February, 2003 Newsletter of the Androscoggin Historical Society No. 38
ANDROSCOGGIN COUNTY PICTORIAL
The Androscoggin Historical Society is planning a major pictorial book about artifacts, events, landmarks, and people of Androscoggin County to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the creation of the county in 1854. The book will include photos and stories from each of the towns and cities, as well as Danville. The focus will be upon the period of the Twentieth Century. There will be chapters about the county and about Native American history in the area.
Editor for the project is Michael C. Lord, Executive Director of the Androscoggin Historical Society, with assistant W. Dennis Stires. The publisher of the 160-page book will be Donning Co. of Virginia Beach, VA.
If you have historical material (photos, news clippings, etc.), or if you have suggestions about topics to include, please contact one of the editors or one of the following authors:
The Abenaki Nancy Lecompte
Androscoggin County Michael C. Lord
Turner Shirley Cummings
Greene Sally Hebert
Durham Maxine Herling
Poland Elliot Levy
Lewiston Douglas I. Hodgkin
Livermore W. Dennis Stires
Lisbon Charles W. Plummer
Leeds Marilyn Burgess
Minot Eda P. Tripp
Danville Rose Morrison
Wales Ernestine Greenwood
Sabattus Ron Caron
Auburn Robin Robertson
Livermore Falls W. Dennis Stires
Mechanic Falls Eriks Peterson
MAINE MEMORY NETWORK
The Maine Historical Society has developed The Maine Memory Network (www.mainememory.net) as a digital museum and archive. The website provides access to historical collections through digital copies of artifacts, images, and documents as one centralized database. We are searching for volunteers to help scan and catalog images from the collections of the Androscoggin Historical Society for inclusion in the Maine Memory Network. We can train you in the use of a scanner (it’s really easy) and how to enter the resulting digital image onto the website. Contact Michael Lord.
The next meeting of Androscoggin Historical Society is Tuesday, February 25, 2003, at 7:00 P.M., in the County Building.
Topic: “Meet Mercy Lovejoy, a Pauper”
COUNTY HISTORY AVAILABLE
Reprints of the 1891 History of Androscoggin County, Maine, edited by Georgia Drew Merrill, are available. Please allow up to ten weeks for your order. Please give us your mailing address and telephone number. The price is $90.00 plus $5.00 S&H plus $4.50 Maine Sales Tax. A must for the serious Androscoggin historian.
DIARY OF JOHN WALLACE THOMPSON
5TH Maine Regiment Band
John Wallace Thompson was born in Turner, Maine, 4 February 1844, son of John and Mary (Bradford) Thompson. He enlisted in Mechanic Falls, Maine, as a 2nd class musician in the 5th Maine Regiment volunteer for a term of 3 years. He was discharged because of illness and by a law discharging regimental bands. He married Hattie Gardner Stevens December 31, 1863, at Turner. He rejoined the Union Army in March of 1864 in Co. H 32 Maine infantry. He died 14 April 1940 at the age of 96. The original of this diary is in the possession of his great-great-grandson Dale Gowell of Auburn, Maine. These selections are from a transcription by Rhoda Holt Tibbetts of Mt. Jackson, Virginia, that we have in our files.
Camp Franklin, Va. Jan. 1st, 1862: The first day of the New Year, a very pleasant day went to dress parade without over coats. Dress parade changed from 8-˝ a.m. to 4 p.m.
Jan. 3: Went to brigade drill. Had a sham battle. The Regt. firing scared some horses harnessed to their teams and they ran away throwing their drivers off the teams.
Jan. 7 Tues: Cole sick, Cobb & Gammon went to the city in the morning. The band went to Brigade drill without E’s and also without Solo Cornet or 1st alto, I led the band on B Cornet. Played St. Patrick Day & Pop Goes the Weasel.
Wed. 8: Went to Brigade drill in this forenoon. Our three bands played together. 27th N.Y., 96th Pa. & 5th Maine. Gen Slocum’s horse got a bayonet stuck into him and Asst. Ajt. Gen Howland’s horse got kicked.
