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William Graffam – Puzzle Editor

William H. Graffam (1853-1934)

Puzzle Editor of West Scarborough, Maine

By Larry Glatz of (East) Scarborough, Maine — 31 August 2022

W.H.Graffam Store
Photo courtesy R. Laughton Collection

For most who knew him locally, William Henry Graffam was a successful grocer and sometime postmaster at Dunstan’s Corner in the western part of Scarborough, Maine. To many others—in Detroit, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, and elsewhere—he was the busy editor of puzzle columns in their hometown newspapers. At one time or another, Graffam edited no fewer than nine columns in various publi­cations, and all from his home or storefront in West Scarborough.

Like many of his aging peers, Graffam was no doubt sorely disappointed in the early 1920s when what we now know as the standard crossword puzzle so captivated the public that the earlier world of “Puzzledom”—as it was known in Graffam’s earlier days—vanished into antiquity.

A column managed by William H. Graffam would include six to ten different types of puzzles. Each had a specific form and well-known rules. There were enigmas, charades, anagrams, acrostics, drop-letters, beheadments, curtailments, transpositions, and many other “word” puzzles. There were also dozens of types of “pattern” puzzles, in which clued words were arrayed into diamonds, squares, cubes, elaborate crosses, and the like. In addition, many of the puzzles were presented poetically, and it was common to see the answers given poetically as well. But most importantly, the puzzles were not syndicated or copied from one paper to another. Each paper’s column had its own puzzle editor, who received and reviewed submissions from readers, announced contests and prizes, conducted “chats” with contributors, and published answers to last week’s posers.

To get a feel for Graffam’s world of “Puzzledom,” it may be helpful to see an example of the period’s simplest puzzle form—the “charade.” Although there were a number of variations, a charade most often involved a word of just two syllables. Each syllable was required to have its own clue and meaning, with the two syllables together having a separate—but ideally related—meaning. This, for example, is from a magazine of 1825:[1]

          “To a Lady”
My first I hope – you are.
My second I see – you are.
My whole I know – you are.

The answer here is welcome. That is, “I hope you are well. I see you have come. I know you are welcome.”

Here’s a somewhat cleverer one from the same period:[2]

My first is French,
My second English,
And my whole Latin.

Where the answer is, in fact, the word Latin, whose first syllable is “la” and the second is “tin.”

Those interested in learning more about alphagrams, double-letter engimas, right and left crowns, and so on, can either rummage through used-book stores for early manuals, or join the National Puzzlers’ League (, which strives to keep the faint flame of early puzzledom aglow.

Eldridge Waterhouse & William Graffam on Route 1, by their stores, c. 1902. (Before the trolley was installed.)

But to return to our principal subject: William H. Graffam was born in Scarborough, Maine, on November 17, 1853. He was from a family of farmers who had lived for several generations in Scarborough. His education was limited to that afforded by the local schools, but he eventually established himself as a general store merchant at Dunstan’s Corner and served stints as a local school board member, town treasurer, and postmaster. It is difficult to say whether puzzling was a sidelight to his local duties or whether his more mundane business responsibilities were secondary to his avocation as a puzzler; but the fact is that between about 1878 and at least 1892, Graffam edited the puzzle columns of at least nine newspapers—from the New Age of  Augusta, Maine, to the Post and Tribune of Detroit. (And it’s likely that others await discovery.)

Unfortunately, archives of early newspapers are difficult to locate, and only a few of those are readily accessible online, so the full story of Graffam’s work as a puzzle editor can probably never be known. But records of three of the papers for which he worked have been digitized, and these sources tell a great deal about Graffam’s labors in the land of Puzzledom. In two of those papers—the Cincinnati Commercial Tribune and the Indianapolis Journal, Graffam numbered the puzzles from first to last, and the total items moderated by him in just those two publications totaled over forty-five hundred.

Throughout his columns, he strove to offer his readers new and interesting puzzles. In the “chat” sections at the bottom of each column, he encouraged, complimented, educated and corrected his contributors on their work. He directed puzzlers to authoritative sources and published brief essays by other aficionados of the puzzling arts. And because so many of the puzzles of his day were presented poetically, he—like many of his colleagues in the business—was particularly drawn to that genre of expression. Many of his columns contained poems by others—always on the subject of puzzling—and he presented a number of his own compositions well. The following three examples may provide an appropriate frame for a proper picture of the puzzle editor William H. Graffam.

