Brining Shed

The Brining Shed, c. 1907 (LOST)

The Story
The Brining Shed, also called the pickling shed, was constructed in 1907 as part of the McCurdy Smokehouse complex. This was the last operating smoked herring processing facility in the eastern United States when it closed in 1990, and is the only complex still intact. The furthest building from shore, fishing vessels would pull up to the brining shed and have their herring catch pumped out on the east side of the building. After time spent pickling in wooden brine tanks fish were strung them by their gills on long sticks which were placed on ‘horses’ and allowed to harden. All of the equipment associated with this process remains in the building, which as part of the McCurdy Smokehouse complex was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1993. Lubec Landmarks has restored and maintains the other buildings in the complex which are open to the public guided tours and talks every summer as an integral part of the town's historic waterfront The Brining Shed is the last building in the complex that Landmarks is seeking to save.

The Threat
Severe damage to the building occurred during the blizzard of March 2017 and a June windstorm, requiring immediate repair and stabilization. Additionally, years of wind, tidal changes and winter storms in the channel between Lubec and Campobello Island have taken their toll on the pilings. It is essential that stabilization begin before next winter.

The Solution
Lubec Landmarks is currently seeking emergency funds to repair and stabilize the brining shed, which is estimated to cost a minimum of $125,000. This funding will repair the collapsed wall as well as stabilize pier supports the shed rests on. More extensive restoration procedures will need to be implemented soon, including constructing new piers on which to rest the shed, reconnecting it to the complex. Full restoration of the building will allow it to become an integral part of the McCurdy's Smokehouse Museum.