Stinsons’ Canning Co. Opened 1906-closed 2010
Last sardine factory in US
Owned and operated by the Stinson family from 1927-2000, this business has seen lots of changes throughout it’s life. The building burned to the ground in 1968 and was rebuilt. Due to many changes in regulations and the market needs, costs of doing business and foreign packing plants the Sardine business in the US has disappeared. It was once a thriving industry and below is a poem written by Bill Curtslinger that pretty much describes what how it once was in for sardine fishermen.
“I have witnessed a herring school swim briefly alongside a boat, their large numbers darkening the water as far as the eye could see….the underwater school looked like one massive organism, pulsating and shifting this way and that….A million expressionless eyes stared back from the wall of fish.” Pictured above: Nancy Harrington, Lela Anderson, Mytress Harrington (these ladies were depicted as packing the last three cans of sardines before the factory closed. Photos and information from the following sources:
Working Waterfront, BDN
Penobscot Marine Museum , Maine State Museum