2008-2009 FOMB Speaker Series

On Deposit: Maine Vessels
and the 19th Century Guano Trade


Subject:          On Deposit: Maine Vessels and the 19th Century Guano Trade
Speaker:         Bud Warren, Local Maritime Historian

When:            Wednesday, February 10th; 7:00 p.m.

Where:           Bath City Hall Auditorium, 55 Front St., Bath

Join Friends of Merrymeeting Bay (FOMB) on Wednesday, February 10th at 7pm for the 4th presentation in this season’s Winter Speaker Series: On Deposit: Maine Vessels and the Nineteenth Century Guano Trade as Local Maritime Historian, Bud Warren, shares these lesser-known but colorful chapters in our nation’s maritime history.

During the middle years of the nineteenth century, hundreds of Maine Captains took their vessels to several small islands off the west coast of Peru to pick up cargoes of an "inexhaustible supply" of guano, a wonderfully rich fertilizer from bird droppings that was destined to rejuvenate the tired agricultural fields of the European plains and the worn-out cotton fields of the American South.

For thirty years or so the Guano Trade kept a number of Maine ships in service and made fortunes for those involved. But then, as so often has happened to "inexhaustible" supplies of natural resources which have been there for the taking, the guano ran out and the trade faded into history.

Maritime historian Bud Warren of Topsham is an avid researcher and popular lecturer and guide for coastal tours. His illustrated presentation describes the fascinating ecological factors behind these massive deposits, the story of the guano trade from the 19th century to the present and will draw parallels to how we are dealing with our environment today.

The FOMB Winter Speaker Series takes place monthly from October-May on the second Wednesday. The March presentation, ‘An Evening of Stories by Ruth Moore’ features Dennis Damon, Senator, D-Hancock County. This event will take place 7pm, Wednesday March 10th at the Bridge Academy in Dresden. A reminder that the FOMB December presentation postponed due to weather has been rescheduled for 7pm, March 17. The presentation: Coyote~America’s Song Dog featuring Project Coyote conservation biologist Geri Vistein will be held at Brunswick’s Curtis Memorial Library. The series, which is free and open to the public, is sponsored by Friends of Merrymeeting Bay with support and valuable door prizes from Patagonia Outlet in Freeport.

To receive more information on FOMB’s programs call Misty Gorski, Executive Coordinator, Friends of Merrymeeting Bay, at 737-8508 or fomb@gwi.net.

Guano Trade

Photo: Island ships awaiting cargoes of guano- Courtesy of: Bud Warren

Watercolors by
Sarah Stapler
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