 183<br />

John Leroux<br />

Historical Notes 209<br />

Hugh French<br />

Acknowledgments 215<br />

Credits 216

Preface<br />

This book is, in one sense, long overdue: it is the first in-depth architectural<br />

look at <strong>Eastport</strong>, Maine, a place that has withstood a century-long decline,<br />

including an eighty percent loss of population, while transitioning over the<br />

last several decades to a new future. This place is located at the tip of the<br />

eastern Maine coast, bordering New Brunswick, Canada, a one-hundred-mile<br />

stretch of coastline that is sometimes described as Maine’s ‘unknown coast’<br />

because of the relative lack of study, and consequent lack of understanding, of<br />

this coast’s artistic, architectural and cultural legacies. It is remarkable that so<br />

many of the historic structures of this coast and this place have survived. Poverty<br />

is the great preserver, the saying goes. Perhaps this is true. A survey completed<br />

twenty years ago looked at about a thousand buildings in <strong>Eastport</strong> that were fifty<br />

years old or older, and determined that nearly seventy percent of the structures<br />

would be considered historic, in the sense of having been preserved in their<br />

original forms.<br />

So, on one level, this book draws back the curtain on the built landscape of<br />

<strong>Eastport</strong>, revealing it in significant detail and comprehensiveness. The book<br />

shouts out ‘we are here’ and ‘see what we have’ to those who are willing to<br />

listen, read and look. We may not have the larger and more elaborate residential,<br />

commercial and civic structures found in larger urban settings, but there is an<br />

integrity to the architectural legacy of this place, and there are good examples,<br />

here, of structures that reflect shifting American architectural styles over time.<br />

During the course of the eight years spent developing this book, many new details<br />

about this place came to light. For instance, the two earliest religious buildings in<br />

<strong>Eastport</strong>, the 1819 North Church and the 1828 Seaman’s Church, both feature rooftruss<br />

building techniques not found elsewhere in New England. Why is this? Was<br />

it an influence from Canada? Why has it taken so long to learn this?<br />

In addition to being about <strong>Eastport</strong>, this book is about place writ large; it<br />

is about a particular place at a particular point in time, but it is also about the<br />

uniqueness of every place. It is not a guidebook to the architecture of <strong>Eastport</strong>,<br />

but a journey into the broader physical soul of this city. This is the focus of the<br />

six thematic essays by John Leroux that follow. Yes, the book is about historic<br />

structures, but it is also about their wider landscape and community setting.<br />

Historic structures don’t live in isolation. They stand next to other structures,<br />

human and natural. They have builders and owners and a community within<br />

and around them. Thaddeus Holownia’s photographs, too, are attentive to these<br />

connections: in addition to architectural portraits of individual buildings, there<br />

are portraits of old trees; there are wider landscape- and streetscape-views;<br />

there are wonderful detailed views of interior and exterior building details, in<br />

which the work and community of <strong>Eastport</strong>’s builders and craftspeople are<br />

evident.<br />

Why has it taken so long for this book to happen? Why has it taken the<br />

extended expertise, passion and goodwill of a photographer and architect<br />

from neighboring New Brunswick, Canada, to give <strong>Eastport</strong> its due? This was<br />

perhaps inevitable given the perception in some quarters that this place is too far<br />

removed from the American mainstream for there to be anything worth studying<br />

here. But perhaps also it testifies to the long-standing connections between<br />

<strong>Eastport</strong> and Canada, through trade, immigration, and culture: for instance, the<br />

architect who designed most of the buildings of our downtown came here from<br />

Saint John, New Brunswick. Most of the masons who built them did, too — as did<br />

most of the original brick.<br />

In fact, the book could not have had two better people to undertake the<br />

work and bring it to fruition. Photographer Thaddeus Holownia has spent<br />

decades documenting and portraying, in large-format fashion, the remarkable<br />

landscapes of Atlantic Canada. His work has also brought him to the middle of<br />

the U.S., to Walden Pond in Massachusetts, and to Paris in France. The books<br />

that are outgrowths of his photographic practice are works of art in their own<br />

right, beautifully designed and exquisitely produced. Holownia brought his skills<br />

and care to this place, making dozens of trips, in all seasons. With his trusty<br />

tripods and view cameras he walked all over the island and visited with dozens<br />

of building owners who welcomed him in to see the interiors and virtues of<br />

their homes. He even had a room at a local B & B, where he often stayed, that<br />

became known as the Holownia Room. For seven years, he made an annual trek<br />

to <strong>Eastport</strong> for the occasion of the Fourth of July celebration, to make a viewcamera<br />

portrait of the assembled revellers.<br />

Architect John Leroux grew up in New Brunswick and then studied,<br />

traveled and worked elsewhere in Canada and the U.S. before returning to New<br />

Brunswick. He has almost single-handedly built a cultural appreciation and<br />

understanding of New Brunswick’s architectural legacy, serving as lead author<br />

and editor of the first significant book on the architecture of the province, and<br />

undertaking numerous more detailed studies and book projects, ranging from a<br />


guidebook on the historic architecture of St. Andrews, New Brunswick, to books<br />

on the architectural legacies of Mount Allison University and the University<br />

of New Brunswick. Like Holownia, he made numerous trips to this place, even<br />

appearing once in costume for the annual Pirate Festival held here. When<br />

architect and photographer traveled with me by boat to look at the architecture<br />

of neighboring Indian Island, New Brunswick, Leroux alone was somehow able to<br />

convince a Canadian customs officer, on the phone from Ottawa, to allow the boat<br />

to land.<br />

Above all, I hope this book will stand the test of time: that it will abide as a<br />

record of this place and time; that it will continue to show how this community is<br />

both like and unlike other communities; that it will continue to say ‘we are here’.<br />

–Hugh French, Director, Tides Institute & Museum of Art<br />


I. Place

I’ve never lived in <strong>Eastport</strong>, but over the past decade it has claimed a part of<br />

me. Like so many others, I feel fiercely connected to this place through its mix<br />

of grit and gorgeousness. As a city that flourished under nineteenth-century<br />

industry and commerce, <strong>Eastport</strong> attests in its form to human aspirations,<br />

tempered by the cycles of boom and bust that are inescapable in this part of<br />

coastal Maine. There is a particular story of America here, shaped by struggles<br />

between tradition and progress, war and peace, immigration and exodus, quality<br />

and shoddiness, and the sacred and the secular.<br />

<strong>Eastport</strong>’s name unashamedly conjures its raison d’être. The community was<br />

once a cosmopolitan gateway to Maine where opportunity emerged among<br />

crowds of sailors, builders, artisans, businesspeople, factory workers and<br />

fishermen. But <strong>Eastport</strong> is now smack dab in the middle of the road less traveled,<br />

to borrow from the poet Robert Frost. Although many seem to have forgotten,<br />

this road was feverishly traveled within living memory. At one time, the city<br />

was built upon the catch of millions and millions of sardines: sparkling, silvery,<br />

and seemingly endless. Its location was a junction between America’s eastern<br />

seaboard and Canada’s Maritimes during the golden age of sail and steamships.<br />

Set in the heart of Passamaquoddy Bay, the city was perfectly positioned<br />

along the once-thriving Saint John/Portland/Boston maritime corridor. It was<br />

a flourishing place of business and trade that in some cases got first-run<br />

Hollywood films before the ‘big theatres’ in Bangor.<br />

So why does a once-thriving seaport that has endured more than its fair<br />

share of tough years compel people to care about its revival? The sardine trade<br />

that was the lifeblood of the city bottomed out; this was followed by the gradual<br />

closing down of the canneries. And yet, even though the population of <strong>Eastport</strong><br />

has dwindled to a fraction of what it was at its peak a century ago, hints of vitality<br />

are everywhere. While some of these convey a melancholy longing for what<br />

was, they also point the way forward. A small city at the northeastern edge of<br />

