The Last South End Snow

By Sandra Sylvester | Feb 03, 2014
Source: Rockland Historical Society Rockland Harbor & I.L. Snow & Co. Shipyard, 1894.

Knox County —  

(Former police chief for Rockland, Bertram Snow, cousin to Richard Snow, still maintains a home in the South End, which makes Richard one of the last Snows in the South End.)

 

We said goodbye to Richard Maurice Snow, age 97, on October 8, 2013. He was the last Snow of the well-known Snow Shipyard fame to have a home in the South End, where that dynasty began in 1862.

My friend, Ruth Wade, reminded me of his death of which I wasn’t aware when she commented on the story I wrote last month, “Rockland’s Sea Captains: Hiram and Albert F. Pillsbury. He was a good friend of Ruth’s.

Before we look at Richard Snow’s life, I would like to give you an overview of Snow Shipyard and the Snow family who had a family home on Mechanic Street in Rockland’s South End. I have given you some references which you might want to look into further if you are interested in this dynamic family.

From Rocky Coast News, Oct. 2013

Old Snow Shipyard Gallery

Doug Mills

RCN America network

“Rockland, Maine - The old Snow Shipyard was started in 1862 and produced wooden boats on the south side of Rockland Maine till the mid 1940's.  Rockland Marine still maintains a railway for repairs and refit.  The rest of the property houses the Sail, Power and Steam Museum, operated by Jim Sharp, a longtime schooner captain on the coast of Maine.

Though there are no more ships being built here one can still see signs of the old railways that launched so many ships from the south end of Rockland, Maine.”

You can find pictures of ships from the yard here.

From Greg Gibson on this site:

“We used wooden ships during WWII.

 In 1940s: This is an archive of 400 photographs and construction records from Snow Shipyards in Rockland Maine. It shows that they built any number of tugs, minesweepers, net layers and rescue ships employing essentially the same wooden ship construction methods that had been in use a century before.

Why? Because all these vessels had to work safely in the vicinity of submarine mines, and hence could not have metal hulls.”

There are 400 photos of the yard on this site.

The picture here is from the Rockland Historical Society Facebook Page: “A nice view of Rockland Harbor and I.L. Snow & Co. shipyard taken on August 1894 from the home of Capt. Richard K. Snow on Ocean Avenue in Owls Head. I.L. Snow & Co. (named after the owner Capt. Israel Larkin Snow) built 13 vessels between 1886-1917.”

The odd part about this picture is that there is no breakwater out in the harbor. It was just being built at that time.

There are some genealogy materials available if you search hard enough. Richard Snow did write some of it for family use only. There is a lot of information on Shipbuilding and the Snow’s part in it in Shore Village Story, starting on page 125. Check with the Rockland Historical Society.

Richard Maurice Snow

Richard Maurice Snow is a good example of a Southender who has traveled “Beyond the Southend,” accomplished many things, and then returned to Rockland to retire and share his experiences and the knowledge he gained while he was away with us.

The following information comes from Richard’s obituary. See the Burpee, Carpenter & Hutchins Funeral Home site for the full obituary. I have edited it for space reasons here.

ROCKLAND - Richard Maurice Snow, 97, died at his home, Tuesday, October 8, 2013 at 6:55 am after a short illness.

Born in Rockland, March 2, 1916, he was the son of Maurice and Stella Farnham Snow. He attended Rockland schools and was a 1934 graduate of Rockland High School. Following graduation he worked at the former Snow Shipyard, now Rockland Marine Corp in their yacht building endeavors until entering college.

He earned a BS degree in Physics at Wheaton College in Illinois. Following college graduation in 1939 he entered the Army Air Corps as a Flying Cadet, earning his pilot’s wings and a commission as 2nd Lt. in 1940, and was assigned to Kelley Army Air Base in San Antonio, TX, as a Flight Instructor, Advanced Flying School. Later he was promoted to Captain and commanded a Squadron at Kelley.

He married his wife, Carleen White, in 1940 while still serving in the Army/Air Force. They had two children: David, born in 1943, and Charles, born in 1945.

In 1951 he moved the family to Laconia, New Hampshire, where he had his own practice for 30 years. During this period he was promoted to Lt. Colonel in the Air Force Reserves, being a member and eventually commander of a squadron at Grenier Air Field in Manchester. He retired from his military career in 1967 after 28 years.

