2012-04-27 / Community

Remember the fish houses at the ‘Point’?

By Kathryn DiPhilippo
South Portland Historical Society

The society welcomes recollections of the city’s fish houses. Call 767- 7299. 
(Courtesyphoto) The society welcomes recollections of the city’s fish houses. Call 767- 7299. (Courtesyphoto) The old fishing shacks at Fisherman’s Point are a landmark in South Portland. Although they have not been in use for many years, they act as a physical reminder of the Willard neighborhood’s history as a fishing community. Over the years, we have received many questions about them at the historical society, but unfortunately, there is little documented evidence of who built, owned and used the shacks.

We received some feedback from one of the granddaughters of a fisherman who used one of the shacks. Mary Jane Campbell shared this information: “My grandfather’s name was Arthur Bolton … my mother was the oldest child born in 1927 and ‘Pop,’ as we called him, had the shack around then as far as I know. There was also a large shack there, it would have been the first on the right as you walk out, that belonged to John Gavett. It was washed out in a hurricane in the ‘70s. I also remember the huge breakwater that used to protect the beach … my grandfather used to build his lobster boats in his backyard and tow them to the beach with the help of his best friend, Billy Fielding, who lived in a big barn on Willow Street near the bath house.”

We would love to receive more stories about the fishermen who used the fishing shacks at Willard Beach and we would especially love to find any documentation related to the building and/or ownership of the fish houses. Please contact the society at sphistoricalsociety@maine.rr.com or at 55 Bug Light Park, South Portland, ME 04106, if you have any information to share.

Note to readers: The Cushing’s Point Museum at Bug Light Park will have its official season opening on May 7, but the museum will also open sporadically during the first week of May as new volunteers come in to train, and we expect to open the weekend of May 5 and 6. Watch for the open flag. If you are interested in volunteering, call us at 767-7299.

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