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Scarborough Historical Society
PO Box 156
Scarborough, ME, 04070-0156
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Top Posts and Pages
- 70.14.17 A1 - Letter - McLaughlin to McLaughlin
- Scarborough Marsh: "Land of Much Grass" - Part 1
- Beech Ridge School Renovation Update – Nov 20, 2022
- Historical Sketch of Prouts Neck
- Transportation Through the Years - Part 1 of 4
- Historic Houses of Scarborough, Maine
- Scarborough Marsh: "Land of Much Grass" - Part 3
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The Beech Ridge School renovation continues. As of November 20, the first coat of paint has been applied to the replacement wood clapboards on all four sides of the building. The front entrance and steps are now in the process of being completed.
Notice the beautiful, new front door thanks to the generous donation of the Prouts Neck Association.
Donate and help with this historical renovation, please see our GoFundMe page.
Scarborough Fare is a collection of recipes contributed by members and friends of the Scarborough Historical Society, history scattered throughout. $18.00. It is available at the Museum*, Len Libby Candies & Gifts, or eBay. Proceeds from the sale benefit the Society.
The cookbook includes many recipes, including “Mother Skillin’s Swill-Pail Surprise” from page 46.
* The Scarborough Historical Society Hours & Info:
By Linda McLoon with assistance from Rodney Laughton
The Clams of Scarborough
“You may sing of your Providence oysters,
Or boast of your roasted spring lamb,
But there’s no dish or compound that ever was cooked,
That comes up to the Scarboro clam.”
Scarborough clams have been sought-after seafood for as long as we can remember, whether served as fried clams, steamers, clam cakes, or clam chowder. Early 20th-century restaurants such as the Moulton House, Dunscroft, and Tarry-A-While were famous for their shore dinners, which in addition to a broiled lobster, always included both fried clams and steamers. Massive shell middens left behind by Native Americans indicate that clams were a staple of their summertime diets.
There was a time in the 19th century when the plentiful clams dug on Scarborough clam flats were not thought of as anything special. Prior to the 1870s, when tourists discovered the tasty mollusks, clams were considered poor man’s food. In addition to being used for consumption, clams had another use. Clams were used for bait. Clams were so abundant in 1854 when Moses Plummer requested a license to dig them, they were often used for bait in long-line fishing. A hook with clam bait was placed every few feet on a long line that was let out behind a fishing boat. Later the line would be hauled in along with a good catch of fish attached to it.
The museum recently received a wonderful photo of Fredrick Miller.
According to the information on the back of the photo Fredrick:
Born 1855 – Died 1927.
Married Susan Libby.
- His adopted daughter was Dorothy Todd Miller.
- She married Delmar D Shaw
- Children – Rachael Shaw Bessey
- Marguerite Shaw Davis
- Delmar D Shaw Jr. (Twin)
- Jocelyn Shaw Moulton (Twin)
- She married Delmar D Shaw
- Fred Miller lived at 278 Black Point Rd, Scarborough, ME.
A note on the back of the photo says “1914,” which I presume is the date of the image.
Other Information about Fred A. Miller.
- Fred was a school agent for District 2, Black Point.[i]
- Fred was a constable at Prouts Neck.[ii]
- Fred died on 2 Sep 1927 in Portland. He was 73 years old.[iii]
- Family Search has profile MDPP-XS7 for Frederick Augustus Miller (1854-1927).
- Ancestry has ten public trees that refer to Fredrick A. MILLER.
[i] The 1884 Scarborough Town Report indicates Fred was the school agent for District No. 2, Black Point.
[ii] The 1897 and 1898 Scarborough Town Reports indicate Fred was paid for his services as Constable at Prout’s Neck
[iii] The 1928 Scarborough Annual Report indicates that Fred A. Miller died in Portland on September 2, 1927, age 73 years.
