The Last Sardine Cannery - Prospect Harbor, Maine | National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

The Last Sardine Cannery - Prospect Harbor, Maine

  • Collection DOI:
    Principal Investigator:
    Keith Ludden
  • Through the middle of the 20th century there were as many as 75 canneries up and down the coast of Maine, providing employment and an abundant food source for Maine and the nation. That included feeding American troops through World War I and World War II. At the sound of the factory whistle, cannery workers came and packed fish, staying on the job until an entire boatload of fish was processed. By the 1970's the canneries we declining, and the last sardine cannery in the U.S., at Prospect Harbor, ME closed in April of 2010. Between 2011 and 2013, Keith Ludden interviewed over a dozen cannery workers who worked in the industry. These interviews can also be found on Oral History & Folklife Research's website - oralhistoryandfolklife.org.

Interviewee Collection Sort descending Description Interviewer Date of Interview Location of Interview Affiliation
Lela Anderson The Last Sardine Cannery - Prospect Harbor, Maine

Lela Anderson packed sardines at the Stinson Cannery in Prospect Harbor, Maine for 54 years.

Keith Ludden Corea, ME Oral History & Folklife Research, Inc.
Peter Colson The Last Sardine Cannery - Prospect Harbor, Maine

Willard Colson and his son Peter both worked for the Stinson Sardine cannery in Prospect Harbor, Maine.

Keith Ludden Southwest Harbor, ME Oral History & Folklife Research, Inc.
Willard Colson The Last Sardine Cannery - Prospect Harbor, Maine

Willard Colson and his son Peter both worked for the Stinson Sardine cannery in Prospect Harbor, Maine.

Keith Ludden Southwest Harbor, ME Oral History & Folklife Research, Inc.
Clell Genthner The Last Sardine Cannery - Prospect Harbor, Maine

Clell Genthner captained sardine carriers, fishing off the coast of Maine in the 1950's through the 1990's. He supplied fish to the sardine canneries that dotted the coast of Maine.

Keith Ludden Damariscotta, ME Oral History & Folklife Research, Inc.
Myrtress Harrington The Last Sardine Cannery - Prospect Harbor, Maine

Myrtress Harrington was eighteen when she started canning sardines at Stinson Seafood in Prospect Harbor, Maine.

Keith Ludden Steuben, ME Oral History & Folklife Research, Inc.
Arlene and Keith Hartford The Last Sardine Cannery - Prospect Harbor, Maine

Arlene and Keith "Pete" Hartford both worked for the Stinson Seafood cannery in Prospect Harbor, Maine.

Keith Ludden Gouldsboro, ME Oral History & Folklife Research, Inc.
Elaine Lowell The Last Sardine Cannery - Prospect Harbor, Maine

Elaine Lowell was born in Stueben, Maine, in 1915. She and her husband George raised three children in Prospect Harbor. Elaine worked for the Stinson Canning Company in Prospect Harbor, Maine. She had several jobs at the former cannery: cutting and packing sardines, cleaning the offices at night, transporting injured employees to the hospital, and getting up at four o’clock in the morning to call the cannery employees if there was herring to come in to cut and pack.

Keith Ludden Prospect Harbor, ME Oral History & Folklife Research, Inc.
Susan Knight Calder The Last Sardine Cannery - Prospect Harbor, Maine

Susan grew up in an Irish Catholic family. She started working in canneries when she was 16 years old.

Keith Ludden Whiting, ME Oral History & Folklife Research, Inc.
Cary Lewis The Last Sardine Cannery - Prospect Harbor, Maine

Cary Lewis captained a sardine carrier, delivering sardines to the canneries on the Maine coast.

Keith Ludden Southwest Harbor, ME Oral History & Folklife Research, Inc.
Jeanne and Robert Peacock The Last Sardine Cannery - Prospect Harbor, Maine

Robert Peacock's family operated canneries in Eastport, Lubec and Portland, Maine.

Keith Ludden Eastport, ME Oral History & Folklife Research, Inc.