Fire – Jocelyn Hotel – 27 July 1909


       Tuesday, July 27, 1909                               Price Two Cents

Transcription by Linda McLoon


      Joscelyn Hotel is in Ashes

All Guests Escape in Safety with Their Personal Effects

Googins Home and Plant Destroyed

Jocelyn-3Courtesy-Phil-van-StadeThe Joscelyn, one of the most famous summer resort hotels on the Maine coast, owned by Mrs. Frank B. Libby; the residence, garage, machine shop, carpenter shop, and blacksmith shop of Alonzo Googins; and the handsome and costly cottage of Mr. Lemuel Lane of Westbrook were burned to the ground in a fire at Prouts Neck at an early hour this morning. Mr. Googins’ loses practically every dollar he has in the world as he was practically without insurance, having only one policy of $1,000 on his house. Mrs. Libby’s loss is partially covered by insurance and Mr. Lane was also insured to the full value of his house. Mr. Googins had seven horses burned, lost 300 gallons of gasoline in his garage, and expensive equipment in the machine shop, all of which is ruined. Happily there were no accidents in connection with the fire, and all the guests of the Joselyn, about 100 in number, were able to remove their personal effects, so that the loss to the summer tourists consists solely of the inconvenience of being forced to move in such a short order. There were no special facilities for fighting fire, but if there had been, it is probable that they would have been useless because a strong wind was blowing in the direction of the burned buildings and they were all consumed in a remarkable short time, probably not more than an hour and a half from the time the fire was discovered. The fire caught in the barn belonging to the Googins estate. Its origin was a mystery.

Discovery of the Fire

At 4:30 o’clock this morning, Henry C. Mursey, a teamster employed by Alonzo Googins at Prouts Neck, rose to go about his daily tasks. He came in late last night with a load of lumber for the carpenter shop and it was his purpose to unload this so that as soon as the horses were ready, he could get another start with his team for market. He grained his horses, went into the loft, pitched down his hay for all the animals, nine in number, and then proceeded to put the team which he was to use into the harness.  Backing “Old Tom,” one of the horses which made up his team, out of the stall he went to put on his collar when the staid old animal, thoroughly accustomed to this proceeding, began to snort and jump around. Mr. Munsey was very much surprised that “Old Tom” should exhibit any such coltish tricks, but in his efforts to quiet the animal he himself smelt the smoke which had caused the horse’s alarm. Hastening to the front part of the barn, Mr. Munsey discovered that the place was on fire.

Joselyn-fire-1-July-1909Courtesy-Phil-van-StadeThe section of the barn in which the fire originated was little used by Mr. Googins. No one had been there so far as is known this morning. A quantity of salt thatch, the salt swale grass cut in the marshes, which had lain on the tennis court all winter and through the spring and was thoroughly dried, had been pitched into this part of the barn and was used only for bedding. So far as anyone knows, no one had been there since the horses were bedded down last night. Mr. Munsey cut loose the horses himself and led one of them out of the barn, all the time shouting at the top of his voice to give notice that the place was on fire. The Googins family was aroused and the alarm spread rapidly over the Neck. It seemed to those who were aware of the fire and the danger to the property as if the people in the vicinity would never arouse so long it seemed to them before help came. Probably it was only a few minutes at the longest, because those who tell the story of the fire say that they were awakened at 4:45 and it must have been very close to that time when it was discovered. So rapidly did the fire spread in the Googins barn that when Mr. Googins himself was aroused and Mr. Munsey attempted to re-enter the building it was a seething mass of flame inside, and it was practically impossible to enter it. Someone got another one of the horses out of the building, but seven of them were burned. They were valuable animals, one Mr. Googins had refused an offer of $400 for less than two weeks ago. There were two matched pairs, either of which were worth $500.

Hotel in Flames’ Path

            A strong wind was blowing directly toward the Joscelyn which was only a few feet from Mr. Googins’ property. As soon as help arrived, it was manifest that there was no hope of saving the great hotel, and the efforts of all hands were expended in awakening the guests and removing such of the furniture from the hotel and from Mr. Googins residence as could be taken out. But little of the furniture of the Joscelyn was saved. There was consternation among the guests and employees of the house when the danger to it was known, and there was hasty packing of trunks and removing of effects from all the rooms. Among Mrs. Libby’s furniture were a large number of ornamental pieces manufactured by Mr. Libby as a sort of pastime with the jig-saw, besides much old fashioned furniture which he had from time to time gathered during his lifetime, and which he valued very highly. All of these were saved, together with some of the furniture from the office and parlors and dining rooms. Most of the furnishings of the rooms was destroyed.

