Museum “Open by Appointment Only.”

The Scarborough Historical Society Museum is open to a limited number of visitors by appointment only. Visitors may schedule appointments for Tuesdays and the second Saturday of the month from 9:00 AM to Noon. Appointments are 50 minutes. 

9:10 to 10:00
10:05 to 10:55
11::00 to 11:50

Please indicate if your visit is for to see the Museum displays or for Research time. 

Volunteers & Visitors must wear masks while visiting regardless of vaccination status.

The Society Board of Directors will continue to monitor government and public health authorities’ updates for guidance on public safety measures and will adapt measures accordingly. 

Please email to schedule an appointment. Alternately, you may schedule a visit by phone (207-885-9997) at least 1 week in advance. 

Please see Covid-ActNow status for Cumberland County current Status. See Maine.Gov’s General Guidance for information on masks and COVID protocols.


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Ship-Building in Scarborough

Did You Know….

Ship-Building in Scarborough

            By Don Taylor, Historian

The “Oak Hill” by Joseph Hill – Original 20×30 Oil on Canvas.

Did you know ships were built in Scarborough during the latter part of the eighteenth and the first half of the nineteenth century; Many were small, but in the late eighteen-forties, some brigs and barks of 200 to 300 tons were launched. The last vessel constructed here was the bark Oak Hill of 909 tons, built by J. Milliken in 1855.[i]

However, The Scarborough Town Register – 1905[ii], says that the “Oak Hill” was built by John Libby. It also mentions that Major John Waterhouse built a 100-ton vessel on Scottow’s Hill two miles from the landing-place. That vessel, “The Sarah,” was hauled from Scottow’s Hill to Dunstan Landing, where it was successfully launched.

'Delia Chapin' construction, Dunstan Landing, Scarborough, 1847

‘Delia Chapin’ construction, Dunstan Landing, Scarborough, 1847

The Register also says that the “Delia Chapin” was launched in October 1847, and it was the first vessel constructed at Dunstan Landing by Major John Waterhouse. The brig “Angelina” was built by Abraham Perkins and Ira Milliken. John Libby built the schooner “Watchman,” and James Thorton built the “Jim Crow.” So there were many ships built here in Scarborough.

Grandfather Tales of Scarborough by Augustus Freedom Moulton includes a short chapter about “The Shipping and the Shipyard” of Scarborough. He mentions that “after the dyke was put in, just above the Eastern Railroad Bridge in 1877, to shut out the overflowing tides from the marshes, all the streams there shrunk to small proportion of the former size, and the once busy landing [Dunstan] lost all resemblance to a port.”[iii]

For more information about shipbuilding in Scarborough, see Vertical File Cabinet FC12, Folder,  Transportation-Shipping-Ship-Building in Scarborough. It includes:

  • Transportation-Shipping-Ship-Building in Scarborough – Four Clippings & Articles.
    • Clipping: “Scarborough Trees Cut for Ships Masts For The King Of England Back In 1666.”
    • Article by Mrs. Elinor Wright 4/1/78 about the Dunstan Landing area.
    • Clipping: “Recalls Scarboro When It Was Ship Building Center – Pine Point’s Only Civil War Veteran Passes His 80th” – 24 September 1927 (A# 92.22.67).
    • Clipping: “Model of historic ship to be dedicated Sunday” – Kennebunk.
  • Letter: William Willard to Scarborough Historical Museum – 30 November 1994 regarding Willard sea captains. The letter includes handwritten lists of ships captained by various Willards, Creightons, Gilchrists, and Haleys (or Hailees).
  • Letter: Walter Nelson-Rees to Mr. Whitten 29 December 1990 regarding a picture of the “Oak Hill.”

Also, see Maritime Tales: Shipyards and Shipwrecks[iv] on the Scarborough Historical Society Exhibits Page.

Finally, The Scarborough Historical Society is an excellent place for research on anything in Scarborough. Come in for a visit.


