WELL known in business and political circles is the name of that active and progressive
gentleman, Mr. Herbert L. Shepherd, of Rockport. His father, Jotharn Shepherd, a business man before him, more
than half a century ago, began the manufacturing of lime at Rockport, then a small town, but now one of the smartest
towns along the coast of Maine. It is six miles from Rockland via electric railroad, has an excellent harbor, a
charming location, fine residences, picturesque surroundings, gems of inland and sea views, offering superior attractions
to the lovers of the beautiful. "Ballard Park," with its pretty cottages, is a charming locality. Here
the artist finds studies in marine and highland views that, transferred to canvass, are called gems by critics.
"Beauchamp Point" is rich in legendary lore. In fact the whole coast line in this vicinity offers themes
for the poet and the lovers of the antique.
Mr. Shepherd was born at Rockport in the year 1851, educated in the common schools of that town and at A. D. Bills'
Commercial College, Boston. At the age of eighteen he entered the employ of Messrs. Merriam & Shepherd as clerk
and book-keeper. When the firm of Merriam & Shepherd was succeeded by Shepherd, Jones & Co., he was still
retained. In 1876 Mr. Jones sold out his interest, and the style of the firm changed to S. E. & H. L. Shepherd,
Mr. Shepherd entering as an equal partner. Again, in 1893, the concern was organized into a stock company, and
he was elected Vice-President and General Manager, which position he now holds.
Mr. Shepherd is a leader in the class of progressive men. It was he who first demonstrated the practicability of
transporting limestone by means of a steam railroad. In the year 1887 the Rockport Rock Railroad was built, of
which Mr. Shepherd is Treasurer and General Manager. The building of this road marks a period in history of great
advancement in connection with the manufacturing of lime. It not only facilitates the quarrying of the stone, but
strongly emphasizes the fact that the lime-burning industry, which has for nearly forty years been practically
at a stand-still, as regards improvements, has began to realize that this is an age of progression.
The lime productions of Knox County have acquired a national reputation. Thomaston, Rockland, Rockport, and Camden,
have vast beds of lime-rock not equaled in the world. The first lime kiln was erected in Thomaston in 1733. Maj.-Gen.
Henry Knox came there in 1795 and engaged in the lime business. This industry has steadily increased, until now
there is invested in these towns alone a capital exceeding four million dollars, directly pertaining to the lime
production. And two million casks (2,000,000) is not an over estimate of the amount produced annually.
At Rockport is located one of the largest lime-producing firms in the country, of which Mr. Shepherd is General
Manager. Their specialty is 'Shepherd's lime," originally "Jacobs' lime," said to be the finest
in the world. This lime acquired its name from Samuel Jacobs who opened the quarry nearly one hundred years ago.
At that early date the writer says: "The Jacobs' lime is made from the hardest stone, and makes the most beautiful
white finish, and commands the highest price in New York, where it is used for costly edifices." The archives
at Washington, D. C., has this record: "June 14th, 1817. Capt. John Welch arrived to-day with a cargo of three
hundred casks of 'Jacobs' lime' to be used in building the Capitol."
This valuable quarry this corporation acquired by purchase and propose to operate more extensively than ever before,
and it is a well-established fact that the deeper a quarry is worked the better lime the rock makes. They claim,
and the people who have used it concede, that this lime, "Shepherd's," manufactured from the original
"Jacobs" Quarry, is still the best produced in Knox County. From the long experience they have had in
the business, covering a period of nearly fifty years, and with their railroad and modern kilns, they intend to
keep up the record of the "Jacobs' lime" under the name of "Shepherd's lime." They conduct
their business upon the most economical and systematic methods known in the manufacture of lime. And their large
and rapidly increasing manufacturing business is substantial evidence that their customers receive an equitable
share of the profits, due to their enterprise and determination to produce the best quality of lime at a minimum
cost to the consumer.
Great credit is also due Mr. Shepherd for the energy and enterprise displayed in connecting Rockland, Thomaston,
Rockport, and Camden with an electric road, which is pronounced by experts to be the finest equipped, as well as
the best managed, road in New England. The advantages which the towns, separately and collectively, derive from
this are readily apparent.
In politics, an ardent Republican. He represented the town at the Legislature in 1867-7. In 1878 he was appointed
Deputy Sheriff, which office he resigned in 1880 to accept the position of Inspector and Collector of Customs for
the Ports of Camden and Rockport, in the District of Belfast; was removed under the Cleveland administration. In
1889 he was again appointed to the same office. It was through his efforts that Rockport was made a port of delivery,
thereby placing Rockport in her proper position among the commercial ports of the world, and giving prominence
to her ship-building industry which has gained a world-wide reputation.
Here is located Mr. Shepherd's elegant home, which in architecture, beauty of construction, and elaborate interior
decorations and furnishings, is not excelled in town; while the extensive grounds, as laid out by the landscape
gardener, with terraces, shell walks, and drives, neatly trimmed hedges, and close-cut lawns, add very much to
the beauty of the surroundings. Being sanguine that in the near future Rockport is to be one of the leading watering-places
on the Maine Coast, Mr. Shepherd is in favor of all enterprises that bring summer residents here for investments
and to build modern villas and homes. Although an active business man, he finds time to entertain his friends and
those interested in the development of Rockport's unrivalled resources.