YORK – A bait shack on John Hancock Wharf that for years has been an iconic subject for artists is on the auction block to raise money for the wharf’s restoration.

The 12-foot by 8-foot shack, about 12 feet tall, is being marketed as “a handy garden shed in someone’s yard or a storage shed on another small pier.” It will be auctioned by the Museums of Old York.

The shack has stood on the wharf on the York River for 40 years. With the wharf restoration under way and plans for a larger, refrigerated bait shack, it is time for the old-fashioned shack to go.

“We don’t have another use for it,” said Scott Stevens, executive director of the Museums of Old York. “It’s largely intact and it also has a bit of character. We were sorry to see it go, but it seems like it should have a second life somewhere else.”

The money will help pay for repairs and maintenance of the wharf, Stevens said. The project will allow three commercial fishermen to use the wharf.

Since the 1980s, the Museums of Old York has leased the wharf to recreational boaters. About 50 fishermen use the town wharf for commercial operations, Stevens said.

The new facilities will allow three of those fishermen to get fuel, store bait and unload catches at John Hancock Wharf, and not waste time waiting to use facilities at the town wharf.

The new bait shack will be about 14 feet by 23 feet and meet current standards for commercial fishing operations. Its design will match other buildings on the wharf, with wooden shingles and even old lobster buoys hanging off the side.

Staff Writer Emma Bouthillette can be contacted at 791-6325 or at:

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