The May Field in Rockland Harbor
A BEAUTIFUL TRIP.
One of the Many Pleasing Excursion
Routes from Rockland.
Of the many excursions from
in all directions perhaps there
no pleasanter route for a days trip
than to take a lunch in your pocket
spend the day aboard the trim
steamer Mayfield. As we get
headed down the bay the first object
that attracts our attention is the
long line of breakers dashing against
the breakwater and the stately Bay
Point House, surrounded by its beau
tiful slopes and terraces while along the right hand shore's are the neat little cottages, at Cooper's Beach, snuggled in among the trees and boulders. As we rounded Owl's Head light, we began to realize for the first time what a really beautiful place is Fred M. Smith's famous resort, Crescent Beach and by the way Mr. Smith is building a wharf, and the Mayfield will hereafter touch there morning and afternoon.
As we neared our first landing, at High Island, a large white flag was hastily flung to the breeze, by the islanders. An intelligent reporter standing beside Capt. Dyer, in the pilot house, remarked: "That was a dead easy snap." "Why?" asked the captain. "They have surrendered without firing a shot." "Humph," said the captain scornfully. "That is no war flag. That means fish bait for sale here." The reporter wilted visibly. From High Island we coasted along Dix Island, once the most famous granite establishment in New England. At Spruce Head we stop just long enough to pass the time of day with John Blethen, and soon we are rolling in the heavy swell of mother ocean outside White Head. We pass near the light and get a good view of the old fog whistle, the Life Saving Station and the life-boat on the rollers ready for use at a moment's notice.
Our next landing is at that hustling little hamlet, Tenants Harbor, easily nestling on the southern slope, and protected from the winds by trees and bluffs. The tide is out so we are obliged to stop some 30 rods from the wharf, and a wherry rowed by two men is sent off to us. They bring word that all is well and take away with them two gentlemen and a lady.
At Port Clyde people do not seem to regard our arrival as of any importance. One old lady came out into the field and waved her sun bonnet at us in a general sort of a way. As far as we could learn this was the only public demonstration of any kind.
At 12 o'clock we were safely landed in Friendship. After a good hearty meal, obtained at a neat two-story farmhouse on the hill, we started on our homeward way. As we left Port Clyde a boat put out from a neighboring point, and added to our freight a keg of mackerel. As it was a little unusual to see a steamer hauled to in this way the reporter ventured another question: "What'll we do next?" The captain replied with a wink of his eye, "Did you see that old lady come out and wave her sun bonnet at us when we went down this morning? Well, that meant that she would have her pail full of blueberries by the time we got back, and we'll have to go up there and get them."
Most of the way on the return trip we were entertained by an imaginative youth who had never made the trip before. He devoted his entire time to lolling in the stern of the boat, and exercising his very vivid imagination for the special benefit of an nice old lady who sat near him and wanted someone to tell her the different places as we passed them. The young man astonished and delighted her with his accurate and extensive knowledge of the geography of the coast. He pointed out for her Monhegan Isle, Fort Ticonderoga, the Straits of Belle Isle, and the southern coasts of Newfoundland.
The trip just used the day nicely, from eight in the morning till five in the afternoon. The trip is simply delightful with a change of scenery at every turn, now winding in and out among the small grass and tree covered islands, now passing a bold headland within a stone's throw, and again sailing free and clear in the open sea. The stops are just near enough together, and are not long enough to be tiresome. Surely many an excursion might be far less interesting than to Friendship, Long Island, under the charge of Capt. Dyer in his clipper little steamer, the Mayfield.
--From the front page of the The Rockland Courier-Gazette: Tuesday, August 9, 1892
The May Field was built up the river in Brewer, Maine, in 1874, the first steamer built by Capt. Barbour. His grandson Lester used to sail with me on the Lewis R French.
Lester said that as a little boy his grandmother took him from Brewer to Boston
on the side-wheel passenger steamer, assigned the last cabin open. The cabin was next to the paddle boxes and trying to sleep there was like trying to sleep under Niagara Falls.
By the time the May Field left service in 1896 she had been employed as a fishing steamer. Part of her superstructure was used in Port Clyde in building an addition to a house.