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Malaga Island

Malaga Island: A century of shame

By: Colin Woodard

Analysis: A new exhibit at the Maine State Museum tells the story of the eviction of Malaga Island’s residents, one of the state’s most disgraceful official acts ever.

Maps and letters by the ‘Great Geographer’ topic of museum speaker series …
Lake of the Woods Enterprise
Maine Historical Society librarian Frances Pollitt discusses the ‘Great Geographer’ with Lake of the Woods Museum educator Braden Murray following her presentation David Thompson – Letters and Maps at the museum speaker series, Tuesday.

Garvey to perform for Old Berwick Historical Society 50th anniversary concert
Seacoastonline.com
Folk-rock singer-songwriter Connor Garvey will perform at the society’s Counting House Museum (1 Liberty St., South Berwick, Maine) on Thursday, May 24. Doors open at 7 pm The concert is open to members of the public who join the Old Berwick Historical …

Maine students’ field trip includes Rollinsford Mills
The Union Leader
By JOHN QUINN SOUTH BERWICK, Maine — Elementary students from Central School are getting ready to take a Hike Through History and will visit several key stops in the downtown as well as cross the state line to learn about the nearby mills this Friday.

Owls Head struggles to save relegated one-room schoolhouses
Bangor Daily News
By Heather Steeves, BDN Staff OWLS HEAD, Maine — At its peak, this small coastal town had five one-room schoolhouses. Now only two remain, and both are out of use. To raise awareness about the legacy of the schools, the Mussel Ridge Historical Society …

Midlander to donate quilt to Maine museum
Midland Reporter-Telegram
It most likely was made on one of the Fox Islands — either Vinalhaven or North Haven in Maine — where Denham’s grandmother was born, he said. Once Denham realized the historical value of the quilt he began researching its history.

Waterboro presentation honors Civil War’s 32nd Maine
KeepMEcurrent.com
According to local historian Bruce Tucker, who gave a presentation on the 32nd Maine Regiment on May 3 to the Waterborough Historical Society, most of the men who signed up were either “really young” or “rather old,” since by the spring of 1864 most of …

Rockland neighborhood off Route 1 to be leveled
May 16, 2012 05:23 pm | Stephen Betts

ROCKLAND, Maine — Nearly every home along a street off Route 1 is expected to be demolished over the next week. The 12 cottage-style homes and several sheds date back more than a century in some cases. Applications were filed this week by David Landry of Superior Restoration to demolish…

An ‘amazing’ collection set to go public at USM

By: Kelley Bouchard

A Mainer’s painstaking work tracks the chief mode of travel from the U.S. to Europe for a century.

PHOTO: A place in Lewiston history

Susan Hall, right, owner of The Vault at 84 Lisbon St., chats with Jennifer Ferguson, left, and Rick Morris of the Lewiston Historic Preservation Commission on Thursday. The building at 84 Lisbon St. has been recognized as a piece of Lewiston history. The Healy Terrace on Ash Street and the Andro…

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Piscataquis River Fishways

This post is a continuation of a look at the fishing heritage of Maine’s angling locations, refer to “A Paradise for Anglers” post of 15, May, 2012 for the beginning article…

This being the time of the year it is, meaning fishin’ time in the Pine Tree State, I thought I would share some excerpts from the 1907 Bangor & Aroostook Vacationist’s Guidebook. Historically speaking, Maine has been a destination of choice for many anglers, with the choices for game fish ranging from brook trout, to bass to togue and salmon, and then there is the offshore fishing as an option too. Remember as you read this that it was written over 100 years ago, and I share this here for the historical value these old guidebooks provide to the reader today. I intend to share the entire section on angling from this book in shorter segments, so come back tomorrow for more on Maine’s angling paradise from the bygone days!

Remember that this book is over a century old now, and the trains no longer carry passengers to any of these station, and in fact, none of these stations exist today. I include them here for those of you that might want to do a little treasure hunting and search for these old stations.

Piscataquis River Fishways

Piscataquis river; offers plenty of black bass and pickerel, and some trout; can be reached from any of the stations along the Moosehead lake division from Milo Junction to Shirley.

Seboois lake; offers white perch and exceptionally good pickerel fishing; waters flow through Endless lake and Seboois stream before entering Piscataquis river. Good trout fishing in these tributaries: Northwest pond, Seboois stream, Ragged Mountain pond and stream, Bear brook, Patrick brook, Endless lake (or Trout pond) and several smaller ponds. Nearest railroad stations: Schoodic and West Seboois.

Schoodic lake; offers landlocked salmon, trout, togue and black bass in abundance; flows into Piscataquis river through Schoodic stream, of which Hunt brook is a tributary. Tributaries: Norton pond and several smaller streams which flow into Schoodic lake, all well stocked with trout of good size. Nearest railroad station: Schoodic stream, of which Hunt brook is a tributary. Tributaries: Norton pond and several smaller streams which flow into Schoodic lake, all well stocked with trout of good size. Nearest railroad station: Schoodic.

Pleasant river; is well trouted in its upper waters; enters the Piscataquis near Milo Junction. Tributaries: Lower and Upper Ebeeme ponds, Roaring brook, Houston and Little Houston ponds, Houston brook, Mountain pond and brook, Big and Little Lyford ponds, West Branch pond, Hay and White brooks, Greenwood, Cedar, Spruce, Spruce Mountain, West Chairback, East Chairback and B ponds, Beaver and Guernsey brooks, all particularly well populated with trout. Nearest railroad station: Katahdin Iron Works.