Following retirement in 1982 Dr. Snow moved with his wife to Rockland, taking residence at the family homestead, his childhood home, on Mechanic Street. They wintered in St. Petersburg Florida, for the next 15 years, where he volunteered his professional services in the Eye Clinic of the Bay Pines VA Medical Center.

In retirement, Dr. Snow collaborated with his cousin, Bertram Snow, in the research and recording of the Snow family genealogy and history, including the Snow Shipyard and its fleet of sailing vessels over a 75 year period. They co-authored “An Adventurous History of the Snow Fleet of Sailing Vessels of Rockland, Maine”, copies of which are in the Rockland Public Library, Penobscot Marine Museum, and Maine Maritime Museum.

Dr. Snow enjoyed sailing on the windjammers Heritage and American Eagle out of Rockland several times each summer, experiencing some of the seafaring life of his master mariner grandfather Capt. Richard K. Snow and master mariner great-grandfather Captain I. L. Snow, co-founder of the former I. L. Snow Co. shipyard, now the Rockland Marine Corp. shipyard on Mechanic St.

The South End will certainly miss having a “Snow” presence in their midst. However, the name will always be associated with the South End and the fact that some of the best boat-building in the world has the name “Snow” attached to it.

Our South End poet, Kendall Merriam, paid homage to Richard on his 96th birthday in this poem which I now share with you:

 

THE PILOT

We said goodbye to Richard Maurice Snow, age 97, on October 8, 2013. He was the last Snow of the well-known Snow Shipyard fame to have a home in the South End, where that dynasty began in 1862.

My friend, Ruth Wade, reminded me of his death of which I wasn’t aware when she commented on the story I wrote last month, “Rockland’s Sea Captains: Hiram and Albert F. Pillsbury. He was a good friend of Ruth’s.

Before we look at Richard Snow’s life, I would like to give you an overview of Snow Shipyard and the Snow family who had a family home on Mechanic Street in Rockland’s South End. I have given you some references which you might want to look into further if you are interested in this dynamic family.

From Rocky Coast News, Oct. 2013

Old Snow Shipyard Gallery

Doug Mills

RCN America network

“Rockland, Maine - The old Snow Shipyard was started in 1862 and produced wooden boats on the south side of Rockland Maine till the mid 1940's.  Rockland Marine still maintains a railway for repairs and refit.  The rest of the property houses the Sail, Power and Steam Museum, operated by Jim Sharp, a longtime schooner captain on the coast of Maine.
Though there are no more ships being built here one can still see signs of the old railways that launched so many ships from the south end of Rockland, Maine.”

You can find pictures of ships from the yard here.

From Greg Gibson on this site:

“We used wooden ships during WWII.

 In 1940s: This is an archive of 400 photographs and construction records from Snow Shipyards in Rockland Maine. It shows that they built any number of tugs, minesweepers, net layers and rescue ships employing essentially the same wooden ship construction methods that had been in use a century before.

Why? Because all these vessels had to work safely in the vicinity of submarine mines, and hence could not have metal hulls.”

There are 400 photos of the yard on this site.

The picture here is from the Rockland Historical Society Facebook Page: “A nice view of Rockland Harbor and I.L. Snow & Co. shipyard taken on August 1894 from the home of Capt. Richard K. Snow on Ocean Avenue in Owls Head. I.L. Snow & Co. (named after the owner Capt. Israel Larkin Snow) built 13 vessels between 1886-1917.”

The odd part about this picture is that there is no breakwater out in the harbor. It was just being built at that time.

There are some genealogy materials available if you search hard enough. Richard Snow did write some of it for family use only. There is a lot of information on Shipbuilding and the Snow’s part in it in Shore Village Story, starting on page 125. Check with the Rockland Historical Society.

Richard Maurice Snow

Richard Maurice Snow is a good example of a Southender who has traveled “Beyond the Southend,” accomplished many things, and then returned to Rockland to retire and share his experiences and the knowledge he gained while he was away with us.

The following information comes from Richard’s obituary. See the Burpee, Carpenter & Hutchins Funeral Home site for the full obituary. I have edited it for space reasons here.

