Passamaquoddy Ferry & Navigation Company stock certificate circa 1918
Uncommon Maine ferry piece with a nice eagle and shield vignette. Unissued and not cancelled. Circa 1918 from company records.
Incorporated in Maine in 1919, the ferry service which connected Cobscook Bay communities of Lubec, North Lubec, Eastport, and the Canadian Campobello Island. The company assumed control of the Passamaquoddy Ferry Company (estab. 1901).
Passamaquoddy Bay is an inlet of the Bay of Fundy, between the U.S. state of Maine and the Canadian province of New Brunswick, at the mouth of the St. Croix River. Most of the bay lies within Canada, with its western shore bounded by Washington County, Maine. The southernmost point is formed by West Quoddy Head on the U.S. mainland in Lubec, Maine; and runs northeasterly through Campobello Island, New Brunswick, engulfing Deer Island, New Brunswick, to the New Brunswick mainland head at L'Etete, New Brunswick in Charlotte County, New Brunswick.
After the American Revolution, Passamaquoddy Bay was the scene of a thriving smuggling trade. Smuggling peaked in 1808 during Jefferson's Embargo, when smugglers illegally moved tens of thousands of barrels of American flour from American territory into New Brunswick. During the War of 1812, a thriving illicit trade in British manufactured goods existed. After the War of 1812, the primary smuggled good was gypsum from Nova Scotia, which was usually deposited directly into American vessels on or near the border. Smuggling was winked at by both officials and locals in the region, who discouraged outside intervention by British or American authorities who wanted to stop or control it.
The exact demarcation of the border in Passamaquoddy Bay was a long-standing issue between the United States and Britain/Canada. Already the Treaty of Ghent, ending the War of 1812, included a provision for the appointment of "commissioners to divide the islands of Passamaquoddy Bay between the United States and Great Britain". Nevertheless, confusions and ambiguities on this issue persisted.
The southern boundaries of the bay are sometimes confused, since Deer Island sections off the large open waters of the bay; however, the terminology of the Passamaquoddy Bay Treaty of 1910 specifies that Passamaquoddy Bay runs south of Treat Island (one of the islands that now comprise the city of Eastport, Maine), between Campobello Island and Lubec, Maine.