Historical Sketch of Prouts Neck

By Frank Moss

This historical sketch was originally written by Frank Moss and published in 1912. This is a reproduction of that publication.

THE object in writing the following notes is to bridge over the interval between Mr. Moulton’s history of Prout’s Neck and the present, as during that interval ( 1886 to 1912 ) many of the landmarks have changed, and dear and valued friends have been called to a better world, while their many good deeds, though thoroughly appreciated, unless recorded may soon be forgotten.

The first introduction to Prout’s Neck was 1886, twenty-six years ago. We had heard glowing accounts from our friends ( among whom was Mr. Charles Thomas) “ that it was a charming place, beautifully situated, and in every way calculated to satisfy the artist’s eye.” So in the summer of that year we determined to make the venture, and in no way were disappointed.

At that time the Neck was quite primitive, the Checkley was very limited in comparison with what it is at present, and there were only a few cottages to grace the place. The hotels were the Checkley, Cammack, West Point, Willows, Southgate, and the Prout’s Neck or Middle House, the latter a fine old relic, one of its picturesque features being a moss-covered roof. The interior was also quaint and interest­ ing, the beams, showing through the ceilings, being of huge, rough, solid timber browned by age. A long flight of steps from the edge of the embankment ( facing the house ) led to a wharf, which served as a means of embarking on rowing, sailing and fishing excursions — in fact, that was the only port, as we had no boat-house in those days. The hotel and wharf were owned by Capt. Eben Seavey, to whom we owed an everlasting debt of gratitude for his kindness and generosity.

The channel was dotted with punts and dories, mostly sup­ plied by Capt. John Wiggins, whose “ hotel,” as he called his shanty, was a three-roomed, one-story building, on a triangle at the edge of the road facing the Lee House, where he sold fish, candies, lobsters, cookies, in fact, anything from a post stamp to a bathing suit. He was striking in appear­ ance, as he delighted in wearing a one-tailed dress coat, red flannel shirt, high topped boots with the trousers tucked in, and the whole topped off with a high, grey felt hat. He was also useful in supplying us with bread, eggs, etc., as the nearest shop in those days was the ‘ ‘ two-mile store,” located on the top of the hill where the main road joins the Higgins Beach road.

Neither had we a post office, but depended for mail and transport on Harris Seavey, who also carried us to and from the station in his barge. Altogether the life and customs were very quaint and primitive.

In that year there were only about five or six cottages on the Neck. Ours was almost opposite to Mr. Charles Thomas’, now the Charles Thomas Memorial Library, who showed his love and appreciation of the happy days he enjoyed at Prout’s Neck by leaving his property to trustees, devising that it should be used in perpetuity as a library. We, the few who survive him and who knew his many excellent qualities, thoroughly appreciate the value of the gift, as it is not only a source of pleasure to the summer vis­itors, but is also used by the natives who as residents have the privileges of the library during the long and trying winter months.

One of the great pleasures was bathing in the ocean, and though the beach had a very gradual incline and the undertow scarcely perceptible, there was always facing us the danger of some one drowning, especially as we lacked the usual protec­tion which is at all well regulated seashore resorts, viz., a lifeboat.

Mr. Ira C. Foss was first consulted, who considered seri­ously the question and advised immediate action. A list was made and a canvass up the road as far as the two-mile store” was successful in interesting the various residents, who agreed to meet at an early date for discussing ways and means with the summer visitors. This was in the year 1887. The first meeting was held at the Prout’s Neck House.

Among those present were Messrs. J. V. and T. B. Mer­rick, Colbruth, J. M Kaler, Pennel, Small, Eben Seavey, Ai Seavey, Fairbanks, Moss, C. Hinckley, and A. Homer.

There was but one opinion,— that we should have a life­ boat as soon as possible, and as each one agreed to subscribe ten dollars we were enabled to establish the beach service, by buying a lifeboat, building a boathouse, and maintaining a boatman.

This was the origin of the Prout’s Neck Association.

At that memorable meeting, Mr. J. V. Merrick was elected President, Mr. T. B. Merrick Treasurer, and F. Moss Secretary and Beach Committee.

