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Eider Duck Decoys | Lubec, Maine
Two wooden male and female eider duck decoys that likely date to the 1930s. They belonged to Alger W. Pike (1899-1980) of Lubec, Maine who was an avid hunter, fisherman, and gardener as well as amateur ornithologist. He was an owner with his brothers and others of the Holmes Sardine Company and the Trident Packing Company. He also worked in New York City and Washington, D.C. The decoys are about 15 1/2 inches long and about 8 inches high. There are no maker’s marks on the decoys though one has the number 22 in red and the other has Alger Pike written on it in pencil. They were acquired by the Tides Institute from Decoys Unlimited auctions of Barnstable, Massachusetts. Alger Pike owned property along the shore in South Lubec that was located on the path of a north south fly over for migrating birds. To attract the birds, Alger had a fresh water pond created, that became known as Pike’s Pond, on the property by damming a stream that entered the sea there. The dam was created by driving boards into the ground and filling both sides with earth. He had wild rice planted in the pond to attract even more birds as the wild rice provided feed for the birds. Wild rice would not grow in salt water, but would grow in the fresh water of Pike's Puddle. In recent years, a culvert that ran under the road at Pike's Puddle was replaced and in the process modified Pike’s Puddle so that it did not hold fresh water any more. Salt water now flows into the Puddle at high tide.