1905, 1907 & 1910 ORIGINAL MANUSCRIPT JOURNALS, LOGS AND DIARIES OF THE STEAM YACHT 'ARIA' - OWNED BY THE STORIED ONE-TIME MAYOR OF BANGOR MAINE EDWARD H. BLAKE
On offer are the original, manuscript diaries for 1905, 1907 and 1910 handwritten by Samuel M. Conley [b.1858] of Brewer Maine. Mr. Conley writes this as part logbook, part diary and part record of commerce as the yacht steams out of Bangor Maine and all through the Penobscot Bay and beyond. These books detail his dedication and devotion to the ship which is almost constantlt on the water in season. At first reading, given Conley approach to the subject one believes he is the owner of the yacht but in fact he appears to be the commander, captain or otherwise master of the crewman and the yacht which belongs to Edward H. Blake [1856-1922] one time mayor of Bangor Maine as evidenced by a newspaper clipping provides: "Hon. E. H. Blake's steam yacht, Aria, sailed Sunday for New York with the owner, Dr. E. T. Nealey, F. H. Appleton, and Col. I. K. Stetson on board. They will attend the Hudson-Fulton celebration." Another online source states: "Mr. Blake's Steam Yacht Aria. One of the latest additions to the fleet of new yachts in eastern waters is the steam yacht Aria, built by the Gas Engine and Power Company and Charles L. Seabury & Co. at Morris Heights, for Edward H. Blake of Bangor Maine. A member of Portland Yacht Club. The Aria was successfully launched recently from the yards of the builders. The vessel was named by Miss Gertrude Chittick, of Each Orange, N.J. The new yacht is flush deck, schooner rigged, 165 feet over all, 138 feet on waterline, 18 feet beam, and 8 feet extreme draught. She is built entirely of steel and in the finish of the forward deckhouse, skylights and all deck fittings, there is embodied steel with teak and mahogany wood construction. The Aria is equipped with a single screw, a Seabury triple expansion engine of 1,000 horse power, which is guaranteed to give her a speed of twenty miles an hour, and two Seabury boilers." Mr. Conley takes us beyond the clippings to an intimate look at the work and workings of running the yacht and he details the Captain's Rooms, the chef they hire, the uniforms for all the officers, the upkeep during the off season, and much more. Ports of call: Northport Wharf, Winter Post, Somes Sound, Bar Harbor, Keach, Dennett's Wharf, Bucks Harbor, Hard Head, Hunt Harbor Isles, Stockton Harbor, Hugh's Point, Ryder's Cove, Fox Island, Eastern Bay, Rockland Wharf, Eggemoggin Reach, Cranberry and Sutton Islands, Seal Harbor, Squirrel Island, Eagle Island, Brooksville Wharf, Cape Small Point, Pumpkin Island, Crie Haven, Castine, Cape Cod, Sequim, City Island, New London, Pt. Judith, and many more. The diaries, 7" x 8 ½" so you get a good amount of handwritten entries in each. The sailing season seems to be from May or June (depending on when the ice clears) to the first part of October. During that time Samuel seems to be always on the yacht. In the off season he's either working on the yacht or the yacht house or spending brief moments with his family although the boat seems to be his main focus. Here are some snippets: 1905 "January 13th, Fair and cold with fresh Westerly wind. Went to the yacht today. Cleaned the remaining half of the kitchen and varnished the part cleaned yesterday. Mertie, Rena, Cora and I went to public invitation of officers of Workman Lodge this evening." "March 11th, Fine weather, northerly wind. Went to office today. Went to yacht today. Measured yacht for wheel ropes. Neat length 233 feet 2 inches not allowing for splices. Capt. Brown went to Orrington." "April 1st, Partly cloudy with strong N.W. wind and occasionally a snow squall. Worked on yacht all day. Got bottom partly painted. Bon Lon was launched and made his first run today. Carried 14 blankets on board. Harry Chase commenced to sleep on board." "April 18th, Fine weather. Wind strong westerly. Mr. Blake was at yacht today. Crew at work on launch. Wire rope came today. Jim, Harry, Charlie, Dick commenced to board at Commercial. Joe boarding himself at Horse Head. 5 dollars." "May 10th, Fine weather with strong westerly wind. Was at yacht all day. Mr. Blake and Jimmie Neally were down on board. Carried them back with launch. Chef Smith and Ernest came today." "May 11th, Fine weather. Strong northerly. Finished stack chipping today. Doctors youngest was on board in p.m. Had dinner on board