Portfolio

When Wetherbee came to Block Island in 1948, the Highview Hotel was being renovated after the World War II.  Wetherbee struck a barter deal with the Highview's owner: his art for room and board.  This arrangement went on for several seasons and yielded a large body of work including a mural on the walls of the bar, now called Club Soda, and about nineteen paintings which, until recently, hung in the dining and guest rooms of the Highview.  While the mural can still be seen at the Highview, Wetherbee's paintings are now privately owned.


This portfolio of Wetherbee's paintings is organized as they appear in Wetherbee's Block Island. The mural reproductions are first, followed by the swordfishing paintings and then a series of Island scenes.  The mural covers about 125 feet of wall space.  It starts with a view of fishing boats in Old Harbor and travels around the Island depicting familiar landmarks such as Ballard's, Southeast Light, Smilin' Through Cottage, Beacon Hill, Champlin's Dock, Payne's Dock, Dead Eye's, the Hog Pen, the Weather Bureau and the Old Post Office back in Old Harbor.  There are twenty mural reproductions, nine reproductions of swordfishing paintings, which hung in the Highview Dining Room, and thirteen Island scenes, some of which are similar to scenes painted in the mural.


Custom Giclee reproductions of the Wetherbee paintings as they appear in Wetherbee's Block Island are available in several sizes.  Descriptions of each reproduction appear below.  Giclee reproductions are printed on Hahnemuhle FineArt Baryta acid free paper using archival inks and are published in limited editions of 100 per size. Larger size prints are available upon request.


A series of ten lithographs depicting portions of the murals and selected dining room paintings were published in 1996 and are available in the Store Section of this website where information about each lithograph can be found.  The lithographs are museum quality reproductions printed by Meridian Printing, East Greenwich, RI, on acid free paper using archival ink.


Swordfishing Boats in Old Harbor
Giclée
Paper 17" x 22", Image 10" x 20", $95.00
Paper 24" x 40", Image 18" x 38", $205.00
Paper 24" x 48", Image 22" x 46", $300.00
Reproduction of the Highview Mural

In this scene of Old Harbor, Captain Billy Meska sits looking over the swordfishing boats anchored along Old Harbor's inner breakwater.  The box he sits on bears the artist's signature, "H. D. Wetherbee".  Each boat, save one, is outfitted for swordfishing with a pulpit and a mast lookout station.  Pulpits had a "stand" where the striker stood to harpoon a swordfish.


The first boat in line is the MARGIE O.  The second boat is Captain Charlie Hall's black-hulled EDRIE L.  Next is a white-hulled boat skippered by Captain Mel Rose.  The green-hulled RAY, with a two-tone, black-and-white dory on her rear deck, floats in front of the grey-hulled AUDREY M.  The last boat, anchored along the turn in the breakwater is the EVAN N.  The green-hulled STANLEY can be seen coming into Old Harbor with Clay Head in the distance to the North.


The two retail fish market buildings were torn down in the 1960s by Interstate Navigation when it acquired the land.  The famous Lazy Bench (with two occupants, one smoking a pipe) sits outside the market.  The market to the right, which advertises "Live Lobsters," also has a bench with two fishermen talking things over.


Fish Boats at Old Harbor Retail Fish Market
Giclée
Paper 17" x 22", Image 12" x 20", $95.00
Paper 24" x 39", Image 22" x 37" , $240.00
Reproduction of the Highview Mural

Wetherbee's mural is an extension of the prior Old Harbor scene and looks to the East and the ocean side breakwater of Old Harbor.  Three fishing boats are tied to the dock in front of the Block Island Packing Co. (sign over the door) which advertises itself on the roof as a "Retail Fish Market."  Two of the boats show Block Island as their home port (the GENE and the MARIAN M.) while the third, the CARLENE, hails from Mystic, Conn.


Old Harbor - Ballard's Inn in the 1940's
Giclée
Paper 17" x 22", Image 14" x 20", $95.00
Paper 24" x 34", Image 22" x 32", $210.00
Reproduction of Highview Mural

This is how Wetherbee saw Ballard’s Inn.  The restaurant was known to almost everyone who came to the Island prior to 1986.  In June of that year, however, the building burned to the ground.  Its owner, Paul Filippi, quickly built a new Ballard's which opened the next year.


