The Howland Brothers: Coopers

[House at 2043 Main Road]


The Howland brothers owned three cooper shops where they made oil casks. One resident recalls how they performed an exceptional feat by replacing one stave in a barrel that remained filled with oil. “They’d roll it so the rotted stave was on top and somehow hold the barrel together with wedges while they took off the top rotted stave.” Another resident recalled Leander Brightman who made bungs for the casks using power from a windmill.

2043 Main Road

The lot on which this 20th century Cape sits was used as a storage area for casks of whale oil. Even after the demise of the whaling industry, casks sat on this site covered with seaweed and canvas to await a higher price.

[The William and Zoeth Howland obituaries are from the WHS collection]

Zoeth Howland