Mrs. Libby’s price for the property was $50,000, a part of which is covered by insurance in a Saco agency. The house was well furnished, equipped with elevators, and was a particularly excellent hotelry. The electric power plant was destroyed as well as the main house itself. One cottage was occupied by Mr. and Mrs. A.M. Young of Montreal and family which belonged to the Joscelyn estate, and was very close both to the garage and Mrs. Libby’s power plant, was happily saved. The Youngs, however, expecting the place to be burned, as they had every reason to suppose, hastily packed their many trunks and prepared for the emergency. The will come to Portland for a few days and probably will arrange to remain at some other hotel during the remainder of the summer.

Cause of Fire Mystery

Every one about the Neck is mystified as to the cause of the fire. It originated, as has already been told, in a part of the Googins barn, which is little used. No one so far as is known, had been there since last night. Mr. Munsey, who was the only person in the barn at the time the fire broke out says he never smokes early in the morning and had lighted neither a pipe nor a cigar in the barn or elsewhere up to the time of the fire. There were no electric wires to which the cause of the fire can be laid and it is entirely improbable that the thoroughly dried salt marsh hay could have caught fire from spontaneous combustion. Probably the exact cause will never be known.

Lose Nearly $100,000

The total loss caused by the fire is variously estimated, figures being given ranging from $30,000 to $250,000. A very conservative estimate as it seems to the EXPRESS would place the loss somewhere between $75,000 and $100,000, according to the best information which can be obtained there this morning. Mrs. Libby’s loss is not far from $50,000. Mr. Googins about $13,000, and Mr. Lane’s about $10,000, making the total loss of about $75,000. And it would not be strange if when the figures are finally made up, it will somewhat exceed these figures. About 75 people have been thrown out of employment by the fire. Mrs. Libby employing about 50 hands and Mr. Googins from 20 to 25. Mr. Googins is the mail carrier from the Neck to the Boston & Maine station, and his mail wagons were not saved from the conflagration. He will, however, procure teams to keep up his contract with the Government so that there will be no inconvenience on this score.

Scene of Desolation

Joselyn-fire-2-July-1909-Courtesy-Phil-van-StadeWhen the EXPRESS reporter and photographer arrived at the Neck early this morning, a scene of desolation was presented to their view. The handsome buildings were in smoldering ruins. Scattered about in various places near the roads were such articles of furniture as had been saved from the buildings, all being in a more or less dilapidated condition. Over these scattered collections of furniture watchers were keeping guard, but there was little need of this, for the community is one in which there would be no thieving. Mr. Lane’s daughter had gathered up the silverware from the cottage, and taken it to what she regarded as a place of safety. At 8 o’clock this morning it was discovered to be missing, and no one seemed to know what had become of it. Mr. Lane when asked about it said that he had not the slightest doubt that it would turn up all right; that he had no fear at all that it had been stolen, but that it had been more carefully put away by some of the neighbors.
            The loss falls very heavily upon Mrs. Libby. The height of the season had about arrived. The house would have filled to capacity at the end of this week and was booked to be full during the rest of the season. A profitable summer has thus been spoiled, besides the loss of the house and practically all the furnishings.

Efforts to Save Lane Cottage

The handsome cottage owned and occupied by Lemuel Lane of Westbrook was directly in the path of the flames, and it became evident that unless strenuous efforts were made this also would be sacrificed to the greedy flames. A hand bucket brigade was formed, hose was brought into use, and 50 men were stationed upon the roof of the cottage in an unavailing effort to save the property. The wind was blowing the flames directly upon the building, and in spite of all the efforts that could be made, the place caught fire and was destroyed with the rest of the doomed buildings. In all not more than an hour and a half elapsed after the fire was discovered before the entire knoll was swept bare of buildings and only smoldering ruins remained.

