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ADD: Wiscasset Schooners (Lois Lyman)

Charley Noble 08 Nov 10 - 01:43 PM
Jack the Sailor 08 Nov 10 - 02:06 PM
Greg F. 08 Nov 10 - 02:12 PM
Amos 08 Nov 10 - 02:36 PM
gnu 08 Nov 10 - 02:46 PM
Charley Noble 08 Nov 10 - 03:39 PM
gnu 08 Nov 10 - 04:25 PM
Charley Noble 09 Nov 10 - 07:57 AM
Charley Noble 10 Nov 10 - 08:03 AM
ranger1 10 Nov 10 - 12:33 PM
Charley Noble 21 Jan 11 - 08:10 AM
InOBU 21 Jan 11 - 08:23 AM
Charley Noble 21 Jan 11 - 08:37 AM
Joe Offer 03 Oct 20 - 06:36 PM
Joe Offer 03 Oct 20 - 06:48 PM
Nancy King 03 Oct 20 - 07:13 PM
Bat Goddess 04 Oct 20 - 03:31 PM
Charley Noble 04 Oct 20 - 08:16 PM
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Subject: BS: Photo Essay on the Wiscasset Schooners
From: Charley Noble
Date: 08 Nov 10 - 01:43 PM

The derelict 4-masted schooners the Luther Little and the Hesper on the waterfront of Wiscasset, Maine, were a major landmark for 70 years, until they finally collapsed into a rotted woodpile in the late 1990's and were then hauled away to the town dump.

My brother and I enjoyed taking our skiff up the Sheepscott River to visit them, climbing aboard them and seeing what we could find. Most of the photos were taken by my big brother.

Here's a Facebook link to the album: click her for PIXS

Enjoy prowling around these old ships yourselves but watch your step!

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: BS: Photo Essay on the Wiscasset Schooners
From: Jack the Sailor
Date: 08 Nov 10 - 02:06 PM

There was a derelict schooner in Bay Roberts where I grew up that we used to play around. There was also an outline of another at the bottom of the harbour. All that remained was the ballast rocks. Thanks for the reminder.


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Subject: RE: BS: Photo Essay on the Wiscasset Schooners
From: Greg F.
Date: 08 Nov 10 - 02:12 PM

Thanx, Charlie- I remember them fondly from years ago, but have no intention of laying myself open to Farce Book to see the pix.

Thanx anyway-


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Subject: RE: BS: Photo Essay on the Wiscasset Schooners
From: Amos
Date: 08 Nov 10 - 02:36 PM

Thanks, Charlie. They were part of my childhood, too, andf it is a pleasure to see them resurrected in these photos as I remember them.


A


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Subject: RE: BS: Photo Essay on the Wiscasset Schooners
From: gnu
Date: 08 Nov 10 - 02:46 PM

I wish I could see them.


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Subject: RE: BS: Photo Essay on the Wiscasset Schooners
From: Charley Noble
Date: 08 Nov 10 - 03:39 PM

Here's another link to a set of images of these schooners posted by Haze Gray which provides more of a historical overview and includes images of the final phase of dumping them at the town landfill in 1998: click her for PIXS

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: BS: Photo Essay on the Wiscasset Schooners
From: gnu
Date: 08 Nov 10 - 04:25 PM

Thanks!


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Subject: RE: BS: Photo Essay on the Wiscasset Schooners
From: Charley Noble
Date: 09 Nov 10 - 07:57 AM

The Maine Maritime Museum in Bath was able to salvage some of the hardware and woodwork from these schooners over the years. Other "self-help" salvagers did their part as well. I wonder who got the fancy scrolled trim boards from the bows?

The trim boards from the "Cora Cressy," another 5-masted schooner which rotted away in Maine, are on prominent display in the entrance hall of the Maine Maritime Museum. The "Cressey" had the usual commercial career before being converted into "Levaggi's Show Boat" in the 1920's. She somehow ended up permanently moored in Keene's Neck, Muscongus Bay, Maine, serving as a lobster pound. Some of her murals of nude dancing girls were salvaged by, I believe, the Penobscot Marine Museum.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: BS: Photo Essay on the Wiscasset Schooners
From: Charley Noble
Date: 10 Nov 10 - 08:03 AM

Here's the song that Lois Lyman composed in tribute to these two schooners, harvested from Gordon Bok's website:

Wiscasset Schooners
            © 1985 Lois Lyman

"Lois spent part of her childhood in Wiscasset, Maine, where she was used to play aboard the hulks of the two schooners there, the Hesper and the Luther Little. The vessels are disintegrating quickly now; she wrote this song to keep them and their history a bit closer to memory. She and her husband, Ross, sing it with me here."

Gordon: Twelve string & vocals. Ross Faneuf & Lois Lyman, vocals.
Doreen Conboy, fiddle.

