In this illustrated talk, distinguished speakers Julia A. Hunter and Earle G. Shettleworth, Jr. will present two unique perspectives from their 2003 book Fly Rod Crosby: The Woman Who Marketed Maine. In their own words, “Cornelia ‘Fly Rod’ Crosby (1854-1946) stood six feet tall, was the first woman to legally shoot a caribou in Maine, held the first Maine Guide license issued, caught 200 trout in one day (she was an early advocate of catch-and-release)…was friends with Annie Oakley, and worked tirelessly to promote the sporting life in Maine.”
Hunter will share details from Fly Rod’s life, her contributions to recreation, sport, and tourism in Maine’s wilderness, her employment as a travel writer for the Maine Central Railroad Company, and her position as a prominent female figure in turn of the century New England. Shettleworth will delve into the work of photographer Edwin R. Starbird, who dedicated decades of his life to documenting the natural beauty and culture of Maine’s woods. Fly Rod, with her grand stature, was an iconic figure in Starbird’s work. Hunter and Shettleworth combined have over 100 archival photographs to share. The talk will take place from 1-2:30PM. Copies of Fly Rod Crosby: The Woman Who Marketed Maine will be available for purchase and autograph. Fun fact: Fly Rod would have celebrated her 164th birthday on November 10!
For those who would like to learn to tie a fly, from 12-1PM and 2:30-3:30PM, Capt. Forrest Faulkingham from Maine Saltwater Outfitters & Guide Service will be demonstrating fly-tying and will be offering free lessons. Participants will learn to tie a fly they can take home! Fly-tying lessons are first come, first served, last approximately 15 minutes, and accommodate 4-6 participants at a time. This extra-special, hands-on experience embodies the skills of Fly Rod Crosby and her legacy as an adept fly fisherwoman.
After you’ve tied a fly, step up to Boothbay Railway Village’s own 1871 Thorndike Station, which once belonged to the Belfast and Moosehead Lake Railroad, to see the museum’s exhibit Maine: Vacationland in which Fly Rod features prominently. Head across the tracks to the Maine Narrow Gauge exhibit to learn about the system of railroads that carried Fly Rod and her fellow sportsmen into the wild. Exhibits will also be open from 12-1PM and 2:30-3:30PM.
The illustrated talk, along with fly-tying demonstrations and lessons, will take place inside the museum’s historic 1847 Boothbay Town Hall. The event is FREE, a $5 suggested donation is appreciated. Celebrate Fly Rod! is part of the museum’s ongoing education program Primer: Lessons with Experts and Masters and is sponsored by Bath Savings Institution. For more information please call 207-633-4727.
About the Presenters
Capt. Forrest Faulkingham is a U.S. Coast Guard licensed charter captain and holds a Maine Master Tidewater Fishing and Sea Kayaking Guide license. In addition, he serves as an examiner on the Inland Fisheries & Wildlife Maine Guide Exam Board. He has spent 40 years chasing gamefish with flyrods and conventional tackle and teaching others how to tie and cast.
Julia A. Hunter served on staff at the Maine State Museum for more than two decades. First as an educator, running the Cultural Resources Information Office, then as the Curator for Art and Archives, and finally as the Registrar and Curator of Textiles. Her interest in Fly Rod Crosby grew from observing people’s attraction to photos of Fly Rod that were on exhibit. A graduate of Dartmouth College and the Cooperstown Graduate Program in History Museum Studies, she is also the editor of Anna May: Eighty-Two Years in New England and the author of The Blaines at Home, based on the letters of Harriet Stanwood (Mrs. James G.) Blaine. Hunter is now Collections Manager for the Issaquah History Museums serving the greater Seattle metro area. She continues to tell the stories of intelligent women living in former times, working with archival collections to make their own writing publicly available, and writing about their lives.
Earle G. Shettleworth, Jr. has served as Maine State Historian since 2004. A native of Portland, he became interested in historic preservation in 1961 at the age of thirteen, when he witnessed the destruction of Portland’s Union Station. A year later he joined the Sills Committee, which founded Greater Portland Landmarks in 1964. He attended Colby College and Boston University and in 1971 was appointed by Governor Curtis to serve on the first board of the Maine Historic Preservation Commission, for which he became architectural historian in 1973 and director in 1976. He retired from that position in 2015. Shettleworth has lectured and written extensively on Maine history and architecture, his most recent publication being Maine Photography: A History, 1840-2015, which he co-authored in 2015. Shettleworth is the recipient of honorary doctorates from Bowdoin College and the Maine College of Art for his commitment to historic preservation in Maine.