Jan. Fri., 10, 1862: A somber rainy day with mud underfoot. A raw chilly atmosphere above and around. A cold drenching rain to fill up the crevices and general cheerlessness covering the whole scene. Went to Alexandria. . . .
Wed. 15: Rained all day did not go out to guard mounting & had no dress parade. Went with E.M. Gammon to the 57th Pa. Regt. to get ambrotypes taken. Received a letter from Mother.
March 10: About 2 o’clock in the a.m. the Q.M. came in and said we must get ready to march at 9 a.m. so we got up and packed our knapsacks. At daylight it commenced to rain. Started at 9 o’clock. Marched all day and camped at Fairfax at night. . . .
March 22: Pleasant day. Played as usual. Rec’d a letter from Mother. Saw the death of my uncle J.A. Thompson in the Boston Journal. He was killed on board the Cumberland when she was sunk by the Rebel Merrimack.
April 4: Rec’d orders to march at 10 a.m. Marched to the railroad and took the cars, came 1˝ miles beyond Manassas Junction and encamped at night.
April 6: Pleasant day. Played at guard mounting. Went over to the battle ground of the 21st of July last called the battle of Manassas Plains. Saw some human bones which had never been buried. Went in the evening to the Maine Cavalry about a mile.
April 17: Had orders. Came to Alex this morning. Came on board the steamer John Brooks. Came about 2 miles out of the city and stayed all night.
April 18: Took 4 schooners and steamed up about 11 o’clock A.M. Passed Mt. Vernon about noon. . . .
April 24: Been on board a week today. Steamed up at noon and went to Ft. Monroe after coal. Stayed about an hour. Took a schooner in tow and came back. Saw the Monitor and the wreck of the Cumberland. . . .
May 2: One year ago today I enlisted for a soldier. The mail came at night but I received no letters. The whole of Gen. Franklin’s Div. are together at Ship Point in transports kept afloat.
May 4: Heard heavy firing all night and this morning got the news of the evacuation of Yorktown by the Rebels. Had regimental inspection in the morning. Went on board the John Brooks immediately after. The Regt. came in pontoons. Got two letters. One from home and from Cole.
May 6: Steamed up and came up and landed opposite West Point. Co. G 5th Maine and one Co. of 27th New York landed first. Three horsemen left an old house and fled to the woods. One of the gun boats threw some shells into the woods. A cutter from the gun boat towed the band to shore. The regt. landed in pontoons. Very pleasant day.
May 7: Our division had a succession of skirmishes with the enemy. The band and hospital attendants went with stretchers and brought in the dead and wounded. At night all being quiet we fell back to our camp to stay all night.
May 8: Very pleasant day. Heard no firing today. Troops are landing all the time. The 2nd Maine Reg. landed here today. Prof. Lowe made an ascension in his balloon today. Wrote a letter home.
May 11: Very pleasant day- Struck tents and marched about three miles and pitched them again. Rec’d a letter from Mother. Little Mac paraded through our camp in the P.M. amidst prolonged cheering by the troops. They all love him. He said the Merrimack is sunk.
May 15: Rainy day. Started in the morning and marched about six miles and pitched our tents. We are at the place called the White House or better known as the Custis Estate and was owned by the widow Custis who married Geo. Washington.
May 25: Struck tents at 9 A.M. and came 2˝ miles and pitched them again. Our camp is behind a narrow strip of woods behind which the Rebel pickets can be seen on a hill a mile away. We had orders to have every light out at 6 o’clock for fear of being shelled tonight.
June 16: Pleasant day. A newsboy with today’s Richmond Inquirer came within our line of pickets without knowing that he was outside the Rebel lines. He was taken to Gen. Slocum’s headquarters.
July 1, 1862: Started about 12 o’clock last night and marched until 5 o’clock A.M. Rested about 2 hours then came on again and camped near the James River. Washed in the James River at night. The Monitor and Galena are here.
July 31: I was taken sick on July 5, went to the hospital. Had a fever so my diary has been neglected for a long time. . . .
Aug. 9: Orders came last night about 12 o’clock for all who were unable to walk to be sent in ambulances to the landing. Came on board the John Brooks, left the landing at 6 A.M. . . .
