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In 1979-1980 Hugh French received a National Endowment for the Humanities "Youth Grant" to curate an exhibit on the history of the Eastport, Maine, waterfront, 1890-1920. Edward D. “Sandy” Ives of the Northeast Archives of Folklore and Oral History (now Maine Folklife Center) at the University of Maine acted as academic sponsor for this project. French subsequently worked with SALT, a documentary program in Portland, Maine, and founded the Tides Institute in Eastport, Maine.

This collection includes twenty-eight interviews with thirteen Eastport residents, plus manuscript material collected as part of French’s research. In addition to the general history of Eastport, major topics discussed include the sardine industry and community holiday celebrations.

NA1291 John Craig, (1898-1982), interviewed by Hugh French, winter 1979, in Eastport, Maine. Series of interviews with about family history; the activities, history and landscape of Eastport; the waterfront from 1900 to 1920; drawings and photos.

NA1330 John Craig, age 82, interviewed by Hugh French, winter 1980, in Eastport, Maine. Topics include the waterfront from 1900 - 1915; rum shops; songs; factory work; stories; Seth Myers; smuggling.

NA1372 John Craig, age 82, interviewed by Hugh French, spring 1980, in Eastport, Maine. Topice include discussion of Craig's life; work in fish factories; Eastport history; the waterfront; place names.

NA1377 John Craig, age 82, interviewed by Hugh French, spring 1980, in Eastport, Maine. Topics include the Eastport waterfront, 1900 - 1920; fishing; factory conditions; smuggling; place names; songs; his life and work in the fish factories.

NA1311 Bibliography, by Hugh French, spring 1980, Eastport, Maine. A brief and selected bibliographical guide to the history of Eastport, Maine.

NA1312 Ernest B. Quigley, (1890-1980), and Corinne H. Quigley, (1891-1982), interviewed by Hugh French, January 18, 1980, Eastport, Maine. The Quigleys talk about the history of Eastport and especially its waterfront. Topics include Eastport at the turn of the twentieth century; folk tales and weather lore; Fourth of July celebrations; Eastport waterfront; changes in business district throughout the twentieth century; Dougal Anderson and LeBaron “Barry” Cooke; tourists and visitors to Eastport; International Steamship Wharf; North and South Ends of Eastport; Spanish American War; social and seasonal activities; Memorial Day and June Day; sleigh rides; double runners.

NA1313 Leo F. Lee, (1899-1982), and Mary F. Lee, (1904-1983), interviewed by Hugh French, in 1979-1980, Eastport, Maine. This series of interviews focuses on the history of Eastport, Maine, especially the waterfront, from 1900 to 1916.

January 3, 1979: Eastport at the turn of the twentieth century; Leo’s family history and basic biographical sketch; North and South Ends; watering cart; June Day and Fourth of July; local elections; steamships and other modes of transportation; folk medicine, common illnesses and immunizations; common Eastport songs and anecdotes; sardine factories and sardine factory work; factory camps; Memorial Hall; Old Home Day; schools; plays and dances; library; place names.

January 15, 1979: Topics discussed include Eastport songs and stories; sardine factories and factory work; steamships; Honey Johnson; Memorial Hall; schools; recreation; Chautauqua; Dougal Anderson; Benjamin Ela; waterfront activities; Old Home Week and Eastporters who come back for it; dialect; place names; social conditions; songs.

February 5, 1980: Topics discussed include Eastport and surrounding area 1900 to 1915; popular songs; underground school newspaper; nicknames for the sardine factory; work available within the sardine factories; LeBaron Cooke; Seacoast Canning Company; fishing and payment arrangements; American Sardine Company; fire of 1866; North and South Ends; rum shops and smuggling.

July 11, 1980 Topics discussed include Eastport and surrounding areas; factory work; common town songs and ditties; smuggling; place names; local sayings; brief family history and biography; forms of entertainment; sardine factory nicknames.