[i] Fairburn, William Armstrong (1945). Merchant sail: Vol. 5. Center Lovell, Me: Fairburn Marine Educational Foundation. Page 3148, first paragraph. Available at Google Books.

[ii] Town Register, Scarborough 1905 – Compiled by Mitchell & Campbell. Available at Internet Archive (Pages 24, 25).

[iii] Moulton, Augustus Freedom — Grandfather Tales of Scarborough – Available at Digital Maine and the Internet Archive.

[iv] Originally published at the Maine Memory NetworkMaritime Tales: Shipyards and Shipwrecks

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Updates April 2022

Links Page

I added a new subcategory – Newspapers and added a link to: Scarborough papers via Scarborough Public Library, Advantage Preservation – (1970 to 2020). 

Places Page

I created a subpage: Historical Markers in Scarborough (Photo Gallery)


Annual Reports – Town of Scarborough

I digitized, OCRed, and added the 1875 Scarborough Annual Report:

I also uploaded the 1878 Scarborough Annual Report to the Internet Archive.

Surname File


On the Tilton Page, I added the following:


I added a transcription of Misc. Vital Records – 95.30.16 – 00.661 – 17 Marriages in Scarborough during 1776 & 1777.


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M.F. Tilton letter to C. T. Libby, Esq. 11 Jul 1889 – 70.14.17.k

Click to access a 1970s typed transcription.

Unformatted Transcription Text Below

Bangor, July 11, 1889

C. T. Libby Esq.
Dear Sir-
I have unrolled a pal impest of more than eighty yrs. accumulation and
given you of its contents a bountiful portion – no doubt very much
of it of little use in your work – writing at various times, I
penned what came to me without any consecutive plan. if you can
glean from my labor, for it has been a tax on brain and hand, and
aid toward your purposed work, I shall be amply rewarded – my only
regret being lack of conciseness and method – but I have been fair
and set down “naught in malice or extenuation” of good or ill.
I look back with feeling of sadness on past scenes and events occurr-
ing those bygone days – that were indicative of the lower or animal
side of human nature – we are simply animals until we develop our
higher spiritual forces, latent in too many mortals – but with the
poet Gray we will let such “In trembling hope rely on the mercy
of their Father God”. 1 have tried to meet your questions in
some measure and trust you will consider it useless to draw further
on my poor brain – it is now like an empty gourd snell. There were
several quaint originals I dared not attempt to picture in person
or speech – my 2d brother could have presented you their tout
ensemble and vernacular too – both unique – Jon. Burnham, J. Shute
and sone Sam. in special form. The Graffams were singular families,
both sexes – untaught in proprietes as well as the rights of neigh-
bors to their possessions – Court records will serve yr. purpose
with the latter.

Please give my love to Miss Thompson and say if she has not read
“AGirl’s Life Eighty Yrs. Ago” I wd. commend it to her. It consists
of letters of Eliza Southgate Browne pub. by her grand dau. in N.Y.
You perhaps may gain some items from S. in those early days. Port,
library wd. have it I shd. suppose and relatives of the S. family

With Regard,

yrs. Garrulously


Note: If you see an error in the transcription, please let us know using the Contact Form.

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Transcription: Misc. Vital Records – 95.30.16 – 00.661

Document Image



Marriage of Thomas Mc Kenny and Lucy Plummer Jan 1 1774

Jernsalle Hunnewell and Mary Larraby was married the 28th day of Decemr 1775

Joseph Robert and Anna Fog were married the 8th day of Feby. 1776.

Joseph Waterhouse and Lydia Harmon were married ye 4th of April 1776.

Samuel Larraby and Elizabeth Blake was married the 11th of April 1776.

Abner Fickett of the district of Cape Elizabeth and Abigail Brown of Scarboro was married the 17th day of Oct. 1776.

William Jose and Dorcas Libby both of Scarborough was married the 11th day of Nov. 1776.

Nathan Hanscom of Gorham and Abigal Moody of Scarborough was married the 14 th day of November 1776.

Josiah Libby and Elizabeth Foss both of Scarborough was married the 28th day of Novem. 1776

Seth Fogg and Leah Blake both of Scarborough was married the 12th day of Decem. 1776

The Reverend Benjamin Chadwick and Miss Eunice Willard both of Scarborough were married the 12th day of October A. D. 1777

Benjamin Berry and Patience Joss both of Scarborough were married the 15th day of October A. D. 1777.

Andrew Brown and Rachel Smith both of Scarborough were married the 20th day of November A. D. 1777.

All the above named persons was married by the Reverend Thomas Lancaster.

Elisha Libby and Eunice Jones both of Scarborough was married the 16th day of Decem. A. D. 1777.

Jonathan Berry and Mary Brooks both of Scarbo was married the 15th day of Decemr  A.D. 1777.

Andrew Brown and Rachel Small was married ye 20th of November 1778.

Transcription by Don Taylor
Scarborough Historical Society

Transcription in PDF Format

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70.14.17r – Typed transcription of a letter from N & M Tilton to their children 15 Dec 1845

Surname File – Tilton

The original handwritten letter is misfiled/mislocated.  This is an OCRed version of a 1970’s typed copy of the letter. Below is a plain text copy of the letter.

15 Dec. 1845
Dear children;
We have been well drenched with rain in this section
which was succeeded after a few days of mild weather with
snow and very cold winds, sleighing for about 10 days has
been excellent. But yesterday after a light fall of snow,
Mr. Tomson came again, and as he continues his visitation
today also, and as I have not been to Portland to look up
mg umbrella, I am compelled to stay within doors, a favor-
able moment, therefore, to advise you of our continued
health and comfort. Mother has not since she returned from
Bangor, exposed herself abroad, or made a somerset at home.
Mary can do such things with a better grace, as she is
comparatively young and spry, but perhaps not with much less
personal injury. We presume, how ever she felt no ambition
to experiment alone, with no one to witness her feat and
therefore it must go into the chapter of accidents. We are
for the event and sympathise and “weep with those who
“weep. The earth bears no tree more beautiful than the
weeping willow. But ye deep flowing current yt is constantly
undermining its foundation emphatically reminds us of its
destiny – as well as our duty to prepare to transplant it in
a happier clime.
Your Uncle of Ex. passed a night with us, having been to
Portland. I carried to Saco next day, that he might reach
home for N. Hamp. Thanksgiving ye day following. He and Mrs.
Stevens were at Delaware in June did not call on Mr. Furniss
while in N. York as he understood they were at Bloom. We recd.
a letter last week from Mr. F. inclosing the same. This we
almost feared to expect or hope for, after your statement of
his attributing Mrs. Furniss ill health to her jaunt to
Bangor and your influence. It is not uncommon for strong
attachments to result in antipathies. I therefore have always
considered it a good Maxim not to love overmuch. I think no
pecuniary favor, especially those justly earned, an adequate
compensation for loss of personal independence, Besides, there
are some minds that can never flow equally and uniformaly in
a liberal channel. He speke of his family as all well, except
Mrs. F. whose health also he hoped would be improved by the
cooler weather. Winter has set in with them seriously. We
wrote a lengty return in the best style we could, but with
no allusion to yourselves except that you were as usual. I
left yt field perfectly open and clear for you to exonerate
yourselves from unjust imputations, which I believe you are
able to do with good spirit and good conscience and which
I should feel ready and willing to back, if done with modera-
tion and prudence.
We just dropped a slight joke about Mrs. Fur. limiting her
excursions Last to Boston and Quincy, that your mother with
Merry Pegge might visit her at Blooming, next season, such
a feat would bo no greater, in ye new mode of traveling, than
yt. of your grandmother who rode with me in chaise from Portland
to Scar, at 80 years. What think you of it. Mother says “Age is
“nothing”. I never anticipated such an excursion for her, but
shall not wonder if it is effected.
You are all rejuvenating – transplanting sending off ye
young shoot to indoctrinate him in melody and harmony – listen-
ing to moral reports of father away up, down east, opening and
displaying elegant brick houses ( where I was gratified to learn
my own remembrance by Gov. Kent if it was not at a great dearth
of subjects) all these and a long catalogue of other things
mentioned in your very brief episle are doing and acting in
yout midst. Surely then we ought not to be idle – nor have
we been – ye shed, as you suppose, is a great convenience, it
reaches from house to barn and needs only a door to enter ye
barn without going outdoors. Our pigs came up one to 214 the
other to 221 lbs. Henry’s weighed 317 lbs. Cow over 300. We
had a quarter, to be returned next year.
Turkies are on hand quite ready for market. School closed
last Saturday. Cousin John came out with flying colours and
many tickets of merit. He has done himself great honor. I hope
my two eldest grandsons will continue to shine in all they
undertake. The next and last two I know but little of.
We hear nothing from Pittsfield. Flabby is better than in my
last.We expected Nabby a guest thanksgiving day, but ye weather
was too severe, and we imparted of our dinner to her. Was your
table filled as expected? Not much visiting frliends in Me. nor
N.Hamp, such stormy thanksg. It storms too bad to go 1 :and one
half mile to ye office of course this must lie over one mail as
also ye N.York letter. M. has not advised me of Dr. Gallup’s
bill nor do we know with whom Mrs. Frost left umbrella. If
W. Haines has not found it when I go in, I shall call at W.
Moulton’s and if not with either I shall give it over. Our kind
regards to enquiring friends, and love to yourselves, one and all.
Your affectionate parents
N. and M. Tilton
P.S. Tuesday.
Mother wishes to know if tulips must be transplanted in ye
spring and I now recollect your omission of ye subject of
pairs scions. I hope your disappointment of ye farmer will
not imbue your minds with any illegitimate inferences, like some frie
friends farther off. It was out of my power to effect ye object.
We did not know Ruth had emigrated east till you mentioned it.
I suspect Dr. Gallupe too sanguine in expecting an entire cure
of my complaint. Exposure to cold which I can in no wise avoid
will produce a recurrence. Having used ye two first lists of
powders I took one of Dulcamara – nearly a week since. After
two successive nights of Bry. I took Dul. 3 nights and have
been quite well since unto this present. Mother is quite off
from powders not considering perhaps yt her complaints can
only be alleviated not cured.

