Historical Photos - Sardine Factories

Folks from Calais, Charlotte and Alexander would flood into Robbinston to live in the cottages and shanties provided  by the sardine factory to house the hundreds of workers needed in the factories. The cottages were located in Robbinston in back of the old general store in the village. 


The bigger the herring run the larger the drop in school attendance. Most families who worked in the factories brought their children to work with them such as this group of boys who were employed in 1911 at the Seacoast Factory in Eastport. The use of child labor in the local sardine industry became a national scandal and the authorities began to make some effort to give the appearance, at least, of enforcing Maine's child labor law.  A 1914 article in The Calais Advertiser reports Seacoast's Superintendent, James McGregor, was fined $50 for two child labor violations, a fine he appealed. (Photos submitted by Al Churchill)