As the Neck became more and more populated, so in pro­ portion did the scope of the Association broaden.

A surveyor was employed to mark the roads and bounda­ries for which purpose granite posts were placed at corners:’ and intersections (some of which still remain) showing where one could build without encroaching on either roads or land. At that time this action was very important, and the result was a perfect understanding as to localities.

It may be well to mention that the roads are private roads, repaired when necessary from the funds of the Association or by private enterprise. T h e town road commences at the Checkley Hotel and skirts the edge of the bay to Scarboro station and so on to Portland.

Later on, the stone pier, boardwalks, bridges, and bath houses were added, besides a fresh-water well was sunk at the bathing beach, as we had no supply of running water in those days.

The Association was useful in other ways, one of which was to bring the summer residents in touch with the authori­ ties of the town. For that purpose we hired the old Odd Fellows Hall, having chosen the point of assembly as central as possible in order that everyone could participate. One important meeting was held at the town hall, Mr. F. M. Newcomb as Moderator or Chairman. The discussion was in relation to sanitation, and the necessity of having proper drainage. For that purpose the town agreed to give $250 towards the project if we would furnish a like sum, which we did. W e then employed a Boston expert, who, after a week’s work running lines, etc., advised our building a stone reservoir in the sand, as far away as possible, but as his low­ est estimate for same was $13,000 we had to abandon that method and avail ourselves of the present service, which answers our purpose without such huge expenditure.

A most useful and beneficial auxiliary was inaugurated about 1904 or 1905. The Ladies’ Prout’s Neck Association, which has been of great service in many ways, marking out and making paths, eradicating noxious weeds, instituting a system for keeping the roads and paths free from paper and refuse, employment of government and state experts on trees, and last but not least suggesting to the parent associa tion certain necessary improvements, for which it generously furnished funds.

As the number of visitors increased every year, there was a necessity for providing them with the usual outdoor amuse­ments,— golf, tennis, and good boating facilities.

Through the kindness of Mr. Ira C. Foss, many enjoyed the benefit of his tennis courts, but as they were inadequate to supply the demand a syndicate was formed to supply not only good tennis courts but also a substantial boathouse, large enough for the storage of boats and canoes, and boatmen to care for same.

The establishing of courts and boathouse was in 1902. For this purpose there had to be provided caretakers, nets, appur­tenances for the courts, as well as boats, canoes, oars, paddles, anchors, etc.

It may be well to mention that though the syndicate under­ took the above work, the main idea was to manage it tempo­rarily, as frequent efforts were made by its members to form a tea or clubhouse, in order by such combination to have it a public and not a private institution. In fact, for the benefit of all, it was found necessary to take immediate steps, for the following reasons:

First — The inaccessibility of the golf course, which at that time was adjacent to the burial ground, near the Scar- boro station.

Second —The want of a tea or clubhouse near our dwell­ ings.

Third — The imperative necessity of our acquiring the tract known as the ‘ ‘ Wiggins Land,” especially as there was a possibility of it becoming a terminal for a trolley line.

For the purpose of combining to unite the various social and athletic interests, the important question was how to secure the Wiggins tract, as everything hinged on that. It was a difficult job, but finally Messrs. George S. Motley of Lowell and P. W . Sprague of Boston were interested suffic­iently to promise to furnish the funds to back the project should there be a number of subscribers sufficient to authorize the venture. This took place in the month of September, 1906. The understanding was that a meeting should be called, at which, if a sufficient sum were subscribed, means would be supplied for the purchase of the land for the build­ ing of a clubhouse, tennis courts, golf links, etc. There had to be rush for this as many people were leaving for their homes on account of the lateness of the season.

A meeting was called at the cottage of Mr. Charles E. Morgan, who kindly loaned his house for the place of rendez­vous. It is needless to say that those present, on hearing the plan proposed for furthering the welfare of Prout’s Neck, were most enthusiastic and pledged themselves to subscribe the necessary sum.