            Do you remember riding home before a dying summer breeze,
            Your topsails gleaming golden, setting sun among the trees,
            And the osprey wheeling slowly through the shadows by the shore,
            Where the towering cliffs of granite plunge ten fathoms deep or more,
            And the eddies swirl and flow down below.

            You were solid-built of Douglas fir and oak and yellow pine,
            Two hundred feet, sailed by a crew that numbered only nine,
            Hauling lumber through your timberports, and dyewood from the south
            Running home from Norfolk bringing coal to heat the north
            And whatever they could stow down below.

            But the winter is upon you now, and time is passing slow
            And the tides ebb and flow down below.

            You served them well for fifteen years, your canvass all unfurled
            When New England sailing ships were found in ports around the world,
            But spars gave way to smokestacks, clouds of white to black and grey,
            There was nothing left for you to do but waste your time away.
            And the rot was spreading slow, down below.

            And the winter…

            From Wiscasset to the China Lakes the Narrow Gauge did run,
            To push it northward to Quebec was old Frank Winter's plan –
            And schooners were to bring his cargoes in to meet the train,
            When he found you idle on the dock, he brought you down to Maine
            Where the tides ebb and flow down below.

            You know he tried the best he could, by he just couldn't make it pay
            So he ran you both aground, and turned around and walked away;
            You've been waiting here for fifty years, but no one set you free,
            Now you're broken down and dying, lying open to the sea,
            And the tides ebb and flow down below.

            And the winter…
            The people come to stare at you with wonder in their eyes
            For times have changed since men knew how to work a ship your size.
            The seas you sailed are running black; in time we'll know our loss –
            It's too late now for you, and is it too late now for us?
            Can you teach what you know before you go?

            And the winter is upon you now, and time is passing slow
            And the tides ebb and flow down below.


Wiscasset Schooners is recorded on the albums Schooners and Harbors of Home.

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: BS: Photo Essay on the Wiscasset Schooners
From: ranger1
Date: 10 Nov 10 - 12:33 PM

The Sheepscot looks so empty without them now. I remember them catching fire just about every Fourth of July because at least one of Wiscasset's town fireworks would drop sparks on the poor old ships.


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Subject: RE: BS: Photo Essay on the Wiscasset Schooners
From: Charley Noble
Date: 21 Jan 11 - 08:10 AM

I've been adding a few more images of the demise of these abandoned schooners in my Facebook album. In addition I've found an excellent historical overview of the "Hesper" and the "Luther Little" cobbled together by R. Mark Wagner: click here for story

Mark is also an excellent photographer, which is evident from his own album of other unrelated images.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: BS: Photo Essay on the Wiscasset Schooners
From: InOBU
Date: 21 Jan 11 - 08:23 AM

Thanks Charlie, as I said, I photographed them from the shore, oh back in about 79 or 80... God that makes me sound old...


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Subject: RE: BS: Photo Essay on the Wiscasset Schooners
From: Charley Noble
Date: 21 Jan 11 - 08:37 AM

Yes, 79 or 80 (not to mention the 60s), is almost back to the Pleistocene!

Charley Noble


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Subject: RE: ADD: Wiscasset Schooners (Lois Lyman)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 03 Oct 20 - 06:36 PM

I've always loved this song, and I was lucky enough to see these decaying schooners in the 1990s before they slipped below the surface of the water. I came across a lovely recording of this song by David Coffin (with a great photo of the schooners): Bok-Muir-Trickett recording:

I see I posted this song in one of those "collections" threads in 2003:
Thread #37497   Message #928413
Posted By: Joe Offer
08-Apr-03 - 12:45 AM
Thread Name: Songs about boats, No disasters!
Subject: ADD: Wiscasset Schooners (Lois Lyman)

I last visited Maine in the early 1990's, and one of the most memorable sights was Wiscasset, where the remains of two wooden schooners lay rotting at a dock. I got there just after one of the schooners lost its mast, and there wasn't much left to see. Still, those old ships were a wonder to behold for Joe the would-be sailor who lives far from the sea. This thread says thery're all gone now, taken to the dump.
What a shame.
-Joe Offer-


WISCASSET SCHOONERS
(Lois Lyman)

Do you remember riding home before a dying summer breeze,
Your topsails gleaming golden, setting sun among the trees,
And the osprey wheeling slowly through the shadows by the shore,
Where the towering cliffs of granite plunge ten fathoms deep or more,
And the eddies swirl and flow down below.

You were solid-built of Douglas fir and oak and yellow pine,
Two hundred feet, sailed by a crew that numbered only nine,
Hauling lumber through your timberports, and dyewood from the south
Running home from Norfolk bringing coal to heat the north
And whatever they could stow down below.

But the winter is upon you now, and time is passing slow
And the tides ebb and flow down below.

You served them well for fifteen years, your canvas all unfurled
When New England sailing ships were found in ports around the world,
But spars gave way to smokestacks, clouds of white to black and grey,
There was nothing left for you to do but waste your lime away,
And the rot was spreading slow, down below.
And the winter...

