SOS - save our smokehouse

Lubec Landmarks, Inc., a 501(c)(3) non-profit charity, is raising funds to restore the McCurdy's Smokehouse Complex, the last operating herring smokehouse facility in the United States. This campaign used to be called "Save our Brining Shed," but unfortunately, a big storm in January 2018 destroyed Briney, sending her on a voyage down the Lubec Narrows, under the Lubec-Campobello bridge, and onto the beach on Campobello Island, New Brunswick, Canada. It was an international news event, not one of our proudest moments.

Donations to the previous campaign are still being held in a restricted "Preservation Fund" for our current project, to lift the South Smokehouse and Sawdust Shed buildings onto taller pilings, and to replace the wharf which was destroyed in a storm in 1997, so that all four of the buildings in the complex will be at the same height, and connected via a wharf to each other. (If any of our previous donors does not support this project to save the smokehouse, please let us know and we will gladly return your donation.)

The McCurdy Smokehouse Complex (located in the fishing village of Lubec, Maine) has been on the National Register of Historic Sites since 1993.  As stewards of this collection of four buildings, Lubec Landmarks goal is to restore and stabilize these buildings which make up an integral part of our town's historic waterfront as well as keep the story of the process of smoked herring alive through guided tours and talks every summer.  

Lubec Landmarks is currently seeking  $125,000 in donations from our friends and neighbors to match grants that we have received and are still pursuing.  The repairs will allow Lubec Landmarks to make all our buildings ADA accessible and to expand the McCurdy's Smokehouse Museum.  

The Board Members, staff and volutneers of Lubec Landmarks/McCurdy Smokehouse Museum would like to thank you all for your support in helping us save this important piece of our town's history.  

(above) Tony Jans, a board member of Lubec Landmarks, helps to replace a rotted piling under the South Smokehouse, July 26, 2019.

We learned from the Briney disaster that we need to keep up with maintenance of pilings until we can afford to do major improvements. Volunteer crews worked several days during summer 2019 replacing pilings and diagonal bracing, and deck boards on the deck outside the Skinning Shed building that currently houses our Historic McCurdy Herring Smokehouse Museum. Besides the many hours of free labor donated by our helpful volunteers, we received donations of building materials from several individuals, including hackmatack piling logs from Brannin Buehner.

Our short-term goal is to stabilize the buildings so that they'll last through another storm season until we get the funds to properly elevate them. Our two low-lying buildings occasionally have extreme high tides washing their floors. If an extreme tide event coincides with a severe storm, disaster could strike again. Time is of the essence!!!

Donations (19)

  • Bonnie Beard
    • $50 
    • 4 yrs


Samuel Winch
Lubec, ME

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