The original building was built in 1875 by M.S. Barber and was called Shore Dinner House.  Later it became the Old Harbor Lunch and in 1920 it was purchased by Henry and Alice Ballard who changed the name to Ballard's.  The building was severely damaged by the 1938 hurricane and in 1954 by hurricane Carol, but each time it was repaired.  The single-story extension to the left is the original dance hall, added in 1925, which was washed out to sea by the 1938 hurricane.  It was later towed into Old Harbor and lifted back into place.  The building and the Ballard's name were purchased by Paul Filippi in 1956.


The Southeast Lighthouse
Giclée
Paper 17" x 22", Image 16" x 15", $95.00
Paper 24" x 26", Image 22" x 24", $160.00
Reproduction of Highview Mural

Wetherbee painted Coast Guard Chief Jack Young at the edge of Mohegan Bluffs with the Southeast Lighthouse behind him.  In August, 1993, the Lighthouse was moved from where it is shown in this painting 245 feet back from the Bluffs.  The Block Island Historical Society spearheaded the relocation, restoration and preservation of the Lighthouse and formed the Southeast Lighthouse Foundation in 1985.  In all, $2.3 million was raised to move the Lighthouse away from the eroding Bluffs.  The Lighthouse was designated a National Historic Landmark on September 25, 1997.


Southeast Light was was lit on February 1, 1875 as an aid to navigation.  It comprises a keeper's residence and an octagonal tower 67 feet high which rests on an eight-sided base of granite.  A cast-iron lantern gallery sits atop the tower.  The gallery houses a light that is 204 feet above sea level and flashes green every 5 seconds.  The light can be seen up to 30 miles at sea. 


Smilin' Through Cottage
Giclée
Paper 17" x 22", Image 13" x 20", $95.00
Paper 24" x 35", Image 22" x 33", $220.00
Reproduction of Highview Mural

This was the home site of Tristram Dodge, one of the 1661 settlers; the house overlooked Fresh Pond at the corner of Conneymus Road and Lakeside Drive.  It was one of the oldest homes on the Island before the historic gambrel roof house was razed and a replica built in 1954. 


Arthur Penn wrote the lyrics to the song "Smilin' Through" in 1918.  Penn and his wife owned the  cottage from 1922 until 1926.  The cottage takes the name of the song; Penn even had the cottage painted white and added a green gate and railing to match the lyrics of his song.  Local tour guides have been known to sing the song as they pass the house. 


The Hapgood Cottage
Giclée
Paper 17" x 22", Image 15" x 19", $95.00
Paper 24" x 30", Image 22" x "28, $180.00
Reproduction of Highview Mural

This cottage, purchased unseen after the War, was artist John Hapgood's Summer haven for over fifty years.  Off to the left and behind the cottage is a very tall tower (not visible in this image) erected during World War II.  The wooden water tank at the top of the tower was bogus.  It camouflaged military communications equipment from prying eyes on ships or U-boats keeping watch on the Island.  It came down after the War.


Beacon Hill Stone Tower and House
Giclée
Paper 17" x 22", Image 15" x 18", $95.00
Paper 24" x 29", Image 22" x 27", $180.00
Reproduction of Highview Mural

Beacon Hill is the highest point on Block Island.  Wooden signal towers were built on the site at the time of the U.S. Revolution.  The stone house and tower were built in 1928.  During World War II, the Federal Governments built a combined lookout tower and cottage on Beacon Hill as part of the Narragansett Bay Harbor Defenses.  This is the building with the red chimney to the right of the stone tower. 


Beacon Hill Cottage with Anchor Shutters
Giclée
Paper 17" x 22", Image 12" x 20", $95.00
Paper 24" x 38", Image 22" x 36", $240.00
Reproduction of Highview Mural

The cottage with the anchor shutters was below the stone house and tower when Wetherbee painted the mural.  The cottage faces East and survives today with several additions and a large deck.


New Harbor - Pier 76 at Champlin's Dock
Giclée
Paper 17" x 22", Image 14" x 20", $95.00
Paper 24" x 35", Image 22" x 33", $220.00
Reproduction of Highview Mural

This building is the uppermost building of the structures comprising Champlin's Dock starting with the office at the end of the dock.  The roof is no longer red and the "Pier 76" sign is only a memory. Pier 76 was used as a Navy Barracks during World War II. 


