Eva Cushman

Location of Interview
Collection Name

Maine Coast Oral History Initiative


Through the support of the Maine Humanities Council and the Island Institute, the Maine Coast Fishermen's Association was able to collect hours of oral histories from fishermen throughout Maine.

Date of Interview

Fantastic Transcripts
Molly Graham

Principal Investigator
Biographical Sketch

Eva Cushman, born in 1924 in Camden, Maine, was a long-time resident of Port Clyde, Maine. She moved to Thomaston with her parents shortly after her birth and attended Thomaston schools where she met her future husband. Her husband worked on the mailboat Nereid, which traveled from Thomaston to Monhegan to Boothbay Harbor and back. They married in 1941 and had seven children together. In 1946, they moved to Port Clyde where her husband worked as a lobsterman, fisherman, and clam digger. To supplement their income, Eva worked in various roles at the local sardine factory, including cutting fish and preparing cans for shipment. She also worked at the Port Clyde General Store and later at a shrimp plant. Despite the challenges she faced, including the loss of two sons, one to cancer and the other to suicide, Eva remained a resilient figure in her community.

Scope and Content Note
This interview with Eva Cushman, conducted by Joshua Wrigley and Scott Sell for the Maine Coast Oral History Initiative, provides a rich account of life in mid-20th century Port Clyde, Maine. The interview covers a range of topics, including Eva's early life in Thomaston, her marriage and family life, and her various jobs to support her family. Eva's work in the sardine factory and her husband's fishing career are discussed in detail, providing valuable insights into the local fishing industry and the role of women in this community. The interview also touches on the challenges Eva faced, including the loss of two of her sons. Additionally, Eva shares her experiences working at the Port Clyde General Store and a shrimp plant, further illustrating the diverse roles she undertook to support her family. The interview concludes with Eva reflecting on the successes of her children and grandchildren, demonstrating her resilience and strength. 

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