Zac McDorrIt’s hard for me to judge the acts of violence committed by Bunny Zahn against the Cora F. Cressey.

Cressey, a five-masted schooner built at Bath’s Percy and Small shipyard in 1902, was purchased by Bernard “Bunny” Zahn and towed to his lobster dock in Bremen. There he cut holes in the hull and tried to use it as a lobster pound.

When that didn’t work out, he used it as a breakwater.

While any act of aggression against a Bath-built ship is a crime in my book, he actually preserved the ship for decades. The hulk is still there, though it is little more than a pile of collapsed timbers.

The Cressey led a somewhat boring life as a coal transportation ship for a few decades, though she managed to survive the gale that sunk the larger schooner Wyoming. Later, though, she witnessed some exciting times in the world of illicit substances.

In 1929, drinkers in America were suffering under Prohibition. Fortunately, the law only extended three miles offshore. Enterprising individuals responded by taking old ships and turning them into nightclubs that could be towed out to sea.

The Cressey became one such vessel. Her passengers could party the night away and drink to their heart’s content once she crossed the boundary.

In 1982, rotting away near Bunny Zahn’s lobster dock, the Cressey witnessed a huge drug bust. A 67-foot vessel pulled up to the dock at night carrying 30 tons of Columbian marijuana. Unfortunately for everyone involved, there were 50 police officers hiding in the woods nearby.

Several Columbians became the first of their countrymen to be arrested for drug trafficking in Maine. Several locals also went down in the bust. The owner of the dock was never indicted, however.

The fact that his daughter was a state senator probably had nothing to do with it.


Sources: “The Uncensored Guide to Maine,” by Mark Melnicove and Kendall Merriam, 1984 and www.UPI.com.