Brass Valley: The Fall of an American Industry

Brass Valley: The Fall of an American Industry
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Monday, September 20, 2010

Back of the Harbor, Corea, Maine


PHOTOGRAPHER'S JOURNAL: The Schoodic Peninsula is the next peninsula north of Mount Dessert Island. My annual trips didn't get this far Down East until September of 2008. I drove into the tiny harbor of Corea as the weather bureau was tracking Hurricane Hanna. I arrived in the early afternoon and spent most of my time on the western side of the harbor which seemed more interesting.

This image was taken at the very back of the harbor where a freshwater stream has cut a tiny inlet for the salt water to fill. I failed to process the image initially because I was busy with images from the, just completed, Olsen House workshop, and I didn't realize that the two shots that make the image could be stitched into a satisfying panorama. I spent the evening at Schoodic Point and turned toward my B&B just before sunset as the winds were building, and the surf was raging. I thought Schoodic Point would be a good place to shoot from the next morning with Hanna in retreat.

The tiny harbor of Corea probably looks much as it did a century ago, though I suspect more open then; less wooded. Originally called Indian Harbor, the first settlers didn't arrive in Corea until 1812, and they have been supporting themselves on fishing ever since. There are two lobster pounds, but what's most evident are the dozens of private docks, many with shaky fishing shacks, that circle the harbor. Even today Corea lies just beyond the range of most tourists. Those who make it this far are more likely to spend their time at Schoodic Point.

The next morning the road to my B&B was under water. I packed, paced, lingered over breakfast and imagined Schoodic Point. Then all at once the new lake in front of the B&B emptied as if a drain had been unplugged somewhere. I was on my way, but the road to the Point was also washed out. In fact the end of the peninsula was split in half by a gully where the main road should have passed. I wasn't even sure I could get back to Corea. I decided the best plan was to find my way off the peninsula, as it turned out, through a labyrinth of still passable roads; it was a strategic retreat, and I wasn't really sure I had made it until I reached Route 1. This trip with Lazlo was the first time I've been back.


NOTE: Once again I hope to be shooting at New York's Halloween Parade with friends. It is arguably the best parade outside New Orleans. It only costs a moment of time to support the parade with your vote. For info: http://www.halloween-nyc.com/VOTE.html