NA1314 Waldo Berry, (1885-1985), interviewed by Hugh French, Eastport, Maine, spring 1980. January 20, 1980: Berry talks about the history of Eastport waterfront from 1910 to 1920; stories and sayings; his life and work; clam and sardine factory work; bars and liquor sales; prostitution; Fourth of July and other celebrations; LeBaron Cooke; Dougal Anderson; local politics; fire of 1889; herring smoke houses; weather and seasonal sayings; farming; maritime and waterfront activities.

May 31, 1980: Berry talks about Eastport and surrounding areas; brief biography and description of work on the waterfront from 1910-1920; boats; SeaCoast Company; local hotel; sardine factory nicknames; seasonal aspects of work; North Lubec sardine factory nicknames; smoked herring.

NA1329 Jeanne Balkam,(1906-2006), interviewed by Hugh French, January 26, 1980, Eastport, Maine. The interview focused on Eastport 1900-1915 and topics discussed include the fire of 1886; brief family and personal history; Old Sow whirlpool; fog; seasons and holidays; sardine and clam factories; Treat’s Island; Eastport waterfront; trucks and horse-drawn carts.

NA1333 William Lawrence, (1889-1984), interviewed by Hugh French, Eastport, Maine, about Eastport history, 1900-1915.

January 9, 1979: Topics discussed include family history and biographical information; South and North End neighborhoods; June Day and Memorial Day; children’s games; Memorial Hall; Acme theater; shows, songs and singers; weather lore; Eastport topography; sardine factories; fishing and smoking fish; cooper shop; sailing vessels; fighting; Eastport waterfront.

January 23, 1980: Topics discussed include sledding; Old Sow whirlpool; trotting park; buried treasure; place names and stories; farming; LeBaron Cooke; Fourth of July; store hours.

February 12, 1980: Topics discussed include LeBaron Cooke; SeaCoast canning company; sardine factory work and pay; songs; can making; schools.

NA1371 Helen Ferris, (1892-1981), interviewed by Hugh French, April 29, 1980, Eastport, Maine. Topics discussed include Eastport 1900-1920; South End and North End rivalry; family and personal history; sardine factories and their nicknames; shipbuilding; Sodom Hotel; factory songs; Burpee Wilson; smoked herring factory work.

NA1373 Oscar Whalen, (1896-1991), interviewed by Hugh French, May-June 1980, Eastport, Maine.

May 31, 1980: Topics discussed include place names of Eastport; Le Baron Cooke; Caleb Huston; USS Treat; Dougal Anderson; the fire of 1886; Passamaquoddy Hotel; Peavey Library; Eastport waterfront; Eastport and surrounding areas 1900-1920; the Canadian influence on Eastport; history of the sardine industry in Eastport, 1898-1930’s; SeaCoast Canning Company; Maine Sardine Cooperative.

June 25, 1980: Sardine factory nicknames; sardine industry history; Eastport Art School; SeaCoast canning; Maine Sardine Cooperative; Eastport waterfront; freezing herring; predictions for the future of Eastport and Moose Island.

NA1374 Helen Huntley, (1903-1987), interviewed by Hugh French, 1979 and 1980, Eastport, Maine. Huntley talks about the history of Eastport, 1900-1930.

January 6, 1979: Topics include teaching school; neighborhood rivalry and brawls; songs, stories, poems, and singing; thoughts about Eastport as place; clubs; Callithumpina parade; circus; Chautaugua; stories and superstitions, including devil, flying saucers, and haunted house; June Day and other holidays; fish fair; Will Beale; music, dances and other forms of entertainment; prohibition; early life and schooling; Memorial Hall.

May 1, 1980: Topics include North and South End rivalry; Moose Island; boats; coopering; factory nicknames; life in Eastport.

May 28, 1980: Topics include place names; local songs and stories; myths and predictions about Eastport; seasonal and weather lore; jokes about sardine factory; Easter and Candlemas Day; biography and family history; Fourth of July; seasonal activities.

June 11, 1980: Topics include Eastport songs and stories; family; father was cooper; getting out of school to pack cans in cartons; sardine factory work; clam factories; smoked herring shops; her boarders; life in Massachusetts; weather lore; thoughts on the past and future of Eastport.

