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A Look Back Into the History of Boatbuilding | Soundings Online

Community Action

Dave Ryder (left) and Ben Gilley shuck scallops at Gilley’s cottage at South Wharf in South Dartmouth, Massachusetts, in 1950. The old-timers were preparing food for the Allen’s Neck Clambake, an annual summer event that fed fresh seafood harvested from the abundant local waters — not to mention homemade sausages and pies, local corn and sweet potatoes — to as many as 500 guests and 125 workers in its heyday. A cord of hardwood, a ton of rockweed and a ton and a half of round stones made up the ovens.

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Tourism vs. Fishing

The steamer Romance, loading up in Provincetown for the day’s run across Massachusetts Bay to Boston, looms over an old Grand Banks schooner. The image was published in 1937 by Edwin Rosskam as part of a photo essay on two local industries: fishing and tourism. A freelance photographer at the time, Rosskam went on to have a distinguished career at Standard Oil, shooting oil refineries and river scenes for the corporate giant through the 1940s.

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The Commodore’s boathouse

This is where Florida yachting started. It’s Ralph Munroe’s boathouse in what is now the bustling city of Coconut Grove.

Munroe may have been one of the original snowbirds. Born in 1851, he was a displaced Northerner from New York who first came to Florida on vacation in 1877.

He returned four years later in hopes of curing his ailing wife, Eva, of tuberculosis. When she passed away, he went back to New York to find that his daughter had died of influenza.

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A fruitless search

Crewmen from HMS Enterprise and HMS Investigator, Capt. Sir James Clark Ross in command, are fighting for their lives at the Devil’s Thumb, near Baffin Bay in the Arctic archipelago. They had left England in 1848 and sailed of their own free will into one of Earth’s harshest environments — the seas of the Arctic Circle — searching for 129 explorers from the 1845 Franklin Expedition. Now the same fate that befell those ill-starred explorers’ ships is threatening to befall the rescuers.

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Labor Day Hurricane, 1935

Buddies all around were shouting in panic, “Give me a hand, buddy. Save me. I’m drowning.” I fought hard to keep my head out of water and inch by inch managed to creep to higher ground.

House now breaking up. … I glanced at a barometer which read 26.98 inches, dropped it in water, and was blown outside into sea; got hung up in the fronds of a coconut tree and hung on for dear life.

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