Pleasant river; is well trouted in its upper waters; enters the Piscataquis near Milo Junction. Tributaries: Lower and Upper Ebeeme ponds, Roaring brook, Houston and Little Houston ponds, Houston brook, Mountain pond and brook, Big and Little Lyford ponds, West Branch pond, Hay and White brooks, Greenwood, Cedar, Spruce, Spruce Mountain, West Chairback, East Chairback and B ponds, Beaver and Guernsey brooks, all particularly well populated with trout. Nearest railroad station: Katahdin Iron Works.

Sebec lake, tributary to Piscataquis river; harbors landlocked salmon, trout, black bass, pickerel and white perch in quantity. Excellent trout fishing in these tributaries: Goose pond, Mill brook, Grape, Long, Second, Third, Fourth, Burden, Grindstone, Greenwood and the Benson ponds. Lake Onawa, another important tributary, has hordes of landlocked salmon and trout. Other more northern tributaries are the Greenwood ponds, Long Pond stream, Ixnig, Trout and Hedgehog ponds, Grindstone, South, Monson, Hebron and the two Spectacle ponds, Wilson stream, the Wilson ponds, Fogg, Bum and Trout ponds. All of these waters offer splendid trout fishing. Nearest railroad stations: South Sebec, Dover and Foxcroft, and Abbot Village.

To reach Lake Onawa, go to Brownville Junction or Greenville, thence over the Canadian Pacific railroad to Onawa station. Hebron and nearby lakes are best reached from Monson.

At Blanchard; good trout fishing in Blackstone brook, Mud, Spectacle and Thanksgiving ponds, Bald Mt. and Bog streams.

At Shirley; trout in Piscataquis river, Gove and Gravel brooks, West and Oakes bogs, Spectacle, Ordway, Indian, Trout,

Notch, Hound and Moxie ponds. Indian and Ordway ponds also offer togue of splendid size.

Next up in the “Paradise for Anglers”series is the Moosehead region

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Frank Knight, Yarmouth Tree Hugger Passes


Frank Knight, man who cared for famed elm tree, dies at 103
PORTLAND — Frank Knight’s decades-long battle to save New England’s tallest elm served as an inspiring tale of devotion, so it is fitting that he will be laid to rest in a coffin made from the tree he made famous. Knight, who died Monday at 103, had affectionately referred to the 217…

Yarmouth man to be buried in casket made from tree he revered

Frank Knight, who cared for New England’s oldest known American elm for 52 years, dies at 103…

Restoring life to aging clocks a rare profession

AUBURN — There’s something about a grandfather clock’s low “tock … tock” that speaks to Patrick Rohman. “It’s kind of like a heartbeat,” the 57-year-old clock repairman said. Clear out the dead spiders. Clean the gears and springs. Restore the oil. Life returns…

Brunswick discontinues war hero’s imaginary street

BRUNSWICK — In an intriguing example of the sometimes-tenuous relationship between people and reality, the Town Council on Monday unanimously voted to do away with a 105-year-old street that existed only in the imagination of a long-dead war hero…

Ancient tradition of harvesting alewives still going strong in Woolwich

WOOLWICH, Maine — Steve Dodge, who has been helping with springtime alewife harvests in Woolwich for 54 years, held up a stick with 10 smoked fish Sunday and told a reporter to “write us up big.” “Tell ’em they’re smoked golden brown and incredibly delicious,” said Dodge. “Even if they’re…


More Events, Exhibits and Presentations

Maine Agriculture: Views from the Past: Historic photo exhibit. Donation requested. At Page Farm and Home Museum, University of Maine-Orono. Through Nov. 10.

Knox Country Through Eastern’s Eye: Exhibit of historic photos from the Eastern Illustrating & Publishing Co. Collection. At Thomaston Public Library. Through June 29.

The Coastal Photography of Elmer Montgomery: Exhibit of works by the renowned Midcoast Maine photographer. At the Maine Coastal Islands National Wildlife Refuge Visitors Center, 9 Water St., Rockland. Through June 30.

Greetings from Vassalboro: PMM photo archivist Kevin Johnson will show and discuss old photos of Vassalboro and surrounding towns. At Vassalboro Hist. Soc., 360 Main St., East Vassalboro. Free. May 17, 7 p.m.

Greetings from Brooks: PMM photo archivist Kevin Johnson will show and discuss old photos of Brooks and surrounding towns. At Harvest Home Grange Hall, Moosehead Trail H’wy (Rte.7), Brooks. Donation requested. More information: 207-722-3633. May 18, 6:30 p.m.

Greetings from St. George: PMM photo archivist Kevin Johnson will show and discuss old photos of St. George, Port Clyde, Tenants Harbor, Martinsville and Long Cove. At St. George Grange Hall, Wiley’s Corner Rd., St. George. Free; donation accepted. More information: 207-372-8893. May 31: potluck at 6:30; slide show at 7:30 p.m.

Greetings from Nobleboro: PMM photo archivist Kevin Johnson will show old photos of Nobleboro and surrounding towns. At Nobleboro Hist. Soc., 198 Center St. (Old Rte.1). Free. June 15, 7 p.m.