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70.14.17s – Typed copy of letter (missing) from N & M Tilton to their children 19 Jul 1846.

Surname File – Tilton

The original handwritten letter is misfiled/mislocated.  This is an OCRed version of a 1970’s typed copy of the letter. Below is a plain text copy of the letter.

19 July 1846
Dear Children,
In anticipation of finding ye box, aoout wh. you had previously Written,
1 called at Saco a epot yesterday, but came near a disappointment, as
there is no expressman, nor ex. office at Saco ana ye captain of
affairs nad nothing to do with articles entrusted to an express. While
talking quite loudly a young man arrived in waggon, an 1 said ye box
haa come ana was a own town at bank’s tavern, i do nt understand now
ye express is connected with boat and cars, ana yet distinct and
separate, must inquire una inform myseif. 1 returned to banks ana re cd.
ye box safe ana sound ana paia for. Rather better lack than with
umbrella of old. Of urn. it may be wise to speak no more, as it and
ye inquiries are worn equally threadbare ere y-s. You understand well
now to make ye hearts bo ana with joy ana gratitude. Muy ye best of
blessings fall to your lot in return for your generous and affectionate
contribution to remember ana make ha~.-py pour mother* s /approaching 80tn
natal .-Anniversary. on ye coming Wednesday you will nave ys. before you,
together with a specimen, we hope, of similar articles as yse. forwarded
to us for ye day, while our thots are mutually fixed on her, uho,
under providence, has been ye head ana arm, stay and life of us axl
nearly half a century , ana who, the often suffering, from pain and
debility, seems to lose nothing of mental brightness, animation and
Mrs. Storer enquired aoout you la st week, of ye senior’s health in
particular, 1 replied, si ck ana well alternately, ana wishing us “to
live out a green o la age” . She that your wish wonderfully gratified
in your mother’s deep green. Reflecting on ye scenes thro whi ch she
has past ana on what she now sustains, we have no little reason to be
thankful to a heavenly Fath er who rias watched over her ana ail of us
ana permits as still to rejoice together in ye enjoyment of his manifold
mercies on earth. Ana yet it behooves us often to aavert to such
reflections as in your WO psalm by hawkesworth “Yet a few years or
aays perhaps-or moments pap in silent lapse ana time with me snail be
no more” etc.
On Friday lust Uro. Hat ch, of whom we had bo th drehmpt y e aay ana
night previous called and passed ye aay, said sue came on purpose to
wash for us, but Hrs. Finney had washed on Monday previous and your
mo tn er was una erway for a no small ironing but was overtaken by a
severe attack of colic, no thing like it ya summer. Mrs. Hatch’s
coming was verj opportune, uer attention to your mother was like a
mother’s to her child, aid all ironing and every tiling eiae necessary,
was remarkably ..kina ana offered to come ana take cure of mother any
time if sick, or come and wash. The circumstance fairly excl tea
mother’s gratituae ana rendered ola impress tons quite oblivious. The
w man has faults, wm nas not? But she uas judgment, capacity, industry
and ability for business fauna only in a precious few, yt go out to
service. 1 carried her nearly home in chaise not only thinked her
for aer kindness, but lamented her faults wh. deprived your mother of
ye very assistance she most needed. She said sue was sensible of ym.
ana were she to return next season, believed she siiouia yield less to
feelings of ye moment. She de siren, me to say she toot much of you
“th<3 sue naa run away”.
irr to aTMcL 7/19/46
Hi tn er to we have continued co mi Ik our two cows and take cure of ye
milk but finding it of kittle or no use Co enslave ourselves thus,