Messrs. Sprague and Motley succeeded in purchasing the land, November 31st, 1906. Later on Mr. Sprague sent to the manager the following telegram: Deeds have been signed. Go to work on building and improvements.”

Previous to the receipt of the telegram, a site had been marked out for both house and tennis courts, arid the trees blazed where it was necessary to cut through the woods for a golf course, the latter under the supervision of Mr. Fenn, the expert and professional of the Poland Spring golf course.

Estimates had been received and accepted for the building, as well as for the construction of tennis courts and golf links. Mr. Pease, the able architect of Portland, was allotted the plans of the house, but it is well to merition that first they had been carefully drawn “ to scale” by Mr. Howard Hinckley of Washington, D. C., who also gave much of his time and thought to the development of the grounds.

As there were snow and ice on the ground when Mr. A. L. Googins, the builder and contractor, commenced oper­ations, the prospect of having the ‘‘plant” finished in reasonable time looked very slim. But irrespective of weather and drawbacks the work was pushed to completion, and delivered to the members at the promised time. It was an arduous undertaking for those who had to manage the financiering, as well as the correspondence, especially as the subscribers were in England, France, North, South, East and West. To one man during that winter over seventy letters were written.

In connection with the above, great credit should be given to Mr. Sprague, who, when there was an emergency from lack of funds, always generously responded to the call by furnishing the money to continue the work.

Also to Mr. Charles S. Homer, for his gift ( in perpetuity ) to the Prouts Neck Corporation, as trustees, the tract of woods leading to “ the Sanctuary,” which as a public benefit will ever remain as a monument of his generosity.

Also to Mr. Winslow Homer, who deeded to the same corporation the land adjoining the bathing beach, a gift which has been of inestimable benefit to the residents.

To Mr. Ira C. Foss we owe an everlasting debt of grati­tude for installing the water works. His excellent system for supplying that need enabled us to have modern plumbing and effective drainage.

In conclusion, it would be well to mention the arduous endeavors of officers of the Prout’s Neck Association effect­ually to carry on their work of repairing roads, maintenance of bathing facilities, library, paths, sanitation, fire department, etc., and to state that with limited means it reflects great credit on those who have in the past as well as present voluntarily given their services.

Note: Minor spelling and punctuation edits were added to the above text.

The original text and formatting are available on the Digital Maine Site.

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February 2019 – SHS Website Activities

Main Room



Surname Files

Videos Added:

Maine in the Civil War – Presented by Ashley Towle, Ph.D. – February 2019

Bookcase (Back)

They Answered the Call – List of Scarborough Volunteers in the Civil War.


Scarborough Annual Report – 1886
Scarborough Annual Report – 1887
Scarborough Annual Report – 1888
Scarborough Annual Report – 1889
Scarborough Annual Report – 1890

Middle Room

Valuation Books

1889 Scarborough Tax Valuation Book (Images Only) (PNHS)

Back Room (Kitchen)


Blue Point School c. 1964

Image “Children boarding school bus.” (MS #1010) was posted to Digital Maine – Scarborough Images.

Blue Point School – Class of 1926, photo taken 22 April 1926. Includes Superintendent of Schools, Mr. Heald, teacher Leah Burnett, and 23 students. Also, included is an Identification Photo which includes the names of the students.




Books Available Online

Biographical Review – Containing Biographical Sketches of Leading Citizens of Cumberland County, Maine. “Scarboro” is found on 43 pages of the book. Free download at Internet Archive. 

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January 2019 – SHS Website Activities

Main Room


Surname Files


Added Scarborough’s Black Point; a Century of Conflict by Michael Davis to the Video Library. Also posted his presentation images to Presentation Images – Century of Conflict.

Back Room (Kitchen)


I created Image Galleries for Food Shops, Hotels, and Restaurants. Based upon the images in Photo Box 1B




Scarborough Town Reports

Scarborough Historical Society Collection

Digitized, OCRed, & uploaded “Annual Report of the Town of Scarborough for 1881 to Digital Maine.

Digitized, OCRed, & uploaded “Annual Report of the Town of Scarborough for 1882 to Digital Maine.