May Programs

18 Tavern Dinner. Join us for this month’s ever popular historic dinner. Relax and kindle new friendships as colonial ladies prepare a fabulous meal at the hearth. This month’s menu will include: Cream of Wild Mushroom Soup, Spring Greens with Goat Cheese and Nuts, Chicken with Dried Plums and Olives, Wild Rice Pilaf, Steamed Green Beans, and Rhubarb Upside Down Cake. Sign up soon –these dinners fill fast! $35 ($30 members) at the Parsons Education Center, 6 p.m.

20 Blue Grass Jam with Kevin Dyer and Friends. 1-4 p.m. at The Parsons Center. $4 donation appreciated.

28 Buck-a-Building Memorial Day and Paddle-to-the-Sea. Come see the Museum properties, including the the Old Gaol, Emerson-Wilcox House, Elizabeth Perkins House, Jefferds Tavern, the School House, and our Exhibit, “The country heer is plentiful” Trade, Religion and Warfare in York and Southern Maine, open for $1 tours. At 2 p.m. families are invited participate in Paddle-to-the-Sea, a kid-focused program based on Holling Clancy Hollings children’s book by the same name. After hearing the story, build a little boat, label it with your family’s name and launch it down the river. Follow your boat’s journey to the ocean on our blog. $5 per mini boat at the John Hancock Warehouse. 9:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.

June Programs

2 Museum Opening Day! Come to the Museums of Old York for our opening day, enjoy the historic tours and beautiful ambience of our buildings and grounds. Also stop by the George Marshall Store for the opening of a new exhibit: Michael Stasiuk.
18 Great Bay Sailors Performance at the Wharf Join us for a Seafaring concert complete with shanty tunes at the Hancock Wharf featuring the musical stylings of Portsmouth’s own Great Bay Sailors. The concert starts at 4p.m. a $5 donation is appreciated. Please bring your own chairs or blankets, rain site is inside the warehouse. For more information, pleae contact Zoe or call her at 207-363-4974 x12

News and Updates

For the First Time EVER! The Museums of Old York will hold our Decorator’s Show House and our Antiques show at the SAME time Come to our 23rd Annual Decorator’s Show House and our 5th Annual Antiques Show this summer. The Decorator’s Show House will take place at 19 Harmon Park Road from July 14th through August 11th. The Antiques Show will take place in our Parson’s Center on July 21st and 22nd. During that time, if you purchase a ticket to the Decorator’s Show House, you get free admission to the Antiques Show. Plus, a ticket to either show will entitle you to $5 off admission to all of the Museums of Old York during the 2012 season. For more information, please visit our website or if you would like to volunteer please contact us at 207-363-4974.

Celebration of the Working and Playing Waterfront. A team of staff and trustees are looking ahead to summer and have been working to create an array of programs for 2012 all under the theme York’s rivers and ocean dominate its history. Celebrating our heritage on the water will take many forms. A series of fun and educational programs will be offered throughout June-July-August-September including a river regatta and barbeque, workshops, lectures and demonstrations on the history of lobstering, fishing, boat building, waterfront stories, riverscape painting, the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812, and more! A brochure will be coming out soon detailing all the offerings over the summer. See our website for a preliminary schedule of events — stay tuned for updated information.

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A Paradise for Anglers

This being the time of the year it is, meaning fishin’ time in the Pine Tree State, I thought I would share some excerpts from the 1907 Bangor & Aroostook Vacationist’s Guidebook. Historically speaking, Maine has been a destination of choice for many anglers, with the choices for game fish ranging from brook trout, to bass to togue and salmon, and then there is the offshore fishing as an option too. Remember as you read this that it was written over 100 years ago, and I share this here for the historical value these old guidebooks provide to the reader today. I intend to share the entire section on angling from this book in shorter segments, so come back tomorrow for more on Maine’s angling paradise from the bygone days!

It is one thing to want fish; it is quite another thing to know where the fish are, and how to get them. It can be safely taken for granted that forty-nine men and women out of every fifty find sport a-plenty in the gentle art of fishing. They have the angling inclination, the desire, the hopes, but they are not always fortunate in their choice of a fishing place. It is for such enthusiasts as these that this chapter of the guidebook is especially prepared. Here is given in detail just the kind of information the fisherman would like to know — where the best fishing waters are, what varieties of fish may be caught in them, and how they may be most easily reached.

Maine’s great north wilderness, with its acreage of over fifteen thousand square miles, is crossed and recrossed by the most remarkable network of aqueous lanes and byways that all America can boast—magnificent lakes, picturesque ponds, broad rivers, silvery streams and winding brooks — some thousands of them in all, if you care to make a count. They are most charming to look upon; they afford an easy road for the canoeist in and out of the densest portions of the wilderness; but most important of all to the fisherman, they harbor game fish of record size and in record numbers, and despite the annual invasions made by anglers in these domains, the piscatorial wealth of the region remains apparently unchanged.

Trout, togue, landlocked salmon, whitefish, black bass, pickerel and white perch make up the fishy fare for anglers in northern Maine. And these are not fish of ordinary size or ordinary gameness; 40 Pounds of Moosehead Lake Togue. tlieV l’llll large, and from the moment they are hooked until they are finally brought to net they give proof in plenty of great pluck and endurance. Northern Maine trout range in weight from one to eight pounds, togue will weigh from three to fifteen pounds each, landlocked salmon from three to eight pounds, with the other fish of proportionally ample size. It is no boy’s play to hook and land these finny trophies, and the fisherman who finally wins out over his battling prey certainly earns the victory.