17 Automobiles Saved

Alonzo-Googins-garage-Bef.-Jul-1909-Courtesy-Ann-GooginsAlonzo Googins’ plant was an extensive one. Besides his residence and barn there was a garage, a carpenter shop, a well-equipped machine shop and a blacksmith shop. These with their entire equipment were lost. Robert Lane and some of his young associates, when the fact that the garage must go became apparent, left the menaced cottage of his father, and hastened to the garage, and in the fierce heat of the burning buildings succeeded in removing all the automobiles, 17 in number, to places of safety. These were all that were saved in that part of the establishment. These machines were owned by cottagers and by guests at the various hotels, and came from all parts of the country. All Mr. Googins’ books were destroyed, a loss which falls heavily upon him, as he had many accounts with the people about the Neck. His loss is a severe one since he had but little insurance, one policy of a thousand dollars on the house being all that he carried. The rest of the property was regarded as extra hazardous risks, and was not insured. One feature of his loss which is an inconvenience to the summer people is the loss of 300 gallons of gasoline stored in the garage. There was considerable fear felt lest there should be an explosion, but the fears were not realized. The gasoline constantly from burned freely, a great blaze coming constantly from the mouth of the pipes from which it had been drawn, but doing no extra damage. Mr. Googins employed about 20 people, but these were housed in cottages he owned farther up the neck, and his own house was occupied only by his own family, and the teamsters who had to be about early to take care of the horses.

Joscelyn Well Known House


Joscelyn Hotel – Well Known House

The Joscelyn was one of the best known summer houses on the Maine coast. It was built 19 years ago by the late Frank B. Libby, and since his death has been run by Mrs. Libby during the summer months. It has been a profitable house. There were nearly a hundred guests already there and the house was booked to be full by next Saturday night. Mrs. Libby has been desirous of selling the property, as she does not wish the care of the house, which has rested entirely upon her shoulders since the death of her husband, and a customer who it is believed would have bought it had arranged to come to the Neck to close the trade on Saturday night.

 Started by Drunken Man?

This afternoon a report was in circulation that a partially intoxicated man was seen about the premises when the fire was raging, and the theory was advanced that it is more than likely that he was an unwelcome guest in the Googins barn, and that the fire originated from his occupancy of the unused portion of the barn. This theory has come to be generally accepted, in view of the fact that no other theory seems tenable.

Mrs. Libby of the Joscelyn said this afternoon that she should not take any steps toward rebuilding. She said that the weight of the responsibility had been a heavy one for her, and that she should endeavor now to sell the lot, which is an excellent site for a summer hotel.

                                                                                  * * * * *


Prouts Neck, July 29 [1909] – Special to the EXPRESS

As far as could be learned, the guests at the Jocelyn saved all their personal effects. A Miss Reed, however, had such a short time in which to escape that she lost about $200 worth of jewels and clothing which were consumed in the flames.


The summer colony is rallying bravely from Tuesday’s disaster and things are running smoothly once again. Mr. Googins has started to rebuild his machine shop on the old site and the structure will soon be complete.

* * * * *
Transcribed from the original newspaper from the collections of Ann Googins by Linda Snow McLoon – September 28, 2019

[Note: The photos were not part of the original newspaper article.]           





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The King Trunk – 6 October 2019

Scarborough Historical Society Meeting, 2:00 p.m., October 6, 2019, at the Scarborough Public Library.


Video of presentation now available on YouTube!

The King Trunk
by Becky Delaware

Photograph of the King Trunk

The King Trunk

Following a short Historical Society meeting on October 6th, Becky Delaware will talk about the contents of the King Trunk, a gem from the collection of the Historical Society and a veritable time capsule of the King family kept by Fidelia King Hawkes, wife of Aaron Hawkes. A lock of hair, letters, a scrap of fabric and other treasures, all tell the story of a prominent Scarborough family throughout the 1800s.

Fidelia was a daughter of Richard King, shipowner and merchant of Scarborough. Three of her brothers were William King, first governor of Maine; Rufus, American diplomat, politician, and a framer of the U.S. Constitution; and Cyrus, who served a term as a member of Congress from York County. A sister married Dr. Robert Southgate of Scarborough.

Becky Delaware is the curator of the Scarborough Historical Museum and the current vice president of the Scarborough Historical Society.