we gave ye whole concern to Lan ice for Z- ye butter, do ;ou perceive
1 am ridding myself of a task not ye less irksome by cunfingi me to
ye pail ano your mother to ye routine of puns. .No twit a st anal ng 1
cieared ye fields at hoeing. i cannot willingly abandon ym in haying
especially as henry is disappointed in a man to whom he had paid $8 in
advance to assist in mowing. We are letting a part in shares. Mr.
Me L. was taro before we commenced. Ha a we as heavy a crop in proper tn.
we snoulu despair of ye end till a snowfall, hut as our fields were
much winter killed we nope to get thro in summer and in season to puss
a little time ut Hitts. Xou point us to y e curs for conveyance, of
course, if mother goes, aitno we have exchanged our ofc. chaise for
another ana remarkably easy one and own yes, own and .possess a very
good family norse. The full strength of all your old invites to Bangor
1 perceive, is presented anew, ana with, fresh ana addi tional vigor
in your last. We thank you most cordially for so kiiia arid urgent
invitations ana sincerely regret it is not compatible with our circum-
stances to gratify our ow and your ye present season. Say , with
our compliments to Mrs. Perham, Hr®. Strickland ana anna yt they
must compensate you for our unavoidable absence. How unfortunate your
neighbor Mr. . Smith*. And how wonderful yt similar casualties are not
more frequent. What do we not owe to ye author and, preserver of life!
Our neighborhood has been not a little alarmed ana agitated till within
10 or 12 days past. Sidney Burnham in ye wigwam opposite us commenced
a high handed career, first killing nis father’s swine ana next at
attempt ut our hens, which leu to a skirmish with myself, it being in
ye daeryard, next nis father’s hens ana endsu in taking away bars and
fences to let creatures into corn etc. etc. Complaint was at length
made to H. and Lsq. Bonnell, and tney directed ye officer to arrest
him- They ha a to break in ye windows ana with, long poles make him
ar op his ax, wh. tney seized and then grabbed and dragged him out ye
winaow and carried him to ye house of correction at Bor tian a wnere he
now is to ye great relief of ye neighborhood.
he nave had a good supply; of strawberries whr la st eo till yesterday,
quite a supply of currants, ana gooseberries for 2 pies. Yes, Henry ,
ail ye Bangor trees are doing well ana we hope you mil yet eat from
ym. us g„od plums in Scar, as grandpapa has at Bangor. The little
folks here are all well, ye measles have been at Hrs. Chases out not
yet reached here.
Cariosity co ala not oe suppressed till ye box was opeinea. Henry had
seen ye letter but could not imagine its contents. While 1 was dining
1 directed him remove ye cover ana open ye oox ana i cl did me as much
good to see all both great ana small gratified with a look ana a taste
as it does Mr. McjL. to see nis friends eat ye fruit or his garden. You
are tnot to be dreadful good folks down at Bangor, wish you lived
nearer. Weather is variable here as with you, rather dry of late.
Mo trier’s ill turn ‘Friday Shrunk her cm; sider ably, out today she is
quite revived. 1 can’t ride so often us she needs, anu dare not trust
ner alone. Hope to be more at leisure soon. reter Wiggin’s saltriver
letters were nuts H. ilxed to crack. You see some funny stories yt
fl I to ATMcli 7/19/46
aont reacn ns arid vice versa probably. When you take up ye pen you
hold on to it like stags. Write on then, we will read, but expect
not an idea in return till Sep. united love and friendly affection to
all ye liousenola ana friends of ye same.
Your affectionate parents
h. ana M. Tilton
P. S. ioaise wi sues me to say now thankful the is hunt Mary for ye
basket and books. 1 think myself they will awaken attention to her
grandma wn. had began to flag.