Digitized, OCRed, & uploaded “Annual Report of the Town of Scarborough for 1883 to Digital Maine.

Digitized, OCRed, & uploaded “Annual Report of the Town of Scarborough for 885 to Digital Maine.

Rodney Laughton Personal Collection

Digitized, OCRed, & uploaded “Annual Report of the Town of Scarborough for the Year Ending March 9th, 1874 to Digital Maine.

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Valentine Display at Museum

Harkening back to simpler times, Curator Becky Delaware has put together an exhibit remembering Valentine Days gone by. Visit the Scarborough Historical Museum now through February 9th and see the curated displays.

Photo of Curator Becky Delaware with the Valentine 2019 display.
Curator Becky Delaware and the 2019 Valentine Display

The Museum is open Tuesdays from 9AM until Noon and the second Saturday of the month from 9AM to Noon. That means the Saturday before Valentine’s Day we are open (Feb 9th).

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Annual Reports – Town of Scarborough

Annual Reports

Annual Reports of the Town of Scarborough.  Some of the reports are from the personal collection of Rodney Laughton, others are from the files at the Museum. Individual reports will indicate their source in the Identifier as presented on Digital Maine. The Annual Reports typically include information regarding the support of the poor, the almshouse, various town bills, costs of town roads and bridges, school costs, & teacher salaries.













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Presentation Images – Century of Conflict

On January 6th, 2019, Michael Davis gave a presentation to the Scarborough Historical Society titled “Scarborough’s Black Point – A Century of Conflict.” Below are the images of that presentation. A video of his excellent presentation is here.

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December 2018 – SHS Website Activities

Main Room


1741-1844 Black Point (and Prouts Neck) map uploaded to Digital Maine.

Surname Files

Corporal Lucian Thomas Libby added to Libby Surname File.


Videos page updated and Maine Barns by Don Perkins was posted to YouTube Playlist,

Back Room (Kitchen)


Old King Homestead

Posted Postcard “Old King Homestead”  – Old King House where 1st Governor of Maine (William King) was born. Dunstan Corner, Maine. The center section dated to the time of the King Family. The set of buildings was torn down about 1910.


Moulton House Collage

The Moulton House was an inn, restaurant, and cocktail lounge at Dunstan Corner. Over the years, the Inn had several forms (2 story, 3 story, & 4 story) and several names:

  • A-1 Steak Pit
  • Moulton House
  • Scarborough Inn
  • Snug Harbor
  • Valle’s Inn


Updated the Master Ephemera Finding Aid to the 13 December 2018 version.


Scrapbook A2018-35-1, is a collection of newspaper clippings. The vast majority of the clippings are unlabeled and unidentified as to the newspaper or the date. However, some of the clippings have handwritten dates on them identifying them as from as early as 1931 to as late as 1950. The majority of dates are 1933. The donor of this scrapbook was Margaret Small.


Scarborough Town Reports

Rodney Laughton Personal Collection

Digitized, OCRed, & uploaded “Finance and School Reports of the Town of Scarborough for 1854—55 to Digital Maine.

Digitized, OCRed, & uploaded “Finance and School Reports of the Town of Scarborough for 1861—62 to Digital Maine.

Digitized, OCRed, & uploaded “Finance and School Reports of the Town of Scarborough for 1869 to Digital Maine.

Digitized, OCRed, & uploaded “Finance and School Reports of the Town of Scarborough for 1876 to Digital Maine.

Digitized, OCRed, & uploaded “Finance and School Reports of the Town of Scarborough for 1878 to Digital Maine.

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Images of The Moulton House

The Moulton House was an inn, restaurant, and cocktail lounge at Dunstan Corner. Over the years, the Inn had several names and forms.

