A memorial to Maine fishermen who have devoted their lives to the fishing the sea is located on Maine Avenue at the Waterfront.
It’s a curious place for a statue to lobster fishing, considering Washington, DC and the Chesapeake Bay is prime crab territory.
The statute is a copy of the original statute, commissioned by the state of Maine, for display when it participated in the 1939 World’s Fair in New York City. The state was exhibited the statute in the Hall of States, and intended to show the world what Maine was about and its impact on the global food supply.
Sculptor Victor Kahill created the larger-than-life bronze statue of a Maine fisherman kneeling while pegging a freshly caught lobster. To stop lobsters from killing each other in transit after being caught, a small wooden plug or peg is inserted into the joints of the lobster’s two claws. Today, rubber bands are more commonly used than wooden pegs.
There are about 50 varieties of lobsters, with about 10 types commercially fished. The largest lobster ever caught was an American lobster at just over 44 pounds. The typical lobster on sale at your local supermarket or restaurant is between 1½ and 3 pounds and must molt at least 20 times before reaching that size.
When the statue was initially unveiled, some Maine lobstermen were a bit disappointed about the fisherman’s clothing, as it was felt a sou’wester (waterproof oilskin overcoat) would be more reflective of a typical lobsterman from Maine. Fisherman also commented that the artist should have incorporated a dog with the fisherman, which was most typical of area fishermen as well as had the model bending over, not kneeling, to peg the lobster.
The original versions were made of plaster covered with bronze paint, but the DC version was created in the 1970s using the classic Greek and Chinese “lost wax” process.
Victor Kahill Maine Lobsterman Statue
Maine Avenue and M Street SW, between 6th and 7th St., at the Waterfront
Washington, DC (map it)
Dates and Times – viewable 24-hours daily
Admission – None required, as the statue is on a public sidewalk.
Parking – metered parking is available.