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Photos | The Last Sardine Cannery in the United States Closes

Photos | The Last Sardine Cannery in the United States Closes
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Photographer Markham Starr captured one of the last days of operation at the Stinson Sardine plant in Prospect Harbor, Maine, ending more than 100 years of local history. Stinson was the last remaining sardine cannery in the United States.

"I'll always be a packer" says Lela Anderson (shown here at the now closed Stinson Sardine plant in Prospect Harbor, Maine).
Photo/Art by Markham Starr
“I’ll always be a packer” says Lela Anderson (shown here at the now closed Stinson Sardine plant in Prospect Harbor, Maine).
The closure of Stinson's is a blow to the coastal community of Prospect Harbor.
Photo/Art by Markham Starr
The closure of Stinson’s is a blow to the coastal community of Prospect Harbor.
At one time the Maine coast boasted over 50 thriving sardine plants.  Stinson's was the last survivor until closing in April 2010.
Photo/Art by Markham Starr
At one time the Maine coast boasted over 50 thriving sardine plants. Stinson’s was the last survivor until closing in April 2010.
Herring become "sardines" when processed and canned.
Photo/Art by Markham Starr
Herring become “sardines” when processed and canned.
Packing fish steaks requires dexterity and endurance.
Photo/Art by Markham Starr
Packing fish steaks requires dexterity and endurance.
Each tray of sardines holds 25 cans.
Photo/Art by Markham Starr
Each tray of sardines holds 25 cans.
Trays of fish are steamed at 208 degrees in the pre-cooking stage.
Photo/Art by Markham Starr
Trays of fish are steamed at 208 degrees in the pre-cooking stage.
Lela Anderson rarely missed a day in her 55 years at the plant.
Photo/Art by Markham Starr
Lela Anderson rarely missed a day in her 55 years at the plant.
Once the cans are sealed, they are cooked at 250 degrees for 35 minutes.
Photo/Art by Markham Starr
Once the cans are sealed, they are cooked at 250 degrees for 35 minutes.
The Maine Sardine Museum in Jonesport celebrates the history of an industry that once employed thousands.
Photo/Art by Markham Starr
The Maine Sardine Museum in Jonesport celebrates the history of an industry that once employed thousands.
Ron and Mary Peabody have devoted themselves to keeping the heritage of the Maine sardine alive in their Maine Coast Sardine history museum.  Http://www.mainesardinemuseum.tripod.com
Photo/Art by Markham Starr
Ron and Mary Peabody have devoted themselves to keeping the heritage of the Maine sardine alive in their Maine Coast Sardine history museum. Http://www.mainesardinemuseum.tripod.com
Lela Anderson's hands bear witness to a lifetime of cutting fish.
Photo/Art by Markham Starr
Lela Anderson’s hands bear witness to a lifetime of cutting fish.
Lulu and Alma were considered the fastest packers.
Photo/Art by Markham Starr
Lulu and Alma were considered the fastest packers.

View more slideshows of Maine from Yankee Magazine:
Maine Lobster

Maine Coastal Odyssey

See more of Markham’s work at: www.markhamstarrphotography.com

Updated Thursday, June 17th, 2010
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5 Responses to Photos | The Last Sardine Cannery in the United States Closes

  1. Linda Sylvester June 28, 2010 at 11:10 am #

    Just the type of Yankee article that I look forward to seeing in each issue. Markham Starr’s photographs are really captured the essence of the people involved . Hope to see more of his work in Yankee!
    Keep featuring our New England traditions and attractions,
    Linda Sylvester

  2. Bob McMullen July 17, 2010 at 3:23 pm #

    People Like Miss Lela are the :salt of the earth” people. What a woman. And such a sad tale!

  3. mando aldrovandi March 13, 2011 at 7:00 pm #

    can’t open slide show

  4. Martha White May 28, 2011 at 10:10 am #

    You nailed it with this one.

  5. Mary Ann Arner July 26, 2015 at 7:21 pm #

    Would love to see an article in Yankee Magazine about the Inn at the Wharf in Lubec, Maine, a former sardine cannery that is now a unique Inn and lobster business. We found this by accident, thanks to a motel that sent us there as they had no vacancies. What a terrific find! We went back for a second visit. Hope to see this someday in your magazine. Thank you.

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