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This collection consists of two series. The first, Jones Tracy, is a series of interviews conducted by Richard Lunt in 1963 and 1964 which served as the basis for Lunt’s University of Maine M.A. thesis. Some material was also published as Jones Tracy: Tall Tale Hero from Mount Desert Island (Northeast Folklore, Vol. X). Interviewees recorded on tape include: Chauncey Somes, Ralph Tracy, Laurie Holmes, John Carroll, Robert Smallidge, George Tracy Reed, Lydia Storer, Clark Manring, Gus Phillips, and Phillip and Charles Carroll. Material appears to include many hunting and fishing stories, some genealogy of the Tracy family and other folklore and local history.

The second series (boat builders), conducted by Lunt in 1970, relates to boat building and were done in preparation for his doctoral dissertation, Lobster boat Building on the Eastern Coast of Maine: a comparative study, Indiana University, 1975. These interviews are fully transcribed. Interviewees include Ronald Rich, Southwest Harbor; Malcolm McDuffy, Bernard; Len Pierce, Southwest Harbor; Clarence Harding, Bernard; Oscar Smith, Jonesport; Ralph Stanley, Bernard; James. E. Beal, Jonesport; Erwin Alley, Jonesport; Harold Gower, Jonesport; Alvin Beal, Jonesport; Bert Frost, Jonesport; Richard Alley, Jonesport; Harry Beal, Jonesport; Clinton Beal, Jonesport; and Raymond Bunker, Southwest Harbor.

Series I Jones Tracy

NA2968 Chauncy Somes and Ralph Tracy, interviewed by Richard Lunt, September 21, 1963 and September 22, 1963 (respectively). Somes tells stories by and about Jones Tracy, his own stories, stories by and about other people on Mount Desert Island. Tracy tells stories by and about Jones Tracy, including Jones shingling on fog; apple tree that bore battleships; Frank Thompson and the deer up the tree; Ben Bordeaux and pipe; also forerunners, boat superstition.

NA2969 John Carroll, interviewed by Richard Lunt, September 28, 1963. Carroll tells stories told by and about Jones Tracy, including the bung hole story; a story about being chased by a bear; and a story about Jones Tracy and Frank Thompson getting liquor from a doctor in Bar Harbor during Prohibition.

NA2970 Robert Lindsay Smallidge, interviewed by Richard Lunt, September 28, 1963, at Smallidge’s home in Northeast Harbor, Maine. Smallidge talks about Sally Somers, her background and powers; Sally’s marriage; Sally’s familiar (a cat); first settlers on Fernald’s point; Jones Tracy’s dance hall; stories about Jones Tracy, including story about the porgy kettle and the mosquitoes; various hunting stories; making wooden decoys; discusses John Brown stories and tells two, which he says antedate Jones Tracy stories.

NA2971 Lawrie Holmes, interviewed by Richard Lunt, October 19, 1963, Northeast Harbor, Maine. Holmes tells a variety of stories about Jones Tracy, including squash seeds big as snowshoes; Jones shoots deer around curve of mountain by bending rifle barrel; mosquitoes and the kettle. Also talks about muzzleloaders and hunting deer on Mount Desert Island; book on folk medicine; Ben Bordeaux’s origin; and poaching.

NA2972 Grace Tracy Reed, interviewed by Richard Lunt, October 20, 1963, Mount Desert Island, Maine. Reed talks about Jones Tracy; Tracy’s house; time when a man took Tracy’s land; Ben Bordeaux; how and when Jones Tracy told stories; Tracy’s rheumatism; his mother’s folk medicine; Tracy’s family and obituary.

NA2973 Lydia Storer, interviewed by Richard Lunt, 1963. Storer discusses the genealogy of the Tracy family, with special reference to Jones Tracy, from the 1800s to the 1960s.

NA2974 Clark Manring, interviewed by Richard Lunt, January 1, 1964, Northeast Harbor, Maine. Manring talks about Jones Tracy, his birth, his hunting philosophy; Bible knowledge; his health and his mother’s folk medicine; sources for his stories; “regular” vs. joke stories; origin of Jones’ name; schooling; others who listened to Jones’ stories; other storytellers on Mount Desert Island; also tells stories told by and about Jones Tracy, including: rain storm stories; Frank Thompson and gun kicking; deer shot around mountain; fog shingling; patting bullets along; 3 deer at one shot; getting liquor from a doctor during Prohibition; fishing on a bicycle; hat in road story; catching deer with finger; bung hole story; bear turned inside out; Steve Sargent and Jones story; and throwing fish over hackmatack tree.

NA2975 Augustus “Gus” Phillips, interviewed by Richard Lunt, January 2, 1964, Northeast Harbor, Maine. Phillips tells stories about Jones Tracy, including story about Tom Petter and the milk bottle; about finding cave in cliff; bunghole story; shooting two foxes; fog shingling; and the bear and baseball on Brown’s Mountain; four stories about Greenfield; talks about Tom Petter; forest fire 98 years before 1947 fire.

