Capt. Anders Anderson, Penobscot Bay Captain of Maine Granite Schooners
Tuesday July 24th at 6:30
John Anderson is a native of Rockland and the grandson of the featured captain. He has transcribed and published the captain’s thirty-plus years of journals from the era of his sailing days. He will present a fascinating and deeply moving portrait of his grandfather, a Swedish-American schooner captain.
John’s talk will describe some of Capt. Anderson’s most interesting passages, cargoes, and dangerous adventures. The narrative will also focus on his many voyages carrying Maine granite from the Penobscot Bay and Mount Desert quarries southbound, used in the construction of many important buildings and public works projects, primarily in the New York City area.
Anders Anderson left his family’s farm in Sweden as a five foot tall sixteen year old seaman. After sailing across the world for six years, he emigrated to America in 1886. He settled in Stonington, Maine, where he worked in the granite quarries on Crotch Island for a couple of years, before returning to the sea and becoming a schooner captain.
Capt. Anderson renounced his allegiance to the King of Sweden and became a proud American; bringing his brother and three of his sisters to America as well. He sailed schooners first out of Stonington, then Camden, and finally Rockland. Married to a lighthouse keeper’s daughter, they raised three sons and three daughters in the latter city. Anders sailed primarily three-masted schooners from Maine to destinations all along the Atlantic coast from Nova Scotia to Florida and numerous ports in the Caribbean over his sailing career, which lasted until 1932. During the 1920s to the early 30s he nearly exclusively carried granite southbound from quarries at Clark Island, Vinalhaven, and Somes Sound, among others. In his career, he survived four shipwrecks. On one of these occasions, he and his crew survived February conditions for two days and nights in an open dory, after having successfully delivered the great statue of General John Logan, which stands in the center of Logan Circle in Washington, D.C..
Capt. Anders Anderson is representative of the many iconic Maine captains who led the schooners over the horizon of history in the last days of the Age of Sail.