today for the first time this season." "June 4th, Fine clear weather in a.m. Wind fresh. W. S. W. At 2 p.m. left Camden for Ragged Island to fish. Got there at 4:05 p.m. Fished 1 hour 5 minutes and left for Castine at 5:10 p.m. Anchored off Dermet's Wharf. Castine at 8:10 p.m. Later part raining. Wind light and southerly." "June 10th, Fine weather with light southerly wind. At 6:30 a.m. left Northport for Bangor. At 8:50 we stopped off Winterport for guests to go on shore and telephone. At 9:10 a.m. left Winterport and arrived in Bangor at 10:30 a.m. Left again at 2:40 p.m. with party of six and anchored in S. W. Harbor at 7:35 p.m. for the night. Partly cloudy in p.m." "June 11th, At 9:50 a.m. left S. W. Harbor and went part way up Somes Sound. Turned and went to Bar Harbor and anchored there. At 11:30 a.m. guests went on shore for awhile and returned. Left Bar Harbor at 1:50 p.m. and came through the Keach to Castine. Anchored at 5:35 p.m. off Dermet's Wharf. Still raining." "July 10th, Later commenced to rain. At 1:05 p.m. left Northport and had a brush with S. Y. Wishahickon of Philadelphia. At 2:10 p.m. anchored in Castine. At 4:41 p.m. left Castine with party of ladies for short sail. At 5:33 p.m. returned and anchored for the night. Ladies went on shore. Capt. sailed ship Jack against Bryant's sail boat at Northport and won by a dirt." "August 7th, At 8:05 a.m. left Rockland. At 10:30 passed Monitor, Nevada and Destroyers Lawrence off Verona on their way up to Bangor. Arrived in Bangor 12:05 p.m. Went at once to Boston Dock for coal. Took on 41925 lbs. and went off to anchor at 5:30 p.m…..wild party of 10 people on board." "September 10th, At 9:55 a.m. left Fort Point Cove. At 10:30 a.m. spoke to Schooners Augustus and Babcock and took on board Mr. Blake. At 12:46 p.m. anchored in Rockland and at 1:56 p.m. left Rockland. Went across the bay and through Fox Island thoroughfare and up Eastern Bay. Anchored in Castine at 4:55 p.m." "October 2nd, Took on 32500 lbs coal and at 1 p.m. left dock. At 1:15 p.m. fired gun and hauled down colors and so put yacht out of commission for season 1905. At 1:20 p.m. stopped at Stetson's for fenders. Left again 1:35 p.m. At 1:45 p.m. came back to Babcock's dock High Head to dismantle. Paid crew today for September." "October 28th, Lowest tide today that has been known for 25 years. The top of the dam being dry in the river from the extreme top to tide to the lowest low water mark, the distance is strong, 19 feet." "November 9th, Moved from No. 87 Union St. Brewer to No. 132 Union St. Brewer. This p.m. employed Frank Moor and C. Thayer. Got supper at new home, first meal. Did not go to yacht today." 1907 "January 28th, Worked in the forenoon and went to yacht in the afternoon. Worked on Capt. room. Telephone men run our wire from corner of Union and Summer Street to our house this afternoon. Carl Peterson came in evening. Trix and Rena went to city hall this evening to a dance and entertainment." "March 7th, Varnished chairs in the forenoon. Cora and I drove to the yacht in the afternoon and got measurements then went to Smith's Mill and got lumber for stewards room. Carried it to the boat then drove to town and on a short ride. Trixie went to Bangor to a dance in evening." "April 12th, Was at the yacht today all day. Doctor called this morning and found Rena's sutures better. Wrote to both mothers today. Called doctor to Rena in evening, she being hysterical. Crew working on bottom and light varnish work." "May 1st, At 12 noon started the cradle down a piece. At 1 p.m. run the cradle down until the yacht floated. We then winded her around and dropped her around to the launch yard of Little Pier when the Delta came along side and towed us to High Head Pier (Babcock's) where we are moored at 3 p.m." "June 8th, Rain showers at 5:30 p.m. Also thunder and lightening lasted about 40 minutes. Crew variously employed doing ships duty. S. Y. Helena arrived here from Boston about 4 p.m. New E. S. S. Co. City of Camden arrived about 6 p.m. Fine looking craft." "June 23rd, At 11:50 a.m. left West Brooksville for a sail. Went around Cape Rosier and down the Reach and past Pond Island and back through Casco Passage. Deer Island and Fox Island thoroughfares. To Western Penobscot Bay then run one mile course at half and full speed (8 and 12 knots) then came up Western Bay to Northport and anchored for the night at 7:05 p.m." "August 7th, At 3:15 