BEECH RIDGE SCHOOL UPDATE

December 2022

Beech Ridge School – Dec 8, 2022 Photo by Karlene Osborne

Restoration of the 1800s one-room schoolhouse at 184 Holmes Road, Scarborough, continues.   The front portico that was removed early in the restoration process has been rebuilt, and two new entrance doors have been installed.  These are wooden doors that were paid for by a grant from the Prouts Neck Association.  The clapboard siding has been completed including the first coat of white stain.  New windows have been installed, paid for by a grant from the Prouts Neck Historical Society.  A substantial donation has been given that will pay for new roof shingles, and chimney pointing.  This will include reinforcing the roof structure in the attic area.  All this roof and chimney work is being paid for by an anonymous donation.   When the roof is completed, the exterior will be nearly done, except for the side entrance ramp. The building will be secure from the winter elements!  When the interior work begins, there will be interior walls to build then rough in the wiring, and insulation.  A soil engineer has designed a new leach field, and fortunately, we will be able to use the existing septic tank.  We feel our contractor Robbie Alden of Alden Joinery is doing an outstanding job.  He is restoring the schoolhouse with exceptional care and skill.

Interior of Schoolhouse – Dec 8, 2022 – Photo by Karlene Osborne

We have raised $163,000 toward a goal of $280,000. Please help us restore this historical site by sending your tax-deductible 501(c)(3) donation to Scarborough Historical Society and Museum, P.O. Box 156, Scarborough, ME 04070-0156. Call the museum at 207-885-9997 if you can provide in-kind services. Or donate through https://www.gofundme.com/SHS-Restore-Beech-Ridge-School. Thanks to all who have graciously donated to preserve this part of Scarborough’s history.

Submitted by Scarborough Building Committee

Beech Ridge Schoolhouse – Roofing System – Dec 8, 2022 – Photo by Rob Alden
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Tippecanoe and Tyler Too

From the Ephemera…

By Linda Snow McLoon

Residents of Scarborough have always had an opportunity to have their voices heard and their votes counted when a presidential election took place in our country. A document from the historical society’s ephemera collection tells us about such an election.

In 1840, the incumbent Democrat president, Martin van Buren, was challenged by a Whig candidate, William Henry Harrison. Harrison had led a successful military force against Native Americans in the Battle of Tippecanoe, resulting in the slogan for his presidential bid, “Tippecanoe and Tyler Too.” Harrison won the election but died only 31 days after his inauguration. This made Harrison’s presidency the shortest in American history and lifted his vice president, John Tyler, to office. A half-century later, Harrison’s grandson, Benjamin Harrison, became the 23rd president.

On October 15, 1940, Scarborough’s three selectmen – Stephen Waterhouse, Solomon Bragdon, and Simon Milliken – instructed the constable, John Donnell, to notify those Scarborough residents qualified to vote of the coming election. Citizens were to assemble at the meeting house in the second parish – Dunstan – on the first Monday in November to give their votes for Electors to choose the President and Vice President.

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Thank you – Scarborough Garden Club

Our thanks to the Scarborough Garden Club, who gave the Scarborough Historical Museum two beautiful wreaths. Each year the club makes and hangs wreaths on the two front doors of our museum at 647 US Route 1 in Dunstan.

Happy Holidays!

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An update to “Shipbuilding in Scarborough”

By Don Taylor, Historian

I wrote a short article about Shipbuilding in Scarborough for the July/August 2022 issue of Owascoag Notes. In it, I included a photo of the barque Oak Hill. I also posted the article to the Historical Society website.

The great-great-great-grandniece of the ship’s first captain contacted me about the photo. Although she had a description of the vessel, she had never seen a photo and was very interested in the source of my picture. I sent her the info, and she sent me a copy of the 1856 ships log where the first page described the ship. The log indicated the barque was heading from Pensacola to Buenos Ayres in 1856. It reads:


1856 Logbook from the Barque Oak Hill.

The Oak Hill, was built at Scarborough Me in the year 1856. Her frame is of oak, mostly cut on the spot from which she was named. Her tonnage is 509 86/95 Register and her sailing qualities, about an average with the generality of freighting ships. She now belongs to Boston.