The first is an excerpt from a poem written by Graffam himself as a spur to his contributors. Entitled “What’s Accepted,” one stanza reads:

So, in fact, the puzzle corner
     Of this very welcome press,
Does admit all work of honor,
     And no good ideas suppress.
The puzzle department is voracious,
     Has an appetite quite keen;
And its room is quite spacious,
     In which all good things are seen.

The second was written by a West Virginia contributor who imagined all of Graffam’s puzzlers gathering to honor him in his hometown. It opens with…

Hark! what music-drums are beating,
    Sweet and gentle sounds the strain;
All the Mystic Knights are meeting,
    Meeting at West Scarboro, Maine.

And the last is a work entitled “The Puzzle Editor,” written by “Towhead” (Edward William Dutcher) for a student publication of Beloit College. Its fifty-four lines describe the numerous duties and challenges of the newspaper puzzle editor, and it ends…

And the weary man of puzzles fain to all the world would tell,
That what is worth the doing is worth the doing well.
Ah! here is one that pleases, how well the letter pays!
With all the answers neatly made, also a mead of praise;
Some tangles, too, from proper texts and deftly conjured rhymes.
A joke or two to give it zest just suited to the times.
And so it goes from week to week, no time for halt or breath,
And so ’twill go, no rest between, till the mystic puzzle death.

When death did come to William H. Graffam on the Fourth of July, 1934, it found him in the western Maine village of Andover, where he was residing at the home of his daughter Idella and her husband, Rev. George M. W. Keyes, who was the pastor of the Congregational Church there.

Graffam’s remains were returned to Scarborough and interred in the Dunstan Cemetery, beside those of Delia, his wife of forty-six years, who had died six years earlier.

William and Delia had been married in Portland on June 6, 1882. Delia Frances Powers was the daughter of Dwinal and Jane Powers, farmers of Topsham, Maine. At the time of the 1880 census, Delia was listed as a servant in the household of Alfred H. Berry, a wholesale boot and shoemaker of Portland. (Perhaps the couple met while William was prospecting for a supply of footwear to be sold at his general store.)

William and Delia had two children: Idella Mae, born April 6, 1883, and Leslie Preble, born June 10, 1888.

Delia was herself a busy puzzler. Writing as “D. F. G.,” she contributed quite a number of her enigmatic works to William’s columns over the years.

Another prolific puzzle-writer of West Scarborough appeared in William’s columns first as “Xoa” and later as “Aunt Xoa.” The fact that she adopted the “Aunt” at about the time of the birth of the Graffam’s son Leslie suggests she may have been one of William’s siblings, either his younger sister, Eva A. Graffam (Phillips) (1863-1903), or his older sister, Abbie Ann Graffam (1849-1929), who did not marry, but lived in William’s household until her death in 1929.

It is interesting—and a bit puzzling—that when William passed away, no obituary appeared in the Portland papers. His daughter and son-in-law would certainly have possessed both the knowledge and ability to memorialize his numerous and noteworthy accomplishments. Perhaps they thought it appropriate to leave as his legacy an enigmatic and Sphinx-like silence.

*  *  *

Notes on puzzle columns edited by William H. Graffam (likely an incomplete list):

Note: The directories of both “Gus”[3] and “Nutmeg” list “Boff” as the nom-de-plume of William H. Graffam, however, he seems to have used this name only when publishing “seed” puzzles in his earliest columns. Others of his puzzles were sometimes signed “W. H. G.” or more commonly, “Uncle Will,” and it’s likely the triple asterisk “***” was also his.

Cincinnati Commercial Tribune, “Our Puzzle Corner”

    Graffam’s first column in the paper ran on July 21, 1878 (p. 12). Of the eight puzzles appearing there, three were certainly by Graffam himself (writing as “Boff,” “Uncle Will,” and “W. H. G.”); two were unsigned (so likely by Graffam); two were by “Winton,” and one was by “J.R.H.” Addresses were given for none of these contributors. Readers were instructed, “All communications should be… plainly addressed to Wm. H. Graffam, Scarboro, Maine.”

Graffam’s column ran weekly from the above date through 6 August 1882, which would have been just over five years.

Why or how Graffam became associated with the Cincinnati newspaper is unknown.