New Harbor - Champlin's Dock Looking Northwest
Giclée
Paper 17" x 22", Image 12" x 20", $95.00
Paper 24" x 35", Image 22" x 33", $220.00
Reproduction of Highview Mural

Wetherbee used his artist's license for an elevated view of Champlin's Dock and the entrance to the Great Salt Pond.  Two red-roofed Coast Guard buildings, a crew's quarters and a boat house, can be seen on the South side of the cut.  A T-shaped dock extends out into the Pond where fishing boats, sailboats and 1940s vintage private motorized cruisers are tied up.


New Harbor - Ferry Boats at Payne's Dock
Giclée
Paper 17" x 22", Image 14" x 20", $95.00
Paper 24" x 34", Image 22" x 32", $210.00
Reproduction of Highview Mural

On a typical Summer’s day in the 1940s, the ferry boats NAUGATUCK, PEMAQUID, CHAUNCEY M. DEPEW and NELSECO II could be found waiting at Payne’s Dock to take their day passengers back to New London, Newport and Providence.


The Highview Hotel Van Heading to Payne's Dock
Giclée
Paper 17" x 22", Image 15" x 20", $95.00
Paper 24" x 31", Image 22" x 29", $190
Reproduction of Highview Mural

Payne's Dock was a busy place during the Summer with the coming and going of freight, mail, day trippers, vacationers and others.  Taxis and hotel vans shuttled passengers between Payne's Dock and restaurants, hotels, inns, guest houses, bed-and-breakfast places and elsewhere.  In this painting, we see a Highview van on its way to the dock.


New Harbor - Lakeside Cottages
Giclée
Paper 17" x 22", Image 11" x 20", $95.00
Paper 24" x 41", Image 22" x 39", $260.00
Reproduction of Highview Mural

The dark-roofed cottage to the right in the this painting, named the Lakeside Cottage still dots the New Harbor landscape and together with the familiar Sullivan House profile, are essentially unchanged from Wetherbee's time.


New Harbor - Dead Eye Dick's Restaurant
Giclée
Paper 17" x 22", Image 14" x 20", $95.00
Paper 24" x 34", Image 22" x 32", $210.00
Reproduction of Highview Mural

This is the famous Dead Eye Dick’s Restaurant which is still in operation.  The smaller buildings to the right of Dead Eye's were called Dick's Last Stand and were used to sell ice cream and rent bicycles.


New Harbor - McGregor Cottage
Giclée
Paper 17" x 22", Image 13" x 20", $95.00
Paper 24" x 36", Image 22" x 34", $225.00
Reproduction of Highview Mural
This painting of the McGregor Cottage is the same green cottage seen on a hill behind Wetherbee's painting of Dead Eye Dick's.  The cottage still dots the New Harbor landscape.

Flo and Mary's, and the Hog Pen
Giclée
Paper 17" x 22", Image 7" x 20", $95.00
Paper 24" x 52", Image 18" x 50", $270.00
Paper 24" x 63", Image 18" x 61", $400.00

During the nineteen forties, Flo and Mary's was a restaurant and bar adjacent the Hog Pen.  The building housed a speakeasy during Prohibition.  A red-roofed oyster shed, used to process oysters farmed in the Great Salt Pond, stands off to the right of Flo and Mary's.  At the far end of the Hog Pen stands the W. E. Ball Pound Co. which sold fish and also processed oysters farmed in the Great Salt Pond.  Rat Island is adjacent the Hog Pen and further to the East can be seen the Town Beach House which contained a restaurant, dance hall and changing cubicles for bathers using Crescent Beach.  The Beach House did not survive hurricane Carol in 1954.


New Harbor - Dead Eye Dick's Restaurant, Flo and Mary's, and the Hog Pen
Giclée
Paper 17" x 22", Image 5" x 20", $95.00
Paper 24" x 72", Image 18" x 70", $380
Paper 24" x 87", Image 22" x 85", $490

This is a panoramic view of inner New Harbor from Dead Eye's to The Ball Pound Co., combining three mural images.


