Tag Archives: Vinalhaven

Beady-eyed creature, not to my taste – Looking for Wendell on Vinalhaven

Beady eyes stared back at me. As I looked at it I felt repulsed and yet sad. I didn’t really want anything to do with it and yet I wanted to save it from its fate. I stood back and let others handle it. There was no way I was going to get anywhere near it. Not that it could really hurt me. It was bound and so could do no one any harm. Just the same, I kept my distance. With a slight plop, it was dropped into a large pot of boiling water – the beginning of a lobster dinner. That was my first experience with these large marine crustaceans. We had traveled to Maine on vacation and had decided to visit the Vinalhaven Island. But neither the rich history, nor the lobster, is what took us to Vinalhaven for the one and only time. Family was why the decision was made to venture out to the island. An older cousin on Dad’s side lived there. Dad had met him when he was a boy after Grandpa Norwood had died. He had come to visit the family in Massachusetts and to offer to adopt and raise my father. While Grandma turned down the offer, Dad had remembered Wendell. Read the story here 14:34

Consider the Lobsterman – Sam Rosen, a fisherman from Vinalhaven, Maine, discusses changes in the industry and how they affect the identity of the island community it supports.

4c1350a2eSam Rosen is a lobster fisherman who grew up and lives on Vinalhaven, a town on an island off the coast of Maine with a year-round population of about 1,200 people. According to Vinalhaven’s chamber of commerce, roughly half of the island’s economy comes from lobster fishing and “related support activities.” For The Atlantic’s ongoing series of interviews with American workers, I spoke with Sam about starting his job at a young age and how he is faring with the obstacles currently shaping the industry. The interview that follows has been edited for length and clarity. Jeremy Venook: How did you get into lobster fishing? Sam Rosen: For most people on the island, regardless of gender, if you have a parent that runs or works on a boat, it’s likely that you’ll spend some amount of your childhood working with them. If you don’t have any interest in it you probably won’t, but most kids that age are into boats and living creatures and whatever. You get to play with fish and crash around in a boat all day. In my case, my dad had me hauling a few traps from the time I was 4 or 5 years old. Then you work your way up to more traps as you get older, and eventually get your own boat. For me, my dad built me a boat when I was 11 or 12. Read the interview here 11:40

Remembering Vinalhaven’s past

About five years ago, while in New Jersey, Richard Burton stumbled upon hundreds of images of Vinalhaven, Maine. The images show fishermen from nearly a century ago taking to the Penobscot Bay waters in search of lobster and cod. The images show the same fishermen living out their daily lives, salting fish, repairing wagons and walking the countryside. Read the rest here, and see 26 images. 10:51