Waldo County, Maine

Searsport Sea Captains

Capt. Phineas Pendleton I, b Sept. 26, 1780, Stonington, Connecticut,
d. Feb. 27, 1873, Searsport, Maine
Photograph from Searsport Sea Captains, p181.


"In the year 1860 there were 11,375 mariners in the State of Maine. They comprised almost one-fifth of the population. Of these, 759 were masters of ships. In turn nearly half of these were in command of "Cape Horners."

"The little town of Searsport with 1,700 inhabitants will serve as an example. It was known in every deepwater port in the world. Over a hundred and fifty masters of full-rigged ships knew it as home. In the seventies and eighties it is estimated that 10 per cent of all the shipmasters in the American merchant marine had Searsport as their hail. In 1889, 33 captains out of 77 were in command of Cape Horners.

"Many of their vessels were built for their own account in the Matthews, Merrithew, Carver, and McGilvery yards at the head of the harbor. In later years, when the shoal waters precluded the launching of the larger ships, the Searsport captains had their ships built up the Penobscot at Brewer and Bangor. Out of twenty full-rigged ships built there, Lincoln Colcord lists at least eight for Searsport accounts."

--- William Hutchinson Rowe, The Maritime History of Maine: Three Centuries of Ship Building and Seafaring, Gardner, Maine, The Harpswell Press, c1989, pp 286-287.

The source Searsport Sea Captains, published by the Penobscot Marine Museum in Searsport, traces several generations of many of the seagoing families listed below.

Please query with a first and last name, Waldo County location and approximate date of event.

Black Curtis Havener Nichols/Nickels
Blanchard Dow Hichborn Park
Carver Gilkey Lanpher Pendleton
Clifford Gilmore Lancaster Sweetser
Closson Griffin McGilvery Waterhouse
Colcord Harriman/Herriman Merrithew Young

Send queries/comments to: Tom Elliott
Note: Bob Brooks is the volunteer for Searport Sea Captains - I will forward any queries to him.


1999-2008 All rights reserved Tom Elliott
This page last updated on 25 March 2008