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.