I scanned, cropped, OCRed, and uploaded the Annual Reports of the Town of Scarborough to Digital Maine – Scarborough Books. These reports are from the personal collection of Rodney Laughton. They typically include information regarding the support of the poor, almshouse expenses, various town bills, costs of town roads and bridges, school costs, & teacher salaries.
With much-appreciated input from Phil von Stade & Ann Googins
Ephemera refers to written or printed material that is typically expected to have only short-term usefulness and, therefore, not usually saved. I have been sorting and indexing materials related to town business in the 1800s, adding names noted to the society’s extensive index. Most documents concern routine town business, but occasionally something pops up that is particularly significant to Scarborough history.
Early Rufus Deering delivery truck
I have found two documents related to the building of Winslow Homer’s cottage and studio at Prouts Neck. The first is the 1882 list of building materials purchased from the Rufus Deering Lumber Company of Portland for use in the construction of a frame dwelling house and stable to be built on Libby’s Neck (the earlier name of Prouts Neck) for Charles S. Homer, Winslow Homer’s father.
The list of materials included lumber, shingles, and clapboards purchased over several months. (After 162 years of business on Commercial Street, the company was recently sold and will soon be replaced by a hotel and condos.)
It’s not surprising that Charles Homer chose Alonzo Googins to build his house and stable, since Googins was a popular carpenter/builder who built many homes and hotels at Prouts Neck. It was Googins who purchased the building materials from the lumber company, and the name Alonzo was penciled in after the letter A. on the letterhead receipt.
Deering bill of materials
The cost of the 1882 order of building supplies totaled $675.37, toward which Alonzo Googins initially paid $165 in cash. Alonzo Googins was reputed to be an excellent carpenter but a bad businessman, and it appears he had difficulty paying the balance due for the building materials. Rufus Deering became impatient to receive further payment, and on February 13, 1883, he initiated a lien on the buildings and land on which they stood.
The second document describes the frame dwelling house and stable owned by Charles S. Homer of Brooklyn, Kings County, New York, located on land conveyed to said Homer by Hannah Louise Googins by deed dated January 22, 1883.
Deering Lein on Homer Property.
The listed seller of the land, Hannah Louise Googins (1843-1910), was Alonzo Googins’ wife. She was from the Libby family which at one time owned most of the Prouts Neck peninsula and pioneered the early tourist establishments there. Her grandfather, Thomas Libby, operated the first summer boarding business, the Prouts Neck House. Her father, Silas Libby, was the proprietor of the Cammock House, and her brother, Thomas J. Libby, built and ran the West Point House. Another family member associated with early tourism at Prouts Neck was Hannah’s younger sister, Anna Maria Libby, who married Ira Foss, owner of the prominent summer hotel, the Checkley House. Hannah’s cousin, Elmira Coolbroth, married John Kaler, proprietor of the Southgate House, and their daughter was Addie Kaler Vaill, whose home on the Black Point Road became the senior women’s residence that remains in operation today, Kaler Vaill.
The Jocelyn Hotel
In 1909 Alonzo Googins’ entire Prouts Neck complex, which consisted of his residence, garage, machine shop, carpenter shop, blacksmith shop, and stable located next to the Jocelyn Hotel burned to the ground. The flames also demolished the Jocelyn and the nearby home of Lemuel Lane. Alonzo Googins lost everything in the fire. He had only $1,000 worth of insurance on his residence; his losses in 1909 dollars exceeded $15,000.
Winslow Homer as a young man
Charles S. Homer purchased more land than needed for his home and stable, as Homer eventually owned about one-third of the peninsula now known as Prouts Neck. We can assume he paid off the remaining debt owed to Rufus Deering Lumber and had the building project completed. He christened it The Ark. At some point, the stable was moved and significant alterations made to it by the noted architect, John Calvin Stevens. It became the home and studio of Charles Homer’s son, the noted artist, Winslow Homer. It was in this place that many of the numerous masterpieces of Winslow Homer were created. The building is now owned by the Portland Museum of Art. The Scarborough Historical Society is pleased to have in its collections the ephemera documents that relate to the Homer cottage and stable’s construction.