Editor’s Note: This transcript was posted “as is” from the OCRed original text. If you are interested in retranscribing this letter, please contact the Society, using the below form, and let us know you’d like to do so.


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Updates: March 2022


Grammar School – Added Beech Ridge School – Students

Class of 1939 – Miss Murray, Teacher

Class of 1941 – Mrs. Parlin, Teacher


Oak Hill School

Oak Hill School – 2nd Grade – Sep 1941

Beech Ridge School – Grade Unk
(Probably Class 1941)




Oak Hill School – Second Grade – Sep 1941





SHS Class of 1951 – UPDATED with Class Photo.

Four Corners – 1951 – The Scarborough High School Yearbook – Archive.Org & Digital Maine.
See Select SHS Graduation Exercises 1895-1987 from the Rodney Laughton Collection.
Scarborough High School – Class 1951


Surname Files

Tilton – Created a Tilton Page with the following: 


N. Tilton to his children dated 29 Sep 1851
M.F. Tilton to C. L. Libby, Esq. 18 June 1889 – 70.14.17.I

And a link to a hand transcribed genealogy book regarding the Furniss, Gilman, Knight, McLaughlin, Palmer, Tilton, & Young Families – 70.14.22.


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Oak Hill School – Second Grade – Sep 1941

Oak Hill School – Sep 1941

Transcribed Text of “Oak Hill School, Sep 1941 – 2nd Grade – (back).jpeg”

Back Row


Gwendolyn Mucci

Lela May Manter

Joan McKeen

Marion Harmon

Betty White

Virginia McLaughlin

Calista Pooler

Caroline Olsen

Georgianna Martin

Second Row


Kenneth Bornheimer

Carl Nelson

Kenneth Hillock

Donald Libby

Donald Titus

Roland O’Leary

Robert McLaughlin

Third Row


Miss Althea Strout

Alvinia Sawyer

Betty Ann Swasey

Nancy Jean Libby

Jane Chase

Barbara Moody

Geraldine Hallett

Dorothy Hillock

Bernita Jordan

Alice Crosland

Front Row


Frederick Buckland Jr.

Ralph Lorfano

Dean Hughes

Leslie Thayer

Stanley Libby


Oak Hill School – Sep 1941 – Back

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M.F. Tilton letter to C. L. Libby Esq. 18 Jun 1889 – 70.14.17.I

Click to Access PDF Varsion.