Aug. 10: 5 o’clock A.M. going up the Delaware River . . . Arrived at Phil. . . . and at Gray’s Ferry Wharf we were carried to the west to the Phila. Hospital. . . .
Sept. 16: Went to the City with Larry. When we got back we found our discharge awaiting for us.
Sept. 20: . . . Arrived at home about noon
Sept. 21: Went to Canton in the P.M. with Al. Robinson. Saw Hattie Stevens & the rest of the folks.
December 19, 1862: Went to Livermore to dance, carried Hattie Stevens.
We have acquired the following items during the past few months:
• A small collection of early to mid 1930’s newsletters from Webster School (Webster News) & Edward Little High School (Station E. L. H. S.). By Dorothy F. Kern.
• An old fashioned looking doll for our doll hammock. By Dorothy F. Kern of Auburn.
• One Danville Bicentennial Brick (stamped with Danville 1802 – 2002) for our permanent collection. From Morin Brick Company of Danville.
• 100 Years of Dignity – Sarah Frye Home – 1902-2002, and newspaper insert regarding same. By Mrs. Tonie Ramsey, Treasurer of Sarah Frye Home.
• Art and Literature Club’s records from 1991 – 2000. From Tonie Ramsey. (We have earlier records also.)
• Arts & Cultural Heritage Directory – Somerset County – 2001. By Dr. David Richards of the Margaret Chase Smith Library of Skowhegan.
• A new Hewlett – Packard Scanjet 7490c, with software upgrade. By Anonymous.
• Four framed lawyer’s documents relative to Samuel O. Foss Jr., ca. early 1930’s. By Anonymous
• Two Irish linen towels from the house of Mrs. Agnes Secord, ca. early 20th Century. By Elizabeth S. Clifford.
• Maine Remembers Those Who Served – Tributes from the Pine Tree State, by Secretary of State Dan A. Gwadosky, State of Maine, 2001. Donated by same.
• Seven photographs during construction of the new Lewiston overpass on the Viet Nam Veterans Memorial Bridge, 2002. By Douglas I. Hodgkin.
• Fifty Years with the Stanton Bird Club, 1919-1969, ed. by Dorothy P. Webber & Shirley Clifford Hoy. By William Cartmel of Lewiston.
• Envelope sent to Frank W. Knowlton in Jamaica Plain, MA on 18 Feb. 1887 from Lewiston; Deed to Lot #22 of the Riverside Cemetery Company from Isaac K. Knowlton to Eliza E. Knowlton, 31 Oct. 1888; copy photograph of Frank W. Knowlton; a 1974 account of the First Battle of Winchester, VA. By Paul H. Knowlton of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
• Three boxes of agricultural slides taken by Charles Eastman of the Tri-County Extension Service, ca. 1940’s & ‘50’s. By Jane Pratt & Martin Bunker.
• The Ethnicity of Clerical Leadership: The Dominicans in Francophone Lewiston, Maine, 1881 – 1986, by Dr. Mark Paul Richard of the Maine School of Science and Mathematics, an article in Quebec Studies, Vol. 33 Spring/Summer 2002, 83 – 101. By the author.
• Abnaki Shopping Mall Plan for Auburn, ca. 1957, with newspaper clipping on same dated 21 July 2002. By Lewiston Sun Journal.
• Small file of Bates College newspaper clippings from Skowhegan Public Library via David Richards.
• Baseball Percentage Solver, a round “slide rule” for calculating baseball averages, sold out of Lewiston, and promotional booklet for same. By Al Ehrenfried, the inventor, of Acton, MA, via Dennis Stires.
• Pepperell’s Progress, by Evelyn H. Knowlton, (Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA), 1948. By Douglas I. Hodgkin.
• Ward Bros. shopping bag, ca. 1960. By Douglas I. Hodgkin.
• Copies of A) the 1861 picture of Camp Kelsey, near Annapolis, where Co. F of the 10th Maine Vol. under then Capt. William Knowlton celebrated Thanksgiving with provisions sent from Lewiston; B) a newspaper account ca. 1900 of the death of Major William Knowlton of Co. F of the 29th Reg’t, and three smaller copies also related to William Knowlton. By Nick Knowlton of Ottawa, ONT.