New Harbor - World War II Army Barracks/Twin Maples
Giclée
Paper 17" x 22", Image 12" x 20", $95.00
Paper 24" x 29", Image 22" x 37", $240.00
Reproduction of Highview Mural

About 1940, the U.S. Army hired Island builders to erect four 20' x 100' barracks and auxiliary buildings on land North of the Weather Bureau.  Mysteriously, the buildings were never occupied and stood empty for years.  Mac Swienton bought the complex when it was put up for sale after the War.  He set about converting the barracks into rental apartments and opened Twin Maples Bait and Tackle Shop.  Twin Maples is the home of the famous "Eat Fish" T-shirt.


New Harbor - The Block Island Weather Bureau
Giclée
Paper 17" x 22", Image 15" x 20", $95.00
Paper 24" x 32", Image 22" x 30", $195.00
Reproduction of Highview Mural

The Block Island Weather Bureau has a long history.  After a fire in 1902 destroyed the Bureau building on Water Street, the federal government built the current structure in 1903 on a rise of land off the Great Salt Pond so that its signal flags could be seen by fishermen from both harbors.  Wetherbee's painting is from the rear of the Bureau and, understandably since the Weather Observer and his family lived there, some laundry can be seen hanging from the back porch.  The signal tower to the left flies a single red triangular flag, a small craft warning to boaters.


Mural Vignette - Man Leading a Horse
Giclée
Paper 17" x 22", Image 14" x 20", $95.00
Paper 24" x 33", Image 22" x 31", $195.00
Reproduction of Highview Mural

Wetherbee painted mostly from what he observed.  However, the identity of the man who might have been the model for the man in a white shirt leading a brown horse has long faded from memory.


Mural Vignette - Man Carrying an Oar
Giclée
Paper 17" x 22", Image 13" x 20", $95.00
Paper 24" x 36", Image 22" x 34", $195.00
Reproduction of Highview Mural

Wetherbee painted mostly from what he observed.  However, the identity of the man who might have the model for the pipe-smoking fisherman carrying an oar along the beach in Old Harbor has long faded from memory.


New Harbor - Old Island Post Office
Giclée
Paper 17" x 22", Image 15" x 15", $95.00
Paper 24" x 25", Image 22" x 23", $150.00
Reproduction of Highview Mural

The Block Island Post Office has been in many locales.  When Wetherbee was painting the Highview mural, it was in a Water Street building that still exists, situated, oddly enough, across from the current home of the Post Office.


Swordfishing Boats Sail at Dawn from Old Harbor, 1948
Giclée
Paper 17" x 22", Image 8" x 20", $95.00
Paper 24" x 48", Image 18" x 46", $250.00
Paper 24" x 58", Image 22" x 56", $370.00
Reproduction of Oil on Composition Board, Original 48" X 120"

In a scene that was repeated countless times before Wetherbee made this painting, swordfishing boats sail at dawn from Old Harbor.  The lead boat is Capt. Gene Stinson's STANLEY.  This painting hung in the dining room of the Highview and is the largest painting Wetherbee did; it measures four feet high and ten feet in length.  The 22" x 56" reproduction print is approximately half size.


The BETTY B Follows the STANLEY out of the Harbor
Giclée
Paper 17" x 22", Image 15" x 20", $95.00
Paper 24" x 32", Image 22" x 30", $195.00
Reproduction of Oil on Composition Board, Original 48" X 120"

This print is an enlargement of the left side of the image Swordfishing Boats Sail at Dawn from Old Harbor, done to show more detail given the large size of the original painting.


GENE Follows the STANLEY Out of the Harbor
Giclée
Paper 17" x 22", Image 15" x 20", $95.00
Paper 24" x 31", Image 22" x 29", $195.00
Reproduction of Oil on Composition Board, Original 48" X 120"

This print is an enlargement of the left side of image Swordfishing Boats Sail at Dawn from Old Harbor, done to show more detail given the large size of the original painting.


Fishing Boat to Sea
Giclée
Paper 17" x 22", Image 15" x 18", $95.00
Paper 24" x 30", Image 22" x 26", $170.00
Reproduction of Oil on Composition Board, Original 16" X 20"

This unnamed boat could almost be a generic swordfishing boat like the STANLEY.  Note the dory on top of the wheelhouse and the so-called dry stack engine exhaust next to it.  This design was noisier than a wet exhaust out the stern but easier maintenance was the trade-off.