Sport for wielders of fishing rods begins in northern Maine with the going out of the ice in the spring and holds good until well through the summer months. As for picking out any one fishing place and calling it the best, that is obviously impossible, for piscatorial advantages have been scattered in hundreds of different localities throughout northern Maine, and with wonderfully impartial hand. Our advice is to study this book enough to become familiar in a general way with northern Maine’s best fishing grounds, and then ascertain from the camp owners who advertise in this volume, whatever special information is desired regarding the angling outlook in their respective localities.

Northern Maine fishing waters group naturally into eight systems or divisions, as follows: The Piscataquis river, Moosehead Lake, Penobscot river West branch, Penobscot river East branch, Aroostook river, Fish river, Allagash river, and St. John river systems. The chief fishing waters of each system are given below, with a mention of the various kinds of fish to be met with in each instance, the most convenient railroad station, and other detailed information.

Next up, Piscataquis River Fishways…

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1812 Cannon Gets New Home

A fresh take on the Longfellow Children’s Gate
Portland Daily Sun
The gate was designed by the architect Alexander Wadsworth Longfellow “to honor his uncle Henry’s famous affection for children,” according to Maine Historical Society’s official history. But the gate, installed soon after the original MHS library…

Cannon from War of 1812 to go on display in Maine museum after years of being …
Boston.com
Nicholas Noyes, head librarian at the Maine Historical Society, said the cannon was likely purchased at that auction and later wound up as an ornament on a man’s lawn in Cape Elizabeth. “It was transferred to the society in the late 1800s and we…

Historic cannon gets new home in Maine
Appleton Post Crescent
The cannon dates to the early 1800s and it is believed it was on the HMS Boxer when the British ship battled with the USS Enterprise off Maine’s coast in 1813. The Maine Historical Society packed up the 1200-pound cannon and its 400-pound carriage on…

Historic battle cannon heads to Bath
Press Herald
On Thursday, the Maine Historical Society packed up the 1200-pound cannon — plus a 400-pound carriage — and sent it off to the Maine Maritime Museum in Bath, where it will be part of a bicentennial exhibit on the War of 1812. The historical society…

Cannon from War of 1812 headed to Bath
Press Herald
The 1200-pound cannon was donated to the Maine Historical Society in 1894 and immediately loaned to the city of Portland, probably because the society — housed at the time in a couple of rooms of the Portland Public Library — had no place to display…

Old Berwick Historical Society set to announce ‘major gift’ at annual meeting
Foster’s Daily Democrat
SOUTH BERWICK, Maine — A history enthusiast whose ancestor ran a shop in downtown South Berwick in the early 1800s has made a “major gift” to the Old Berwick Historical Society, according to society President Patricia Laska. At the society’s annual…

North Berwick Historical Society Book Club seeks new members from area
Foster’s Daily Democrat
NORTH BERWICK, Maine — All area residents who are interested in classical literature are urged to attend a discussion roundtable with the North Berwick Historical Society Book Club. New members are being welcomed now through May 31…

Maine Historical Society names new executive director
Kennebec Journal
By Bob Keyes bkeyes@mainetoday.com PORTLAND — Stephen Bromage will become the new executive director of the Maine Historical Society beginning June 1. He succeeds Richard D’Abate, who is retiring. “He’s the very best choice,” Katherine Pope…

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Pejepscot Falls 2012

Every spring the rain showers and snowmelt comes rolling down from the mountains, tumbling through the many valleys and ravines creating the spring freshets, most years providing a least a few parts of the state with devastating results. This year at Pejepscot Falls the freshet was mild, with little to no reports heard of flooding along the Androscoggin watershed. I took some video of it earlier today and uploaded it to YouTube. Comparatively speaking, it appears to be just a lot of water flowing under the bridge, but when you stand back and look at the history surrounding this place, one cannot help but wonder at the awesome power these rains bring to the falls every year. The following piece is an excerpt from the 1868 copy of the Hydrographic Survey of 1867, a report on the water powers of Maine.

The history behind this place is too lengthy to share here, but suffice it to say that there is more than meets the eye when it comes to the towns of Brunswick and Topsham. Perhaps I’ll do a post on the bar-hopping ladies of the early 1800s someday. Enjoy watching the video while reading about some of the mills that made use of this waterpower in the mid 1800s.

First, the “Pejepscot Falls,” on the Androscoggin river, at the head of tide; total height of fall about forty-one (40 83) feet above common high tide; whole horizontal distance, 1,980 feet. “The fall can be increased to fifty-five feet by raising the upper dam, and the damage from flowage would be very slight, the land on both sides of the river for eight miles to Little River Village being mostly high.”

Formation of the Falls.—The natural falls consist of coarse graphic granite and gneiss. The rock upon the middle fall projects above the water at several points, serving as natural abutments to the several sections of the dam. The lower fall has an island near middle of stream, Shad Island. There are three pitches.