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The Danish Village

The Danish Village (Den Danske Landsby) was one of the first motels in the United States. Located on US Route 1 in Scarborough,  this unique motel was a replica of a little medieval Danish Town.  Each unit consisted of one or two rooms, showers, and twin beds. The Danish Coffee Shop (Den Danske Kaffee Stue) served breakfast and lunch. The Gift Shop featured Scandinavian crystal, ceramics and objets d’ art

Brochure from The Danish Village.

Article about the Danish Village by Brank Hodgdon (Also available on Maine Memory Network)

Gallery of Danish Village Photos

(Hover image to see filename/title.)

For higher resolution images of these photos, please contact the Scarborough Historical Society.

In 2015, the Danish Village Arch was moved to Memorial Park, where stands today.

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The Old Kilbourn Home – 19 August 1928

The August 19, 1928, issue of the Portland, Maine, newspaper included an article, “Built in Revolutionary Days Old Kilbourn Home at Scarboro Stands Like Monument to Past.” The original was quite difficult to read, so Scarborough historian Rodney Laughton transcribed the article. The article refers to the house to the right of the Country Kitchen Restaurant, going towards Cape Elizabeth. Note: A few archaic words or terms are used and the original punctuation was left.

 Transcribed by Rodney Laughton – November 6, 2018

Built In Revolutionary Days Old Kilbourn Home
At Scarboro Stands Like Monument To Past


Site Was Original Land Owned By First Jordan To Come To America — Portland Part of Falmouth When Structure Was Erected — Good As Ever


John Kilborn’s home stands in the ancient town of Scarborough on the west bank of the River Spurwink.  It was built in 1782 by his father, Ivory Kilbourn.  Hence it is three years older than the Wadsworth Longfellow House in Portland.

Ivory Kilborn, born in 1755 brought his bride, Hannah Pickard ( a kinswoman of the famous Whittier family of Haverhill), here the year the house was erected.

They came on horseback bringing vituals for the journey in saddle-bags.  Their household goods came by small vessel and a bad storm coming on during the passage forced the skipper to put out to sea and remain there for several days so the distressed young couple believed their belongings to have gone to the bottom, but the craft out rode the gale and finally landed her cargo on the bank of the Spurwink, on Oakman’s Island, nearly in front of the house.  Some of those articles of furniture are still in use in the family. 

Grandfather John was the fifth child born in the house, in October 1800, which was eleven months after Washington died.

These people came from Rowley, Massachusetts where the family had lived since coming from Connecticut were they settled after leaving Wood Ditton, England in 1637.

America’s First Jordan 

The land comprising the homestead in Scarborough was owned aforetime by Robert Jordan, the first Jordan to come to America.  He was the first church of England clergyman to permanently settle here.

He was arrested and sent to jail in Boston for one year, for baptizing infants according to the established form.  His baptismal bowl used in this atrocious act is now in the Maine Historical rooms.  It was discovered several years ago, somewhere in Maine and a woman who was ignorant as to it sacredness was using it to feed her pig from.

When the house was built in 1782 Maine was part of Massachusetts and remained so until 1820.  Portland was a part of Falmouth and four years later in 1786 Parson Smith of that town records in his diary:  “Our Neck is set off and become a town, My Legs contunue to swell”

“Our Neck” was old Portland. (The parson was not particular as to punctuation and the news of the incorporation of Portland and the trouble in his legs appear much as one item.)

Three years after the building of the house, the first newspaper in Maine was started in Portland and was called “The Falmouth Gazette.”

Some Mud Holes

In the spring of that year, the mud was so deep that no mail came into Portland for five weeks.

In the days when this house was erected it cost but a mere trifle in money to build the average house.  The chimney was first put up, as the oxen could bring the heavy rocks for the foundation to the sight where they were to be used when there was no house with which to bother.

The upper section was usually built of juniper poles and blue clay, the lower section containing the brick oven and fireplace of brick either brought from England or burned right on the premises.

Then the house was builded around the chimney, the timber for which was generally cut at home and the hewing of the frame done by some member of the family.  Logs were hauled to the nearest sawmill for the boards while the men and boys split out by hand the shingles and clapboards, while every nail, spike, hinge and latch was made on the anvil of the handiest blacksmith.  The neighbors came on a day appointed and raised the frame of the building.

