Out to the Monument- On Ice, Belfast, Mar. 1905

The winter of 1905 was hard, but not as hard as the winter before. Temperatures seldom rose above 12 degrees Fahrenheit. From early February until mid March, much of the upper Penobscot Bay was frozen solid, with 5 inches or more of ice. Steamboat travel was suspended. Newspaper reports beginning mid February told of people walking from Castine to Belfast and of an "ice bridge" to Islesboro on which teams pulled wagons and sleighs. The ice sometimes gave out: one man lost a boiler and engine and his horses when they broke through the ice going from Bucksport to Winterport. By March 8 the ice had been broken out of Rockland and a week later an ice jam at Fort Point was broken up by the steamer Reliance, freeing the river to Bangor.

March 5 must have been warm enough for Charles Coombs to take a camera out to the Monument marking Steels Ledge in Belfast Harbor for a photo shoot. Tripod mounted glass plate cameras were not easy to transport and set up. From the ice ring on the granite, it must have been nearly low tide. You can see the north shore of Belfast Harbor in the background, all fields and no trees. The Monument is crowned by a pole and a barrel. Now there is a flashing red light. A week or so later, all of this was gone.

Database ID: 
Geographic Location: 
Belfast, Maine
Charles Coombs