In response to questions from “R. O. Chester” in his column of 5/29/1881 (p. 3), Graffam says  “’Our Puzzle Corner’ came into existence in July 1878….. It will be seen that since the establishment of O.P.C., we have published 1325 puzzles, the numbers having run continuously.” By the time Graffam ended his feature in the Commercial Tribune, he’d published 1,811 puzzles there. (In the 1890s, “R. O. Chester” [Charles H. Coons, of Rochester, N.Y.] became puzzle editor of the National Tribune of Washington, D.C., and as a feature of his column, he published a lengthy series of biographical sketches of prominent puzzlers. Although he certainly gathered information from Graffam, I’ve not been able to find any subsequent notice of him by “R. O. Chester.”)

In his column in the Cincinnati Commercial Tribune of 2/1/1880, Graffam announced separate contests for the Daily Commercial and the Weekly Commercial, and he asked participants to specify on their entries whether they were subscribers to one or the other; so it seems he edited separate columns for each edition. An 1880 listing of puzzle editors by “Nutmeg” has Graffam as the editor of the feature in the Sunday Commercial of Cincinnati. This was likely the Weekly mentioned above.

Note the article from 10/9/1881, with a lengthy essay on puzzledom by “Aspiro.” (Other cites have Aspiro being of DeBois, Illinois. “Gus” identifies “Aspiro” as M. Durant.)

See also the poem “The Puzzle Editor,” by “Towhead” which Graffam printed in his column of 11/23/1879.

In the column of 12/18/1881, is the article “Puzzledom Not Dying Out,” which mentions a piece in the Watchman of Boston by “Uncle Will” in which he “scouted” the argument that “Puzzledom was dying out, as some anti-puzzle people had predicted.” In response, “N.W.F.” strongly argued the opposite.

Gazette (DC), “Uncle Will’s Puzzle Column” (listed by both “Gus” and “Nutmeg”)

Like most of the following papers, archival issues are not readily available online. As a result, much further research would be needed to establish the details of Graffam’s work here. But since the column is listed both by “Nutmeg”—whose directory was published in 1880—and by “Gus”—whose list appeared the following year—it’s certainly the column ran for at least some time during both of those years. Similar conclusions would apply to any of the following columns listed by “Nutmeg” and/or “Gus.”

New Age, Augusta, Me., “Our Puzzle Drawer” (listed by “Gus”)

Post and Tribune, Detroit, “Echos from the Sphinx” (listed by both “Gus” and “Nutmeg”)

Telegram, Baltimore, “Uncle Spec’s Puzzle Department” (listed by both “Gus” and “Nutmeg”)

Times, Dubuque, Iowa, “The Mystic Arena” (listed by “Gus”)

Philadelphia Press, “Puzzlers’ Realm” (listed by both “Gus” and “Nutmeg”)

Racine (Wisc.) Journal, “Our Nut Basket” (listed by both “Gus” and “Nutmeg”)

Issues found on

11/12/1879 – no puzzles
11/19.1879 – no puzzles
11/26/1879 (p. 2) – appears to be Graffams’ first column in this paper; the puzzles are by “Boff,” “Uncle Will,” Rosa F., of Cincinnati; and “El Capitan,” of East Dedham, Mass.; i.e. none from Racine.
12/3/1879 (p. 2)
12/10/1879 (p. 2) –  puzzles by “Boff” and ***
[Not searched between these dates.]
2/4/1881 (p. 4)
3/2/1881 (p. 4) – this appears to have been Graffam’s last column in this paper.
3/9-3/23/1881 – no puzzles

Indianapolis Journal, “The Young Folks’ Column. The Puzzle Department.”

Since archival issues of this paper appear in the Chronicling America database of the Library of Congress, many details of Graffam’s work here can be readily studied. The record, however, is incomplete in that it isn’t until the issue of 14 April 1883 that all pages of each issue of the Journal appear in the database. Helpfully, as was the case with his columns in the Cincinnati Commercial Tribune, Graffam numbered his puzzles sequentially, and as of 14 April 1883, he’d edited 689 for the Indianapolis paper. Since eight to ten puzzles appeared in the column each week, it’s likely Graffam’s first column had been published about a year and a half prior—or about October of 1881. But the fact that Graffam’s column in this paper is listed by both “Nutmeg” (1880) and “Gus” (1881) suggests it may have run even earlier.
(accessed 8/27/2022)

(“All correspondence to be sent to W. H. Graffam, West Scarborough, Maine,” as noted in the column of 2/16/1884, p. 12.) The column ran on Saturdays from about October 1881 through at least 12/26/1891, when the final puzzle was numbered 3,699. In the later columns, almost all of the puzzles were by “D. F. G.” (Graffam’s wife) or “Aunt Xoa,” who was most likely one of his sisters.

Note: Both “Xoa” and “D. F. G.” of West Scarborough contributed puzzles to Graffam’s columns. “D. F. G.” is almost certainly Delia Frances Graffam, the editor’s wife, “Xoa” changed her nom-de-plume to “Aunt Xoa” as of about January 1888. Could she be Graffam’s younger sister, Eva A. Graffam (Phillips) (1863-1903)? He also had an older sister, Abbie Ann (1849-1929), who didn’t marry.

If Scarborough’s “Xoa” was the same person who used that nom-de-plume when contributing to the 1875 Nut-Crackers’ Monthly of Auburn, Maine, it would argue in favor of Graffam’s older sister, who would have been 26 at that time, as opposed to his younger sister, who would have been only 12.

Earliest sighting in the Indianapolis Journal of “Xoa:” 9/15/1883, p. 4, three puzzles by “Xoa.” Graffam says in his “Foot Notes,” “Xoa’s work is very welcome. We trust she will be seen in this department very often.”

In the final months, Graffam’s “Foot Notes” section withers, prizes disappear, answerers aren’t listed, contributors’ addresses aren’t given, and almost all of the puzzles appear to have been homegrown, that is, the authors are either “Uncle Will” [Graffam], “***” [probably also Graffam], unsigned [again Graffam], “Aunt Xoa” of West Scarborough [possibly one of Graffam’s sisters] or “D. F. G.” [Graffam’s wife, Delia Frances Graffam]. Examples:

4/16/1892, 4 puzzles: 1 by “Aunt Xoa,” 2 by “DFG,” 1 by “Oriana” [no addresses given]
4/23/1892 [column not found]
4/30/1892, 5 puzzles: 3 by “Aunt Xoa,” 1 by “Oriana,” 1 by ***
5/7/1892, 5 puzzles: 1 by “Aunt Xoa,” 2 by “DFG,” 1 by “Oriana,” 1 by ***
5/14/1892, 6 puzzles: 1 by “Aunt Xoa,” 3 by “DFG,” 1 by “Oriana,” 1 by ***
5/21/1892, 5 puzzles: 1 by “Aunt Xoa,” 1 by “DFG,” 1 by “Oriana,” 2 unsigned.
5/28/1892, 6 puzzles: 2 by “DFG,” 1 “Aunt Xoa,” 1 “*”, 1 “Oriana,” 1 “Eva Epps”
6/4/1892, 5 puzzles: 2 by “Aunt Xoa,” 1 by “DFG,” 1 by “Oriana,” 1 ***
6/11/1892, 5 puzzles: 4 by “Aunt Xoa” and 1 by ***
6/18/1892, 5 puzzles: 2 by “Aunt Xoa,” 1 by “DFG” and 2 unsigned.
6/25/1892, 5 puzzles: 3 by “Aunt Xoa,” 1 by “DFG” and 1 unsigned.
7/2/1892, 4 puzzles: 2 “Aunt Xoa,” 1 “Oriana,” 1 ***
7/9/1892, 5 puzzles: “Aunt Xoa,” “DFG,” ***, and 2 unsigned.
[Final column; puzzle #3837.]

Total in his final three months:
60 puzzles: 22 “Aunt Xia,” 14 “D.F.G.,” 8 ***, 8 “Oriana,” 7 unsigned, 1 “Eva Epps”
That is, likely 59 “plants” and 1 public contributor.

8/27/1892 – no column
12/31/1892 – no column.

Oriana – 9/12/1885, p. 3, puzzle by “Oriana” of West Scarborough, Maine. In his “Foot Notes,” Graffam says, “Oriana—We are thankful for the transpositions. Come again soon.”

In the issue for 1/30/1886, p. 7, the contributor who signed as “***” is addressed by Graffam as a “newbie” female from Indianapolis, but this may well have been a “set up,” since noms-de-plume were almost always unique to a single puzzle-writer, and the same “contributor” had appeared in Graffam’s columns in the Racine Journal at least five years earlier.

Genealogical records:

LDS ( “Maine births and christenings records [from Scarborough town records]:”
Graffam, Josiah, born 2 July 1818
Son of Jeremiah and Abigail [Burnham] Graffam

Jeremiah [b. 1777] is said to have been the son of Josiah (c. 1725-1804), who was born in Greenland, N.H., married Catherine Whitten, and died in Scarborough.