Her cargo consists of hard pine lumber. Her crew 14 persons, all told. no passengers.

Sept. 22nd. 7.30 A.M. got under weigh from Navy yard with a moderate breeze from northward and thick raining weather….


The 3rd great-grandniece also provided a short biography of Captain James Pope Martin (1827-1919), the first captain of the Oak Hill, a copy of which is now in the society’s “Shipbuilding in Scarborough” files as is a copy of the log’s first page.

Sadly, the original painting of the ship was likely destroyed in the Oakland Hills firestorm (aka the Tunnel Fire) of 1991, which destroyed over 3,000 dwellings. Our black and white Xerox copy of the Oak Hill may be the only surviving image of the ship named for the Oak Hill area of Scarborough.

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Susan Sawyer Todd (1859-1891)

The museum recently received a wonderful photo of Susan Sawyer Todd.

Susan-Sawyer-Todd-1859-1891-Nana-Dorothy-Shaw_s-Mother-2022.40.02

Susan Sawyer Todd (1859-1891)

According to the information with the photo:

  • Susan Sawyer Todd
  • Nana Dorothy Shaw’s Mother
  • 1859-1891 (32 yrs old)
  • Birth mother to Dorothy Miller Shaw

Other Information about Susan Sawyer Todd.

  • Susan C. (Sawyer) Todd was born Aug. 16, 1859, and died Feb. 19, 1891. She was married to Lewis Tappan Todd 1st (1855-1932).[i] Her daughter was Dorothy Louise Shaw (1886-1987).[ii]
  • Family Search has profile L8M2-5MH for Susan C Sawyer (1859-1891)
  • Ancestry has 39 public trees that refer to Susan C Sawyer.

Endnotes

[i] Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/119680372/susan-g-todd: accessed 29 November 2022), memorial page for Susan G. Sawyer Todd (1860–20 Feb 1891), Find a Grave Memorial ID 119680372, citing Evergreen Cemetery, Portland, Cumberland County, Maine, USA; Maintained by Sally – Midcoast Maine (contributor 48138595).

[ii] Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/107972722/dorothy-louise-shaw: accessed 29 November 2022), memorial page for Dorothy Louise Miller Shaw (13 Nov 1886–9 Apr 1987), Find a Grave Memorial ID 107972722, citing Black Point Cemetery, Scarborough, Cumberland County, Maine, USA; Maintained by Brian Shaw (contributor 48492857).

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Beech Ridge School Renovation Update – Nov 20, 2022

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.

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Holiday Gift Suggestion

Cover - Scarborough Fare CookbookNeed dinner ideas? Looking for something to bring to a holiday potluck? Want to explore the history of Scarborough? 

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:

Open Tuesdays: 9 am-Noon
2nd Saturday of the month: 9 am-Noon
 
Phone: 1-207-885-9997
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From the Ephemera: The Clams of Scarborough

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.”

Dunscroft Inn, W. Scarborough, ME (SHS Collections)

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.

Clam Bake – Pine Point – (SHS Collections)

Enjoying Clams (SHS Collections)

Moses Plummer received permission to dig clam bait (SHS Ephemera)

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.

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Fredrick Augustus Miller (1854-1927)

The museum recently received a wonderful photo of Fredrick Miller.

Photo of Fredrick Augustus Miller (1854-1927)

Fredrick Augustus Miller (1854-1927)

According to the information on the back of the photo Fredrick:

                    Fredrick Miller

  Born 1855 – Died 1927.

  • Back of Fredrick Miller photo.

             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)
  •             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.

Endnotes

[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.

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Cleaning Gravestones and Monuments

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:

  1. Get permission.
  2. I check the weather report—no rain today or tomorrow – Good to go.
  3. Before and after using D/2 Biological Solution
    Photo courtesy Atlas Preservation

    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.

  4. 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.
  5. 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.

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