The Lobsterman Cometh and the Bugs Goeth

Findlings from the Firehouse: The Annisquam Historical Society


This is such a wonderful glimpse into the Annisquam Historical Society’s extensive collection of photographs dating back to the days of glass plate negatives.

Take some time and view their impressive collection here:

I am very grateful to David W. Teele & Betsey B. Horovitz for sharing this information with us. I am hopeful that they may continue to share some of their findings and extensive research.  What a joy it is to see these images and take this trip back in time.

Today a commercial lobsterman has a choice of ways to get the “bugs” to market: off-load from the boat directly to the dealer, lug the catch in totes to a truck and drive to a buyer, or, in some cases, hold the catch for the wholesaler to collect. In 1895, things were not so simple. Lobstermen fishing out of Lobster Cove could row or sail their dories to Chard’s “fish market”. How did others, say at Folly Cove, get their small catches to someone who would pay cash?

We have many photos showing lobstermen with their large wooden pots and dories. Some were plainly posed (1st photo below), but posed or not, the challenge of selling the catch remained.

In the family of one of the authors (DWT), there is an expression “light dawned on Marblehead”. This is what happened when the other author (BBH) looked closely at the second photo. The dealers came right to the water’s edge. (And there is a real, genuine, live lobster in the photo.) We have never found a similar image, of either a dealer or a lobster.

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