John 89.9.190 – Scarborough People (Gray Notebook) – I was unable to locate this book at this time.
A website search identified a “Fickett/Dyer Notebook” genealogical 3-ring binder, 2003.84.08 in Lateral File 1. The Notebook is over an inch thick and has many items pertaining to the Fickett family including the following.
Several pages from a Geocities webpage which are available through the WayBack Machine.
History of the Families Millingas and Millanges of Saxony and Normandy, comprising genealogies and biographies of their posterity surnamed Milliken, Millikin, Millikan, Millican, Milligan, Mulliken, and Mullikin, A. D. 800-A. D. 1907; containing names of thirty thousand persons, with copious notes on intermarried and collateral families, and abstracts of early land grants, wills, and other documents.
Author: Ridlon, G. T. (Gideon Tibbetts), 1841-
I updated the Shop Page to highlight the “Dear Mrs. Libbey” book.
I added a scanned, OCRed, Whitten file to the Surname Files Page.
The 1841 Scarborough Tax Valuation Record Book was scanned at the Maine State Library, a PDF was created then uploaded to the Scarborough Books Collection at Digital Maine. A blog post was created to highlight the new material available online.
The 1875 Scarborough Tax Valuation Record Book was scanned at the Maine State Library, a PDF was created then uploaded to the Scarborough Books Collection at Digital Maine. A blog post was created to highlight the new material available online.
The 1875 Tax Valuation Record was scanned at the Maine State Library using their Zeutschel OS 12002 multi-camera book scanner that creates high-resolution images. The scanned images were then combined and compressed into a PDF file. The resulting file was uploaded to Digital Maine along with some metadata information.
The 1875 Valuation Books provide information about property owners in two major sections.
Pages 1-28 (as numbered at the top left corner of a page) are 1875 Scarborough residents and are generally arranged alphabetically by surname. That is to say, all people whose surname begins with a “C” are together, etc.
In the second section are non-residents who owned property in Scarborough. These pages are unnumbered and are organized by the towns the individual lived in and then semi-alphabetically by surname. The towns include:
Miscellaneous [All other locations]
A third, unnumbered, section indicates residents and non-residents that live in Scarborough but do not own property.
If you have ancestors who lived in Scarborough in 1875, this book may provide information of great interest. It includes information on real estate values, personal property (horses, oxen, cows, swine, sheep, carriages, and furniture. Also included are stocks and bonds, money lent at interest, and logs and timber held.
The online version was scanned on the Maine State Library’s (MSL) Zeutschel OS 12002 multi-camera book scanner, which creates high-resolution images. The original book is held at the Scarborough Historical Museum and is approximately 14 inches tall and 9.25 inches wide. Many thanks to Adam Fisher of the MSL for his assistance in this project.
The book is divided into two sections. First are persons who reside in Scarborough. The names are arranged in somewhat alphabetically. That is to say, all the surnames of a particular letter are together, but they are in not alphabetical within a letter, so Burnham, Berry, and Brown are on the same group of pages before the first person with the surname beginning “C.”
The second section is for people who owned property in Scarborough but lived elsewhere.
The information provided can be amazing. For example, Theodore Libby was taxed on 2 buildings and 88 acres of land in production (tilled, or mowed for hay). He also had 114 acres that were unimproved, 10 acres of which was woodland and 5 acres was salt marsh. He was taxed on 1 horse, 4 oxen, 8 cows or cattle and one swine. There are 70 Libby’s in the book. 68 were residents and two non-resident Libby’s lived elsewhere (Gorham and Saco).
Information provided for Scarborough Residents:
Names of Persons
Number of Poles
Number of Buildings and Value
Number of acres Mowing and Tillage and Value
Number of acres fresh Mowing and Value
Number of acres Pasturing and Value
Number acres unimproved Land and Value
Woodland and Value
Salt Marsh and Value
Tannery and Value
Number Horses and Value
Number of Horses under 4 years old and Value
Number Oxen and Value
No. Cows & Cattle 3 years old and Value
No. Cattle 2 years old and Value
No. Cattle 1 years old and Value
Stock in Trade
Money at Interest
Information provided for Scarborough Non-residents: