"Where the Rail Meets the Sea"
The diorama depicts passenger ferries Sappho and Sebenoa docked at the Maine Central Railroad terminal at Rockland Harbor, circa 1890. On the opposite side of the wharf is the three-masted coat schooner William D. Marvel, which is shown off-loading the valuable fuel resource.
The steamer Sappho was built in Bath, Maine in 1886, for summer service from Bar Harbor to Mt. Desert Island. Because she was intended to ferry wealthy summer residents, no expense was spared in making her comfortable and attractive. Ahead of her time in styling and luxury appointments, she was a well-loved favorite among the early Maine Central fleet. In 1916, the Sappho left the service of Maine Central and headed to New York, where she ran the Glen Island route.
In 1919, she was purchased by the Blackstone Valley Transportation Co. and renamed the Pawtucket. Through WWI, she ran cargoes of high explosives on the Delaware River and in 1924, she returned to Rockland for refitting as a freighter. In the 1930's, the Sappho was further refitted with a diesel engine. Considered to be too old for useful service during WWII, in 1942, the government took her new engine and reinstalled it in a patrol ship. She was finally abandoned in 1948.
The smaller Sebenoa was also built in Bath in 1880 for the Eastern Steamboat Co. She ran between Bath and Booothbay harbor until 1884, when she was sold to the Maine Central Railroad. She was the first steamer on the Mount Desert Ferry Service. Later, she ran between Dark Harbor, Islesboro and Rockland, and as the spare boat on the Vinalhaven route. In 1920, she was sold and served as a towboat in Bridgeport, CT, until 1928, when she was abandoned.
Optional table measures: 40 1/4”L 22”H (off floor) 24”W