By Don Taylor
Cleaning an ancestor’s marker, the marker of a veteran, or even the marker of a person you don’t know but see their monument is looking bad, can be a great source of accomplishment and pride. It is relatively simple and easy to do, but several do’s and don’ts exist.
First of all, do get permission to clean the marker. Even if it is a close relative, you should know who owns the cemetery and their rules for cleaning headstones and obtain authorization. Many of the cemeteries in Scarborough are owned and managed by the town. But many are privately owned. Always get permission before you start cleaning.
You don’t need bleach, a pressure washer, or metal brushes. Never, never, never use any of them on a marker.
The Easy Way
I like to do things the easy way; I clean a marker in five steps:
- Get permission.
- I check the weather report—no rain today or tomorrow – Good to go.
At the marker, I use a small pair of grass shears to trim the grass around the marker. I try to be careful to not touch the marker with the metal shears at any time. I trim just enough to make it clear that someone cares to make the marker look nice.
- Next, I use a water bottle and gently mist the marker with plain water. Rainwater is probably best. When I lived in Minnesota, where the water is very hard from lots of iron, I used bottled, filtered water. In any event, mist it down nicely.
- Finally, I spray down the stone with D/2 Biological Solution. It is a proven product that does the job and won’t harm the stone. The VA uses D/2 to clean over 3.5 million headstones each year. Several other products say they are like D/2, but I’ve never used them, so I can’t recommend them. I figure if the VA will use D/2 on my marker sometime in the distant future, it is good enough for me to use it now on someone else’s marker. Using a sprayer, I mist the stone down. (Note: I always wear a pair of dishwashing gloves when I clean a stone.)
That’s it. I go home. D/2 will work on the stone over the next week to a month and clean the biologicals from the stone.
When I return after a few weeks, I touch up the stone if needed, take a photo of the cleaned stone and note its GPS location (I have an app on my phone), and then update the memorial on Find-a-Grave.
The faster way
I know many folks like that immediate gratification of seeing their stone clean immediately, and I get it. The process is the same up to going home. Give the stone 5 to 10 minutes to have the D/2 work a bit. Then use a sponge or a very soft-bristle plastic brush. And gently scrub the stone. I will use a paint stir stick to work the moss off if there are large chunks of moss. Using a soft toothbrush to gently scrub the letters if they need extra cleaning is good. If the surface you are scrubbing gets dry, give it another squirt of the D/2, or water, to moisten it and continue. It doesn’t need to be drenched but should remain mist as you scrub. You are done. Take your photo and note the GPS location, and head home.
Throughout this process, take the time to be respectful. Be slow, be gentle. If it is an ancestor or a veteran, talk to them. Give them thanks for their contributions.
In October 2022, the following items were added to the website:
12th Maine Regiment (Civil War)
Twenty-seventh Reunion of the 12th Maine Regiment – Dunstan, 10 September 1908.
I added a photo of the West Scarborough Methodist Church (circa 1928).
Under First Congregational Church, I created a sub-paragraph for the Outlook Club.
The Outlook Club
The Outlook Club was a women’s group associated with the First Congregational Church at Black Point in 1910. They worked to create the Civil War Monument on the land then known as “The Village Green,” which had once been the site of the Second Parish Church. (Now known as Dunstan.) The monument was dedicated on June 21, 1913. The Club created a Cook Book as part of its fund-raising activities.
I uploaded the April 14, 1860, issue of the Sunday School Advocate (Volume XIX – Number 13 to the Internet Archive.
I uploaded the State of Maine Song by Roger Vinton Snow to Digital Maine.
I added photos of:
- Barker’s Store & Fried Clams (Pine Point) Photo
- G.W. Knight’s Store – (Dunstan) (Includes Jim Leary, George Knight, George’s mother & first wife.)
- Howatt’s Store (Route 1, where Land Rover dealer is now).
- O.E. Sherman & Son Store (North Scarborough) circa 1938.