Twin Masted Fishing Boat at Sea
Giclée
Paper 17" x 22", Image 15" x 18", $95.00
Paper 24" x 29", Image 22" x 27", $180.00
Reproduction of Oil on Composition Board, Original 34" X 38"

This larger twin-masted ship, also unnamed and carrying a dory on the wheelhouse, has a lookout station on the forward mast but lacks a pulpit for harpooning.  Pulpits were often removed after swordfishing season ended.


Mast Lookout Stops a Swordfish
Giclée
Paper 17" x 22", Image 12" x 20", $95.00
Paper 24" x 38", Image 22" x 36", $230.00
Reproduction of Oil on Composition Board, Original 39" X 48"

Boats like the Stanley often fished with a two-man crew, the captain who was usually the harpoon man or striker, and a mastman lookout who had other duties besides spotting swordfish.  Once on the fishing grounds, the mastman, like the one in Wetherbee's painting, would go aloft to look for swordfish.  The mastman also had a good view of swordfish in the water to better direct the striker. 


The Striker About to Iron a Swordfish
Giclée
Paper 17" x 22", Image 15" x 18", $95.00
Paper 24" x 28", Image 22" x 26", $170.00
Reproduction of Oil on Composition Board, Original 39" x 48"

Wetherbee captures the quintessential moment in swordfishing:  the harpooning of a finning swordfish by the striker. Striker was the name given the man who struck the swordfish with a harpoon, possibly to make a distinction from whalers who harpooned whales from longboats.  In this painting the striker is Gene Stinson, Captain of the STANLEY.


The Striker After Ironing a Swordfish
Giclée
Paper 17" x 22", Image 15" x 18", $95.00
Paper 24" x 28", Image 22" x 26", $170.00
Reproduction of Oil on Composition Board, Original 39" x 48"

The striker wanted the sun on his back to avoid glare that would impair his view of the fish.  He also had to compensate for parallax.  He probably was unfamiliar with that term but he knew from experience that the position a swordfish appeared to differ when viewed through the water.  The striker was the money man and the good ones knew where to throw the dart on instinct, without thinking.


Stinson Poised to Harpoon a Swordfish
Giclée
Paper 17" x 22", Image 14" x 20", $95.00
Paper 24" x 35", Image 22" x 32", $215.00
Reproduction of the Highview Mural

This is a second, later painting of Capt. Gene Stinson on the pulpit of the STANLEY taking aim at a large swordfish swimming under him.  It's a signed mural, dated 1952, on the wall of the Highview bar next to the main door.  Gene Stinson was a well known Island figure and earned the nickname “Captain Muck” from a swordfish he ironed which had driven itself up to its gills into a mucky bottom.   It took considerable effort to dislodge the fish, which was no doubt better than having the hull pierced by the fish’s sword.


STANLEY Hoists a Swordfish Aboard at Sea
Giclée
Paper 17" x 22", Image 15" x 19", $95.00
Paper 24" x 30", Image 22" x 28", $180.00
Reproduction of Oil on Composition Board, Original 36" x 48"

Capt. Gene stands in a dory and while a crewman of the STANLEY, possibly Stanley himself, uses a block and tackle to hoist a swordfish aboard.


STANLEY Unloads Swordfish at the Block Island Packing Co
Giclée
Paper 17" x 22", Image 15" x 15", $95.00
Paper 24" x 25", Image 22" x 23", $150.00
Reproduction of Oil on Composition Board, Original 48" x 48"

In Old Harbor, a hoist for unloading fish stands in front of the Block Island Packing Co./Retail Fish Market. Gene Stinson, pipe in mouth, guides a swordfish carcass being hoisted by his son Stanley.