America, <strong>Eastport</strong> hovers under the radar, yet its virtues are precious beyond<br />

measure: architecture, history, culture, nature, enthusiasm, and a pluralist<br />

ethos that has sustained strong ties between two neighboring countries for<br />

generations. It may seem trite to talk about the dignity of struggle, but this corner<br />

has lived it, continuing to fight for every ounce of opportunity in a world that<br />

hasn’t been easy on such places.<br />

There is something distinctly ‘here’ about here. <strong>Eastport</strong> never succumbed<br />

to the need to be something it wasn’t. Instead, its people had the foresight<br />

and good fortune to reach for a balance between factory town and center of<br />

culture — some might say between refinement and mobility. Critical to this<br />

balance is <strong>Eastport</strong>’s scale. Here, individuals could find their place but wouldn’t<br />

lose themselves as they might in a larger, more hectic center. I am reminded<br />

of the great artist Alex Colville’s observation that a small town outside the<br />

bookends of attention is not only liberating; it can be the best spot to find<br />

genuine advancement. At the height of his creative output, Colville remarked<br />

that “universality comes from the particular … and by immersing oneself in the<br />

particular, it is possible to be universal.”<br />

<strong>Eastport</strong>’s streetscapes reflect the layered complexities of a working port, one<br />

that evolved at a time before today’s zoning regulations prevented the building<br />

of a fish cannery directly opposite an affluent neighborhood. It’s all stubbornly<br />

idiosyncratic and remarkable. A tactile rawness mingles with a designed<br />

elegance almost everywhere you look. Architectural treasures of the wealthy<br />

white collars are bookended by structures of the working class, as these two<br />

groups lived almost side by side. <strong>Eastport</strong> bears out Jane Jacobs’ assertion, from<br />

her seminal book The Death and Life of Great American Cities: “Cities have the<br />

capability of providing something for everybody, only because, and only when,<br />

they are created by everybody.”<br />

The irony is that, even as our world becomes more pluralistic, specific<br />

corners are becoming less unique and distinctive. Far too much of North<br />

America is evolving into the same amalgam of highway exits, coffee chains,<br />

slick boutiques, and strip malls. Communities that manage to hold onto their<br />

social and material heart are irreplaceable. They testify to our ability to conceive<br />

beauty and to form exceptional spaces that connect and inspire. This is why<br />

<strong>Eastport</strong> matters. – John Leroux<br />

































II. Borders & Boundaries

The first time I traveled to <strong>Eastport</strong> was on the ferry from Deer Island, New<br />

Brunswick, in 2008. I had been encouraged to visit this small island city at<br />

the eastern tip of Maine to see how it had retained its heritage and sense<br />

of community. To my delight, the ten-minute ferry ride showed off the teeming<br />

sea life of Passamaquoddy Bay. We spotted porpoises, seals, and even a minke<br />

whale not far off the port bow. As I landed at the tiny border station and walked<br />

up Water Street, an architectural margin became very clear. Certain traditional<br />

building styles that are rampant in New England essentially end here in<br />

Washington County, emerging only occasionally, if at all, in border communities<br />

across the bay in New Brunswick.<br />

Walking into town moves you squarely past the towering 1890s customs house<br />

and post office with its solid granite walls. Designed and built as a keystone<br />

of the city, it is border architecture exemplified, a bastion of nationalist power<br />

and pride. As a visual anchor, the customs house speaks volumes about the<br />

international affairs and ambitions of this place, attesting to the enormous<br />

significance of <strong>Eastport</strong> a century ago.<br />

The border is marked in other ways, as well. <strong>Eastport</strong> is actually on a coastal<br />

island known as Moose Island — although it was connected to the mainland by<br />

a causeway in the 1930s. The island’s landscape is dotted in seemingly random<br />

locations with carefully placed concrete pyramids that mark the jagged frontier<br />

between the eastern tip of the United States and the Canadians across the<br />

bay. As sculptural anomalies, these red-and-white mini-pyramids channel their<br />

much larger, ancient Egyptian precursors. Each marks a specific spot based on<br />

a complex geometry; they symbolize the power and dominion of the state; they<br />

are highly visible; and they endure. Implying lines that run miles away over open<br />

water, these pyramids help physically define the Canada-U.S. relationship. It’s an<br />

affiliation that is intricate, complex, and critical to understanding <strong>Eastport</strong>’s prior<br />

highs and lows.<br />

The military history of <strong>Eastport</strong>, evident in lingering fragments like the Barracks<br />

Museum and the crumbling stone powder magazine, primarily involves the foreign<br />

land facing the harbor. Moose Island and the surrounding region were occupied<br />

for several years by the British army during and after the War of 1812. There were<br />

exceptions, but it was mostly a nonviolent affair. Civility reigned, and trust has<br />

prevailed for most of the ensuing two centuries, during which the United States<br />

and Canada have understood that they have a great deal in common.<br />

For much of <strong>Eastport</strong>’s history, the border has been more emotional than<br />

physical. <strong>Eastport</strong> and Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s beloved Campobello Island,<br />

on the Canadian side, are just a dory-row apart, a perfect metaphor for a<br />

boundary that was once as fluid as water. Canadian cannery workers rowed back<br />

and forth every day as if the border didn’t exist at all. Steamships traded in goods<br />

and passengers from Saint John, New Brunswick, in one direction and from<br />

Boston in the other. After <strong>Eastport</strong>’s disastrous 1886 downtown fire, an American<br />

architect named Henry Black rebuilt Water Street. He came from Saint John,<br />

where he’d been living and working for almost a decade, having helped to design<br />

and rebuild that sister city after its own cataclysmic fire in 1877. One of Black’s<br />

local jewels is the former <strong>Eastport</strong> Savings Bank, a wonderfully restored red brick<br />

Italianate building from 1887 that is now home to the Tides Institute & Museum of<br />

Art. The Tides Institute is a superb example of a local initiative whose reach has<br />

stretched far beyond its own community. The Institute has acquired a significant<br />

collection of artifacts and artworks from both the U.S. and Canada, sponsored<br />

and hosted international workshops and artist residencies, curated outstanding<br />

exhibitions, established a downtown working-studio building, promoted heritage<br />

preservation, and, most importantly, strengthened cultural ties between eastern<br />

Canada and the United States at a time when other forces have sought to erode<br />

them.<br />

With its rich and eloquent historical legacy, <strong>Eastport</strong> stands at the frontier —<br />

an American figurehead astride an invisible line, confidently awaiting its next<br />

transnational calling. – J.L.<br />












III. Change & Continuity


There’s no denying that change hit <strong>Eastport</strong> hard over the course of the<br />

twentieth century. Significant losses of jobs and opportunity scourged<br />

this city, which boasted over five thousand citizens in 1900. Each<br />

subsequent decade saw a decline of around five hundred people until the<br />

population leveled off in the 1970s. Cities aren’t designed to function if their<br />

population dwindles by two thirds, but <strong>Eastport</strong> had a solid foundation that<br />

allowed it to press on. Though they certainly didn’t anticipate such downswings,<br />

<strong>Eastport</strong>’s nineteenth-century builders and patrons handed this island<br />

community a collection of civic monuments, emblematic of shared sensibilities,<br />

that have given it the means to sustain fundamental transformation in the<br />

twenty-first century.<br />

One of <strong>Eastport</strong>’s great advantages is its commercial core along Water<br />