LDS “Maine births and christenings records [from Scarborough town records]:”
Graffam, William H.; born 17 Nov 1853, Scarborough, Maine
Son of Josiah and Susan J. [Sanborn] Graffam

Note: This conflicts with the Findagrave entry, which says Graffam was born in Raymond. However, there was a 45 year-old William H. Graffam and his son, William H. Graffam, age 8, polled in both Raymond and Naples (Edes Falls) in the 1860 census, while “our” William H. Graffam, age 7, was polled with his parents, Josiah and Susan, in Scarborough. In short, the Findagrave entry is erroneous.

1860 Scarborough, family #196
Graffam, Josiah, 41, farmer
     Susan J., 31
     Abby A., 16
     William H., 7

1870 Scarborough, family #283
Graffam [listed as “Graffan”], Josiah, 52, farmer
     Susan J., 42
     Apna[?] A., 2
     William H., 17, “attended school within the year” is checked [no occupation listed]
     Eva A., 7

1880 Scarborough, family #162 (all born in Maine, with parents born in Maine)
Graffam, Josiah, 62, farmer
     Susan J., 51, wife
     Abbie A., 30, daughter
     William H., 26, son, farmer [born circa 1854]
     Eva A., 16, daughter [could this be “Xoa”?]

1900 Scarborough, family #1 [1st residence on Rt. 1, Saco line?]
Graffam, William H., 46, b. Nov 1853, grocer
     Delia F., wife, 43, b. March 1857; 2 children, both livng.
     Idella M., daughter, 16, b. Apr 1884
     Leslie P., son, 11, b. June 1888

1910 Scarborough, family #1
Graffam, William H., 56, merchant
     Delia F., 52
     Susan P., 81, mother
     Abbie A., 60, sister

1920 Scarborough, family #27, State Road
Graffam, William H., 66, merchant, general store
     Delia F., 62, wife
     Abbie A., 70, sister

1930 Scarborough, family #131
Graffam, William H., 75, retired merchant
     Keyes, Idella M., 26, daughter
     George W. M., 52, son-in-law, clergyman, congregational

W.H.G. was town treasurer for several years [at least 1892 through at least 1897]
West Scarborough postmaster, 1893-97
School committee member [for how many years?]

Boston Journal, 12/19/1896, p. 9, “Biddeford, Me., Dec. 19—Last night burglars robbed the store and Post Office of W. H. Graffam, Dunstan Corner, Scarborough, of $60, blew open George W. Knight’s store safe, but got nothing, and escaped.” 

Findagrave: William Henry Graffam (11/17/1853-7/4/1934); Dunstan Cemetery

This entry says Graffam was born in Raymond, Maine, 11/17/1853; and died in Andover, Maine, 7/4/1934. There was another William H. Graffam, born about 1854, in the Naples/Raymond area, but he does not appear to have been the William H. Graffam of Scarborough.

Portland Press Herald, 7/6/1934, p. 2, death notices:

Graffam, William H. – In Andover, Me., July 4, William H. Graffam, age 80 years. Funeral services Saturday at 3 pm from the West Scarborough Methodist Church. [An identical note appeared in the Portland Evening Express that same day. Nothing found in the following Sunday’s paper.]

On the day Graffam died, the two Portland dailies ran only one puzzle each: a syndicated cross-word puzzle. And the following Sunday’s paper had no puzzles at all.

From Andover, Maine, obituaries (accessed 8/25/2022):

Rev George W. M. Keyes, Abt. 1875 – 1944 (Obituary from an unidentified and undated newspaper)

Rev. George M. W. Keyes, 66, died suddenly Thursday [May 4, 1944] at his home in Scarboro. He and Mrs. Keyes attended the annual meeting of State Congregational churches at Bangor, Tuesday and Wednesday. He retired in 1941 after 11 years as pastor of the Andover Congregational church. A clergyman 35 years, he also served as Boothbay Harbor’s Superintendent of schools.

He is survived by his wife, Mrs. Idella M. Keyes; two brothers, Roy and Ralph Keyes of New York and a half brother, Truman P, Andrews of Berwick, where Mr. Keyes was born.

Idella M. (Graffam) Keyes, 1883 – 1962 (Obituary from an unidentified and undated, but probably Portland-area newspaper)

Mrs. Idella M. Keyes, 79, widow of the Rev. George W. Keyes [pastor of Andover First Congregational Church from 1930 to 1941] of 17 Deering St., died yesterday in a local nursing home after a long illness.

She was born in West Scarborough, April 6, 1883, daughter of William and Delia Powers Graffam. She was a member of the First Congregational Church, South Portland. Surviving is a brother, Leslie P. Graffam, Kennebunkport…. Interment will be in the Dunstan Cemetery.

