B A C K   T H E N


Farmers with corn


Schooner Pendleton Brothers
on the Ways


With guests packed on board and onlookers gathered ashore, the handsome four-masted schooner Pendleton Brothers is launched from the Pendleton shipyard on October 22, 1903. Below her black waist she is painted a “bronzegreen” with a coppered bottom. The three-masted schooner beyond the Pendleton Brothers is on the port’s 1,000-ton marine railway. Installed in 1885, it was horse-powered until converted to steam in 1900. In order to move the carriage 160 feet, the one or two horses on the sweep had to walk twenty-six miles.

In the 1870s and ’80s, Belfast was home to a fleet of handsome, home-built centerboard three-masted schooners of shoal draft (to squeeze over the St. Johns River bar), carrying Waldo County ice and hay to Jacksonville. They returned with hard pine shipbuilding timber. Belfastians formed businesses, built a marine railway, and wintered in Jacksonville.

An earlier Pendleton Brothers built in 1899, also a four-master, foundered in 1902. The second Pendleton Brothers went ashore in the Florida Straits in 1913. Her owners lost doubly, as she would have been worth a large fortune in the wartime boom a few years later.

Text by William H. Bunting from Maine On Glass. Published by Tilbury House Publishers, 12 Starr St., Thomaston, Maine. 800-582-1899.

Maine On Glass and prints of the photographs are available through the Penobscot Marine Museum: PenobscotMarineMuseum.org.