NA1375 Alice Baine, (1885-1985), interviewed by Hugh French, 1980-1981, Eastport, Maine.

May 2, 1980: Baine talks about Eastport proper; LeBaron Cooke; sardine factories and their nicknames; local songs and tall tales; predictions for the future of Moose Island; old sayings; her life and family history; work as a sardine factory worker in and away from Eastport; Passamaquoddy Tidal Power Project.

May 28, 1980: Baine talks about her life and work in sardine factory in Eastport and Stonington; working in California; Passamaquoddy tidal power project; working in smoked herring shop; freezing herring in winter; factory workers homes; holidays; circus; SeaCoast Cannery; LaBaron Cooke; Eastport at the turn of the century and now.

June 20, 1980: Baine talks about Eastport songs and sayings; place names; sardine factory nicknames; Saxby Gale; fire of 1889; early work and life in Eastport; family background.

September 15, 1980: Baine talks about Eastport and surrounding area 1880-1910; sardine factories and nicknames for them; waterfront and waterfront place names; liquor selling; map of Martin’s Dock; Martin and Caraher sardine factories; Charlie Ross; biography and description of work experience.

October 6, 1980: Baine talks about Martin and Caraher sardine factory; Charlie Ross; details of cannery work. Also included: a map of Martin’s Dock.

October 21, 1980: Baine talks about Charlie Ross; SeaCoast Canning; Martin and Carher sardine factory and Baine’s work there cutting fish, sealing cans, flaking, and other processes.

March 19, 1981" Baine talks about getting a job cutting fish; details of work day; workers’ parties; strikes.

NA1376 Alice Baine, (1885-1985), and Kathleen Andrews, (1892-1983), interviewed by Hugh French, April 09, 1980, Eastport, Maine. Topics discussed include Eastport waterfront 1890-1910; LeBaron Cooke; Eastport Art School; place names; sardine factory and work within; skating; brief biographies and descriptions of past employment; artists at Eastport; seasonal aspects of work and school; SeaCoast Company; June Day; Alice’s work experience in California sardine factory; holidays; method of payment at the factories.

NA1378 Edmund Schildknecht, (1899-1985), interviewed by Hugh French, April 28, 1980, Eastport, Maine. Topics discussed include biography and past employment; his paintings of Eastport; Eastport Art School; Stow Wengenroth; George Ennis; Robert Craig; views and opinions of art and painting; why he enjoys the Eastport landscape; views of other artists; Dexter Cooper and the Passamaquoddy Tidal Power Project; current tidal power plans; other artists in Eastport.

NA1379 Lucy Kilby, (1893-1984), interviewed by Hugh French, February-March 1980, Eastport, Maine.

February 23, 1980: Topics discussed include descriptions of Eastport; predictions for Eastport’s future; predictions that Moose Island will sink; fire of 1886; Eastport businessmen; brief biography; invention of the sardine can; SeaCoast Company; LeBaron Cooke; Dougal Anderson; Eastport toll bridge; Oakland; Eastport.

March 12, 1980: Drs. Eliza Grady and Ruth Tustin; biography and Eastport history; Dougal Anderson; invention of sardine can.

NA1419 Hugh French, fall 1980, Eastport, Maine. Collection of diagrams, maps, index cards, and photos of Eastport and sardine industry.

NA1465 Hugh French, fall 1980, Eastport, Maine. An Eastport, Moose Island Calendar: A Guide to the Year and to the Seasons. RESTRICTED.

NA1638 William Follis, (1882-1982), interviewed by Hugh French, July 01, 1981, in Eastport, ME. Topics covered include Eastport and waterfront 1890-1910; early sardine factories; horse stables; placenames; fire of 1886; South End and North End; brief biography and family history; map of Eastport 1889; seamers and canners.

Publication Date



Sardine industry, Child Labor, Prohibition, Alcohol trafficking, Holidays


Folklore | Oral History

Size of Collection

17 items

Dates of Collection


Manuscript Number


MF046 Eastport History / Hugh French Collection