Moulton House Collage

The Scarborough Historical Society has 11 images of the Moulton House, which are available for download as a compressed (Zipped) file. Included are:

  • A-1 Steak Pit of Scarborough – 1 photo.
  • Moulton House (The Original – 2 stories) – 1 photo.
  • Moulton House (4 stories – Flat roof) – 3 photos.
  • Moulton House (3 stories) – 1 photo.
  • Scarborough Inn – 1 photo.
  • Snug Harbor – 1 photo.
  • Valle’s Inn – 3 photos
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Margaret Small Scrapbook – A2018-35-1

This scrapbook, accession number 2018-35-1, is a collection of newspaper clippings. The vast majority of the clippings are unlabeled and unidentified as to the newspaper or the date. However, some of the clippings have handwritten dates on them identifying them to be from as early as 1931 to as late as 1950. The majority of dates are 1933. The donor of this scrapbook was Margaret Small.

The clippings primarily include marriage announcements and obituaries with many entries regarding the accomplishments of various Scarborough people.

In its 53 pages there are 74 instances of “Scarboro” six of “Dunstan,” 14 of “Oak Hill,” 22 of “Black Point,” 30 of “Pine Point,” and two of Higgins beach.

The scrapbook was scanned at 400 DPI, cropped as appropriate, and rotated as needed, then it was OCRed using FineReader and exported as a searchable PDF file on Digital Maine.

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Corporal Lucian Thomas Libby

Photo of Lucien T. Libby

Lucien T. Libby

I recently received a question regarding the life of Corporal Lucian Thomas Libby of Scarborough. Lucian died of wounds during World War I. His questions were, do we know which battle he died in and if there are relatives in the area?

My “go-to” place for his first question is Family Search. There, I was able to quickly find the Grave Card for Lucien T. Libby[i]. It indicated that he is buried in Black Point Cemetery, in section A, and that he died on 22 October 1918 in Souilly, France. Souilly was the headquarters for General Pershing during the Meuse-Argonne Offensive. Lucien served with the 13th Company, Coast Artillery, Maine National Guard (Battery F, 103d Field Artillery Unit). The Meuse-Argonne Offensive was, according to Wikipedia, the largest and bloodiest operation of World War I. The offensive, also known as the Hundred Days Offensive, brought the war to an end. 26,277 American lives were lost. Corporal Libby was wounded on 11 October 1918, exactly one month before the end of the war. The 24-year-old lived 11 days before succumbing to his injuries.

Lucien T. Libby

  • Born:           29 June 1894[ii]
  • Enlisted:       5 June 1917
  • Overseas:     9 October 1917
  • Wounded:   11 October 1918
  • Died:            22 October 1918

Photo by Kelli Lincoln

Further research revealed his name was Lucien Taylor Libby, not Lucien Thomas.”

Lucien was born in Scarborough the son of Charles E. and Sarah F. Libby. Both the 1900[iii] and 1910[iv] Censuses indicate that Lucien had two siblings, George and Lena.

Charles Libby set up a fund at the Scarborough Public Library to purchase books which exists to this day.

Lucien Taylor Libby is remembered through the American Legion’s Libby-Mitchell Post #76 in Scarborough, whose name honors him and World War II casualty Donald Mitchell.

I will remember Lucien, and his ultimate sacrifice, which helped bring an end to the Great War.

And yes, there are descendants of Charles Libby living today.


[i] “Maine, State Archives, World War I (WWI) Grave Cards, 1914­1950,”
database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QP4Y-VXW – accessed 30 October 2018), Lucien T Libby, ; citing Burial, Scarborough, Cumberland, Maine, United States,; Maine State Archives, Augusta.

[ii] “United States World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:KZFR-9ZM – 13 March 2018), Lucian Taylor Libby, 1917-1918; citing Cumberland County no 2, Maine, United States, NARA microfilm publication M1509 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); FHL microfilm 1,653,905.

[iii] “United States Census, 1900,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MMLF-NR9 – accessed 28 November 2018), Charles E Libby, Scarborough town, Cumberland, Maine, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) 78, sheet 14B, family 346, NARA microfilm publication T623 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1972.); FHL microfilm 1,240,591.

[iv] “United States Census, 1910,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MR3M-Z4P – accessed 28 November 2018), Charles E Libby, Scarboro, Cumberland, Maine, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) ED 101, sheet 16A, family 376, NARA microfilm publication T624 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1982), roll 538; FHL microfilm 1,374,551.


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