• Louis Sockalexis, The First Cleveland Indian, by David L. Fleitz, (McFarland & Company, Inc., Pub., Jefferson, NC), 2002.
• More Boston Post Canes: The Pine Tree State And Little Rhody, by Barbara Staples, (Flemming Press, Lynn, MA), 2002.
• Saga of Chief Joseph, by Helen Addison Howard, (University of Nebraska Press, Lincoln, NE), modern paperback reprint of the 1978 reprint of the 1941 original titled War Chief Joseph.
• Children of Grace – The Nez Perce War of 1877, by Bruce Hampton, (University of Nebraska Press, Lincoln, NE), 2002 paperback reprint of 1994 copyright.
• Women of the Dawn, by Bunny McBride, (University of Nebraska Press, Lincoln, NE), 1999.
• Recipes & Remembrances – Cooking with Family & Friends, by Friends & Family of the Danville Union Church, 2002.
• The Diaries of Sarah Jane and Emma Ann Foster, ed. by Wayne E. Reilly, (Picton Press, Rockport, ME), 2002.
• Maine Register, 2003 (Tower Publishing Company, Standish, ME), 2002.
• The transcript of the November 15, 2002, episode of Religion & Ethics Newsweekly on PBS that dealt with the Somalis in Lewiston.
• Correction. The woman in the video Sins of Our Mothers, mentioned in our last newsletter as an acquisition, was from Fayette, not Lisbon.
Within a few weeks past we have observed that the boys on the street have commenced the pastime of playing marbles, a sport which is in itself perfectly harmless, providing it is not prosecuted for gain, or in other words prostituted to gambling, which is quite frequently the case. Boys have been permitted by parents to indulge in this game without ever questioning them as to the aim and ends in view. Now what we particularly wish to call the attention of well-meaning parents to, is the pernicious practice of allowing their boys to play at the game for the purpose of winning or losing, even be it so paltry and insignificant a piece of property as a marble. We have seen these incipient gamblers as much interested and excited over a game of marbles, and swear as profanely at the idea of losing a marble at play as boys of a larger growth would upon the result of a horse race in which hundreds of dollars were at stake. The same principle is involved in either case, and the same motive is operating to create ill feeling and raise the evil passions for winning in a game of hazard the property of another. We have seen more confusion created in our streets by lads engaged in this pernicious amusement than has been raised on an old-fashioned muster-field around a roulette table. We leave it to every intelligent father and mother to judge whether this practice is fraught with anything but evil to the boys, and noise and disturbance to the public peace.
We do not object to playing of the game, providing the element of gambling is not introduced. At the same time we regard a game of ball indulged in away from the thickly settled portion of our city, as much more sensible and healthy than marble-playing. The exercise of throwing, batting, catching the ball, and running, tends in a much
Douglas I. Hodgkin, Editor
Androscoggin Historical Society
County Building, 2 Turner Street
Auburn, ME 04210-5978
greater degree to develop and strengthen the limbs and sinews of youth than the squat-up and ungainly positions they are obliged to assume in marble-playing. As the season is upon us in which these games will be called into requisition, to enable young America to exercise its latent energies, would it not be well for parents to turn the attention of their boys to that, which on the score of health and good morals, presents the strongest attractions? By so doing some energetic and active young minds may be turned from acquiring a taste for gaming, which, if allowed indulgence, may be developed into a ruinous habit for dice and cards. We throw out these suggestions in no spirit of dictation, but because we know by experience that this apparently harmless amusement for boys has been too often overlooked by those whose duty it is to guard carefully the tendencies and development of the youth under their care.
GOINGS-ON AT THE SOCIETY
Calendar Year 2002 (January 1st to December 31st) business totals are as follows: Telephone calls – 805; Museum visits – 296; Library visits – 363; Correspondence – 851; Programs sent – 168; Meeting attendance – 205; Meeting Notices sent – 653; Business Meeting & Sub-Committee Meeting attendance – 61; Newsletters sent – 499; Great Falls Balloon Festival attendance – 18+-; Annual Dinner – 41; Androscoggin Round Table Mtg. attendance – 51; ART Mtg. Notices sent – 153.