Coaster Days


The Library now has fresh new copies of Roy Meservey's Coaster Days for sale for $5. First published in 1976, this is a digital transcription of the original, thanks to the efforts of Colleen Coghlan of Roseledge Books and her team - Charlie Amundson, Pamela Myers and Scott Hodgkins. Thanks also to the Marshall Point Lighthouse Museum for the loan of pictures for scanning.

from the Introduction

"Roy E. Meservey was born in St. George, Maine, in 1880. His father, John, a sea captain, was one of a long line of sea-faring Meserveys, and Roy came by his interest in ships and the sea quite naturally...

"The material in this publication appeared, in somewhat different form, in a series of articles which ran in The Courier-Gazett, Rockland, Maine, in 1953-54. Much has changed in St. George in the more than 20 years since then, and it is increasingly difficult to find traces of the shipping industry which once so dominated the town...

"In his articles Mr. Meservey noted, "Two buildings remain standing which contained sail-lofts," and these buildings where sails were made still stand today. One is the long white building near the town landing that says "1860 Sail-Loft" above its door; the other is the present East Wind Inn."

from The Coasters

"'Coasters' were sailing vessels that took cargo from one coastal port to another. They ran up and down the Atlantic seaboard for over 200 years, from the early 1700s till the 1940s. In their heyday in the mid- to late 1800s, thousands of them carried vast amounts of freight from port to port: stone, ice, brick and coal; lime, a dangerous cargo that would burst into flames if it got wet; pulpwood, wood for bulidng, wood to feed the Thomaston lime-kilns.

"The coasters were s tremendously important factor in the settling of the country, and until imporved roads came to Maine in the 1920s, the schooners were the main link to the outside World for many of the small towns east of Portland. "