The minimum power at this point, as at others above, is capable of very great increase, at least trebled, by the improvement of the great natural reservoirs upon the river. This I shall be able to set forth more fully in the next report. It is a power, at the lowest estimate that can be put upon it, of the first magnitude.

Lay of the land excellent for the location of mills and factories, there being a broad natural slope below the falls of sufficient extent to accommodate any required number of constructions. Colonel Baldwin judges the best sites to be upon the left bank. Advantages for the conveyance of water by canals, first-class. The stone in the immediate vicinity of the falls is suitable for foundations and such coarse work. Building granite of excellent quality within two miles, and excellent clay for bricks close at hand. Lime burned in town.

The privilege is owned by about fifteen different proprietors, resident in the vicinity.

-Improvements.—Two dams constructed of wood, leaky at present, as indeed they always have been. The upper or third dam rotted down and was carried away a few years ago. The power has been so much in surplus that the leakage has been of no importance. The machinery employed is by no means of the best construction for economizing power or in other respects. This statement does not apply, however, to the cotton mill. This is located on the middle dam on the Brunswick side, a natural site for a mill of 50,000 spindles being close by it on the same dam, and is the property of the Cabot Manufacturing Co., organized 1857, capital $400,000 ; mill recently enlarged, best of machinery put in, 25,000 spindles, employs about 500 hands, manufactures fine and coarse sheetings and drills. The company own thirty acres of land on the two sides of the river, and seventy-five tenements. Agent, Benjamin Greene, Brunswick. There are also on the Brunswick side two flour mills andtwo saw mills. Upon the Topsham side are one flour mill and two sawmills. Various small machinery, in addition, is run upon both sides of the river. A very small proportion of the power is now used. It was formerly employed in manufacturing lumber, thirty saws being used; now only four single saws and a gang.

Accessibility.—Brunswick and Topsham are connected by railroads with Portland, Bath and the interior. Vessels of 1,000 tons can come within five miles of the falls, but from that point would be obliged to “lighter up,” the channel being obstructed with shifting sands. The river is “frozen for four and a half to five months yearly.” From the falls to Casco bay is three miles, the country a dead level; a railroad could be built at small expense, opening upon excellent harborage.

Second power, Quaker Mill pond, on the Androscoggin, three miles above the Pejepscot falls, will furnish power for a number of saws. It may in time serve a purpose of great importance as a reservoir against the day drouths at Brunswick, caused by the stoppage of the run at Lewiston by night in the low water season.

“Any parties who come amongst us with a view to the improvement of our water-power, will meet a cordial reception and substantial cooperation from both sides of the river.”

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May Sarton 100th Anniversary Event at MoOY

Maine state historian to talk Civil War monuments
Sponsored by the Old Berwick Historical Society, the program is open to the public. Maine’s memorial monuments range in location and age, from Bangor in 1864, while the war was still in progress, to Lisbon in 1999. Many feature standing Union soldiers…

Don Perkins: Freeport takes pride in 1800s warship
This year marks the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812, and the Freeport Historical Society is paying tribute with a special program on May 6 titled, “Free Trade and Sailors’ Rights — The War of 1812.” The town has significant connections to this…

Old radar station to become energy park near Moscow, Maine

MOSCOW, Maine — A former U.S. Air Force radar station in Maine’s northern forest has been purchased by a trio of New England companies including Cianbro of Pittsfield, according to a release issued by the companies Monday. The others two companies involved in the purchase…

In death, Portland woman reunited with long-lost love

Teresa Getchell spent decades seeking the truth about her husband’s wartime death in 1969


May Programs From the Museums of Old York:

3-6 May Sarton 100 Anniversary Event. Come celebrate the life and times of Poet and Author May Sarton! In collaboration with the York Public Library and the First Parish Church, the Museums of Old York will be hosting a Centennial Symposium of May Sarton. Registration is filling up so please visit the May Sarton 100 Website for more information and to sign up for the symposium.

6 American Girl Doll Tea – in Jefferds Tavern–KIDS PROGRAM stop in from 2-4 p.m. You and your American Girl Doll are invited to a special Colonial tea. Dress yourself and your doll in your prettiest outfits for an afternoon of proper enjoyment. Sip tea and enjoy cookies in Jefferds Tavern while you learn about the American Girl Felicity who protested tea drinking during the Revolutionary War. Make a mob cap for you and your doll in the Parsons Center program room. $5 per person, tickets available at the door.For more information please contact Zoe Keefer-Norris or call 207-363-4974 x12.

18 Tavern Dinner. Join us for this month’s ever popular historic dinner. Relax and kindle new friendships as colonial ladies prepare a fabulous meal at the hearth. Keep an eye on our website for upcoming menus and announcements of unique entertainments. Sign up soon –these dinners fill fast! $35 ($30 members) at the Parsons Education Center, 6 p.m.

20 Blue Grass Jam with Kevin Dyer and Friends. 1-4 p.m. at The Parsons Center. $4 donation appreciated.

28 Buck-a-Building Memorial Day and Paddle-to-the-Sea. Come see the Museum properties, including the the Old Gaol, Emerson-Wilcox House, Elizabeth Perkins House, Jefferds Tavern, the School House, and our Exhibit, “The country heer is plentiful” Trade, Religion and Warfare in York and Southern Maine, open for $1 tours. At 2 p.m. families are invited participate in Paddle-to-the-Sea, a kid-focused program based on Holling Clancy Hollings children’s book by the same name. After hearing the story, build a little boat, label it with your family’s name and launch it down the river. Follow your boat’s journey to the ocean on our blog. $5 per mini boat at the John Hancock Warehouse. 9:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.

