EAC’s Sunday Afternoons at the Arts Center series will continue at 3 pm, Sunday, March 27, with a presentation from Raye’s Mustard Mill: From 19th Century Sardines to a 21st Century Boutique Business, on March 27. Karen and Kevin Raye, 4th generation owners of the business, will talk about the history and the future of America’s last remaining traditional stone-ground mustard mill. The second oldest business in Eastport, J.W. Raye and Company played a pivotal role in Maine’s once-dominant sardine industry. Today the historic mill is the last of the city’s traditional manufacturing businesses still in operation and features a rare example of genuine Second Industrial Revolution machinery still in use.
The Rayes will discuss the survival of the venerated business through more than 120 years, their collaboration with other Maine food producers and their efforts to ensure the future of the mill as both a significant tourist attraction and a source of traditional manufacturing jobs. Those efforts include plans for construction of a new building to house a Museum showcasing the history of the mill and the local sardine industry and preserving the one-of-a-kind equipment for future generations to see in operation.
Sunday Afternoons at the Arts Center programs are held in the Washington Street Gallery, downstairs at EAC. Voluntary donations sustain these programs; no one will be turned away for lack of funds. Proceeds are shared equally between the presenters and EAC constituent group The Concert Series, which offers year-round programming run by volunteers. The series runs at 3 pm Sundays, including March 27, April 4 and April 10, and will conclude in May (date TBA) with a presentation by Mark DeVoto. For more information, and to view the rest of the series lineup, please visit https://eastportartscenter.org/constituent-groups/the-concert-series/.
Eastport Arts Center is at 36 Washington Street, Eastport, and is handicapped-accessible. EAC abides by State of Maine CDC COVID guidelines. Additionally, at this time, patrons are required to wear masks when in the EAC building. Weather-related program postponements will be announced by 11 am on the day of the event, on the EAC site and Facebook page, and on the Center’s answering machine: (207) 853-4650.