The carpenters, then called joiners who made the doors, sash, and mantels charged the princely sum of  “four and sixpence” (seventy-five cents) per day.  It cost but little to live in those days and much less to die.  Coffins, made by the jointers sold for three dollars and fifty cents.  A bill for a burial at that period has been found where several dollars and a half covered every expense including the settling of the estate.

Brought Faithful Slave

When the family came to Scarborough they brought with them a faithful colored servant called Lettice.  She lived to be nearly or quite one hundred years of age, dying early in the nineteenth century.

As one approaches this landmark of nearly a century and a half, he is first impressed by a huge elm tree of unusually artistic contour as to be almost spherical, which has stood at the end of the drive near the roadside for seventy-five years, a majestic sentinel as it were guarding the house in the background.

Paint Still Exists

The house you must know was never painted inside or out until nearly a century old.  The rare old pumpkin pine vertical sheathing between some of the rooms is still undecorated by paint, having been scoured with sea-sand for one hundred and forty-six years.  They present a surface as smooth as glass and rich creamy brown in color.  Hand hewn beams form the ceilings showing every clip of the broad axe. 

The house in those days contained no cloths closets, and when grandfather was asked by an old friend why such was the case he replied:  “What need had they of closes presses.  A woman had but one good gown, which she wore as a long as she lived and it usually served as her shroud as well,” “What did they want of cloths presses?”  In many cases this wasn’t far from the truth.

The first Children 

The first children born in the house which was late in the eighteenth century used to walk four miles to church, carrying their shoes in their hand in summer until nearing the meetinghouse.

Grandfather’s father beside being a farmer was also a cordwainer (which is the old name for shoemaker) and today may be seen suspended from a beam of the kitchen ceiling several shoe lasts carved with the initials of some members of the family.

He had a little shop in front of the house where he made shoes in Winter and in the Spring, would sling them onto his horse and cary them to Boston.

On one occasion he had sold his shoes and received his money for them, when he lost his wallet.  He at once asked the town crier to cry it from the common and the finder came bringing it to him.

Made of Yarns

His purse was made on canvas of bright yarns and is still cherished by the present owner of the house, Mrs. Abby S. Huston, whose aunt named her for her intimate friend Abby Stephenson who was a cousin to the poet Longfellow.

Mrs. Huston, with her daughters Miss Sarah S. Huston and Miss Pauline Huston enjoys the beauties of this ideal spot during the summer and fall months and during the winter the family resides on Beacon Street.  Mrs. Huston has also another daughter, Mrs. Henry Watson Usher (Henrietta Huston) of Pawtucket, R. I., and a son, Ervin C. Huston of this City.

Not far from the house on the ancestral acres, Grandfather, in ploughing once unearthed the skeletons of eleven persons killed in queen Anne’s war.  Among the bones he also found an Indian tomahawk, which was later given to a grandson of the builder of the house, Major Ivory Kilbourn of the British Army, in New Brunswick.  His sword is reverently placed over one of the fireframes in the house.

Only Twice Repaired

Only twice during the life of this historic home, has it received extensive repairs, once in 1835 and again in 1926, when it was strengthened.  No alterations have been made in the interior.

Most interesting of all is the fact that this house has never been owned by any but a direct descendant of the builder and is still occupied and most thoroughly enjoyed by the family.

There are several descendants in the sixth generation now living and many beside the kindred, find pleasure in visiting the genial occupants and present owners of the place the Hustons of Woodfords and Scarborough.  Here one finds hospitality in its true meaning, and their many friends esteem it a pleasure and privilege to chat with them by the warmth and glow of their, fireside, nestled among their treasures of the long ago.

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The Kilbourne Desk

By Don Taylor

Ellie bought the desk in the 1990s. It was lovely and very old.  She enjoyed it for years before she removed the bottom right drawer and looked at the bottom. There, on the bottom of the drawer, was a story handwritten in pencil. The desk had been owned by Ivory Kilbourne of Rowley, Mass, and came to Scarboro in 1782 by Schooner. Ellie reached out to the Scarborough Historical Society to learn if we knew anything about Ivory Kilbourne and his wife, (Mary Pickard) Kilbourne.