Note: So it appears William H. Graffam died at the home of his daughter and son-in-law in Andover. Graffam’s wife, Delia, had died six years earlier (10/29/1928), supposedly in Biddeford.

An image of Graffam’s Store at Dunstan’s Corner is available at Digital Maine. 

[1]   The Minerva (New-York), 2 July 1825.

[2]   Juvenile Miscellany (Boston), September 1826, p. )

[3]   “Gus,” [A. C. Gruhlky], The American Puzzlers’ Directory (1881); “Nutmeg” [E. E. Hamilton], The Knights of the Mystic Arena: A Complete Directory of our American Puzzledom (1880).

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Foss Birth Returns – 1771 to 1798

[This is a transcript of a birth list, probably a “return.” Based upon the paper type and writing style, I believe it to be from the early 1800s, possibly as early as 1798.]

  • William Foss born November 26th 1771
  • Jonathan Foss born July 25, 1773
  • Nathaniel Foxx born June 24, 1775
  • Isabella Foss born October 7, 1776
  • Polly Foss born March 23, 1779
  • Jonathan Foss born July 23, 1781
  • Mehetable Foss born April 7, 1783
  • Mercy Foss born June 9, 1786
  • Nathaniel Foss born May 23, 1789
  • Hero [?] Foss born April 16, 1793
  • Isabella Foss born January 25, 1798
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Beech Ridge School Renovation Update – Sep 16, 2022

Beech Ridge School Renovation continues. Contractor Rob Alden and his crew are making headway. The team has most of the siding installed thanks to the good weather. 

Rob siding where there is a difficult, multi-pitch roof.
Photo by Karlene Osborne.

Brandon & Rob working on the siding for the Schoolhouse renovation.
Photo by Karlene Osborne.


To donate to help this historical renovation, please see our GoFundMe page.

Goal Status Sept 2022





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Old Houses in Scarborough – 89-9307

Henry Jocelyn’s at Ferry Rock.

A cheerful air hath this house, tis here come night, that the gentlemen do assemble for to sip mulled wine, spiced and tasty, or to drink deep draughts of warm ale, feasting on carroway comfits, a-discoursing on the politics which do afflict this Province. The young folk preferred nuts and cider betwixt their games of forfeits

Tis a big room, this kitchen. On the right hand is a vast chimney, on the left, a dresser stored with ware and pewter. In the corner, a cupboard. Other furnishings be an oaken chest, a settle, a scrutoire, sundry high-back chairs and the family-board ever ready and never too strait for another guest. Great logs do blaze in the chimney, cheerful to behold and none too warm for these nipping winter nights. Candles of bay-wax there be, fragrant and fair. By day the sun strives to enter through window-panes of waxen paper. Little need have we for arms or bannerets, for deer’s antlers with Henry’s fowling-piece and powder-horn adorns the walls. Strings of red peppers, dried apples, and comely quarter-moons of yellow pompions do depend from the rafters. On the mantel piece ever sits the tinder-box with flint and steel, ready for instant use.

Sept. 15, 1644.

Touching this town, it groweth apace. Why, we could count half a score of families within the borders of Black Point, even now. Likewise, a brisk trade in fishes is afoot. The drying stages they be ever laden, and the procedure itself, is well worth trouble to witness. Tis ever the same order, -catching, curing, drying, packing, shipping.

Somewhile ago ’twas agreed for to remove from the ’’Ferry Rocks” to a more convenienter dwelling. Hither came we, master and mistress, man and mayde, as also sundry beasts and cattle, -’tis now better than three months back.

[Page 2]

Old Houses In Scarborough

Tis nobly situate, this habitation. Conceive a pretty peninsula of no great size, begirt by a fair bay which doth oven its arms to the sea only on its southernmost Quarter. Across the bay, among the trees, sits the settlement of Blue Point, and behind that, the mountains. This residence itself, stable and commodious, doth overlook a pretty cove where the water laps in with soft soughing by night and by day. Tis not nigh so bluff nor so boisterous as the Ferry Rocks, but comfortabler, by odds. The ferry’s a good two mile distant.

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Francis Neale – Jocelyn’s Nephew – 89-9388

Mr. Francis Neale — Jocelyn’s Nephew.