NA2976 John Carroll, Philip Carroll, and Charles Carroll, interviewed by Richard Lunt, January 3, 1964, at John Carroll’s home in Southwest Harbor, Maine. John and his sons Philip and Charles, talk about Jones Tracy; as a storyteller; his health; sources of his stories; lumber camps; and the number of stories Jones Tracy knew. Also tell stories told by Jones Tracy, including stories about deer hunting; getting liquor from Dr. Morrison during Prohibition; success in hunting by shooting in curves by bending the barrel of the gun; apple tree that grew battleships; leathery ice story; shingling the fog; and stories about George Kelly.

Series II Boat Building

NA0582 Ronald Rich, interviewed by Richard Lunt, January 8, 9, and 10, 1970, Southwest Harbor, Maine. January 8, 1970: Rich talks about family history; father and grandfather as seafaring men and boat builders; finding work during the Great Depression; other boat-builders on Mount Desert Island, including Chester Clements, Henry Hinckley, Robert Rich, and Raymond Bunker; design of a powerboat from the early 1900s; designs of the first fishing boats he built; boat-building during World War Two; his life history as a boat-builder; building fishing boats, draggers, lobster boats, and pleasure boats; prices for boats; and his diabetes. January 9, 1970: Rich discusses a list of the names of people he built boats for between the 1940s and the 1960s ; design of fishing, lobstering and pleasure boats; geographical distribution of boats; differences in boat design along the Maine coast; advantages and disadvantages of various designs; learning to build boats; construction techniques; boat-building terminology; sails on powered lobster boats; and the death of Alston Beal and others lost at sea. January 10, 1970: Rich talks about boat design and performance characteristics; terminology applied to various parts of boats; Bertram, Beals Island, and Jonesport boats; Ray Hunt's boats; desirable characteristics for a lobster boat; changes in boat designs; Rich's and Bunker's boats.

NA2953 Malcolm McDuffy, interviewed by Richard Lunt, January 10, 1970, Bernard, Maine. McDuffy talks about the history of lobster boat designs; geographical variations of hull designs along the Maine coast; transition from sails to engines; changing use and configurations of engines over time; influence of automobile development on boat engines; influence of changing engine configurations on boat design; and international variations in boat designs.

NA2954 Robert Rich, interviewed by Richard Lunt, January 16, 1970, Southwest Harbor, Maine. Rich discusses family history in the boat-building business and the coasting trade; learning to build boats; designing boats; history of lobster boat designs; designing for various characteristics; geographical variations in boat designs along the Maine coast; lobstermen's preferred design characteristics; economics of boat design and construction; types of wood used; construction methods; switch from building work boats to building pleasure boats; future of wooden boats; and compares boats built by Raymond Bunker and Chester Clements.

NA2955 Len Pierce, interviewed by Richard Lunt, January 19, 1970, Southwest Harbor, Maine. Pierce talks about entering the lobstering industry after World War Two; design characteristics of his first boat; selection of lobster fishing grounds; seasonal aspects of lobstering; Raymond Bunker's boats; desirable design and performance characteristics for a lobster boat; gas vs. diesel and automobile vs. boat motors; Jonesport boats and the culture surrounding them; boat maintenance; shrimping; duck and deer hunting; interior design of lobster boats; and keeping warm.

NA2956 Clarence Harding, interviewed by Richard Lunt, January 21, 1970, Bernard, Maine. Harding discusses how he got into lobstering; design characteristics of his boats; fire extinguishers; buying and selling boats, 1910s-1940s; summer work; Jonesport boats vs. others on the Maine coast; origin of double-ended lobster boats; sail boats; seasonal aspects of lobstering; bait; territory and trap wars; daily schedule and hours of work.

NA2957 Oscar Smith, interviewed by Richard Lunt, March 21, 1970, Jonesport, Maine. Smith discusses boat-building, 1940-1970; design and size characteristics of boats; engines used; prices; building techniques; effect of lobster-boat racing on design; materials used; building and carpentry techniques; fiberglass vs. wooden boats; and paint colors.

NA2958 Ralph Stanley, interviewed by Richard Lunt, January 20, 1970, Bernard, Maine. Stanley talks about boat models (types) 1910s; design changes that resulted from use of motors; Friendship sloops; his lifetime of building lobster boats and Friendship sloops, post-1950; desirable design and performance characteristics for a lobster boat; economics of running a boat and boat construction; changes in lobster boat design over time; fiberglass; techniques of building boat models and materials used; and the process of drafting boat designs. Also discusses photographs not included in accession.

NA2959 James E. Beal, interviewed by Richard Lunt, March 18, 1970, Jonesport, Maine. Beal, born in 1887, talks about wooden ship building in New Hampshire; lobstering in a Friendship sloop; early boat engines; early motor-powered lobster boats; eelgrass; purse seining for herring and sardines; cross-handed row boats for lobstermen and college competitions; yawl boats; sardine factories (canneries); herring fishing, scaling, salting, and smoking; long-lining for fish; evolution of stern types in lobster boats; and monkfish. Also discusses photographs and maps not included in accession.