Unformatted Transcription Text Below

June 18th 1889
92 Cedar St. Bangor
Dear Sir;
Yours of the 11th inst was duly rec’d – I was pleased
to know more definately your plan for that “contemplated History”
you surely are entering upon a task of great magnitude with
a dubious prospect of any help fromnthose now on the stage – for
myself, were we to meet, your questions might draw out some
useful material, wh’ the cold sted fails to recal, to my regret ,
My Father’s account Books and business records went to Minn,
with my brother Henry – who passed away 7 or 8 yrs since as
to records of income from his pupils, I can state that his
charges from all ages never exceeded $1.75 for tuition ,
board and washing per week, for those who stayed over Sunday!
Yet some were sure it was a great charge! but were anxious to
get their unruly troublesome boys under his mild but effectual
Pg 2
He never resorted to corporal punishment I never sent a boy
away tho obligid to refuse many from /Lek of room ” oh put
them in the barn, only take them, “was the cry of several
parents! We had boys of 7, 8 yrs of age to 18, 20, Greek,
Latin, Mathematics, Reader mingled in one room and all were
amenable to my humble self when Father was called to Parish
duties – when out of school – These are trifles – but show
chatacter of both parties – some 25 boys were with us at
different times – left pleasant memories – Domestic afflic-
tion Cpmpeled Father to give up school in 1828, he was chosen
Preceptor of a New Academy at Buxton – You may find several
of his pupils among the middle and also aged residents of
upper Scar, also Buxton who were warm friends to his last
days. The ignorant parsimonious class of Scar. 2d Parish
caused his giving up the desk. Some disliked “College
Larned” preacher some “preaching for pay” and as each one
“signed off”as the law allowed, their tax Father gave up- till-
yearly salary was reduced to $150. and that hard to collect.
While we had boys he preached without pay that Sunday might
be a Sabbath day to them and not to them alone for others
attended and he was expected to visit the sick and attend
funerals as when a regular pastor. The Methodist and Baptist
sects caused much disruption of religious ties. They
protest to labor gratis which suited many. Mr. Heath the
earlist Meth, preacher at Dunstan wasn’t genial, fanaticism
displaced reason and sohe felt it a duty to embrace an oppar.
to harass Father – At meetings in distant parts of a 6 miles
parish wxtent. One famale widow arose and harangud the
gathering before he closed. The same colledted others and
came some miles to pray and sing before our house – he took
no notice of any of thesL scenes – to deeply wounded. In
later days he went often to the Methodist meeting when his old
parish were minus preaching and a change came in the Methodist
characteristics – he communed with them and enjoyed social
intercourse with pastors and people. I mention these facts
AS show the element from which came the “Cochrane” sect, it
cannot be called religious as sensuality seemed to prevail
to such a degree at length that Saco authorities razed the
building where its devotees held their orgies and broke up
meetings of Scarb. and other towns uniting with them. Mr. S.
in his book names Cochrane a minister – rather a scapegrace,
strongly magnetic – bringing weak ones into his toils. State
Prison clained him at last.
Previous to the inroads of this class of fanatics regular S.
meetiings were well attended – young people were walking 4
and 6 miles or riding part way in turn “ride and tie” was the
term used – some on howseback with wife on pillion behind
them a large block near the yard stood ready to alight and
mount from. One good old man I remember was so deep in thots
of what he heard that he failed to miss the clasp of his
wife round his waist, and rode off leaving her perched on the
block till someone called him back.
The meeting house with its 2 score of large windows, was
guiltless of stove or furnace heat – women had foot stoves
which they renewed with coals at the parson’s house opposite
where good fires in winter were ready and benches purposely
encircling the big fireplace for general use. In summer the
water pail and drinking cups were provided and both arrangements
were wetf patronised at intermission – Those coming a distance
bringing their lunch found the fire and water very acceptable.
The parson’s family had a busy day – someone must keep guard
and replenish all needful.
How unlike present usages were many customs of past days.
Civilization has taken from us much that simple, informal
and enjoyable in return we haveebeauty, grandeur, leisure,
and great progress in science and all that tends to mental