News and Updates

Celebration of the Working and Playing Waterfront. A team of staff and trustees are looking ahead to summer and have been working to create an array of programs for 2012 all under the theme York’s rivers and ocean dominate its history. Celebrating our heritage on the water will take many forms. A series of fun and educational programs will be offered throughout June-July-August-September including a river regatta and barbeque, workshops, lectures and demonstrations on the history of lobstering, fishing, boat building, waterfront stories, riverscape painting, the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812, and more! A brochure will be coming out in May detailing all the offerings over the summer. See our website for a preliminary schedule of events — stay tuned for updated information.

OAH/NCPH 2012

Highlights of the Organization of American Historians in Milwaukie from the History News Network;


Highlights from the 2012 OAH Annual Meeting in Milwaukee

David A. Walsh

Index

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Nelson Dingley Jr.

Genealogy is about the memories we give, as well
The presentation is free and open to all. Donations will be accepted to benefit Orono Historical Society. For information on researching family history in Maine, see Genealogy Resources under Family Ties at bangordailynews.com/browse/family-ties

$10000 grant will help renovate old train depot
The 1851 depot is the oldest rail-related structure in Maine, and among the oldest in the US, according to a press release from the society. The restoration is a component of the society’s ongoing initiative to restore its historic village…

Presque Isle trolley offering trips back in time
“There used to be electric trolleys all over the state,” said historical society president Craig Green. “But this is the first-ever trolley in northern Maine.” Vintage trolleys and replicas like the Presque Isle vehicle are common tourist attractions…

Misery Gore. China. Meddybemps. Bangor. Poland. Amity. Cornville. Maine names: Behind the state’s unusual place names are our hopes, ancestors, religion, colorful characters and imaginations.

Have you ever driven down a Maine road and seen a sign that made you wonder just where on Earth our names come from? Meddybemps. Mars Hill. Argyle. Misery Gore. That last one might have made you want to turn back. There are some pretty odd place names in Maine and…

In death, Portland woman reunited with long-lost love

Teresa Getchell spent decades seeking the truth about her husband’s wartime death in 1969.

Cultivating Younger Buyers a Must for Antique Dealers
As an antique dealer and collector, as well as a business owner, Michelle Staley is always looking for new ways to reinvent her business, her brand and her product line. Right now, Michelle says, she sees the need to make her inventory attractive to the Twentysomething consumer. Many Baby Boomers are downsizing and, while they are still spending money on antiques and collectibles, Michelle argues that antiques and collectibles dealers need to cultivate a younger generation of shoppers to keep their businesses afloat. So, how do you go about making your antique store front or website attractive to the young consumer? Michelle has some tips. Read “Cultivating Younger Buyers a Must for Antique Dealers”

More Events, Exhibits and Presentations

Selections from the Red Boutilier Collection: Exhibit of photography from the museum’s archives. Free. At Camden Public Library. April 1-30.

Selections from the Elmer Montgomery and Atlantic Fisherman Collections: Exhibits of photography from the museum’s archives. Free. At Hutchinson Center, Belfast. Through April 30.

Digging Deeper into the Elmer Montgomery Collection: Illustrated talk by Curator Ben Fuller. Free. At Hutchinson Center, Belfast. April 25, 6:30 p.m.

Greetings from Stockton Springs: Illustrated talk by Photo Archivist Kevin Johnson, with historic photos from the Eastern Illustrating collection. Free. At Stockton Springs Community Library. April 29, 2 p.m.

Maine Agriculture: Views from the Past: Historic photo exhibit. Donation requested. At Page Farm and Home Museum, University of Maine-Orono. May 10 – Nov. 10.

The following is excerpted from Representative Men of Maine, ed. by Henry Chase, pub. 1893 by the Lakeside Press:

Journalist, Legislator, Ex-Governor, and Congressman, Nelson Dingley, Jr., stands in the front rank of the sons of Maine and is in very many respects a most excellent type of New England character. Ability, industry, courage, and a capacity for work are the great causes of his success. It is these, coupled with honesty and perseverance, that have made his pathway straight from the country schoolhouse to the national capitol.

Mr. Dingley was born in Durham, Maine, February 15, 1832, being the eldest son of Nelson and Jane L. Dingley. The following year the parents removed to Parkman, this state, where they kept a country store in connection with the village hotel. The son was distinguished in the district school for his studious habits and good scholarship. At twelve years of age, he attended the high school, three miles distant, walking each morning and night and carrying his dinner pail. When sixteen years of age he organized a temperance society in his town, and from that time to the present he has always taken a deep interest, and been an able and faithful worker, in the great cause of temperance. When seventeen years of age he taught school in the town of China, and continued to teach every win1er but one for the next five years. In 1851, he entered Colby University, then Waterville College, where he remained one year and a half, and then took a course at Dartmouth, from which he graduated in 1855 with high rank in scholarship.

