We the undersigners, freeholders, and inhabitants of said town, respectfully request that you would call a meeting of said inhabitants of the Town aforesaid for the purpose of taking such measures as said town may see fit in relation to defending the rights of the said town against a certain partition which is to be presented to the legislature now in session, in the State of Main for the purpose of setting off what is called the strip in said Scarborough and annex it, together with its inhabitants to the town of Saco.
Scarborough Jan’y 2, 1840.
[Transcription by Betty McKown, Scarborough Historical Society (Encapsulated Collection #25A – Strip Application in regards to Scarborough-Saco.]
The social safety net that existed in earlier times in Scarborough was organized much differently than what we recognize today. Before Social Security and other ways of providing relief for people in need, a system was in place to reach out to poor people, at that time referred to as paupers.
In the 19th century, the primary arm of support for paupers was a town farm located on the Broadturn Road. The town financed the farm by purchasing food and supplies for its residents and paying workers to maintain the farm. But occasionally, an ill person needed additional care.
Such a case involved Betsy Moody. The various bits of ephemera in the historical society’s collections doesn’t explain why Betsy was considered a pauper, but the 1850 census lists her as a 66-year-old widow. Over a decade later, a receipt dated February 11, 1867 shows that Major Plummer was paid $92 for supporting Betsy Moody from March in 1866 until her death on January 14, 1867, including sickness and funeral expense.
Others pitched in following Betsy Moody’s passing. Town Treasurer Ebenezer Libby paid J.P. Johnson $4.40 for providing grave clothes for Betsy Moody, and B. Libby was reimbursed for supplying her coffin. In the final step, on February 23, 1867 Enos Libby signed a receipt to acknowledge payment by the town for digging the grave for Betsy Moody, town pauper.
Identifier: Encapsulated Collection #28 – Roads and taxes – 10 Nov 1890
A document providing the location of the line between Scarborough and cape Elizabeth.
Return of lines between the towns of Scarborough and Cape Elizabeth.
Having complied with the requirements of the revised statutes – Chapter three – Section forty-one, we begin at the mouth of Spurwink River, thence northerly to a stone “marked by an iron bolt.” Said stone being in the northerly wing of the bridge [???] said westerly branch on the Scarborough side of the bridge thence running north 41° West, to a stone standing on Waterhouse Hill “not marked” thence to a stone on the Northerly side of the Larrabee road, “not marked” then to a stone on Wornagans Hill “not marked” thence to a stone on the northerly side of the Saco Roads marked S.1839-C. Elizabeth, then to a stone on the southerly side of the Mussy Road “marked” S, thence to a stone by the northerly side of the Paine road marked “S.C, 1839 thence to the southwestern division line of the cummings farm on Skillins Hill, thence to a stone on the form of Moses Chapmen, “marked” C.W.S. 1870 said stone being on the sideline of Scarborough north westerly corner of Cape Elizabeth, and the westerly extremity of the south line of Westbrook.
William Moulton surveyor in attendance
Scarborough Nov 10th, 1890
L. Plummer } Selectmen
George B Thurston} of
John Moulton } Scarborough
M.J. Peebbles } Selectmen
James H Hartford } of
Geo. [?] Mountfort } Cape Elizabeth
Recorded in Book 1 of Roads and Town Lines Page 30
Return of the line between the Towns of Scarborough and Cape Elizabeth. Scarborough Historical Society Encapsulated Collection #28. Transcription by Betty McKown, Scarborough Historical Society.
As in all towns in Maine before the advent of automobiles, local blacksmiths played a vital role in Scarborough. Not only did they shoe horses and oxen, but the smiths made and repaired metal tools such as hoes, plows, and wheels for wagons, along with kitchen equipment for housewives. You could count on blacksmith shops to have a coal-fired forge with large bellows to fan the flames when needed, an anvil and a vise. Another important fixture was a sling. The blacksmith could hold up a horse’s leg when nailing a horseshoe into place, but a sling was needed to carry the heavier weight of oxen.
From the SHS collections come these images of the blacksmith shop of Freedom Libby (1844-1928), whose shop on the State Road was a busy place. Freedom and his wife sadly lost 2 of their 3 children, and their only surviving daughter, Ruth Libby, was a teacher in the Dunstan, North Scarborough, and Libby district schools.
Another early blacksmith was Ai P. Seavey (1816-1889). His blacksmith shop was on the Seavey family farm, located on the Black Point Road just before the state park, which later became the Lindholm farm and nursery. A sign Ai P. Seavey had in his shop announcing the cost of shoeing one horse encouraged prompt payment: Trust—$1.00 Cash—$.75
Ai P. Seavey’s son, Harris Seavey, was a renowned carriage driver who operated a stagecoach that brought passengers from the Black Point railroad station to the summer lodging places at Prouts Neck. Harris Seavey was reputed to be a whip expert who could flick a fly from the lead horse’s ear. In later years, Seavey’s coach was shipped to New York to be used in the Broadway theater production of Rebecca of Sunny Brook Farm.