HMS Pinafore Production

From the Collections

By Linda Snow McLoon

An interesting picture has surfaced that expands our knowledge of Scarborough’s past. From a photograph and accompanying notes, we learn about an event that must have caused some excitement in Scarborough in the early 1940s. Shortly after music teacher Miss Steele started teaching in the Scarborough schools, she directed a cast of students in the Gilbert & Sullivan production HMS Pinafore. With Charlie Kilby playing the role of Captain, the group was invited to perform at City Hall in Portland. This was a family affair, as the girls’ dresses were crafted by mothers, grandmothers, and other volunteers out of material reported to be dark blue with stars on them. A town school bus transported the children to Portland. We are fortunate to have a picture and the names of the young actors taken on the steps of City Hall. If anyone can contribute more information on this event, please let us know.

HMS Pinafore cast members on the steps of Portland City Hall.

List of HMS Pinafore cast members.

Front – L to R: Eunice Nielsen, Harry Pearson, Ann Bradford, Blaine Hartford, Charles Kilby, Eunice Lilley, Leonard Douglass, Edna Lilley, Marilyn Burnham, Marilyn Patnaude, Jane Sherwood.
Middle – L to R: Nancy Rice, Jean Carter, Phyllis Sullivan, Edna Wilbur, Walter Weelock, Marilyn Winship, Dorothy Grant, Gladys David, Olaf Ahlquist, Helen Neilsen, Frances Burnham, Hazel Carter.
Back – L to R: Barbara Nobel, Roberta Carter, Gilmore Rounds, Patricia Seavey, Earl McLellan, Marion Milliken, William Higgins, Audrey David, Louis Gervais, Juliette Gervais, Barbara Pope. 
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Elizabeth Fickett Shaw (1855-1901)

The museum recently received a wonderful photo of Elizabeth Fickett Shaw.

According to the information provided with the photo of Elizabeth, she:

Photo of Elizabeth Fickett Shaw
Elizabeth Fickett Shaw
  • She was born circa 1855 in Mayberry Hill, Casco.
  • She married Summer Shaw[1] – Standish, Neck.
  • She was the mother of Delmar Shaw, who was nana Dorothy Shaw’s father.
  • Her children were:     
    • Louise Shaw Graffan died in 1941.
    • Delmar Shaw died in 1953.
    • John Shaw died in 1974.
    • Margurite Shaw died in 1913.

Family Search has profile KCH5-V82 for Elizabeth A Fickett (1863-1901).

Ancestry has 37 public trees that refer to Elizabeth Ann Fickett (1855-1901).


1. Other researchers indicate that Elizabeth Fickett married Sumner Shaw, not Summer Shaw.
NOTE: This Dorothy Shaw (aka Dora Shaw) should not be confused with historian Dorothy Shaw Libbey, daughter of Oscar & Mary Shaw, who married Clark Libbey in 1926.
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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 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)

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.


[i] Find a Grave, database and images ( 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 ( 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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