Have you ever driven over the North River, taken a hike along its shores or gone boating on its waters? Whether or not you have experienced the North River first hand, the history of this waterway will fascinate you. The North River Historical Association has created a blog to bring you stories from the past with a focus on shipbuilding.
The original North River Historical Association was a short-lived organization created in 1918 by a group of prominent men with a penchant for preserving the memory of things long past. In 1918, evidence of the shipbuilding days on the North River was still visible, but as human development and nature progressed, this evidence began to fade from view.
Luther Little, Hugh Bancroft, J. S. Hathaway, E. Q. Sylvester, Alfred L. Lincoln and Roger S. Dix shared a passion for then recent but fading North River shipbuilding history. Surely, several ideas were floated but the solution that was settled upon was to erect a series of Historical Markers at the locations of North River shipyards. Originally 12 yards were to be marked, but 12 became 10 and in 1919 10 iron signs were cast and fastened upon concrete posts that were driven into the ground along the river’s edge. The 10 signs have held fast in the watershed, although 2 were moved a short distance and one was erected on the South River because the Portland Gale gave 3 miles of the North River to her sister the South in 1898 (but that’s another Blog entry for another time).
100 years later and the Historical Shipyard Markers still stand, still broadcasting their tidbits of history to all passers-by who take notice. A new group of local historians has formed, a group of folks who share the same passion for the past maritime industry on this wonderful waterway we share. 13 individuals from all 5 North River towns have come together to not only restore and rededicate the 10 shipyard signs on their 100th anniversary but to dust off long forgotten stories of grit and adventure that were born on the North River. Follow these stories we bring to you, this blog will present the reader with a glimpse into the past, of great vessels, local heroes and a proud industry.