Maine's Livelihood

Riverview Lobster Pound

What's a Lobster Pound?

A lobster pound is a "lobster hotel", a caged area of seawater where lobstermen keep their catch alive while waiting to bring them to market.

Our 2-acre pound was built over 130 years ago and has been in continuous use ever since! It can comfortably accomodate over 50,000 pounds (22,680 kg) of lobster.

History

Riverview Lobster Pound was built in 1888 by Freeman Grover, who since 1880 had been the Burnt Island Lighthouse keeper in Boothbay Harbor, Maine. Mr. Grover's descendants still operate Grover’s Hardware Store in Boothbay Harbor.

Operation

The environmentally-friendly design of this lobster pound uses the tide to clean and refresh the holding area twice per day. No power is required. In some ways, the pound works like a natural cattle feedlot, providing fresh food and nutrients to the lobsters with little human intervention needed.

Today

Today there are three lobstermen, depending on the time of year, who actively use the lobster pound. They launch their boats early in the morning, setting and collecting traps, then return with their catch in the afternoon. Some of the lobsters are bound for the market and some remain in the pound. The pound includes storage facilities for the lobstermen to store traps, ropes, etc. There are docks from which to launch their boats, and a large cold storage building to store herring and pogies fish bait.

The Ghost of Mad Mary

The story of Mad Mary is well-known to children of Riverview Road. Mary lived more than 100 years ago. She was a lobsterman's wife who loved to knit. As a birthday gift, she knit her husband a thick sweater to insulate him from the cold Maine sea. One day, while wearing that sweater, her beloved husband departed from Riverview Lobster Pound to retrieve his catch. But his boat was caught in a storm, and he never returned. Miraculously, the sweater washed ashore some days later.

Mary went a little crazy then. It was said she talked to her husband's ghost every night before bed. And she used that sweater like Linus's security blanket. Mary never married again, never had children, and lived a life of quiet seclusion on Riverview Road just a few steps from the Riverview Lobster Pound. Eventually Mary died and, as was her wish, she was buried at sea in hopes that she'd find her husband again.

These days, Mary's ghost is regularly heard in the loft of the lobstermen's storage shack at the Riverview Lobster Pound. Sometimes there are groans, mumbling, or cackling laughter. But the eeriest sounds are those of her knitting needles, knitting a new sweater for her husband. No one ever admits to seeing Mad Mary, but you are welcome to look for yourself when you rent a Riverview Lobster Pound Cottage.