ROCKLAND - Richard Maurice Snow, 97, died at his home, Tuesday, October 8, 2013 at 6:55 am after a short illness.

Born in Rockland, March 2, 1916, he was the son of Maurice and Stella Farnham Snow. He attended Rockland schools and was a 1934 graduate of Rockland High School. Following graduation he worked at the former Snow Shipyard, now Rockland Marine Corp in their yacht building endeavors until entering college.

He earned a BS degree in Physics at Wheaton College in Illinois. Following college graduation in 1939 he entered the Army Air Corps as a Flying Cadet, earning his pilot’s wings and a commission as 2nd Lt. in 1940, and was assigned to Kelley Army Air Base in San Antonio, TX, as a Flight Instructor, Advanced Flying School. Later he was promoted to Captain and commanded a Squadron at Kelley.

He married his wife, Carleen White, in 1940 while still serving in the Army/Air Force. They had two children: David, born in 1943, and Charles, born in 1945.

In 1951 he moved the family to Laconia, New Hampshire, where he had his own practice for 30 years. During this period he was promoted to Lt. Colonel in the Air Force Reserves, being a member and eventually commander of a squadron at Grenier Air Field in Manchester. He retired from his military career in 1967 after 28 years.

Following retirement in 1982 Dr. Snow moved with his wife to Rockland, taking residence at the family homestead, his childhood home, on Mechanic Street. They wintered in St. Petersburg Florida, for the next 15 years, where he volunteered his professional services in the Eye Clinic of the Bay Pines VA Medical Center.

In retirement, Dr. Snow collaborated with his cousin, Bertram Snow, in the research and recording of the Snow family genealogy and history, including the Snow Shipyard and its fleet of sailing vessels over a 75 year period. They co-authored “An Adventurous History of the Snow Fleet of Sailing Vessels of Rockland, Maine”, copies of which are in the Rockland Public Library, Penobscot Marine Museum, and Maine Maritime Museum.

Dr. Snow enjoyed sailing on the windjammers Heritage and American Eagle out of Rockland several times each summer, experiencing some of the seafaring life of his master mariner grandfather Capt. Richard K. Snow and master mariner great-grandfather Captain I. L. Snow, co-founder of the former I. L. Snow Co. shipyard, now the Rockland Marine Corp. shipyard on Mechanic St.

The South End will certainly miss having a “Snow” presence in their midst. However, the name will always be associated with the South End and the fact that some of the best boat-building in the world has the name “Snow” attached to it.

Our South End poet, Kendall Merriam, paid homage to Richard on his 96th birthday in this poem which I now share with you:

 

THE PILOT

 

                        On The Occasion of Richard Snow’s 96th Birthday

 

                        Tomorrow you will be at Wheaton

                        Celebrating among friends

                        You have lived almost a century

                        Flying from schooners

                        To B-24s

                        Life here in Rockland

                        Is simple and quiet

                        No one out today except plows

                        And a few hardy travelers

                        I just wonder how any ship

                        Would make it into the harbor

                        The day you were born

                        With a stiff easterly

                        And ice on the sails

                        So many ships

                        Were launched on the Mechanic Street shore

                        And went on to win fortune

                        Or meet dire disaster

                        You were chosen to survive

                        By God’s mercy

                        You still love Rockland

                        With the smell of the ocean

                        And the view of the lights of Owls Head

                        It’s a good place

                        And you are a good man

                        Helping defend your country

                        From the evils of dictators

                        You try to convince Phyllis and me

                        Of the existence of Angels

                        But you come closer to that

                        Than any Heavenly spirit

                        From books and Hymns

                        So we await your return

                        To make the street

                        More interesting and lively

                        With your tales of the past

                        And your advice on how to do good

                        As you do

                        And be happy in this small town

                        Bounded by the sea

                        From which all life came

 

                        Kendall Merriam, Home 3/1/12 9:28 PM

                        Listening to Jean Sibelius “Symphony No. 2 & 7”

 

I hope you enjoyed this little bit of history from the South End. Do you have a “Snow” memory you’d like to share with us? If so, email me at southendstories@aol.com. For a more complete story including pictures, please go to www.southendstories.blogspot.com. Thanks for listening.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                   

 

 

 

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