Street, a five-block stretch of surviving commercial buildings, listed since 1982<br />

on the National Register of Historic Places. Designed with a stoic elegance that<br />

wouldn’t be out of place in an Edward Hopper painting, these two- and threestory<br />

brick and wood buildings would be the envy of any Main Street in America.<br />

While lack of post-war development and urban renewal may have left<br />

<strong>Eastport</strong>ers feeling out of the loop, the absence in this city of the demolition<br />

that elsewhere accompanied modernization and ‘progress’ turned out to be a<br />

godsend. I think of this every time I pass the venerable local library, still very<br />

much in use, its decorated brick entry arch welcoming you like a much-loved<br />

family member.<br />

This is not to say that <strong>Eastport</strong> has been without losses. While its many<br />

churches are gems of period architecture, one can’t help but grieve when<br />

looking at photographs of the gorgeous Unitarian Church, for instance, that<br />

succumbed to flames in 1946. The sardine and pearl-essence plants that were<br />

unceremoniously demolished or destroyed in recent times would be the envy of<br />

any New England waterfront today. These losses make it that much more crucial<br />

to protect the built heritage of <strong>Eastport</strong> that remains.<br />

A downtown facade-improvement program has been led by the Tides<br />

Institute, resulting in the return of many of the late nineteenth-century brick<br />

buildings to their original forms. Historic structures like the North Baptist Church<br />

and Norwood House are being carefully restored, and efforts to repurpose<br />

others are either successfully completed or gaining traction. Take, for example,<br />

the <strong>Eastport</strong> Arts Center, the Congregational Church, the Old <strong>Eastport</strong> Savings<br />

Bank, the <strong>Eastport</strong> Nursing Home, and the Barracks Museum. In an era when the<br />

massive textile mills of Lowell, Massachusetts, are becoming valuable office and<br />

residential developments, and the obsolete elevated-rail system in Manhattan<br />

can transform into the hugely successful High Line, one has high hopes for the<br />

abandoned can factory downtown on <strong>Eastport</strong>’s Sea Street, one of the last and<br />

most visible reminders of the region’s sardine industry. A refurbishment of its<br />

tenacious brick shell, concrete deck, and post-and-beam structure could drive a<br />

broader waterfront architectural project that would make any port city proud.<br />

It may seem small at first, but the spark effect of a new business infusion or an<br />

owner restoring a property is enormous. The current rejuvenation of <strong>Eastport</strong>’s<br />

downtown has been more than successful, with new restaurants, a pet store, a<br />

bakery, storefront artist studios, and even a candy store cropping up alongside<br />

<strong>Eastport</strong> stalwarts like the Waco Diner, which has stood on Water Street since<br />

1924, and S.L. Wadsworth & Son, the ‘nation’s oldest ship chandlery’, which<br />

has been there since 1818. On a larger, industrial scale, there’s optimism for the<br />

shipping industry and cargo port on the west side of the island. The 1930s vision<br />

of tidal power has also been newly revisited. The lobstering industry and salmon<br />

aquaculture are thriving, and there’s been a noticeable upsurge in tourism and<br />

arts-related attractions. Just ask the many thousands who make the pilgrimage<br />

to <strong>Eastport</strong> every year for the July Fourth celebration or the September Pirate<br />

Festival. These success stories deserve place alongside that of the nationallyrenowned,<br />

heavy-timbered Raye’s Mustard mill, whose original millstones have<br />

ground mustard seeds for over a century now.<br />

The average age in <strong>Eastport</strong> is older than in many places in America, yet<br />

young families are coming and staying. Though their numbers are a fraction<br />

of those of a century ago, many locals still work in the port, in fisheries, and in<br />

boat repair. As well, numerous artists and craftspeople of the early 1970s who<br />

‘discovered’ <strong>Eastport</strong> as a safe, creative haven set apart from big-city America<br />

have stayed put. The citizens who’ve left have done so out of perceived necessity<br />

more often than not, but those who’ve remained, like the newcomers who’ve<br />

lingered, have made it clear that this is where they belong. – J.L.<br />

































IV. Design & Detail

Design in <strong>Eastport</strong> takes many forms, and it is far from limited to the high<br />

design of artists or trained professionals. The city contains equal worth<br />

in the common places that don’t often get a second glance. <strong>Eastport</strong><br />

was awash in wealth and material riches for much of the nineteenth century,<br />

but the aesthetic impulse is evident even in the houses and structures of those<br />

less well-off. Maybe this arose from <strong>Eastport</strong>’s intimate connection to makers<br />

and laborers — from the packers in the sardine canneries and the heavylifting<br />

longshoremen of the seaport, to the fine lithographers in the shops that<br />

printed beautifully designed sardine tin labels. This was a place where things<br />

were made, traded and shared. The builders and artisans of <strong>Eastport</strong> have<br />

left a legacy that reflects the city’s high regard for the dignity and talent of the<br />

craftsperson. Their acts of building and making have become a testament to the<br />

endurance of community.<br />

I was surprised and overwhelmed by the sight of an early twentieth-century<br />

Tiffany mosaic of Christ holding a lamb, in the local Baptist church. The artwork<br />

is as fine as any you’d see in the great museums of the world. Walk into the<br />

almost temple-like Peavey Library and you can feel its wealthy donor’s devotion<br />

to the people of this place. Nearby, the sprawling civic graveyard is filled with<br />

carved white marble monuments that testify to the wealth that permeated the<br />

island. The same graveyard maintains an enigmatic Masonic structure of two<br />

brick pylons capped by domed and pyramidal roofs, an item as fascinating in its<br />

uniqueness as it is unsettling in its cryptic form — a silent evocation of <strong>Eastport</strong><br />

clinging tightly to its secrets. At the customs house, a riveted steel water tank<br />

hidden in the timbered attic bespeaks the same attention to detail as does the<br />

open wrought-iron staircase that visitors were actually meant to see.<br />

The local wooden houses and churches present equally inspired forms and<br />

construction elements, to say nothing of their eclectic interiors and furniture<br />

collections. In an almost encyclopedic sweep, all significant New England<br />

architectural styles from the late 1770s to the early twentieth century are<br />

represented in <strong>Eastport</strong> and on the surrounding islands: the eccentric filigree<br />

of Elm Cottage, the elegant Greek Revival Norwood House, the stone-walled<br />

Italianate Babb House, the sprawling Queen Anne Capen House, the large<br />

saltbox on Indian Island, the Dutch Revival homes of Quoddy Village, the<br />

geometric variety of the Shingle Style Warnock House, the ancient Revolutionera<br />

bones of the Todd House, the graceful open spaces of the North Church<br />

and the Congregational Church …. But the commonplace is reflected here as<br />

well. Four-bay side-entry cottages are ubiquitous in <strong>Eastport</strong> (many refurbished<br />

with early twentieth-century concrete block foundations); there are the plain<br />

tourist pods overlooking a stunning view of the bay; and there is any number of<br />

working-class Cape Cod cottages whose owners still found the resources to add<br />

decorative entry surrounds.<br />

In many cases, the tale of <strong>Eastport</strong>’s architectural and environmental heritage<br />

has been one of survival by luck and benign disregard as much as by care and<br />

conservation. During the postwar years, the city’s downtown wasn’t valuable<br />

enough to tear down, which ironically enabled its preservation. This is not to<br />

imply that it was always ‘preservation by neglect’, but there are enough instances<br />

of this to show that the lack of refurbishment pressure was a blessing in disguise.<br />

But for every mothballed Havey & Wilson drug store, with its marble-topped<br />

soda fountain so intact that chocolate sprinkles can still be found in the counter<br />

dispensers, there was a Wilbor Theatre laid waste. The latter’s art deco facade,<br />

fronting the main business strip, had a character so exotic compared to the rest<br />

of <strong>Eastport</strong> that it seemed straight out of an outlandish, streamlined future. This<br />

peculiar building, once an essential part of daily city life, was deemed obsolete<br />

and demolished in 1980.<br />

As expressions of craft and meaning, the houses, sheds, churches and public<br />

buildings of <strong>Eastport</strong> are much more than just tangible artifacts left for posterity.<br />

