Topic: Maine

Photos | The Last Sardine Cannery in the United States Closes

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Photographer Markham Starr captured one of the last days of operation at the Stinson Sardine plant in Prospect Harbor, Maine, ending more than 100 years of local history. Stinson was the last remaining sardine cannery in the United States.

"I'll always be a packer" says Lela Anderson (shown here at the now closed Stinson Sardine plant in Prospect Harbor, Maine).

“I’ll always be a packer” says Lela Anderson (shown here at the now closed Stinson Sardine plant in Prospect Harbor, Maine).

Markham Starr

The closure of Stinson's is a blow to the coastal community of Prospect Harbor.

The closure of Stinson’s is a blow to the coastal community of Prospect Harbor.

Markham Starr

At one time the Maine coast boasted over 50 thriving sardine plants.  Stinson's was the last survivor until closing in April 2010.

At one time the Maine coast boasted over 50 thriving sardine plants. Stinson’s was the last survivor until closing in April 2010.

Markham Starr

Herring become "sardines" when processed and canned.

Herring become “sardines” when processed and canned.

Markham Starr

Packing fish steaks requires dexterity and endurance.

Packing fish steaks requires dexterity and endurance.

Markham Starr

Each tray of sardines holds 25 cans.

Each tray of sardines holds 25 cans.

Markham Starr

Trays of fish are steamed at 208 degrees in the pre-cooking stage.

Trays of fish are steamed at 208 degrees in the pre-cooking stage.

Markham Starr

Lela Anderson rarely missed a day in her 55 years at the plant.

Lela Anderson rarely missed a day in her 55 years at the plant.

Markham Starr

Once the cans are sealed, they are cooked at 250 degrees for 35 minutes.

Once the cans are sealed, they are cooked at 250 degrees for 35 minutes.

Markham Starr

The Maine Sardine Museum in Jonesport celebrates the history of an industry that once employed thousands.

The Maine Sardine Museum in Jonesport celebrates the history of an industry that once employed thousands.

Markham Starr

Ron and Mary Peabody have devoted themselves to keeping the heritage of the Maine sardine alive in their Maine Coast Sardine history museum.  Http://www.mainesardinemuseum.tripod.com

Ron and Mary Peabody have devoted themselves to keeping the heritage of the Maine sardine alive in their Maine Coast Sardine history museum. Http://www.mainesardinemuseum.tripod.com

Markham Starr

Lela Anderson's hands bear witness to a lifetime of cutting fish.

Lela Anderson’s hands bear witness to a lifetime of cutting fish.

Markham Starr

Lulu and Alma were considered the fastest packers.

Lulu and Alma were considered the fastest packers.

Markham Starr

View more slideshows of Maine from Yankee Magazine:
Maine Lobster

Maine Coastal Odyssey

See more of Markham’s work at: www.markhamstarrphotography.com

Comments
  • Linda S.

    Just the type of Yankee article that I look forward to seeing in each issue. Markham Starr’s photographs are really captured the essence of the people involved . Hope to see more of his work in Yankee!
    Keep featuring our New England traditions and attractions,
    Linda Sylvester

    Reply
  • Bob M.

    People Like Miss Lela are the :salt of the earth” people. What a woman. And such a sad tale!

    Reply
  • Mary A.

    Would love to see an article in Yankee Magazine about the Inn at the Wharf in Lubec, Maine, a former sardine cannery that is now a unique Inn and lobster business. We found this by accident, thanks to a motel that sent us there as they had no vacancies. What a terrific find! We went back for a second visit. Hope to see this someday in your magazine. Thank you.

    Reply

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