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PRST STD
THE STATE OF MAINE'S BOATING NEWSPAPER
U.S. Postage Paid, #256
Bangor, Maine 04401
Maine Coastal News
Volume 22 Issue 12 December 2009 FREE
LOOKING BACK WITH FRANK O'HARA OF ROCKLAND
The eastern rigged dragger ARAHO at the O'Hara dock in Rockland.
ROCKLAND – Looking through a collection boats, big side trawlers and they caught a lot
of great, old photographs can be interesting. of fish that were imported to here. That hurt
However, if you know where the photograph the business here.”
was taken, who is in the photograph, and the In the early 1950s the O’Hara’s had a
history behind it now that makes it much more plant in Eastport. This was next to the Ameri-
interesting. I was given a collection of several can Can building. Frank added, “My father
hundred photographs on a CD of old fishing bought it from Frank Neal, a childhood friend,
boats and captains from the Atlantic Fisher- for what reason I don’t know. They used to
man by the Penobscot Marine Museum in bring fish over from Campobello or buy it
Searsport. The Atlantic Fisherman was pub- locally, but mostly we had a little plant there
lished from the early 1920s to the late 1950, that made cod liver oil. Unfortunately it never
before it was purchased and became part of made much money.”
the National Fisherman. In this collection The Rockland facility was originally a
were numerous photographs from the freight shed. The owners of the property got
Rockland area, so who better to ask about over extended in the late 1930s and Frank’s
them then Frank O’Hara at the O’Hara Corpo- father was asked if he was interested in it.
ration in Rockland. They purchased it and turned it into a fish
The O’Haras have a long history in the processing plant, which also had an ice mak-
commercial fishing industry. Frank’s father ing facility. They filleted fish, some ground
Francis Donohue and Maurice Boyle of F. J. O'Hara & Sons at Rockland.
began in the business in Boston back in the fish, but mostly ocean perch, red fish.
early 1900s, before that he had worked for his The former owner of the property were sels, HELEN MAE II, MARIETTA,
remember the ROMERLY, but added that the
father. Over the years they expanded their the Philers. They moved their operation up to ROMERLY and PANDION, tied up to the
PANDION was a seiner
operations to Portland, Rockland, Eastport where the Northend Shipyard is today, but on dock in Rockland. In looking at the building,
The next photograph showed Francis
and the West Coast. a smaller scale. Frank said, “He cut fish for there was a small structure on the roof and
Donohue and Maurice Boyle. Donohue is
The Boston operation was at 21 Fish Pier National Sea Products or us and was in the Frank said, “We took that off because it
now 96 years old and is Frank’s first cousin
and this closed in the mid-1950s. scallop business. He had a couple of boats created some leaks. Years and years before
and only ever worked for the O’Haras. He
The Portland facility was on the end of and he had something to do with the this they used to hoist up the cod fish and
worked as the comptroller in Portland in the
Union Wharf and it to closed in the 1950s. MADELYN & FLORA. When the fish busi- then put them on racks up there.”
late 1930s and later moved to Rockland when
Frank explained, “After the war everything ness began dwindling, they entered the bait Frank added that the HELEN MAE II was
the Portland facility closed. He still lives in
changed, there wasn’t the business. “The business and did this for a number of years.” run by George Ross of Owl’s Head and that
one of the buildings on the dock.
Canadians were getting big in the fish busi- However with the changing times their his brother Frank, ran the ARAHO. As for the
Boyle was a salesman for the O’Haras.
ness and they were subsidizing things. The operations at Portland and Eastport were MARIETTA, she was a former sub-chaser
The first vessel named ARAHO, O’Hara
Marshall plan built a lot boats for France and closed. now being used as a sardine carrier and was
Continued on Page 14.
Germany at Bath Iron Works. They were nice The first photograph showed four ves- owned by his father for a time. Frank did not
C o n t e n t s
Sea Biscuit 4 Waterfront News Ed Cutts Dies 10 FY 2010 Navy Budget 20
Calendar of Events 4 MMA News 8 Atlantic Challenge Board 10 Maritime History-Various 1889 21
Brooks Trap Mill 5 New Wave Yachts 9 Commercial Fishing News Classified Ads 24-31
Rebuilding After Fire 6 Journey's End 9 Misc. Commercial Fishing News 11
Profile: Richard Hallett 7 Two Problem Solvers 10 DELA News 12
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