Photo by Ellie Peoples

Being the “Technology Guy”, my first thought was to check our Bill Tolman Finding Aid. You can access it from the Scarborough Historical Society website. Hover the Library tab then select the Main Room Page. Under Computers, you will see the database. It is a finding aid containing over 300,000 entries. A truly amazing resource.

The database is set up as multiple spreadsheets based upon surnames. I selected Surname-K and then cursored down to the Kilborn and saw there were many different spellings of the name. So, I filtered the spreadsheet to only show entries with the first name of Ivory. There were 9 entries for Ivory Kilborn with several spellings of his surname. Among the cemetery and death records was one entry of particular interest: 


Although a little cryptic, that entry means that I should find information about Ivory Kilbourne on pages 27 & 28 in the book, Scarborough Becomes a Town by Dorothy Shaw Libby, which is located in the main bookcase, shelf 4. I found the book and looked at the pages suggested and found the following:

Ivory Kilbourne, born in 1755 in Rowley, Massachusetts, came to Scarborough in 1782. He came on horseback, bringing his bride, Hannah Pickard (a kinswoman of the famous Whittier family of Haverhill) with him, along with her servant. His close friend, Parson Lancaster, had told him what a wonderful place Scarborough was and suggested that it would make an ideal place to build a house and begin his married life. The young couple had several saddlebags filled with Hannah’s personal things and enough food to last them through their journey.

The boat bringing their furniture was delayed by a bad storm and anchored outside for several days. The young people thought that their things had been lost, but finally one morning the boat sailed up the Spurwink River and Hannah’s furniture. (A table, chairs and a desk are still used by the Huston family at Spurwink).

Ivory and Hannah bought land from the Jordans at Spurwink and built their first house. Ivory (then only thirty-one) cut his logs and had them sawed at the nearest mill, then the neighbors came and helped him raise the frame for his house. He built his chimney first and the house around it. He split the shingles and clapboards by hand; his nails, spikes, hinges and latches were made by the blacksmith.

Ivory and Hannah Stayed with the Lancasters until their house was ready, and then with the help of Lettice, their faithful servant, they raised their family.  Ivory, Jr., was born in 1785, and Mary (Aunt Polly) was born in 1787, then came Eben in 1789. Hannah soon died leaving the children for Ivory to raise. In December, 1796, he married Sally Larrabee, and they had several children.

As is often the case, answer one question and find another.  In this case, the desk indicates it was Ivory and his bride Mary Pickard’s desk. But Dorthey Shaw Libby’s book indicated it was Hannah Pickard.  Could Hannah have been Hannah Mary or maybe Mary Hannah? If so, the apparent conflict goes away. Maybe some of those death or burial records will answer the question.

I found it interesting to learn of Ivory and Hannah coming to Scarborough and the trek that the desk took. I hope you find the Bill Tolman Finding Aid useful in your Scarborough research. I certainly do.

The Kilbourne Desk
Photo by Ellie Peoples

[Note: Don Taylor is a research volunteer at the Scarborough Historical Society.]


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Website Updates – August 2019

New items added to the website during August 2019.

By Don Taylor

Main Room

Bookcase 1 – Back – Annual Reports

The 1904 Scarboro Town Report now available at Digital Maine and

Microfilm Reader

New spreadsheet for Microfilm Rolls. The sheet contains information about microfilm rolls at the Museum, items viewable at Family Search via an Affiliate Library (Scarborough Public Library) and items that are available only the Oat the Family History Library. 

Middle Room

Tax Valuation Books

Rear Room

Photo Gallery


In the Photo Gallery for Organizations, I added photos for 1954 Little League Team and the 1983 Champion Little League Team.

The 1954 “Scarbor Lions” team included: 

1st Row: Gene Grover, Buster Smith, Peter Haigis, Mac Rogers, Dick Wright, Bub Hunt, Rudy Anderson, Bobby Dolloff, Gary Frederick 

2nd  Row: – Coach Stapleton, Clint Libby, Jim Brown, David Jordan,  R D Varney, Tony Rogers, Coach Ralph Corliso (sp)

The 1983 “Police Dept” team included

Front Row: Gene Gallant, Casey Madden, Hal Granoff, Chris Harmon, Ryan Werner

Second Row: Billy Stratis, Brad Colvin, Mike Gallant, Christine Anderson, Charles Anderson, Arron Werner

Manager: Charles Anderson  ||  Coach: Terry Gallant


Upstairs Archive

Added Puzzles and a Quiz to a new “Upstairs Archive” page.

