Carol and Pamela Brown

Location of Interview
Collection Name

The Working Waterfront Festival Community Documentation Project


The Working Waterfront Festival Community  Documentation Project is an ongoing oral history project documenting the history and culture of the commercial fishing industry and other port trades. The project was begun in 2004 in conjunction with the Working Waterfront Festival, an annual, education celebration of commercial fishing culture which takes place in New Bedford, MA. Interviewees have included a wide range of individuals connected to the commercial fishing industry and/or other aspects of the port through work or familial ties. While the majority of interviewees are from the port of New Bedford, the project has also documented numerous individuals  from other ports around the country. Folklorist and    Festival Director Laura Orleans and Community Scholar/Associate Director Kirsten Bendiksen are Project Leaders. The original recordings reside at the National Council for the Traditional Arts in Maryland with listening copies housed at the Festival's New Bedford office.

Date of Interview

Janice Gadaire Fleuriel

Supplemental Material
Biographical Sketch

Carol Brown, a 70-year-old Irish woman, is a fisherman's wife from Gloucester. She is the daughter-in-law of Frank Brown Sr., a Portuguese fisherman who immigrated to the United States from Pico Island in the Azores. Carol married into a fishing family, and her husband, also of Portuguese descent, followed in his father's footsteps. She is known for her insights into the fishing industry and her connection to the legacy of Frank Brown Sr.

Pamela Brown, 44, represents the next generation of the fishing family legacy. Her grandfather, Frank Brown Sr., was a Portuguese fisherman who established himself in Gloucester after arriving from the Azores. Her father, Frank Brown Jr., continued the family tradition. Pamela is of Irish and Portuguese heritage and has a deep connection to the fishing heritage of Gloucester. She is actively involved in researching and preserving the stories of her family's fishing experiences.

Scope and Content Note 
The interview, conducted by Janice Gadaire Fleuriel on September 23, 2006, features Carol Brown and Pamela Brown, both connected to the fishing family of Frank Brown Sr. and Jr. Carol provides insights into Frank Sr.'s fishing practices and life in the industry. Frank Sr. was known for his impeccable dressing and unique practices, like turning off lights to find his own fishing spots. He was highly respected as a captain for his honesty and high expectations. Pamela Brown's account expands on her grandfather's story, detailing his immigration from the Azores, his marriages, and his contributions to the fishing industry. Frank Sr. pioneered new fishing methods, transitioning from dory trawling to draggers, which significantly impacted the industry. He was known for his dedication to fishing and his success as a highliner. Both Carol and Pamela share their experiences growing up in a fishing family. Carol, born Irish, married into the Portuguese fishing legacy. Pamela, with mixed Irish and Portuguese heritage, didn't fully understand her father's fishing work but was deeply connected to Gloucester's fishing culture. They discuss family superstitions, experiences during wartime, and the impact of regulations on the fishing industry.

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