An architectural detail, a carved gravestone, a raw brick wall — these are<br />

devotional offerings from those long since departed. – J.L.<br />






















































V. Tradition & Memory


In a narrow alley off Water Street, remnants of a hand-painted wall<br />

advertisement point to a shoe repair shop behind an old brick building. The<br />

business closed long ago, but the sign’s scoured testimony remains. When<br />

I first came across it several years ago, I was fascinated by how this trace<br />

articulated so much more than the evidence of a long-forgotten cobbler. To<br />

me it embodied the tenacity of <strong>Eastport</strong>’s culture and values. The lettering has<br />

shifted over the generations from usefulness to abandonment and then to near<br />

obscurity, but through the luck of survival it matters once again, perhaps more<br />

than it ever did. <strong>Eastport</strong>’s roots persist through what you can touch and feel.<br />

As our world becomes increasingly ephemeral, measured in seconds on small<br />

backlit screens, I’m somehow reassured that this timeworn wall painting might<br />

outlast me.<br />

By safeguarding what’s been left, <strong>Eastport</strong>ers connect with one of the<br />

most powerful of human endeavors: the careful creation and sustaining of a<br />

community. If establishing a settlement is an act of faith, then engaging with the<br />

world though a community’s labor has a resonance far beyond the daily chores<br />

and trivialities that we often associate with a particular place. The remarkable<br />

thing about <strong>Eastport</strong> is that it has spent so much of its life looking outward.<br />

Boosted by the twin riches of fisheries and shipping, the city was a prosperous<br />

hub for a century and a half. When the world stopped looking back, the city was<br />

forced to take stock of the paths it had taken. Character is rarely tested in the<br />

best of times; it shows itself in adversity. Worn and toughened, <strong>Eastport</strong> has<br />

earned its survival through an instinctive embrace of integrity and innovation,<br />

and through an understanding of community will.<br />

<strong>Eastport</strong> is old enough to have lived through various complete cycles: trade,<br />

war, peace, exploitation of the sea, rebuilding after fire, and recent flirtations<br />

with obsolescence. Luckily, the people of <strong>Eastport</strong> have had the wherewithal to<br />

understand that the spaces and places of the city, even if abandoned for years<br />

with no commercial savior on the horizon, were crucial as a foothold for a certain<br />

way of life. The survival of these spaces and places testifies to the relevance of<br />

the past, shedding light on how we might live today in a society that often moves<br />

too fast for us to understand where we’re going. <strong>Eastport</strong> attests to the capacity<br />

of a historic town to move into the future not as a static museum, but as a vital,<br />

hopeful presence in a contemporary context.<br />

Quoddy Village at the northern rim of Moose Island is a half-occupied, halfabandoned<br />

clapboarded town that a thousand enthusiastic young Americans<br />

once filled with life. Created under the auspices of President Roosevelt and his<br />

New Deal relief projects, it was designed by the esteemed Maine architects John<br />

Calvin Stevens and John P. Thomas. Quoddy Village was conceived as a model<br />

community to house, feed, educate and entertain the staff, engineers, draftsmen<br />

and laborers (along with many of their families) tasked with building the nearby<br />

Passamaquoddy Tidal Power Project — which was to be the world’s largest tidal<br />

dam. A victim of tightening congressional budgets, the dam never made it, but<br />

Quoddy’s remaining Colonial Revival buildings and Dutch Revival homes speak<br />

of an era not so long ago when <strong>Eastport</strong> was flanked by an entire second town.<br />

I have to admit that I often dwell too much on what’s long gone in places like<br />

this. Quoddy and the vanished canneries cast a wide shadow, but what persists<br />

in <strong>Eastport</strong> is considerable. Boats are still built and repaired here; fresh lobsters<br />

crowd the holding facility at Prince Cove; S.L. Wadsworth & Son just entered<br />

its third century of operation; kids still go to Shead High School; and fishing<br />

vessels line the breakwater, floating with the tide. I can’t help but smile when<br />

local woodworker Jim Blankman drives around town in his carefully restored 1947<br />

Dodge ‘woodie’ bus, which used to haul sardine packers to their workplaces.<br />

There’s a reason that the city explodes in size every summer for the largest<br />

Fourth of July celebration in the state. A population of thirteen hundred does<br />

not grow to ten thousand for a day because of cheap hot dogs and lobster<br />

trinkets. Maine senators, governors, and even U.S. Navy battleships descend<br />

upon <strong>Eastport</strong> for their annual pilgrimage because of the burst of vitality and<br />

authenticity that a place like this provides. On special days like this, it’s good to<br />

see people remember. –J.L.<br />























VI. Traces of Nature

I<br />

left <strong>Eastport</strong>’s IGA Foodliner carrying an unremarkable bag full of local<br />

mustard, potato chips and iced tea, and was stopped dead in my tracks. I had<br />

walked in and out of that supermarket many times, distracted by the normal<br />

head-down pattern of getting back to my car and driving off. I had never taken<br />

the time to see what was right in front of me, past the plate glass exit doors.<br />

A house across the street looked as if it was about to get swallowed up by a<br />

mountain – an enormous granite tidal wave bursting out of the backyard and<br />

lashing at the base of a wooden foursquare home that would never stand a<br />

chance. This is a city where geology rules, subjugated only by the slow erosion<br />

of thousands of years of water, ice and storms. This house with its looming stone<br />

wave was a reminder that we’re only borrowing this place. Nature was here<br />

before, it’s here now, and it will be here long after we’re gone.<br />

You can tell by the map of <strong>Eastport</strong> that the first colonial settlers and<br />

surveyors wanted to build a clean rectangular grid of streets like that in St.<br />

Andrews across the bay, but the ground wouldn’t let them. A fractured rock<br />

outcrop here and a rolling hill there made for a bowed and erratic lattice of roads<br />

and properties, all under the dominance of Clark’s Hill, its peak calling for a fort<br />

in the nineteenth century and, thankfully, for schools in the twentieth.<br />

Nature looms large here. In an environment where billions of gallons of<br />

ocean tide rise and fall like clockwork twice a day, shorelines and small islands<br />

like Clark’s Ledge incessantly emerge from and then disappear under the salt<br />

waters. Near the Ledge, the ‘Old Sow’, between Harris Point and Deer Island,<br />

is the largest tidal whirlpool in the western hemisphere. Outside of the normally<br />

deserted peak of Mount Katahdin, <strong>Eastport</strong> proudly claims the United States’ first<br />

sunrise every morning. This distinction gave the Wabanaki (a confederation of the<br />

Mi’kmaq, Maliseet, Passamaquoddy, Abenaki and Penobscot First Nations) their<br />

name: “people of the first light.” The Passamaquoddy, who have been here for<br />

thousands of years, traditionally called themselves peskotomuhkatiyik, “people who<br />

spear pollock.” They identified themselves with the bounty of the sea and lived<br />

lightly on the land in shelters made of birchbark and wooden ribs lashed together<br />

with spruce roots. Canoes were built with the same materials.<br />

Although the twentieth century saw most of Moose Island developed, due<br />

to the spread of the city, airport, and marine terminal, and the establishment of<br />

Quoddy Village, there are still some exceptional places that remain untouched.<br />

The northeastern forest at Kendall Head is balanced by unspoiled Shackford<br />

Head at the southwest tip of the island overlooking Cobscook Bay. Fine hiking<br />

trails traverse what is now Shackford Head State Park, leading through woods<br />

to a rocky headland high above the sea and the beaches below. Ornithologists<br />

have documented twenty-eight different bird species here, including warblers,<br />

thrushes, bald eagles, common terns and spotted sandpipers. It’s the kind of<br />

place that you couldn’t imagine being anything but protected.<br />

Still, for much of the 1970s, <strong>Eastport</strong> was consumed with division over a<br />

proposed oil refinery, set to occupy the Shackford peninsula. In a place that<br />

couldn’t afford to be split in two, families, friends, and leaders of the city were<br />

caught in a maelstrom of corporate economics, fighting what some felt was a<br />

fierce civil war over oil. The prolonged episode generated a groundswell of soulsearching,<br />

and also cemented the difficult conviction that, if <strong>Eastport</strong> was truly<br />

to survive, certain things couldn’t be given up. Ultimately, in the early 1980s, the<br />

refinery proposal was abandoned, and several years later a land trust helped<br />

keep the area a wildlife refuge and public park.<br />

The trees that adorn the landscape of Moose Island reveal their particular<br />

personalities. Some are tired and gnarled, some carefully set and pruned. A few<br />

remaining mammoth copper beech trees, planted over two hundred years ago<br />

by occupying British soldiers, grow and shade the quiet streets, and the white<br />

gravestone teeth of the Hillside Cemetery are perfectly counterpointed by the<br />

sheltering trees that pepper its rolling lawn.<br />

The relationship of this place to nature has never been easy or straightforward.<br />

