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Harpswell Historical Society

Incorporated 1979

929 Harpswell Neck Road
Harpswell, Maine  04079
harpshistory@gmail.com

The Harpswell Historical Society is dedicated to the discovery, identification, collection, preservation, interpretation, and dissemination of materials relating to the history of Harpswell and its people.
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About
Us
Historic Park 
and Museum
Town 
History

Town's 
250th
Gallery,
newsletters
Links to 
related sites

Our 
Calendar

Life in Harpswell Maine in the Early to Mid 1900's

Dick Westcott

By the Third, Fourth and Fifth Graders at
Harpswell Islands &
West Harpswell Schools

A 1997-98 Harpswell History Project

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Up
Gladys Abby Allen
Allen's Seafood
Henry Barnes
Alice Catlin
Donald Coffin
Daniel Darling
The Dead Ship of Harpswell
Clem Dunning
Judith Howard
Harpswell Hotels
Bernard Johnson
Roy Knight & Cliff Moody
Arnold LeMay
Arnold LeMay
Becky Longley
Currier McEwen
Rob Miller
Barbara Munsey
Don Rogers
Alice Swallow
Dick Westcott
Malcolm Whidden
Ken & Marge Wille
Mary Wilson
Mary & Eleanor Wilson
The Witch Of Harpswell
Gerry York

Dick Westcott

Shipbuilding

Dick Westcott is a history buff, and so we asked him to tell us about the history of shipbuilding in Harpswell. He brought in a map made by Admiral Alexander of the shipbuilding yards that used to exist. Most of them were on the Peninsula. There were 17 shipyards there, and one in Cundy's Harbor in the 1700 and 1800's. A total of 189 ships were built in Harpswell.

The big yard was run by George Skolfield across from where the Merriconneag farm is now. Skolfield built square‑rigged ships. These were used to carry cargo, for shipping volume. They weren't speedy like the clippers. Skolfields was a good location. It wasn't rocky like the Islands. It is a low sloping area of shore, which makes .it easy to set the ways anal launch ships. George Skolfield made 77 ships in 50 years. His last ship was named after him and it was finished in 1885. The Maine Maritime Museum has a picture of George Skolfield.

The Stovers and Curtis and Estes were the other biggest shipbuilders. They built mostly sloops and schooners. Norton Stover and Theophilius Stover lead shipyards in South Harpswell. That's the Stovers of Hannah Stover, the “Witch of Harps well.” Curtis and Estes built their ships at Lookout Point on Harpswell Neck.