NA2960 Erwin Alley, interviewed by Richard Lunt, March 23, 1970, Jonesport, Maine. Alley discusses lobster fishing grounds; winter lobstering; economics of lobstering; daily tasks; tools and materials needed; injuries; desirable design and performance characteristics for a lobster boat, with examples; economic aspects of lobstering; materials and techniques of boat construction; pilot house characteristics and construction; prices of boats; and engine adaptation.

NA2961 Alvin Beal, interviewed by Richard Lunt, March 25, 1970, Jonesport, Maine. Beal talks about history of boat building on Beals Island; torpedo-stern vs. square-stern boats; boat-builders in the Beals Island and Jonesport areas, including Will Frost, Harold Gower, and Eddie Beal; his life's work as a boat-builder and lobsterman; design characteristics of his boats; materials and techniques of boat construction; tools; desirable design and performance characteristics for a lobster boat; changes in Jonesport model boats; prices of boats; and tourists.

NA2962 Harold Gower, interviewed by Richard Lunt, March 27, 1970, Jonesport, Maine. Gower discusses his personal history; lobstering and boat building; history of boat-building in Jonesport and Beals Island, 1930s - 1960s; building boats in Nova Scotia; torpedo-stern vs. square-stern boats; lobstermen's changing views on width of their boats; prices of boats; differences between shrimping boats and lobster boats; fiberglass; availability and quality of different types of wood used in boat building; racing yachts; and techniques and materials used in boat construction. Also discusses photographs not included in accession.

NA2963 Bert Frost, interviewed by Richard Lunt, March 20, 1970, Jonesport, Maine. Frost talks about his boyhood in Nova Scotia and his father's lifetime there, including boat characteristics, singing; transition from sail to motorized boats; characteristics of a Nova Scotia type lobster boat (Novie boats); move to Beals Island in 1912; history of boat designs in Beals Island area; characteristics of these changing boat designs; return to Nova Scotia during World War I; return to Jonesport after the war; first square-stern boat, 1924; rum-running boats; Jonesport lobster boat races; how to use fiberglass; canoes; converting a sail yacht to a dragger during WWII; design characteristics lobstermen want in their boats, Jonesport vs. New Jersey; sources for lumber and hardware; and boat buyers from out of state; Frost and a visitor debate design choices in boats; performance and durability of various materials, different wood; and seaworthiness of various designs.

NA2964 Richard Alley, interviewed by Richard Lunt, April 1, 1970, Jonesport, Maine. Alley discusses his career as a boat-builder; how he got started; desirable design characteristics and their relationship to performance; popularity of various designs; characteristics of different builder's boats, especially variations in sheer; economic aspects of boat-building, payment and material costs; construction techniques; tools; shrimping boats; racing; decreasing use of the riding sail; and how to spile a plank.

NA2965 Harry Beal, interviewed by Richard Lunt, March 31, 1970, Jonesport, Maine. Beal discusses lobster fishing; placing the traps; when lobsters shed and how shedding affects catches; not taking female lobsters with mutilated tails; trap design; effect of weather on trap-hauling ability; necessity for a different boat design to work further out to sea; where he and others fish; geographic distribution of lobster boat types; design characteristics he likes in his boats; round vs. square traps; trap design and construction; parts of traps and their and function; knitting trap heads; boat-builders in the Jonesport-Beals area; lobster boat races; and engine performance characteristics. Tells story about Barney Beal, folk hero and strong man; and other folk tales, including ghost hitchhiker, town character; talks about entertainment before television.

NA2966 Clinton Beal, interviewed by Richard Lunt, April 4, 1970, Jonesport, Maine. Beal talks about his great grandfather Barney Beal, a regional folk hero; Barney's size and temperament; involvement in kiln wood business; where to find Barney's grave; how Barney died; Manwaring Beal's original settlement of Beals Island. Beal also discusses his boat-building career; desirable design and performance characteristics of a lobster boat; sources for his original model and how it has changed; where he sells his boats; geographical variations in boat design, especially heaviness of timbering; construction techniques; changes in boat-building business; fiberglass boats; and how he got started in the business.

NA2967 Raymond Bunker, interviewed by Richard Lunt, August 16, 1974, Southwest Harbor, Maine. Bunker discusses early boat-builders on Mount Desert and Cranberry Islands; change from double-enders to square stern boats; development of boat engines; how he got started in the boat-building business; how he designs; desirable design characteristics; types of sterns; Jonesport boats; racing; construction techniques and materials; and tools.

Publication Date



Hunting, Fishing, Boatbuilding, Family history


Folklore | Oral History

Size of Collection

25 items

Dates of Collection

1963, 1964, 1970, 1974

Manuscript Number


MF082 C. Richard K. Lunt Collection (Jones Tracy & Boat Builders)