Recurring storms have wreaked havoc on <strong>Eastport</strong>, from the 1869 Saxby Gale<br />

that ripped down the original steeple of the Congregational Church to the 1976<br />

storm that destroyed many of the last downtown wooden wharves. Yet amid<br />

these changes, the clam flats at Carrying Place Cove are harvested exactly the<br />

same way they have been for thousands of years. The people digging with their<br />

backs hunched over the wet sandy mud are proof that some connections to<br />

nature here are not about to change. –J.L.<br />
























Historical Notes<br />

Front cover. View of backside of Key Street houses from Shackford Street.<br />

Page 3. Hand-split wall laths exposed during plaster restoration, North Church<br />

balcony, 82 High Street [1819].<br />

10. Camperdown Elm tree, Hillside Cemetery.<br />

Clockwise from upper left:<br />

12a. Gravestone, Hillside Cemetery: “William Mulno, Died July 12, 1851, Aged 57<br />

yrs. 6 ms. Mary, his wife, Died June 10, 1866, Aged 52 yrs.”<br />

12b. Gravestone, Hillside Cemetery: “Lorenzo Sabine. Transplanted. Born, Feb.<br />

28, 1803, Taken, Apr. 14, 1877.” Once described as the “John the Baptist of Loyalist<br />

studies,” Sabine lived in <strong>Eastport</strong> for over twenty-five years in the early-nineteenth<br />

century. Here his proximity to neighboring Canada allowed him to research and write<br />

his book The American Loyalists, or Biographical Sketches of Adherents to the British Crown<br />

in The War of the Revolution; Alphabetically Arranged; with a Preliminary Historical Essay,<br />

which was published by Charles C. Little and James Brown of Boston in 1847.<br />

12c. Gravestone, Hillside Cemetery. “Capt. Robert E. Wooster. Died at New York,<br />

Aug. 7, 1860. AE 38 yrs. 2 mos.”<br />

12d. British gravestones, Hillside Cemetery. <strong>Eastport</strong> was occupied by British<br />

forces for four years (1814–1818) during and after the War of 1812. Left gravestone:<br />

“Walter St. John, Esq. Lieu. 102d Reg. died May 29, 1815 in the 29th year of his age.”<br />

Right gravestone: “To the memory of Mr. Thomas Raymond, Master in his Britannic<br />

Majesty’s Royal Navy, born in Aldborough Suffolk England.”<br />

13. Stairway to balcony, North Church, 82 High Street [1819].<br />

14. Marble fireplace on second floor of U.S. customs house/post office building,<br />

2 Washington Street [1891]. Designed by Willoughby J. Edbrooke, U.S. Treasury<br />

Department architect.<br />

15. Rear addition [c. 1900] on Elm Street side of Coombs House, 27 Boynton Street.<br />

16. Gunnison House, 11 Boynton Street [1849].<br />

17. <strong>Eastport</strong> Port Authority tugs docked at Fish Pier in downtown <strong>Eastport</strong>.<br />

18 & 19. West side of Hillside Cemetery.<br />

20. Blakey Memorial United Methodist Church, 74 High Street [1884].<br />

21. Former <strong>Eastport</strong> City Hall, originally built as the Boynton High School, 78 High<br />

Street [1847]. Designed by Gridley J.F. Bryant of Boston. This is Bryant’s earliest known<br />

work in Maine.<br />

22. Remnants of wooden wharf near foot of Clark Street.<br />

23. Net laid out for repair, <strong>Eastport</strong> Port Authority Estes Head Cargo Terminal site.<br />

Port conveyor system is in background.<br />

24. Boat model found in wall of Stevens House, 35 Boynton Street [c. 1810].<br />

25. Fourth of July parade on Water Street with U.S. Navy sailors.<br />

26. Central Congregational Church showing its three front entrances and<br />

corresponding second-story windows, 26 Middle Street [1829]. Designed by Daniel Low<br />

of <strong>Eastport</strong>. Building is now owned by the Tides Institute & Museum of Art.<br />

27. Central Congregational Church, 26 Middle Street [1829]. Designed by Daniel<br />

Low of <strong>Eastport</strong>. The original steeple blew over in the Saxby Gale of 1869 and was<br />

replaced with the current steeple of a different design. The clock was made by G.H.<br />

Holbrook of Medway, Massachusetts in 1836 (the pendulum is labeled “1837”). The<br />

building is now owned by the Tides Institute & Museum of Art.<br />

28. Fishing boats at Moose Island Marine boatyard, Deep Cove.<br />

29. Wooden sailboat hull undergoing restoration and repair. Moose Island Marine<br />

boatyard, Deep Cove.<br />

30 & 31. American Can Building, 15 Sea Street [1908]. The plant manufactured<br />

metal cans used in the sardine industry.<br />

32a. Temporary floating slips for small boats, Broad Cove. The Port of <strong>Eastport</strong><br />

Estes Head terminal is in the upper left, with a freighter docked at the pier.<br />

32b. Floating dock facing the Western Passage and Canadian islands. Seaview<br />

Campground, Norwood Road.<br />

33a. Reflections from mooring posts along waterfront in downtown <strong>Eastport</strong>.<br />

33b. Wooden keel of boat. Former boat school grounds, Deep Cove.<br />

34. View from Shackford Street looking at backyard of 16 Water Street [c. 1825].<br />

35. Camperdown Elm tree, corner of Shackford and High Streets.<br />

36. 5 Shackford Street [c. 1840].<br />

37. 15 Third Street [c. 1850].<br />

38. Cargo freighter loading at <strong>Eastport</strong> Port Authority’s Estes Head Cargo Terminal.<br />

39. Steel mooring hanging from tree at Carrying Place Cove.<br />

40. Staircase in Stevens House, 35 Boynton Street [c. 1810].<br />

41. Concrete columns and beams underneath the American Can Building, 15 Sea<br />

Street [1908].<br />

42 & 43. Remains of steamship wharf on Sea Street.<br />


46. U.S. Customs and Border Protection seasonal border crossing, Little’s Cove<br />

[c. 2010].<br />

48. U.S./Canada Boundary Range Mark, Todd’s Head. Seven-foot high concrete<br />

pyramid [1919].<br />

49. View of Water Street and downtown <strong>Eastport</strong> from the top of the American Can<br />

Building at 15 Sea Street.<br />

50. Sutler’s House/Barracks Museum, 74 Washington Street [1822]. This building<br />

was originally the Sutler’s House at Fort Sullivan in <strong>Eastport</strong>, and later became part of<br />

the Officers’ Quarters. Fort Sullivan was decommissioned in 1873 and this part of the<br />

Officers’ Quarters was moved to its current location in 1877. The building is now owned<br />

and operated as a historical museum by the Border Historical Society.<br />

51. Copper beech tree, 17 Boynton Street. Planted by British forces during their<br />

occupation of <strong>Eastport</strong> during and after the War of 1812.<br />

52. U.S. customs house/post office building, 2 Washington Street [1891]. Designed<br />

by Willoughby J. Edbrooke, U.S. Treasury Department architect.<br />

53. <strong>Eastport</strong> Savings Bank building, 43 Water Street [1887]. Designed by Henry<br />