From Wiscasset to the China Lakes the Narrow Gauge did run,
To push it northward to Quebec was old Frank Winter's plan —
And schooners were to bring his cargoes in to meet the train,
When he found you idle on the dock, he brought you down to Maine Where the tides ebb and flow down below.

You know he tried the best he could, but he just couldn't make it pay
So he ran you both aground, and turned around and walked away;
You've been waiting here for fifty years, but no one set you free,
Now you're broken down and dying, lying open to the sea,
And the tides ebb and flow down below.
And the winter...

The people come to stare at you with wonder in their eyes
For times have changed since men knew how to work a ship your size.
The seas you sailed are running black; in time we'll know our loss
It's too late now for you, and is it too late now for us?
Can you teach us what you know before you go?
For the winter is upon you now, and time is passing slow
And the tides ebb and flow down below.

Copyright 1985, Lois Lyman

From the Gordon Bok CD, Schooners.

Bok says:
Lois spent part of her childhood in Wiscasset, Maine, where she used to play aboard the hulks of two schooners there, the Hesper and the Luther Little. The vessels are disintegrating quickly now; she wrote this song to keep them and their history a bit closer to memory.

This Google Search (click) will bring up some interesting photos.


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Subject: RE: ADD: Wiscasset Schooners (Lois Lyman)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 03 Oct 20 - 06:48 PM

And Nancy King posted the song, with personal commentary, in 2010:


Thread #126659   Message #3016394

Posted By: Nancy King

26-Oct-10 - 09:58 PM

Thread Name: 'New' Sea Songs & Shanties & Nautical Songs

Subject: Lyr Add: WISCASSET SCHOONERS


OK, here goes. The schooners of the song, "Hesper" and "Luther Little," were beached in Wiscasset, Maine, in 1932, and remained there, an unlikely tourist attraction, until the debris from the disintigrating hulks became a hazard to navigation. They were finally demolished in 1998. I remember sneaking aboard them in the early 1960s with Lois and some other friends -- strictly forbidden, but fascinating and fun. Lois wrote the song in 1985. Gordon sings a couple of words slightly differently on the "Schooners" CD, but this is the way the lyrics are printed in the accompanying booklet:


WISCASSET SCHOONERS
(Lois Lyman)

Do you remember riding home before a dying summer breeze,
Your topsails gleaming golden, setting sun among the trees,
And the osprey wheeling slowly through the shadows by the shore,
Where the towering cliffs of granite plunge ten fathoms deep or more,
And the eddies swirl and flow down below.

You were solid-built of Douglas fir and oak and yellow pine,
Two hundred feet, sailed by a crew that numbered only nine,
Hauling lumber through your timberports, and dyewood from the south
Running home from Norfolk bringing coal to heat the north
And whatever they could stow down below.

But the winter is upon you now, and time is passing slow
And the tides ebb and flow down below.

You served them well for fifteen years, your canvas all unfurled
When New England sailing ships were found in ports around the world,
But spars gave way to smokestacks, clouds of white to black and grey,
There was nothing left for you to do but waste your time away,
And the rot was spreading slow down below.

And the winter...

From Wiscasset to the China Lakes the Narrow Gauge did run,
To push it northward to Quebec was old Frank Winter's plan--
And schooners were to bring his cargoes in to meet the train,
When he found you idle on the dock, he brought you down to Maine
Where the tides ebb and flow down below.

You know he tried the best he could, but he just couldn't make it pay
So he ran you both aground, and turned around and walked away;
You've been waiting here for fifty years, but no one set you free,
Now you're broken down and dying, lying open to the sea,
And the tides ebb and flow down below.

And the winter...

The people come to stare at you with wonder in their eyes
For times have changed since men knew how to work a ship your size.
The seas you sailed are running black; in time we'll know our loss--
It's too late now for you, and is it too late now for us?
Can you teach us what you know before you go?

For the winter is upon you now, and time is passing slow
And the tides ebb and flow down below. (twice)


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Subject: RE: ADD: Wiscasset Schooners (Lois Lyman)
From: Nancy King
Date: 03 Oct 20 - 07:13 PM

Thanks, Joe! It is a marvelous song, methinks.

In addition to the Bok-Trickett-Muir recording referenced above, Gordon also recorded in -- with Lois -- on his "Schooners" album. I always thought it very cool that the first voice you hear on that album is Lois!


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Subject: RE: ADD: Wiscasset Schooners (Lois Lyman)
From: Bat Goddess
Date: 04 Oct 20 - 03:31 PM

Just a side note: Lois Lyman was married years ago to Jay Smith who founded The Press Room.

I miss those schooners when I cross the bridge in Wiscasset. Inside my head they're still there.

Linn


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Subject: RE: ADD: Wiscasset Schooners (Lois Lyman)
From: Charley Noble
Date: 04 Oct 20 - 08:16 PM

Nice to see this thread revived.

Cheerily,
Charlie Ipcar


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