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Inventing Vacationland – Scott Andrews

Scarborough Historical Society Meeting, 2:00 p.m., September 8, 2019, at the Scarborough Public Library.

Following a short Historical Society meeting on September 8th, Scott Andrews will present a program “Inventing Vacationland”.

Maine has officially advertised itself as “Vacationland” since 1916. Before then it was touted as “The Nation’s Playground” and “Sportsmen’s Paradise.” Today the business of tourism and recreation plays host to more than 33 million visitors who spend more than $6 billion each year, by far Maine’s biggest industry.

Maine has been a preeminent destination for rusticators, tourists, vacationers and recreational enthusiasts of all stripes and all seasons for nearly two centuries, beginning with Henry David Thoreau and a coterie of painters.

How did Maine become a vacation mecca? What were the milestones? Who were the key actors? What did they do and where did they do it? That’s the subject of Inventing Vacationland, a fascinating PowerPoint slideshow and talk by Scott Andrews that will be presented at the Scarborough Public Library on September 8th, at 2 PM. 

The Jocelyn was a grand hotel of the Victorian era that stood on Prouts Neck in Scarborough between 1890 and 1909. This image is among many that will be shown Sept. 8 when the Scarborough Historical Society hosts Inventing Vacationland, a presentation and talk about the history of Maine tourism by Scott Andrews, at 2 p.m. at the Scarborough Public Library.
(photo courtesy Scarborough Historical Society)

Inventing Vacationland will touch on issues of transportation, accommodations, amenities, activities, arts, and recreation from before the Civil War to the present day. Scarborough played a key role in this story. Much material for Inventing Vacationland was contributed by the Scarborough Historical Society and the Prouts Neck Historical Society.

About the presenter: Scott Andrews earned a B.A. in history from the University of Chicago, an M.B.A. from the Chicago Booth School of Business and an M.Sc. from the London School of Economics. He has been involved in the Maine tourism industry since his teenage years when he worked at his family’s campground in Oxford County. A longtime lifestyle journalist, Andrews has written about two thousand articles on the arts, recreation, and tourism for a variety of local and national publications.

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Photos – Organizations – First Aid Class

Photo Box 2

Folder: Organizations – First Aid Classes

Photos are below this table.  Hover the individual photo to see its title. 

Title – Comment

Accession #

First Aid Class – ca. 1910

Taken at New Wayland – Dunstan GrangersFront Row: Leland Merrill, Elsie Spear, George West, Ruth Witham, Duane Merrill, and Noah Merrill

2nd Row: Scot Pillsbury, Abbie Libby, Dorothy Googins, Dorris Leary, Clifford Leary, Nellie Higgins, Ethel Higgins, Mary Gower, Eva Longfellow, Helen Carter

3rd Row: Arlington Johnson, Howard Carter, Fred Merrill, Lottie Merrill, Florence Boothby, Blanch Scamman, Herbert Rice, Gladys Rice, Irving Boothy, Percy Scamman

4th Row: Cora Carter, Raymond Leary, ? ?, Frank Rogers, Earl Leary, Otis Leary, Liz Baker, Smith Carter


First Aid Class – 15 April 1936

First Row, Left to Right
1. George Wood, State Police Patrolman
2. Natalie Lothrop, Teacher
3. Dorothy Clark, Teacher
4 Willard O. Howe, Instructor and Chairman, First Aid
5. John H. Stevens, Chairman First Aid Comm. of Portland
Chapter American Red Cross
6. Florence Hearn, teacher
7. Ina Knight, Postmaster
8. Roger L, Doyle, State Police Patrolman.

