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Historical Materials: Maritime & Other Industries & Facilities
The timber trade played an important role in New England’s economy from Colonial days through the mid-19th century, supplying the vast quantities of lumber which a rapidly growing nation demanded. While Cape Ann’s woodlands were depleted early on, timber continued to be harvested from northern New England and the Maritime Provinces right up to the Civil War.
With a deep and safe harbor, Gloucester often served as a layover spot where vessels bound from Maine to Boston, New York or Baltimore and heavily laden with lumber could ride out bad weather. Because of this, Fitz Henry Lane’s paintings of Gloucester Harbor often show a schooner or a brig, loads of lumber clearly visible on their decks, sheltering along the Western Shore.
Details about Maine's lumber trade in 1855, see pp. 250–52