- V. T. Shaw, Store and Post Office (Prouts Neck) – 2022.37.10 – Photo at Digital Maine
- Class of 1943 – Graduation Exercises – Grammar Schools – 1943 – Theme “America“
- Class of 1923 – Senior Class: Standing—Left to Right;- Clarke A. Libbeg; F. Clayton Sargent; Frank H. Mitchell. Aubrey E. Lincoln; Clarence H. Peterson. Sitting—Left to Right:– J. Christian Andersen; Gladys L. Douglass; Martha E. Pillsbury; Mrs. Arthur Stevens; Hazel B. Merry; Agnes G. Lund; Harold W. Bennett.
- Class of 1944 – Commencement Program – Scarborough High School.
- Class of 1951 – 1951 Class Will – from the Rodney Laughton Collection
Jocelyn Internet Links of Interest
- An Account of Two Voyages to New-England, by John Josselyn – Internet Archive – Project Gutenberg eBook.
- 1874-04-22 – Letter: H.R. Tilton to Mary F. Tilton – No Accession #.
- 1896-01-15 – Letter – Transcribed – A. McLaughlin to W.H. McLaughlin re: William King Memorial.
- 1898-07-29 – Letter – McLaughlin to McLaughlin – Handwritten Transcription – 19.9.1801.
By Becky Delaware
Oak Hill, Part IV
In the early 1900s, all the land from the corner of Black Point Road and Route One (current location of Amato’s) to the Bessey School apartments and extending back to the Old Eastern walking path on Black Point Road was once a part of the Harrison J. Libby estate. This corner of Black Point Road and Route One has been a very prominent corner. Jensen’s Chevron Station, later Canal Bank, then Key Bank and for a short while Casco Bank have all been located at this spot. Hillson’s Cash Market, a mom-and-pop store, was next door from at least the 1970s.
Across Fairfield Street was Bette’s Lunch. Run by Bette Pennell until 2002, Bette’s was an institution at Oak Hill. From the 1960s on, students at Scarborough High School frequented Bette’s. She would open at odd hours to feed firefighters who had been out on extensive firefighting efforts. Next to Bette’s most recently was the public safety building. Originally, Oak Hill Garage was at this location and then the Oak Hill Fire Station [Engine 5]. Rescue shared space with the fire trucks and then later the police and dispatch center moved in. Since the fire, rescue, police, and dispatch center have relocated to the new public safety building, this building is now a residential and commercial center. On the other side of the former public safety building is Westwood Avenue.
Next along Route One are six houses that are now homes to small businesses. The fourth and fifth houses are what I call the “twin” houses. Their architecture is similar, except for a slight roof-line difference. The third house is a “close cousin” to these. This area was developed in the late 1920s after the break-up of the Libby Estate. The “Libby ladies,” who lived on the estate, had offered to gift the town part of the estate as a site for a new Scarborough High School. However, the town declined the offer, because the ladies insisted that the new school should be named Libby High School.
Across Ward Street, until recently, was the Knights of Pythias Hall. The Knights of Pythias was a fraternal organization that supported community efforts. (A ceremonial suit from the Knights of Pythias is on display at the Museum.) Women had their own organization, the Pythian Sisters, which recently disbanded for lack of membership. The next two large buildings replaced a small antique store (later a craft store) operated by Judy Roy in the 1980s or 1990s and a small rental house owned by Calvin Austin.
The former Bessey School, originally built in 1927 as Scarborough High School, became the junior high when the current high school opened in 1954. When a new junior high was built In the 1960s, the building became the Bessey School and housed elementary grades. When no longer used as a school, the building was used for offices and meeting rooms. Ruth’s Reusable Recyclables occupied the basement. Eventually sold into the commercial sector, the building was expanded and repurposed into what is now Bessey Commons.
Further along Route One is the Maine Veterans Home. The next area is all commercial buildings grouped together into a business park setting. This area, as well as the development including Commerce Drive, was formerly the farm where “Mike” and Ken Libby grew up. Right on the boundary of the Maine Veterans Home was a small house where Ken and Maudie Libby lived and across Commerce Drive at the far end of the business park was where the original farm was located until it burned in 1986. Mike, Ruth, and Mother Maud had lived here.