Black of Boston and Saint John (New Brunswick). The original and restoration<br />

sandstone came from the same Wallace Quarry of Wallace, Nova Scotia. The building<br />

is now owned by the Tides Institute & Museum of Art.<br />

54 & 55. View from Huston’s Cove looking out over Passamaquoddy Bay with<br />

Campobello Island (New Brunswick) in the distance.<br />

56. Second floor staircase, Chaffey Saltbox House on nearby Indian Island (New<br />

Brunswick) [1818].<br />

57. Temporary directional marking on Norwood Road.<br />

60. L to R: Leavitt, Trefrey, and Sharland blocks, 109, 103 and 93 Water Street [1887].<br />

All designed by Henry Black of Boston and Saint John (New Brunswick).<br />

62. Gravestone, Hillside Cemetery. Although there is no date on the stone, it is likely<br />

mid-nineteenth century. The back is engraved with the epitaph: “Little Willie. Son of<br />

Edward & Abby Mabee. AE. 4 mos.”<br />

63. Window showing interior staircase, former Washington Street Baptist Church,<br />

36 Washington Street [1837]. The church was raised with ground level vestry space<br />

added in 1882. It has been recently repurposed as a community arts center under the<br />

auspices of the <strong>Eastport</strong> Arts Center.<br />

64. Mabee Lumber Yard, 9 Dana Street [c. 1935].<br />

65. Grindstone, Raye’s Mustard Mill, 83 Washington Street [1903]. The Raye’s<br />

business began in 1900 to provide mustard for the canning of sardines. When the local<br />

sardine industry disappeared, Raye’s repositioned itself to produce a range of mustard<br />

varieties for a gourmet market. Still used daily, these mill grindstones are the original<br />

ones obtained from France in 1900. Raye’s is North America’s last remaining traditional<br />

stone-ground mustard mill.<br />

66 & 67. Interior of American Can Building, 15 Sea Street [1908].<br />

68. Masonic Block, 32 Water Street [1887]. Designed by Henry Black of Boston and<br />

Saint John (New Brunswick).<br />

69. Detail of eroded concrete support column beneath American Can Building,<br />

15 Sea Street [1908].<br />

70. Cummings Garage, 21 Washington Street [1956].<br />

71. L to R: Sentinel and A.B. Davis Blocks [1887]. Designed by Henry Black of Boston<br />

and Saint John (New Brunswick). The Sentinel Block had later brick facade refacing.<br />

72. Jackson House, 70 Washington Street [1882]. Designed by A.C. Fernald<br />

of Boston. At the same time, Fernald was one of the architects employed by the<br />

Campobello Company in the construction of the Owen Hotel on nearby Campobello<br />

Island (New Brunswick).<br />

73. Foot of staircase in Patrick Whalen House, 7 Key Street [c. 1820]. Design<br />

attributed to Daniel Low of <strong>Eastport</strong>.<br />

74. Frontier National Bank, 30 Water Street [1882]. Designed by Charles Kimball of<br />

Portland (Maine). This was the only downtown building to survive the fire of 1886 that<br />

leveled the business core and waterfront.<br />

75. Frontier National Bank with c. 1910 addition at left, 30 Water Street [1882].<br />

Designed by Charles Kimball of Portland (Maine).<br />

76. Fiberglass sailboat hull undergoing restoration and repair. Moose Island Marine<br />

Boatyard, Deep Cove.<br />

77. Fisherman statue, Water Street. Initially meant to be temporary, the statue was<br />

actually a prop from the television series Murder in Small Town X filmed in <strong>Eastport</strong><br />

in 2001. A plaque was installed on it to commemorate Ángel Juarbe, Jr., the winner<br />

of Murder in Small Town X and a Bronx firefighter who was killed in the World Trade<br />

Center collapse on September 11, 2001, one week after the series finale.<br />

78 & 79. Three styles of <strong>Eastport</strong> architecture. L to R: Italianate style Tuttle House at<br />

17 Key Street [1880], Greek Revival style Norwood House at 15 Key Street [c. 1824], and<br />

Federal style Central Congregational Church at 26 Middle Street [1829].<br />

80. 13 Middle Street [c. 1840].<br />

81. Veterans Memorial Hall, 6 Green Street [c. 1820]. View of upper floor with its<br />

mid- to late-nineteenth century painted murals. Built as the Free Will Baptist vestry,<br />

after the American Civil War it became home to the Grand Army of the Republic and<br />

later the American Legion. It is now owned by the Tides Institute & Museum of Art.<br />

82. Ocean Renewal Power Company tidal generator turbines. Former boat school<br />

grounds, Deep Cove.<br />


83. Remains of powder magazine of Fort Sullivan/Fort Sherbrooke, McKinley Street<br />

[1814]. Built by British forces during their occupation (1814–1818) of <strong>Eastport</strong> during and<br />

after the War of 1812.<br />

84. Former Episcopal Parsonage, 2 School Street [1887]. Designed by Francis<br />

Fassett of Portland (Maine).<br />

85. Huston House, 6 Third Street [c. 1850]. The house incorporates an earlier Red<br />

Store that originally stood on a nearby wharf. The mansard roof, bay windows and front<br />

portico were late nineteenth-century additions.<br />

86. Door in Noyes/Mabee House, 34 Washington Street [1820]. This narrow<br />

stateroom door was salvaged from the steamship Winthrop.<br />

87. Staircase in Noyes/Mabee House, 34 Washington Street [1820]. This staircase<br />

was salvaged from the steamship Winthrop.<br />

88. Basement fireplace, ‘Type Z’ permanent residence building, Redoubt Hill [1935].<br />

Designed by John Calvin Stevens and John Howard Stevens of Portland (Maine). Part<br />

of the Passamaquoddy Bay Tidal Power Development Project.<br />

89. King post detail in the attic of the Central Congregational Church, 26 Middle<br />

Street [1829]. Designed by Daniel Low of <strong>Eastport</strong>. With a sophisticated heavy timber<br />

truss design using purlins, rafters, diagonal struts and king/prince posts, the ingenious<br />

structural solution found in the church is not only incredibly strong, it is unique in all of<br />

New England.<br />

90 & 91. View of Broad Cove from Shackford Head State Park. Salmon aquaculture<br />

pens can be seen in the cove.<br />

92. Waco Diner, 47 Water Street. The original diner began as a lunch cart at this<br />

location in 1924. The Waco is the oldest diner business in Maine, although its current<br />

building is late-twentieth century.<br />

93. 18 Broadway Street [c. 1890].<br />

96. Detail of push plates on inner entry doors, Albert Peavey Memorial Library, 26<br />

Water Street [1893]. Designed by Rotch and Tilden of Boston.<br />

98. Todd House, 1 Capen Avenue, Todd’s Head [c. 1770]. This <strong>Eastport</strong>’s oldest house.<br />

99. 15 Third Street [c. 1850].<br />

100. Warnock House, 34 Shackford Street [1899].<br />

101. Warnock House, 34 Shackford Street [1899].<br />

102 & 103. Pews and stained glass windows of the North Church, 82 High Street<br />

[1819]. The oldest church in <strong>Eastport</strong>, the original North Church was raised in 1881 to<br />

allow for a vestry floor beneath the sanctuary. The c. 1920 stained glass windows were<br />

designed by Spence, Bell and Company of Boston. The building is being repurposed by<br />

the Tides Institute & Museum of Art as a space for small performances and larger-scale<br />

art and multi-media installations.<br />

104. Masonic Tomb at Hillside Cemetery [1828]. The City of <strong>Eastport</strong> took over the<br />

north (left) entrance in the late-nineteenth century.<br />

105. Elm Cottage with later gingerbread trim, 2 Elm Street [1817–1818].<br />

106. Collection of Passamaquoddy baskets, Todd House, 1 Capen Avenue, Todd’s<br />

Head.<br />

107. Iron staircase, U.S. customs house/post office Building, 2 Washington Street<br />

[1891]. Designed by Willoughby J. Edbrooke, U.S. Treasury Department architect.<br />