Block Island Double Ender Under Sail
Giclée
Paper 17" x 22", Image 15" x 18", $95.00
Paper 24" x 29", Image 22" x 27", $180.00
Reproduction of Oil on Composition Board, Original 16" x 20"

During the 1700s and 1800s, double-enders were the predominant boat used by Block Islanders.  They were built on the Island and had a unique Block Island design.  Eventually they were replaced by schooners and catboats.  Their memory, however, lives on in part through this Wetherbee painting which is his most colorful work.  Vivid blue water with whitecaps impart a sense of motion and speed to the two-masted double-ender.  It's signed in red and dated 1948.  The significance of the  double-ender in Block Island history is evidenced by the fact that it was adopted in 1942 as the logo of the Block Island Historical Society and was incorporated into the Coat of Arms of the Town of New Shoreham.  The Double Ender Committee organizes the annual 4th of July parade.


Girl Sitting on Ballard's Dock
Giclée
Paper 17" x 22", Image 15" x 18", $95.00
Paper 24" x 29", Image 22" x 27", $180.00
Reproduction of Oil on Composition Board, Original 16" x 20"

The identity of the girl in braids on the dock in this painting is unknown but the scene is familiar.  The earlier painting of the GENE passing the Packing Co. appears to depict the same girl sitting on a piling.  Wetherbee took another perspective for this painting.  The gray stick boat tied up next to the girl appears similar to the unnamed gray boat in the GENE painting. 


Charles Rubin Sprague
Giclée
Paper 17" x 22", Image 14" x 20", $95.00
Paper 24" x 34", Image 22" x 32", $210.00
Reproduction of the Highview Mural

This portrait is a mural next to the entrance of the Highview bar.  Charles Sprague was a fisherman who lived across from the Highview and was probably a friend of Wetherbee's.  The legend on the box, in Latin, says that Sprague died in 1952.  It also says something of Wetherbee's education.  In the 1910s, when he attended Durfee High School in Fall River, Latin was probably a required subject for two or more years, and perhaps Greek as well.  


MARIAN M at the Block Island Packing Co. Dock - Old Harbor
Giclée
Paper 17" x 22", Image 15" x 18", $95.00
Paper 24" x 29", Image 22" x 27", $180.00
Reproduction of Oil on Composition Board, Original 16" x 20"

This painting, on the rough side of composition board, is a smaller version of a scene in the mural where the MARIAN M is tied up to the dock in front of the Block Island Packing Co. with two other boats.  It's signed by Wetherbee in 1948.


W.E. Ball Pound Co. - The Hog Pen
Giclée
Paper 17" x 22", Image 14" x 20", $95.00
Paper 24" x 35", Image 22" x 33", $220.00
Reproduction of Oil on Composition Board, Original 16" x 20"

This painting, also on the rough side of composition board, is again a smaller version of the Hog Pen scene in the mural showing the white W. E. Ball Pound building.  It's signed by Wetherbee in 1948.


Evangeline in Dry Dock
Giclée
Paper 17" x 22", Image 16" x 20", $95.00
Paper 24" x 30", Image 22" x 28", $180.00
Reproduction of Oil on Composition Board, Original 16" x 20"

The EVANGELINE was a typical Block Island fishing boat, shown here in dry dock.  The flowers and the new paint job on the hull suggest that the time is spring and the boat was being readied for relaunching.


Fishing Boat on a Rail Road for Launching
Giclée
Paper 17" x 22", Image 16" x 20", $95.00
Paper 24" x 29", Image 22" x 27", $180.00
Reproduction of Oil on Composition Board, Original 16" x 20"

This unidentified boat sits on a rail road used to launch boats from Andy's Way into the Great Salt Pond.  Some of the rails can still be found near Andy's Way.


Smilin' Through on Composition Board
Giclée
Paper 17" x 22", Image 15" x 18", $95.00
Paper 24" x 30", Image 22" x 28", $180.00
Reproduction of Oil on Composition Board, Original 16" x 20"

This painting very similar to Wetherbee's mural painting of the Smilin' Through Cottage which overlooks Fresh Pond at the corner of Lakeside Drive and Conneymus Road.


Block Island Linemen
Giclée
Paper 17" x 22", Image 15" x 16", $95.00
Paper 24" x 26", Image 22" x 24", $160.00
Reproduction of the Highview Mural

This Wetherbee mural painting, viewed through a window, depicts a red-capped, cigar smoking telephone lineman on a utility pole.  The lineman is believed to be Karl W. Bodington who worked for the phone company during the time Wetherbee did his paintings.  Bodington was a World War II Veteran and died in 1953.  His wife, Martha Heinz Bodington died in 1993.