By Becky Delaware
If you enjoy local history, town annual reports are a great source of information. The earliest Scarborough reports date from the 1850s. Those from the 1880s on are the most common; however, the earlier the report, the more detailed the information is. The end of the report usually provides the warrant for that year and the budget committee’s recommendation on each article. Warrants were the issues that voters would consider at town meeting. Only men who had paid poll taxes could vote; later, women were allowed to vote. Sometime in the 1960s, poll taxes were eliminated.
Town officers for the previous year are listed at the beginning of the report, followed by the Selectmen’s report. The Selectmen’s report lists the valuation of the town in terms of poll taxes paid and personal property, including animals, and money appropriated the year before. Expenditures for taking care of roads, including streetlights and bridges, are listed by the individual and often the job done. Officers’ salaries are also given.
The school report, usually given by the school board or the superintendent, provides information collected from the school agent of each district school [one-room school]. The school agent hired the teachers and took care of the needs of the school throughout the year. If there were a high school, the principal would give a report. Included in the school report is usually a chart listing the schools and the attendance at each. Teachers are listed by school, performance, or by educational background. Often another financial account of school expenditures might be included here. Sometimes high school graduates for the year are listed. The town Health Officer’s report is also included.
The Town Clerk’s report lists marriages, deaths, and births by name and date. (Good information for genealogists). During war times, soldiers from the town were often listed. The town ceased providing this information in the 1940s. Reports from the Poor Farm*, cemeteries, and tax collectors and the auditor’s report are included.
After the 1960s, the information is less detailed and more generalized. If you are interested in this type of history, I would encourage you to read the town reports. Many reports are online; but if you like to hold a book while you read, the Scarborough Historical Museum has some reports available for purchase at 50 cents each. Come in and visit.
*The Poor Farm was for people who were not physically or financially able to care for themselves. Residents usually contributed whatever labor they were able to provide. A woman might peel potatoes for meals, while a man might feed the animals. An overseer and his family operated the farm.
A transcript of the first page of a 1908 flyer for the Twelfth Maine Regimental Association. It mentions how to get to Dunstan via the electrics. There is also a link to a digital copy of the document that includes the menu for the reunion’s dinner.
The Twenty-seventh Annual Reunion of the 12th Maine will be held at Dunstan, Scarboro, on Thursday, September 10th, 1908.
The business meeting and election of officers will be held at 10.30 A. M.
A regular dinner will be served at the Moulton House, at one o’clock.
The usual reduction of fares will be made on all railroad and steamboat lines. Tickets good from the 10th to the 12th, inclusive. Comrades coming from the East will take the Saco electrics for Dunstan at the head of Preble Street, Portland. Those from the West take electrics at Saco or Biddeford. Cars leave every half hour,
MARCUS M. SMART, President.
GEORGE E. ANDREWS, Secretary and Treasurer,
784 Congress Street, Portland.
M. I. MILLIKEN, Scarboro
N. W. KENDALL, Biddeford
J. M. THOMPSON, Saco
Click the image above or HERE for the original image.
During September, the following items were added to the website:
- 89-9305 – “Men of Scarborough” – Text – PDF
- 89-9306 – “Henry Jocelyn” – Text – PDF
- 89-9307 – “Old Houses in Scarborough – Henry Jocelyn’s at Ferry Rock” – PDF
- No Accession Number: Alice Jocelyn’s Thimble – Text – PDF.
- Bookcase 1 – Mistress Alice Jocelyn – Her Letters – Internet Archive [Fiction]
- “People Who Called Scarborough Home – Henry Jocelyn“ – by Charlene Fenlason
The Early Poems of John Greenleaf Whittier, “Mogg Megone” by John Greenleaf Whittier