Staircase built by Tacony Iron & Metal Company, Tacony, Philadelphia (Pennsylvania).<br />

108. Yeaton-Spates House, outer Washington Street on County Road [c. 1840].<br />

109. 35 Clark Street [c. 1820].<br />

110. 24 Capen Avenue [c. 1780].<br />

111. 22 Third Street [c. 1840].<br />

112. Brooks House, 17 Shackford Street [c. 1820].<br />

113. ‘Type Y’ permanent residence building, Redoubt Hill [1935]. Designed by<br />

John Calvin Stevens and John Howard Stevens of Portland (Maine). Part of the<br />

Passamaquoddy Bay Tidal Power Development.<br />

114 & 115. Downtown buildings, L to R: Albert Peavey Memorial Library, 26 Water<br />

Street [1893], designed by Rotch and Tilden of Boston; Frontier National Bank<br />

building, 30 Water Street [1882, with later side addition], designed by Charles Kimball<br />

of Portland (Maine); Masonic Block, 32 Water Street [1887], designed by Henry Black<br />

of Boston and Saint John (New Brunswick).<br />

116. <strong>Book</strong> stacks, Albert Peavey Memorial Library, 26 Water Street [1893].<br />

Designed by Rotch and Tilden of Boston.<br />

117. Tiffany glass mosaic panel, Cornerstone Baptist Church, County Road.<br />

Originally installed and located in the Washington Street Baptist Church at 36<br />

Washington Street, this magnificent artwork was moved upon the completion of<br />

the congregation’s new church in 2005. The bottom cast panel reads “To the Glory<br />

of God, In Loving Remembrance of Samuel Stevens and his family and of Emory<br />

Lyon.”<br />

118. Detail of fused pew and column in the Central Congregational Church, 26<br />

Middle Street [1829]. Designed by Daniel Low of <strong>Eastport</strong>.<br />

119. Detail of fireplace in Hawkes House, 15 Shackford Street [1816–1818].<br />

Clockwise from upper left:<br />

120a. 188 Water Street [c. 1890].<br />

120b. Livermore House, 20 Key Street [1821]. Designed by Daniel Low of <strong>Eastport</strong>.<br />

120c. 5 Green Street [c. 1840].<br />

120d. 116 Water Street [c. 1915].<br />


Clockwise from upper left:<br />

121a. Siebert House, 5 Customs Street [2003]. Designed by QA 13 Architects of<br />

<strong>Eastport</strong>.<br />

121b. Shackford House, 10 Shackford Street [1841]. The porch and tower were later<br />

nineteenth-century additions.<br />

121c. 15 Green Street [c. 1887]. This is believed to have been a ‘temporary’<br />

building constructed after the great fire of 1886 that leveled <strong>Eastport</strong>’s downtown and<br />

waterfront. The building has been recently renovated into an artist’s studio.<br />

121d. Weston House, 26 Boynton Street [1810]. John James Audubon stayed here<br />

in the early 1830s, as <strong>Eastport</strong> served as the base for his trips to Labrador.<br />

122. Door with rounded top in Brooks House, 17 Shackford Street [c. 1820].<br />

123. Spiral staircase in Hawkes House, 15 Shackford Street [1816 –1818].<br />

124. Panel of cabinet doors and portrait of George Washington, U.S. customs<br />

house/post office building, 2 Washington Street [1891]. Designed by Willoughby J.<br />

Edbrooke, U.S. Treasury Department architect.<br />

125. Stetson-Starboard House, 13 Boynton Street [1821].<br />

126 & 127. Victorian Row, showing three late nineteenth-century replacements<br />

of earlier buildings that were swept away by the fire of 1886 that leveled <strong>Eastport</strong>’s<br />

downtown and waterfront. R to L: Kilby House, 122 Water Street [1889]; Holmes House,<br />

120 Water Street [1887]; Bucknam House, 118 Water Street [1887]. The latter was<br />

designed by Henry Black of Boston and Saint John (New Brunswick).<br />

128. Harris Point Cabin, Harris Point [c. 1930].<br />

129. Storefront details, L to R: McMahon Building and Jackson Block [1887]. Both<br />

were designed by Henry Black of Boston and Saint John (New Brunswick).<br />

130. 56 Washington Street [c. 1840].<br />

131. Double parlor, sliding doors and marble fireplace. Norwood House, 15 Key<br />

Street [c. 1824].<br />

132. Bibber House, 72 Washington Street [1883].<br />

133. 17 Adams Street [c. 1880].<br />

134. View from Washington Street of rear of Hayden House, 17 Boynton Street<br />

[1805], showing late nineteenth-century mansard roof.<br />

135. Shead House, 21 Middle Street [1819]. The mansard roof and bay window were<br />

late nineteenth-century additions.<br />

136. Window and shutters of ‘Type A’ temporary residence building, Quoddy<br />

Village [1935]. Designed by John Calvin Stevens and John Howard Stevens of Portland<br />

(Maine). Part of the Passamaquoddy Bay Tidal Power Development Project. There<br />

were seven shutter-cutout designs for Type A residences with “one design for each<br />

house, varying so that no two adjacent houses will have the same design.” This detail<br />

shows a crescent moon design.<br />

137. Late-nineteenth century barn behind N.B. Nutt, Jr. House, 18 Shackford Street.<br />

138. Holmes House, 120 Water Street [1887].<br />

139. Kilby House, 122 Water Street [1889].<br />

140. Delesdernier House, 7 Franklin Street [c. 1807]<br />

141. Finch Double Tenement House [1901]. The wainscoting and flooring of this<br />

house were salvaged from the U.S.S. Minnesota, a Civil War ship that was burned for<br />

scrap at Broad Cove in <strong>Eastport</strong> in 1901.<br />

142. Hayden House, 17 Boynton Street [1805]. Additions made in 1882 included the<br />

mansard roof, two-story bay windows, and front and side porches; extensive interior<br />

renovations were also done at this time.<br />

143. Later porch addition of Patrick Whalen House, 7 Key Street. Original house<br />

design attributed to Daniel Low of <strong>Eastport</strong> [c. 1820].<br />

144. Gravestone, Hillside Cemetery. Carved image of a sinking sailing vessel. The<br />

gravestone marks the loss at sea of the Crosby family, with husband Capt. Mariner S.<br />

Crosby, 44 years of age, wife Sarah B. Crosby, 33 years of age, and their four children<br />

(Mary, Lucy, Jacob and infant son), when their vessel, the brig Sarah B. Crosby, sank<br />

in October, 1867. The epitaph reads: “How sad their fate amidst oceans waves, Where<br />

they all sunk to watery graves, But in God’s word sweet hope is given, That we shall<br />

meet again in Heaven.”<br />

145. Staircase in Bibber House, while the house was undergoing restoration, 72<br />

Washington Street [1883].<br />

146. View looking west at roofs of lower Key Street houses from the third floor attic<br />

of Shackford House, 4 Key Street.<br />

147. 2 Lincoln Street [c. 1900].<br />

148. Staircase, 16 Water Street [c. 1825].<br />

149. Fanlight above front door, Brooks House, 17 Shackford Street [c. 1820].<br />

150. Detail of original interior store shelving, Rumery Brothers Building, 56 Water<br />

Street [1887]. The shelving runs the entire length of both sides of the main floor.<br />

Building designed by Henry Black of Boston and Saint John (New Brunswick).<br />

151. Babb House, 9 Key Street [1869]. This is the only stone house in <strong>Eastport</strong>.<br />

152. Oliver Shead/E.A. Holmes House, 130 Water Street [1802]. This is the oldest<br />

full two-story house in <strong>Eastport</strong>, although the Gothic bay window is a later addition.<br />

