Gladden Schrock

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

Principal Investigator
Biographical Sketch

Gladden Schrock is a multifaceted individual with a diverse professional background. He has established himself as a herring fisherman, author, and playwright. His life's work has been significantly influenced by his experiences in the herring stop-seine fishery, which he began in the 1960s. Schrock's career has been rooted in South Bristol, Maine, where he has witnessed and contributed to the evolution of coastal life. His insights extend beyond fishing to encompass the sociocultural transformations within his community, including the interactions with Amish and Mennonite groups. Schrock's narrative is enriched by his encounters with various individuals, from local fishermen to prominent figures such as the Kennedys and Gene Tunney. His life story is a tapestry of personal anecdotes, professional endeavors, and a deep understanding of the coastal community's heritage.

Scope and Content Note
This interview with Gladden Schrock provides a comprehensive overview of his experiences and observations as a herring fisherman and a resident of South Bristol, Maine. Schrock discusses the significant changes in coastal life since the 1960s, including the socio-economic impact of affluent summer residents and the cultural dynamics within the local community. He shares personal stories, such as the tale of a fisherman named Henry and his struggles, and reflects on the community's interactions with Russian trawlers. Schrock also delves into the history of fishing practices, the decline of mackerel trapping, and the evolution of technology in the industry. He offers anecdotes about the behavior of herring, memorable fishing encounters, and the importance of real-life connections. The interview touches on the complexity of Maine's culture, the relationship between fishermen and scientists, and the formation of co-ops. Schrock discusses the environmental implications of modern fishing practices, the decline of herring resources, and the challenges faced by young fishermen. Additionally, he recounts dangerous experiences at sea and the impact of technology on the environment. The content of this interview is a valuable resource for understanding the multifaceted nature of coastal life, the fishing industry, and the broader societal implications of these themes.

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The NOAA mission is to understand and predict changes in climate, weather, oceans, and coasts, to share that knowledge and information with others, and to conserve and manage coastal and marine ecosystems and resources. The Voices Oral History Archives offers public access to a wide range of accounts, including historical materials that are products of their particular times, and may contain offensive language or negative stereotypes.

Voices Oral History Archives does not verify the accuracy of materials submitted to us. The opinions expressed in the interviews are those of the interviewee only. The interviews here have been made available to the public only after the interviewer has confirmed that they have obtained consent.