p.m. unmoored and went to anchor off ferry. At 3:45 p.m. left Bangor. At 6:12 p.m. anchored in Castine. Saw the sunken sloop that the Woodbury raised yesterday. She lay in Wadsworth Cove with a little of her mainsail out of the water." (This was the sloop Ruth E. Cummack. When it capsized it drowned 6 young men of which 5 were from Bangor.) "August 11th, At 9:17 a.m. left Bar Harbor and at 10:00 a.m. anchored at Seal Harbor. At 2:30 p.m. left Seal Harbor for sail with a party of 24 guests. Went up Somes Sound around Cranberry and Baker's Island over to Grindstone and to Bar Harbor and back to Seal Harbor at 6:00 p.m. Anchored for the night." "October 1st, Went to the office today and got word that Mr. Blake did not want her out anymore this season. Went out of commission at 3:20 p.m. and hauled down colors. Paid crew today and let Drinkwater's, Appleby and 2nd cook go this p.m. Coldest day to date." "November 6th, At 12:30 p.m. tug Bismarck came and towed Aria from Rollin's Wharf to the little pier off Marine Railway Brewer. Made fast. Got all tied up at 2 p.m." "November 7th, At 9:30 a.m. started to haul yacht from little pier into slip preparatory to going on the railway. At 10:15 a.m. big Cradle was backed down. We hauled over and at 11:30 a.m. was hauled up to Head House. She is on the ways fine. Sits easy and upright as can be. Mr. Hatch undone cradle gear in p.m." 1910 "January 27th, Was at yacht today. Missed old propeller from yard today. Notified railway people. Cora much better today. Was around the house. Trixie came to supper after which she and Rena went to gaiety in eve. Saw Mr. Blake with his auto today. Paid A.O.U.W. card today." "January 31st, I got up at 4 a.m. and had the washing all out at 7:30 with mothers help from 5 a.m. Went to Bangor city hall at 9:30 a.m. to present case to police court. Found probable cause and Sabine vs. Inman were bound over to the February term at $1,000 bail each. Both were committed. I then got team and hauled propeller from Brown's yard to my residence in Brewer. Rena went to dance in eve. Was at office in a.m. at yacht in p.m." "March 1st, Left grandpies for Bangor at 9 a.m. was at yacht at 9:50 and over to office at 10:20 a.m. Drew $199 for Feb. bills on yacht and went to my house in Brewer to dinner. Left again about 2 p.m. Called at drug store for medicine also at Hardings for cigars and candy. Then went to yacht and paid mate and Johnson for Feb. and came back to Orrington. Got here about 5 p.m. I also ordered covers for yacht of Berry V. Smith while in Bangor." "April 12th, Finished painting red lead on the yachts bottom and commenced on roof taking off papers about noon. Over engine room. Mr. Gray went home his boy being sick. While working on roof in p.m. about 3:30 p.m. Mille Lord, one of the crew, fell from roof to beach striking in an upright position. Called Dr. Thomas who examined him finding no bones broken but somewhat shook up. He could walk and talk. About 5 p.m. I took him in team to his sisters 232 Wilson St. and notified the Dr. as to where he was. At last account he was very comfortable." "May 15th, At 4:25 a.m. left Booth Bay. Sequin bore west. 5:03, 5 miles distance. S by W. 7/8 W. course. Made Cape Cod 12:40 p.m. Cape Cod light bore west 1:15 p.m. Nauset 2:00 p.m. Chatham Whistling Bay 2:55. Passed Pollock Rip Shoals light ship at 3:15……Anchored in Vineyard Haven at 6:10 p.m. for the night. Had a very smooth run from Booth Bay." "June 28th, Left Morris Heights at 10 a.m. Took on compass adjuster at 11:30 at Columbia Yacht Club. Got through adjusting and set Capt. Tribble on board of S. Y. Emiline to adjust his compass at 12:50 a.m. and started on our way east. Passed Execution Rock at 3:15 p.m. Passed Middle Ground (North of it) at 5:45. Faulkner's Island abeam at 7:40. Cornfield Light ship abeam 8:40.……Anchored in New London at 10:10 p.m." "July 4th, At 9:15 left Northport. Arrived in Bangor at 12:20 p.m. Landed Over in Bangor and came to our dock in Brewer at 12:25 p.m. Dressed ship about 10 a.m. Flags in _____shape. Set decorating. Band in evening and illumination about 1 hour turning the power off about 9 p.m. Heard of Capt. Goodwin's death this noon. He died on July 2nd." "September 5th, Thick fog. At 1:30 p.m. got underway from Quincy Bay and at 2:00 p.m. anchored in Dorchester Bay off Squantum Aviation Field. Saw several flights during p.m."
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