Mr.Francis Neale must have been a nephew of Esquire Jocelyn, whose half-sister Elizabeth married Francis Neile of London, gent., 25 May 1625, and had children Francis, John, and Mary. Francis Neale, gent. about 30 years since (circa 1653) went to live near Casco Bay”-presumably came to his uncle’s house at Scarborough-according to his own deposition given at Boston 17 Nov. 1683. he was about 27 years old when he came. In a letter dated 9 Aug. 1686, Rev.John Higginson, in endorsing him for appointment as clerk to record vital records at Salem, classed him a gentleman born and bred and referred to his experience as clerk of courts at Casco. The young man soon found a wife, Jane Andrews, stepdaughter of Mr.Arthur Mackworth of Falmouth Foreside, where he settled. Despite his affiliations by blood he seems to have adhered at times to his uncle’s opponents. Much inclined to politics and clerical employment, his course would be hard to analyze. Fe served as Secretary under the younger Gorges’ first movement, yet apparently opposed his second attempt, although included in the commission. His petitions to Mass. are extant. When Massachusetts came in in 1668 he was made an Associate; in 1670 he was Deputy from Falmouth.

He was a refugee to Salem, in Philip’s War, and perhaps by the aid of his uncle’s influence was given a land grant in New York; he did not return to Maine but continued at Salem, employed as conveyance, schoolmaster, and otherwise. His will dated 1 Aug.1695 was not proved, but administration was granted on his estate 2 Jan.1696-7.

(Page xvi, Maine Province and Court Records Vol. I, State Lib.)

[Probably written by Dorothy Shaw Libby.]

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New Camera Display, Updated Digital Collection & Updated Masonic Display

Thanks to the efforts of Director Jan Makowski and Volunteer Betty McKown, we have a new display showing historical/vintage cameras. The collection includes Polaroid One-Step, Kodak Model C box, several viewfinder cameras, folding cameras, and even a Brownie camera still in the box with flash and bulbs. How many of them have you owned over the years?

The Digital Collection continues to grow. It includes nearly 8000 images that are indexed and organized. It is a fantastic resource if you are researching (or reminiscing) Scarborough people or places.

Finally, the curator, Becky, has updated the Masonic display with many new items.

Visit the museum and see all of the displays. We are open every Tuesday and the second Saturday of the month from 9 AM to Noon.

New Camera Display. Photo by Don Taylor

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89-9306 – “Henry Jocelyn”

Henry Jocelyn

Henry Jocelyn son of sir Thomas Jocelyn of Kent,Eng. was sent over by ’Capt. Mason to make “a more complete discovery” and examination of bis grant.

He arrived at Piscataqua in the summer of 1634  but did not long remain. Aft the death of Mason, in 1635, he became a member of the new government established by Sir Ferdinando Gorges. Following the death of Capt. Thomas Cammock, in 1663, Jocelyn married his widow, Margaret, and succeeded to the Cammock Patent at Black Point. Upon the departure of Sir Richard Vines for Barbados, in 1665, Jocelyn became Deputy Governor. Later on, 165$, when the jurisdiction of Mass, had extended over the people east of the Saco River, “Our right trusty Henry Jocelyn Esq.” was appointed a commissioner with full power “for the trial of all causes without a jury within the liberties of Scarborough and Falmouth no exceeding the value of £50,” and with Jordan and Shapleigh, Rishworth and Abraham Preble was invested with “magistratical powers throughout the whole county of York.”

The situation of the garrison at the neck, overlooking the bay as well as Blue Point, made it one of the strongest on the coast. During the summer and fall of 1676 disaster followed disaster. Many of the settlers were killed and others were captured, while others were homeless. At this time the Indians killed several people among them was Ambrose Boaden. Henry Jocelyn was in command of the garrison at Black Point and now he was an elderly man and he felt he had seen enough fighting so he agreed to meet the Indian chief Mugg, outside the garrison and talk over peace terms. Mugg told Jocelyn that if he would surrender the garrison he and his friends would be allowed to depart in safety and take their things with them. Jocelyn said he would talk it over with his people and then would tell Mugg what they decided.

Returning to the garrison Jocelyn found, to his great surprise, that all except his own family and servants had taken their belongings and food and put off in boats for Richmond’s Island. Jocelyn surrendered and was kept with his family as captives all that winter. The surrender of this garrison was

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Although unauthored, this article was likely written by Dorothy Shaw Libby.

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History Walk at Pleasant Hill Preserve

September 29 @ 4:oo Pm – 5:30 pm

Join SHS past president Rodney Laughton for a history walk at Pleasant Hill Preserve sponsored by the Scarborough Land Trust.

