Cape Neddick Lobster Pound Cape Neddick Weddings and Rehearsal Dinners

Today at the Pound

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  OPEN WEDNESDAY THROUGH FRIDAY 5:00 -  CLOSE

 SATURDAY AND SUNDAY NOON TO CLOSE

CLOSING FOR SEASON SATURDAY, OCTOBER 21ST

COME HELP US CELBRATE WITH YORK'S FINEST BAND

JOHNNY WAD & THE CASH


FOR EMPLOYMENT INQUIRIES, PLEASE EMAIL thepound@capeneddick.com


Hours

CURRENT HOURS

 WEDNESDAY, THURSDAY AND FRIDAY AT 5:00 P.M. 

SATURDAY AND SUNDAY AT NOON 

FOR EMPLOYMENT INQUIRIES, PLEASE EMAIL thepound@capeneddick.com




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A History of Cape Neddick & The Lobster Pound

 

Though the Cape Neddick of today seems a sleepy, unhurried, seaside community, the area has a colorful history dating back to the time of the Vikings, who began “intermarrying” with the region’s indigenous Indians, the Shuggs, as soon as they landed their serpent headed crafts in the sands of Cape Neddick Beach over 1000 years ago.  The Vikings made no year-round settlements, preferring to camp for the brief warm season on the point opposite the beach and retire for the winter to Boon Island, eleven miles out to sea, which, being in the gulf Stream, enjoys the climate of Bermuda or St. Augustine. 

By the time the Englishman Captain John Cabot arrived six hundred years later, the only vestige of Viking influence were blue-eyed, reddish skinned men and women (whose offspring can still be seen today sunning themselves on Cape Neddick Beach.)  Cabot named the area Cape No Edict, flaunting English defiance of France’s Edict of Nantes.  Cabot had been at sea for a long time and was anxious to start colonizing immediately. His followers, mostly traders and trappers, built the original portion of what is now The Lobster Pound as a tanning factory, employing many Shuggs as slave laborers.  However, fashion was as fickle then as now, and within a few years leather was out of style and the English were forced to relocate to the Carolinas to raise silkworms.  They were replaced by the Spanish and the
tanning factory became a Jesuit mission, El Nedico.  The Shuggs were converted to Christianity and were encouraged to remain at the mission as slave laborers, or else be hanged.

The mission flourished for almost a hundred years, however in 1640, with leather again in fashion, cavaliers from the French garrison in Quebec, seized the mission renamed the settlement Cape Edict and re-established the tanning factory.  Mercifully they granted the Spanish safe passage to the West Indies and allowed the Shuggs to stay on as slaves.

British ascendancy in the French and Indian Wars in 1756 brought an end to the French leather industry in “Mayne” and the area now became Cape N’dect and remained so until the Revolution, when the ending was Americanized to its current Neddick.  For the next few decades the building was used as a fishnet factory, making stockings and accessories for the wives and loved-ones of local fishermen.

During the Civil War the structure was a ticket station on the Underground Railroad. If you glance toward sunset you will find the remains of the trestle that crossed the marsh to the north and freedom. Over the next 100 years the building gained many additions, or “U”s as
they are called in Maine, as it subsequently became a post office, a health spa during the depression, a Coast Guard Station during World War 11, and finally a lobster pound.

In the 50’s and 60’s The Lobster Pound would voluntarily closed for the week of the fourth of July so the Historic York Militia could use the building as an armory.  In 1969 most of the original structure was destroyed in an overzealous re-enactment of the Battle of Yorktown.  This unfortunate event left only the cozy two winged structure in which you now sit.

As
told by Peter Agrafiotis, P.H.B.S