Mohegan Bluffs to the East - First View
Giclée
Paper 17" x 22", Image 15" x 19", $95.00
Paper 24" x 30", Image 22" x 28", $180.00
Reproduction of Oil on Composition Board, Original 16" x 20"

The likely vantage point Wetherbee used to create this paintings of Mohegan Bluffs is near a historical marker erected in 1947 by the Block Island Historical Society.  It sits near Southeast Lighthouse at the East end of the Bluffs.  The marker lists sixteen Block Island ship wrecks including the Lightburne in 1938 and the Essex in 1941.  A buoy just off shore that can be seen from the top of the wooden stairway that leads down to the beach at the base of the Bluffs marks the Lightburne wreck.  In 1941, the steamer Essex ran aground on the Lightburne wreck and her captain elected to run the ship aground rather than back off and sink in deeper water.  The Essex wreck sits in about 30 feet of water just West of the Lightburne buoy.


Mohegan Bluffs to the East - Second View
Giclée
Paper 17" x 22", Image 15" x 17", $95.00
Paper 24" x 27", Image 22" x 25", $160.00
Reproduction of Oil on Composition Board, Original 16" x 20"

The likely vantage point Wetherbee used to create this paintings of Mohegan Bluffs is near a historical marker erected in 1947 by the Block Island Historical Society.  It sits near Southeast Lighthouse at the East end of the Bluffs.  The marker lists sixteen Block Island ship wrecks including the Lightburne in 1938 and the Essex in 1941.  A buoy just off shore that can be seen from the top of the wooden stairway that leads down to the beach at the base of the Bluffs marks the Lightburne wreck.  In 1941, the steamer Essex ran aground on the Lightburne wreck and her captain elected to run the ship aground rather than back off and sink in deeper water.  The Essex wreck sits in about 30 feet of water just West of the Lightburne buoy.


Mohegan Bluffs to the West
Giclée
Paper 17" x 22", Image 15" x 19", $95.00
Paper 24" x 30", Image 22" x 28", $180.00
Reproduction of Oil on Composition Board, Original 16" x 20"

The likely vantage point Wetherbee used to create this paintings of Mohegan Bluffs is near a historical marker erected in 1947 by the Block Island Historical Society.  It sits near Southeast Lighthouse at the East end of the Bluffs.  The marker lists sixteen Block Island ship wrecks including the Lightburne in 1938 and the Essex in 1941.  A buoy just off shore that can be seen from the top of the wooden stairway that leads down to the beach at the base of the Bluffs marks the Lightburne wreck.  In 1941, the steamer Essex ran aground on the Lightburne wreck and her captain elected to run the ship aground rather than back off and sink in deeper water.  The Essex wreck sits in about 30 feet of water just West of the Lightburne buoy.


Clipper Ship Under Sail
Giclée
Paper 17" x 22", Image 13" x 20", $95.00
Paper 24" x 30", Image 22" x 33", $220.00
Reproduction of Oil on Composition Board, Original 48" x 48"

Schooners sailing in Block Island waters are not uncommon today and probably more so in the 1940s.  The schooner Wetherbee painted is only identified by its green hull; there are no pendants or flags flying, so her identity remains a mystery.


Lithograph Reproductions

Swordfishing - The Striker, 1948
Lithograph, 14 1/2" x 17 1/2"
Reproduction of Oil on Composition Board, Original 39" x 48"
Captain Gene Stinson stands ready to throw a harpoon from the pulpit of his boat, the STANLEY, and "iron" a swordfish. The fish is swimming just below the surface of the water with it's dorsal and tail fins showing. The artist has carefully drawn the line attached to the "dart" at the end of the harpoon which separates when the fish is struck. A second, short line attached to the end of the "stick" is used to retrieve the harpoon after the throw.

Swordfishing - Stick Boats Head to Sea from Old Harbor, 1948
Lithograph, 8 1/2" x 22"
Reproduction of Oil on Composition Board, Original 48" X 120"
Captain Linus Dodge is seen in the wheelhouse of the BETTY B and Captain Harry Allen on the rear deck of the GENE. Both follow the STANLEY out of Old Harbor on their way to the swordfishing grounds southeast of Block Island. The Block Island Packing Co. building, south of where the bait dock is today, was destroyed by hurricane Carol in 1954.

