GOULDSBORO — For reasons that Dana Rice Sr. says are anything but sentimental, the lobster dealer would like to see the lobster pound he recently purchased on Bunker’s Harbor preserved as working waterfront for generations to come.True, his great-grandfather was the pound keeper there, as were his wife Barbara’s grandfather and father, but Rice said his motivation is less about family and more about helping to maintain a critical local industry — lobstering.
Rice was one of only two bidders on the old McLoon lobster pound March 3 in a foreclosure action against the owner, J.A. Brunton Inc. Rice paid $345,000 for the property, which includes more than 500 feet of water frontage, a two-story gambrel building, a garage with slab and loft, a wharf with a shed, and the 945-square-foot pound keeper’s house where Barbara Rice grew up.
His immediate plans include rebuilding the wharf and restoring the lobster pound, which he said has a capacity of about 70,000 to 75,000 pounds of lobster. Dealers use pounds to hold the lobsters while waiting for the price to increase or to allow a newly molted lobster time to harden its shell.
Currently Rice buys lobster from 21 lobstermen in Bunker’s Harbor and a few in Prospect Harbor, and would like to expand to add more suppliers. He sells 90 percent of his lobsters to Garbo Lobster in Groton, Conn., which also has facilities in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Maine.