After leaving college, Mr. Dingley studied law with Morrill & Fessenden at Auburn, and was admitted to the Bar in 1856. In September of that year he purchased one-half of the Lewiston Journal, and the year following he became the sole proprietor and editor. At this time, the Journal
was a weekly paper. A daily edition was added in 1861, and Frank L., a younger brother of Nelson, became associated with the paper, which has continued under their management to the present time. It supported the first Republican nominee in this State, and has since that time been an able Republican journal

In 1861 Mr. Dingley received his first election to public office, being only twenty-nine years of age. He was re-elected a member of the Legislature in 1862, 1863, 1864, 1868, and 1873; was speaker in 1863 and 1864. In 1867-8 he was at the head of the State Lodge of Good Templars, and was justly regarded as the leader in the temperance and prohibitory movement in Maine. Mr. Dingley was elected Governor of the State in 1873, and re-elected by an increased majority in 1874, but declined a re-election the following year.

In 1881 he was elected by the Republicans in the second district to fill the vacancy in Congress caused by the election to the Senate of Hon. William P. Frye, and took his seat in the House at the opening of the Forty-seventh Congress, in December of that year. He was re-elected to the Forty-eighth, Forty ninth, Fiftieth, Fifty-first, Fifty-second, and Fifty-third Congresses, and always by good majorities.

Mr. Dingley’s first speech in Congress was made April 25, 1882, on “Protection to American Shipping.” This speech commanded attention both in Congress and throughout the country, especially in commercial circles. It was pronounced by the Washington Star “a speech of much ability and force, giving promise of a successful career in Congress,” and by the Washington correspondent of the New York Tribune ” one of the best speeches ever made by a new member.” He has taken an active part in the discussions of many of the leading measures before the House during his congressional career. Among those may be mentioned the various shipping bills the silver question, reduction of taxation, compulsory pilotage, the tariff, the fishery question, the French spoliation claims, the anti-Chinese bill, etc. Perhaps his greatest efforts in Congress have been devoted to relieving American shipping of many of the burdens resting upon it and to the promotion of that great industry in which many of his constituents have large interests.

Mr. Dingley has served on some of the important committees of the House, notably the Ways and Means, the Appropriations, the Banking and Currency Committee, the Committee on Merchant Marine and Eisheries, and the Select Committee on American Ship-building and Ship-owning Interests In 1884 he reported from the Shipping Committee a bill to remove certain burdens on American shipping, and a bill to “Constitute a Bureau of Navigation” in the Treasury Department, and largely through his labor and influence these bills passed both houses of Congress the same year and became laws.

As a legislator Congressman Dingley is industrious and painstaking, and as a debater he is vigorous and logical. He is thoroughly conscientious and honest in all he does and says, and to these qualities may be attributed largely his success in Congress and throughout his whole public career.

Categories: antiques, articles, Maine, Maine Biographies, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Poland Spring Inn

Poland Spring, Maine has been a fixture for over two hundred years now (215,actually), having been opened in 1797 by Jabez Ricker, after settling at that location in 1794. I came across an article in the June 1922 issue of the Bankers Magazine. I thought I would share with those interested in the history of the Poland Spring Inn. The advertisement shown here is from a 1922 issue of the national Magazine.

THE Poland Spring House is situated on the old homestead estate of Wentworth Ricker in the heart of one of the loveliest regions of Maine and New England. In 1794 Jabez Ricker with his four sons and six daughters arrived and settled in a small house on the land south of the present Mansion House. In 1795 the building comprising the northwest corner of the present Mansion House was commenced. This building was first occupied in 1796, and during the following year was finished as an inn; a signpost was erected at the northwest corner with a sign bearing the words: “WENTWORTH RICKER, 1797.” It is recorded that the morning following their arrival, and when there was no regular highway in these parts, two men who were passing through the country called for meals. Since that day, for a period touching three centuries, these doors have never been closed to the coming guest. It is also worthy of note that the “Wentworth Ricker Inn” was one of the first to offer “entertainment for man and beast” on the post highway from Portland to Montreal.

The original Mansion House was opened by Wentworth Ricker, the grandfather of the present proprietors, Hiram Ricker & Sons, as Jabez Ricker had previously settled all his sons on properties, practically all of which have since been taken into the present estate, originally containing about 300 acres; and now over 5000 acres in the entire Poland Spring property.

Nearly 120 years of hotel-keeping have evolved the Mansion House, the Poland Spring House, and developed the estate; and the Riccar Inn at Poland Spring, which was first opened in 1913, derives its name from George and Maturin Riccar, the founders of the Ricker family in America. Side by side with the growth of Poland Spring as a Famous summer and winter resort, has developed also the history of the Poland Spring itself, and Poland Water has become famous throughout the civilized world.

Poland Spring is about 800 feet above sea level, twenty six miles north of Portland, Maine, and about five miles via the Poland Spring Automobile Stage Line from Danville Junction station of the Maine Central Railroad. The facilities for reaching Poland Spring from new York, Boston and other centers are unexcelled. The Poland Spring property of 5000 acres is of diversified character, and a small army of workers is employed in its upkeep. The scientific drainage, the electric lighting system, the water supply and fire protection have attained the perfection possible only through unrestricted study and expense. The well planned system of water towers, hydrants and sprinklers, and the system of fire brick walls afford the utmost protection.

