When I was growing up, my family spent two weeks in Maine every summer, and those were probably the best two weeks of my entire year. Later on, when I was grown up and living in the Boston area, I went to Maine frequently, both on weekend day trips and for extended vacations, exploring parts of the state that I hadn’t known as a child. When CHS was given the Richard Welling Collection in 2011-2012, I was delighted to discover that Richard Welling had drawn many of my favorite Maine landmarks, including the Hesper and the Luther B. Little, two derelict schooners on the waterfront in Wiscasset. In fact, he made this drawing one summer while he was traveling with his daughter, just as I used to travel up the Maine coast with my parents long ago. The old schooners are gone now; after decades of vandalism and decay, their remains were moved to a local landfill in 1998. What I didn’t realize when I used to stop to admire the old ships was that such abandoned wrecks were once not an uncommon sight throughout New England, even right here in Connecticut. For many years, the old wooden whaler Colgate could be seen rotting away in Winthrop Cove in New London. To see more pictures by Richard Welling, visit the Richard Welling Collection in the CHS online catalog. To see pictures of Colgate, before and after it was abandoned in Winthrop Cove, look in Connecticut History Online.
On the Road with Richard Welling: Along the Maine Coast