and spiritual development. Can we say it has left integrity,
uprightness and purity of character. Scarboro had many very
sterling characters – but with these mingled another element
of the savage nature – imbibed another element or early contact
with and dread of their Indian foes – Proofs of this were
evident in the treatment of Mr. King and others for differences
of views during the Revolution. Father occupied the King house,
near the Landing so called, the first decade of his ministry –
as a child I well remember seeing marks of the axe gashing the
beam in the hallway made by the mob, that in other savage
ways insulted and even sought his life by placing ropes across
the road to throw him from his horse at night etc. These savages
were not all Scar, men but some were known to be. One specially
rose to be Deacon of the church in later days but Mr. King’s
daughters Mrs Southgate refused to take the elements from his
hand and he was changed to the opposite aisle. He was a saint-
ly man I remember in looks.
When reading your purposed plan, my sister agreed with me in
saying there were some pages we cared not to turn, in such a
view of our dwelling place – even our near neighborhood had
many undeveloped beings – whose deeds were outside the pole
of civilized life. They have put off the flesh with its temp-
tations and I will not revive their life course – rather turn
to more attractive subjects.
When Father settled there, Dunstan was quite a busy place,
lu±ber trade and building vessels at the Landing employed
many – several stores were well supported – the owners of them
moving to Portland when that business ended – this changed the
place greatly – men of energy like Jewet Wm. Wood – Capt.
Haines – Rufas Emerson all well known citizens of P. whose
children live there now and began their life in Scar. Society
was good large families graced these homes but as business
died out and no new enterprize succeeded young men left for
other prospects. The town was called a good place to migrate
from and it has sent out to enrich and grace various points
of our broad land many who have won both fame and fortune as
well as benifiting the world by talents improved.
One of the odd characters of the time, was Richard or Dick King
as generally called a brother of Rufus, on his Father’s side
and Gov. Wm. and Cyrus of Saco – but unlike any of them – a man
of great physical and mental power but without culture – pique-
ing himself on lack of it – yet he was well read specially in
T. Paine’s works professing to Deistic views – he was strong in
argument and often silenced opponents by witty retorts – during
the war of 1812 he was a released prisoner from Halifax, I think
was carried into N.Y. in a delipated state of apparel – buying
a yd of cotton cloth he tied up his neck – went to brother Rufus
house and sent in his name. Rufus had a party of distinguished
men at dinner. He told the servant to show the gent in at once –
he came very gingerly avoiding to step on the flowers of the
rich carpet – Pretending to think them real and wishing to
mortify his aristocratic brother – but failed – his party were
surprised when introduced but confounded when listening to his
philosophical conversation. He lived on Scottow’s Hill – had a
large family not one like to himself in any respect – a son
became Methodist preacher. Dick King the Infidel was a noted
chatacter then – now, we dont fear the influence of Paine’s
followers but understand better the true animus of the man –
one step up in civilization and liberalityof thought.
The best part of 2 Parish in S. was on the Nonsuch river and
Beach Ridge where were many thrifty farmers whose sons went to
Mass., and farther west, doing credit to the old town. Portland
also has the honor of several solid men from that younger stock
but I know nothing of the present inhabitants – thirty five
years have passed since leaving there – changes for better have
no doubt taken place – the sterile soil of Dunstan and Broadturn,
may now bear fruit from mechanics and artizan culture while some
seed sown in the past on mental soil may have slowly taken root
under more favorable circumstances of the present day. I have
jotted down at various times this potpouri of words as they rose
to mind, if you care to read and canegather any grains of wheat
from sc much chaff – put it to use – if not give the scrap
basket these pages. Questions might have called up some things
more to your purpose and spared you much you may find irrele-
However I mail it with the best wishes of
Your Aged Friend
M.F. Tilton
To C.L. Libby Esq.


From: 70.14.17 I – Transcription – M.F. Tilton letter to C. L. Libby, Esq. 18 June 1889 – 70.14.17.I.pdf

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