Learn about the general history of the area and what the people who lived on farms in Scarborough would have been doing at this time of year.

Rodney Laughton is a Scarborough native who for over 40 years has collected, studied, and documented Scarborough history. He is the author of two books in the Images of America Series: Scarborough and Scarborough in the Twentieth Century. [Both are available at the museum.]

Registration Required: See the Scarborough Land Trust website for details and to register.

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Men of Scarborough – 89-9305

Henry Jocelyn, gentleman-this name in our records for a half-century typifies shat English character in its best light. Most of the records of the Province of New Somersetshire are in his hand. Derived of ancient lineage, the fifth surviving son of Sir Thomas Josselyn, Knight, of Willingale Doe, Essex, by his second wife, Theodora, daughter of Edmund Cooke of Lessness Abbey, Erith, and Mount Mascall, Bexley, county of Kent, he got his first degree in 1623 at Cambridge, Corpus Christi College, at about the age of 17. He probably served his time at one of the Inns of Court. Coming over in 1630 as one of the young men in Capt. Walter Nealers party under the Laconia Company,he spent three years on the Piscataqua River, ranking as Capt. Neale’s lieutenant. On their return in 1633, after the breaking up of that company and the separation between Gorges and Mason, he was selected by the latter to come over as his personal agent; but he had not been in charge much over a year when the proprietor sickened and died, leaving the New Hampshire enterprise without support.

By March 1636, Jocelyn had removed to Black Point(Scarborough), where he lived with his friends, the Cammocks, and linked his fortunes to the Gorges’s interests. After removing to Maine, his father, “an ancyent old Knight” came in 1636 to try the country, but soon returned and his brother, John Josselyn the traveler, paid him two visits.^ther kinsmen attracted across were doubtless Francis Neale and probably Peyton Cooke, who both served as recorder or secretary of Lygonia province. Indifference to his own affairs resulted in the loss of his estate (the Cammock patent left to him by Capt.Cammock1s will), but he continued to live on it until King Philip1s War. Left behind among the Indians when Scarborough was abandoned, they would not harm him; long life of kind and liberal dealing had made them his friends. Going in an open boat to the Piscataqua, he was soon selected by the New York government as head of the civil government at Pemaquid, where the remaining years of his old age ‘—– were spent in high respect. He died shortly before 10 May 1683, when news of

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his death had reached the Council in New York. His life lends a fragrance to our knowledge of those rough times, but the interests he favored doubtless suffered somewhat from his predominant fair-mindedness and judicial temperament. At one period he was acting as judge both in his own province of Lygonia and in the neighboring province of Maine, continuing the latter service probably longer than he could afford to. In 1657 the court under Mass. ordered “that the foureteene pounds formerly due from the Countrey to Mr. Joelein is now to be paid him.” This must have been for charges incurred many years before. (Page xiii, Vol.I.Maine Province And Court Records, State Lib.)

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Alice Jocelyn’s Thimble

In 1653 Alice Jocelyn sailed from Richman’s Island in the Fellowship, bound for Boston, as ’twas forecast to fetch her marriage gear.’ On her second day of shopping who should she come face to face with, but her good old friend, Christopher Page, who lived solitary on “Stratton’s Island.” A certain matter, quoth he, had furthered his going to Kittery immediate, and thence to Boston town. Whereupon he related how he did chance upon a lady’s pretty pocket in the wood at Black Point, and on adventuring within, he did espy a thimble of no great size, a little reel of silver, and a flimsy kerchief laced about, and a letter. That letter had he sped to Kittery to deliver into the hands of its owner- Nicholas Shapleigh.

Alice and Nicholas had been in love, and one day after Alice had walked to Black Point ferry with her lover she had found this letter beside the path on the way back to the Jocelyn home. It had been torn but Alice saw the words “The tender tie which binds us,” and thinking that Nicholas had left a faithful English mayde behind in England she broke their engagement. In time she promised to marry her uncle Henry’s (Jocelyn) friend Mr.Edgecombe.

After Alice meet Christopher Page and heard how he found her thimble, kerchief and the letter, which he said was from Nicholas’s mother, Alice realizing her great mistake became very ill. For many weeks she hardly knew her own family, but as time went on she gradually grew stronger and one of her first visitors was young Nicholas.

On Christmas Day 1655, at noontide, Alice and Nicholas were wed. Henry Jocelyn gave the bride away, and Alice wore her Aunt Margaret’s first wedding gown and pearls.

Alice used her thimble, or as it was then often called thumble, for many years, and this story has been told many times.

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