New Harbor - Dead Eye Dick's, 1948-49
Lithograph, 10" x 14 1/2"
Reproduction of Mural, Original Mural Approximately 42" x 42"
The famous Dead Eye Dick's resturant is still in operation. The name derived from a deadeye which is a block used in the standing rigging of sailing ships. The block had no sheaves or moving parts and was made of lignum vitae, a durable hard wood. The small buildings on the right were used to sell ice cream and rent bicycles. The McGregor house can be seen on the hill across the pond.

Old Harbor - Ballard's, 1948-49
Lithograph, 10" x 15"
Reproduction of Mural, Original Mural Approximately 42" x 42"
This is the Ballard's restaurant know to almost everyone who came to the Island prior to 1987 when the building burned to the ground and was rebuilt. The origional building was severely damaged by the 1938 hurricane and by hurricane Carol in 1954, but each time it was repaired. The single-story extension to the left is the original dance hall. The SEA QUEEN is a motor yacht typical of the era.

New Harbor - Flo and Mary's, 1948-49
Lithograph, 10" x 14 1/2"
Reproduction of Mural, Original Mural Approximately 42" x 42"
A restaurant in the 1940's adjacent to the Hog Pen. Today the restaurant is called Smugglers. Note the 1938 two-door Ford convertible in front and the sign for Eddie's lobsters in the rear.

The Hog Pen, 1948-49
Lithograph, 8 1/2" x 14 1/2"
Reproduction of Mural, Original Mural Approximately 42" x 42"
Two oyster sheds bracket an anchorage for pleasure boats. Today the Hog Pen contains docks for motor and sail boats. The white building on the right is the W. E. Ball Pound Co. which processed oysters farmed in the Great Salt Pond. The red roof shed to the left was also used to build fishing boats like the swordfishing boat docked next to it. In the background is the Beach House which contained a restaurant, dance hall and changing cubicles for bathers. The building, which was opposite Dunn's Bridge, did not survive hurricane Carol in 1954.

New Harbor - Ferry Boats at Payne's Dock, 1948-49
Lithograph, 10" x 14 1/2"
Reproduction of Mural, Original Mural Approximately 42" x 42"
On a typical summer's day the ferry boats NAUGATUCK, PEMAQUID, CHAUNCEY M. DEPEW and NELSECO II could be found waiting at Payne's Dock to take their passengers back to New London, Newport, and Providence. Looking from the porch of the Narragansett Inn, the dock looks much the same today. World War II coastal artillery observation towers dot the hills in the background. The hills appear larger than in real life, one of the few liberties taken by the artist.

Southeast Lighthouse, 1948-49
Lithograph, 10" x 10"
Reproduction of Mural, Original Mural Approximately 42" x 42"
Coast Guard Chief Jack Young stands in uniform with a cigar at the edge of Mohegan Bluffs with the Southeast Lighthouse behind him. A special radio antenna used during World War II extends between two towers. In 1993, the Lighthouse was moved north, 230 feet away from the Bluffs where it is shown in this picture.

Swordfishing - Unloading Fish, 1948
Lithograph, 10" x 10"
Reproduction of Oil on Composition Board, Original 48" x 48"
On the dock in Old Harbor, Stanley Stinson hoists a swordfish carcass from the hold of the STANLEY up to the Block Island Packing Co. as his father, Captain Gene Stinson, guides it from the boat. Island fisherman Junior Millikin with a pipe in his mouth and three tourists look on while one takes a picture.

Swordfishing - Stick Boats in Old Harbor, 1948-49
Lithograph, 6 1/2" x 14 1/2"
Reproduction of Mural, Original Mural Approximately 42" x 42"

Capt. Billy Meska sits on a piling in Old Harbor looking over swordfishing boats anchored along the wall which included the Margie O, the Audrey and the Evan N. The two fish market buildings were torn down in the 1960s. The famous Lazy Bench (with two occupants) sits outside of the fish market with the three dormers. Capt. Arnie Willis stands on the dock in front of his boat the MARGIE O. Clay Head can be seen in the distance to the north.