The Maine Lobster Pound

The term "Maine Lobster Pound" generally causes a person to think that maybe lobsters from Maine have a different method of being weighed.

It's an interesting theory, but not even close to the actual meaning. If you start thinking of a dog pound, however, you're getting a little closer.

To get to the bottom of the term's history, you have to go back over 140 years.

Using a little Yankee ingenuity, Maine lobstermen had created a way of modifying their small vessels to keep their catch fresh while still at sea.

Lobsters are cold-blooded carnivores, like snakes. There was a tank inside the boat, with holes drilled to allow sea water to come through, swirl around, and keep the lobsters alive at their normal -- cold -- seawater temperature. Those boats were called "smacks".

Next, some clever lobstermen decided that the same could be done right off the coast.

The lobsters would be caught, brought in, and then kept in a location just offshore with lumber and nets while the lobsterman went out for more. Those areas were called lobster pounds. When the tide came in, it would swirl the water around, bring in food to the lobsters and take deposits back out to sea with it. Thus, the lobsters would always have cold, fresh water, a food source, and could stay in the pound until sold.

Once lobster became the elite food we know today, good businessmen figured out they could keep them fresh indefinitely in a Maine lobster pound while prices rose.

Where can you find a good lobster pound while visiting southern Maine? Glad you asked!

There are several excellent opportunities for you to visit a bona fide Maine lobster pound while visiting the area.

For the record, what we often call a lobster shack, referring to a small place that sells lobster to eat, is often also referred to as a lobster pound, and those establishments proudly serve lobster from their own saltwater tanks as well.

The Barn and Lobster in the Rough
1000 U.S. Route 1, York, Maine 03909

York Lobster and Fish Market
855 U.S. Route 1, York, ME 03909

Cape Neddick Lobster Pound
60 Shore Road Cape Neddick, ME 03902

Ogunquit Lobster Pound
504 Main Street (U.S. Route 1) Ogunquit, ME 03907

Warren's Lobster House
11 Water Street Kittery, ME 03904

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