153. Staircase in Capen House, 16 Key Street [1894].<br />

156. Early twentieth-century painted alleyway sign on the Witherell/Holmes Block,<br />

48–50 Water Street [1887].<br />


158. Fireplace with implements, 16 Water Street [c. 1825].<br />

159. Detail of staircase that runs inside the large central chimney in Elm Cottage. 2<br />

Elm Street [1817–1818].<br />

160. Rear of Stevens House, 35 Boynton Street [c. 1810]. The door and surrounds<br />

leaning on the house are from a mid-nineteenth century farmhouse in nearby<br />

Pembroke (Maine) that was demolished in 2016.<br />

161. Iron fence, Norwood House, 15 Key Street [c. 1824].<br />

162 & 163. Federal Row, showing three early nineteenth-century houses. L to R:<br />

Hayden House, 17 Boynton Street [1805] (1882 additions included the mansard roof, bay<br />

windows, front and side porch and extensive interior renovations); D. Kilby House, 15<br />

Boynton Street [1820]; and Stetson Starboard, 13 Boynton Street [1821].<br />

164. Stevens House, 35 Boynton Street [c. 1810].<br />

165. Mowe House, 1 Adams Street [c. 1820]. The portico was added c. 1905.<br />

166. Samuel Wheeler House, 9 Washington Street [1806], with later nineteenthcentury<br />

‘Stick style’ porch addition.<br />

167. View of downtown buildings from breakwater pier. U.S. customs house/post<br />

office [1891] is at right.<br />

168. Detail of barn, Middle Street wing of Hobbs House, 11 Shackford Street. The<br />

first floor of the original west wing [1816] was by Isaac Hobbs, who later built the main<br />

house, in 1823. The second story of the west wing was added in 1849.<br />

169. Third floor windows with decorative woodwork, Babb House, 9 Key Street<br />

[1869].<br />

170. Staircase and window in Kilby House, 122 Water Street [1889].<br />

171. ‘Type Z’ permanent residence building, Redoubt Hill [1935]. Designed by<br />

John Calvin Stevens and John Howard Stevens of Portland (Maine). Part of the<br />

Passamaquoddy Bay Tidal Power Development Project.<br />

172. James Wheeler House, 13 Washington Street [c. 1837].<br />

173. Staircase in Holmes House, 120 Water Street [1887].<br />

174 & 175. Walking trail at Shackford Head State Park. This trail section was<br />

originally part of a road for a planned late-nineteenth-century summer cottage<br />

development project that was never realized.<br />

176. Kendall Hall dormitory [1935; destroyed by fire 2017]. Designed by John Calvin<br />

Stevens and John Howard Stevens of Portland (Maine). Part of the Passamaquoddy<br />

Bay Tidal Power Development Project.<br />

177. ‘Type D’ temporary residence building, Quoddy Village [1935]. Designed<br />

by John Calvin Stevens and John Howard Stevens of Portland (Maine). Part of the<br />

Passamaquoddy Bay Tidal Power Development Project.<br />

178. ‘Type F’ temporary residence building, Quoddy Village [1935]. Designed by<br />

John P. Thomas of Portland (Maine). Part of the Passamaquoddy Bay Tidal Power<br />

Development.<br />

182. Foursquare House, 71 Washington Street [c. 1900].<br />

184. Norway maple tree, Bayside Cemetery.<br />

185. Black willow trees, Capen Avenue.<br />

186 & 187. White birch trees, western end of Deep Cove Road; near Matthews Island.<br />

188. Norway maple tree, Hillside Cemetery.<br />

189. Little leaf linden tree, Hillside Cemetery.<br />

190. Masonic tomb at Hillside Cemetery [1828]. The City of <strong>Eastport</strong> took over the<br />

north (right) entrance in the late-nineteenth century.<br />

191. Saw blade leaning on <strong>Eastport</strong> Waterworks Pumping Station Building [1888].<br />

193. Norway maple tree, 215 Water Street.<br />

194. Shoreline along Rossport Farms, Quoddy Village. Remains of wharf from<br />

Passamaquoddy Bay Tidal Power Project.<br />

195. Apple tree, 255 Water Street.<br />

196. Clark’s Ledge near the foot of Clark Street. New Brunswick islands in the<br />

background are, L to R, Deer Island, Indian Island, and Campobello Island.<br />

197. High tide covering Clark’s Ledge near the foot of Clark Street. New Brunswick<br />

islands in the background are, L to R, Deer Island, Indian Island, and Campobello Island.<br />

198 & 199. Low tide, Carrying Place Cove with Mathews Island at center.<br />

200. Trailer and trees on Staniels Road.<br />

201. View of backside of Washington Street houses from Sullivan Street.<br />

202. Remains of wooden ship keel at Huston’s Cove.<br />

203. Norway maple tree, Bayside Cemetery.<br />

204. 247 Water Street.<br />

205. Jim Blankman’s tree house, off Redoubt Road [c. 2000].<br />

206. Granite and bronze Civil War monument, Washington Street. The plaque<br />

reads: “1861–1865 GAR [Grand Army of the Republic], Erected in Memory of the Men<br />

who served the Union on Land and Sea by the Citizens of <strong>Eastport</strong> under the auspices<br />

of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War.”<br />

–Hugh French<br />


Acknowledgments<br />

The photographer and author would first like to express our sincerest gratitude to and<br />

deepest admiration for Hugh French, whose love for and loyalty to <strong>Eastport</strong> know no<br />

bounds. His commitment to the life of this place was not only what compelled us to<br />

invest our time and energy on this nine-year project, it has effectively helped revitalize<br />

an entire region through culture, integrity and community.<br />

We wish to convey the importance of the steadfast support of our partners, Gay<br />

Hansen and Meghan Leroux, and our families. In this journey, we have benefited from<br />

the kindness of so many of <strong>Eastport</strong>’s individuals who have gone out of their way to<br />

help us with their recollections and open their homes to our curious gazes and bizarre<br />

photographic equipment, and who have quite simply shown us amazing hospitality<br />

and good will. There are many individuals to thank, especially: Kristin McKinlay and<br />

the staff of the Tides Institute & Museum of Art, Winnie French, Jim Blankman, Ruth<br />

McInnis, the Waco Diner, John Melby, Matthew Tolatovicz, William Boone, Wayne<br />

Wilcox, Paula Kovecses, and John Holt. Others include: Amanda Jernigan, editor of<br />

this book; Robert Tombs, designer of this book; photo assistants Christie Lawrence,<br />

Evan Rensch and Karen Stentaford; and also Andrew Steeves, Michael Fralic, Gary<br />

Leroux, A.J. Ripley, Carol Wilson, Edward Leger, and Arron Sturgis.<br />

We wish to thank deeply the supporters of this project and publication including:<br />

ArtPlace; the Elmina B. Sewall Foundation; the Eaton Foundation; the Washington<br />

County Fund of the Maine Community Foundation; the Elliot Fishbien Fund of the Maine<br />

Community Foundation and Scythe Supply of Perry, Maine; John Seelye, professor of<br />

American literature and donor, with his wife Alice, of two historic <strong>Eastport</strong> buildings to<br />

the Tides Institute & Museum of Art; the Roxanne Quimby Foundation; Marie Holmes;<br />

William and April Mullins; and Robert Tuckett. –Thaddeus Holownia & John Leroux<br />


Published by<br />

Tides Institute & Museum of Art<br />

and the Anchorage Press<br />

ISBN 978-0-692-13206-7<br />

Tides Institute & Museum of Art<br />

P.O. Box 161<br />

<strong>Eastport</strong>, Maine<br />

04631<br />

http://tidesinstitute.org<br />

The Anchorage Press<br />

P.O. Box 6393<br />

Sackville, New Brunswick<br />

E4L 2S4<br />

https://anchoragepress.ca/<br />

Edited by Amanda Jernigan<br />

Designed by Robert Tombs<br />

Printed by the Lowe-Martin Group

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