Of the many lakes and ponds about Poland Spring, the nearest of importance is the Range Lakes encircling the western foot of Ricker Hill, less than a mile from either hotel. These are well stocked with bass, togue and other game fish. Within a few miles are other noted waters: Lake Auburn, Thompson’s Pond, Sabbath day Lake, etc., and if a guest should desire to visit the Rangely’s, which are within easy distance, arrangements may be made to occupy the Poland Spring Camp on Mooselukmeguntic for short periods.

The long sand beach at Middle Range Lake is a constant delight to children. There is every opportunity for boating and swimming, and a modern bathing pavilion, with instructors and boatmen, will be found at Middle Lake.

The tennis facilities have kept pace with the increasing popularity of the game; the three clay courts are the best that can be built, and are maintained in first-class condition. Riding is a feature that has had much attention, and an excellent string of saddle horses, and a riding master from the staff of the Durland Academy of New York, are available during the season. The links —an eighteen-hole course—rank with the best in the country.

The Mansion House and Riccar Inn are open the entire year and offer every modern comfort and convenience to the guest with long-distance telephone and steam heat in every room. Particularly during the winter season which is at its height from the first of December until the last of March, the Mansion House is the most modern of the winter resorts in New England.

A notable feature of Poland Spring is the “Maine State Building”—the official building of the State of Maine at the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893, when Poland Water received the Grand Prize. At the close of the Exposition this building was purchased, and re-erected at Poland Spring. This building houses the annual exhibit of representative American artists, in addition to the growing permanent exhibition of the owners, and the library of over 6000 volumes of modern, classical and historical literature; the reading room is provided with the more important periodicals, under the charge of a competent librarian.

All Soul’s Chapel—erected through the cooperation during many years of proprietors and guests, by direct contributions, and the proceeds of an annual fair for the purpose—is adjacent to the Poland Spring House, and on Sundays is the scene of services of various religious denominations for all who desire to attend.

~~~

Times have certainly changed, and the Poland Spring resort, while still a grand destination is but a shadow of what it was in Maine’s bygone days. The Ricker’s began to market the world famous Poland Spring water in the late 1840s, originally bottling it in green bottles with green labels to emphasize the natural properties of the water. You can learn more about this destination and its history by visiting the Poland Spring Preservation Society’s webpage.

Categories: historic buildings, historic preservation, historical societies, history, Maine, Maine things to do, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

A week of Shipwrecks

The anniversary of the wreck of the Titanic was this past Tuesday, April 10, and there has been no lack of interest on this subject. TV specials were all over the place, as well as movies, interviews of researchers, lectures and more could be found all across the state. There were events held in many of Maine’s historical societies, from the mother ship on down.

The picture to the left of the Titanic is from The Loss of the SS Titanic, by Lawrence Beesley, published in 1912. You can download the book by clicking onto the title.

I have a few headlines to share today, as well as a MHS event and an excellent article on selling your collections by Harry Rinker. A link to the story can be found at the end of the blurb. Enjoy, and don’t forget to remember our service men and women on Monday, which is also Patriots Day.

Shipwrecks highlighted during next Belfast Historical Society meeting
Johansen is the publisher of Maine Coastal News, a monthly publication dedicated to covering the waterfront of the state of Maine. He has a lifelong interest in shipwrecks and maritime history. Belfast Historical Society meetings are free and open to

Stow Historical Society Chowd’a Fest April 14
First Annual Stow Historical Society Chowd’a Fest will be held Saturday, April 14, from 4:30 to 6:30 pm snow or shine at Saco Valley Fire Station (Route 113 in North Fryeburg). A challenge has been extended to the Cold River Valley and

‘Field School’ allows study of archaeological dig
Students, teachers and history buffs interested in archaeology have an opportunity this summer to join a field school led by archaeologist Neill De Paoli and sponsored by the Old Berwick Historical Society

A child’s account of the Titanic retold in Portland
Author and St. Joseph’s College Professor of Education Karen Marks Lemke speaks about the ill-fated Titanic at the Maine Historical Society on Tuesday, April 10, 2012. The ship sank 100 years ago this week…

New book upcoming on Isles of Shoals
An upcoming book about the Isles of Shoals off the New Hampshire and Maine coasts traces 6000 years of history at one of the tiny islands. Author and historian J. Dennis Robinson says 250000 artifacts were unearthed on rocky Smuttynose

Maine Historical Society

Thursday, April 19, 7pm

The Civil War of 1812

Speaker: Dr. Alan Taylor, University of California, Davis

This year marks the bicentennial of the War of 1812, a formative event in both Maine and U.S. history and the subject of Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Alan Taylor’s new book. Join us to learn more! This program is part of the Richard D’Abate Lectures: Conversations About History, Art, and Literature. Series details.

To see a full list of upcoming programs, please click here.

Rinker on Collectibles: Advice on Selling a Collection
When starting a collection, it’s all fun and games and the thrill of the hunt, locating that missing or surprising treasure that will no doubt be the group’s centerpiece. But at some point, when the collection becomes more of a hindrance than a hobby, a decision will be made to sell it off. When selling any collections, especially if assembled after 1980, there are several truths a seller has to face, says Worthologist Harry Rinker. Unfortunately, all have a “bad news” aspect and run counter to what the collector believes deep in his/her heart. Harry has some advice for those who decide to go through with the sale. Does it apply to you and your collection? Read “Rinker on Collectibles: Advice on Selling a Collection”

Categories: articles, collectibles, headlines, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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