Second Row, Left to Right
1. Russell Moulton, WPA Foreman
2. Henry Gould, Fire Chief
3. Ralph Sargent, Constable
4. Howard Knight, Fire Captain
5. Dr. Ray Littlefield
6. Arthur Snow, Fire Captain
7. Fred Davis, First Aid Instructor
8. Joseph R. Knight, Chairman Scarborough Red Cross

Dog Brownie

Photo from Tisdale Studio, 116 Revere St., Portland, ME

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Photos – Organizations – WW2 Ground Observers & Posts

Photo Box 2

Folder: Organizations – WW2 Ground Observers & Posts

Photos are below this table.  Hover the individual photo to see its title. 

Title (Comment) Accession #
WWII Observers – Val Krijanovsky in center 90.45.1k
WWII Observers – Mildred McDonald 90.45.1b
WWII Observers – C. Martins, V. Krijanovsky, Marion Krijanovsky 90.45.1i
WWII Observers (Two women in tower) 90.45.1d
WWII Observers 90.45.1c
WWII Observation Post (Behind State Police Bldg 90.45.1j
WWII Observation Post 90.45.1h
WWII Observation Post 90.45.1g
WWII Observation Post 90.45.1f
WWII Ground Observers (climbing stairs) 90.45.1c
Val Krijanovsky at Ground Observer Post (where Parker Tilton Building is now – WWII 90.45.2
Ground Observation Post (behind Edgar Thurston’s Place) Marion Krijanovsk at top. 90.45.1a
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Beech Ridge Schoolhouse Update – June and July 2019

Time to give everyone an update on our schoolhouse project.

Stanley E. Hillock Well Contractors of Scarborough worked to repair the well pipe that was damaged. Photo by Tom Osborne

First, the well has been checked, free of charge, by the Stanley Hillock Well Co.  They replaced the cap, cleaned and deepened the well from 68 feet to about 200 feet. We are very grateful for their generosity.

Next, Steve Ross has surveyed the property so that we know our boundaries. He will also place pins, marking where the new foundation needs to be, so the building can go back to its exact, original location.

During the week of July 8th, Merry and Sons Movers began work on preparing the building’s move. Their goal was to move it in 4-5 days. The excavator asked that the building be moved from the area of the foundation and then moved back. Merry and Sons agreed to move in it back rather than to the side as originally planned, allowing more room for the foundation work to take place. Trees needed to be limbed before this move.  Scarborough Public Works came quickly to our rescue. We truly appreciate their timely help.

Front porch removed and schoolhouse up off the foundation. Photo by Joyce Alden.

The porch on the front was no longer securely attached to the building, needing a speedy repair or its removal.  Since it was not original to the building and in poor condition, it was removed. It will be replaced later.

As the Merrys started to put a support under the building, it was determined that THREE steel beams for permanent support, rather than two, as previously thought, would be needed.  Next bricks were removed to put in the support beams. It was found that the mortar between the bricks had almost completely dried out and was no longer holding the bricks together.  It was just a matter of time before the original brick foundation would have begun to collapse.

On Thursday, another problem presented itself. The back addition to the original building needed more reinforcement in order to move it with the rest of the school.  The addition sill and one wall were too rotted to support the move.  Support beams were placed differently to safely allow the move.

The schoolhouse moved back free of the old foundation. Photo by Joyce Alden.

On Wednesday of the following week beams and rollers were in place. The building was moved back six feet by noontime! By late afternoon the school had been winched back completely clearing the original foundation. The front door now rests well behind where the original back wall of the school had been.

The Beech Ridge School now sits on cribbing and beams awaiting a new foundation. We are in the process of salvaging the original bricks from the rubble and cleaning them for use as a facing to the new foundation.

On Sunday and Monday, a group moved the bricks from the building area to the sides so we can save them and hopefully use them to put a brick facing on the foundation so it will look original. Thanks to Scott Chase and Boy Scouts from Troop 39 as well as Joyce Alden, Charlie Alden and his sister Peggy and Dennis Holmes.

Excavation begins for the new foundation. Photo by Karlene Osborne

On July 31st, Jeff Greenleaf and his crew began the excavation for the foundation. He estimates that it will be done by the next day.

Donations to the Beech Ridge School Restoration Project may be made at “Go Fund Me” or in person at the museum, Tuesdays 9 AM to Noon (or the 2nd Saturday of the month from 9 AM to Noon).

Photos of the Project, so far, are posted to our Beech Ridge School Project Gallery below.

– Becky Delaware

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