Monday, February 20, 2023

1825 Shipbuilding Document, Steuben, Maine; Names of brothers Philo Lewis & Thompson Lewis; and Tunk Mill owners Mark Wilson & Moses Colson

Reprinted, with permission, from the Heirlooms Reunited blog

January 3, 1825, Steuben, Maine; handwritten document where Philo Lewis and his brother Thompson Lewis are purchasing planks from Mark Wilson and Moses Colson, owners of the Tunk Mill.

A previous contemporary owner of this document wrote "Shipbuilding" in pencil; presumably the Lewis brothers were shipbuilders.
From brief online research: If you have corrections and/or additional information, please leave a comment for the benefit of other family researchers

  • Philo Lewis - presumably Philo Lewis (abt 1785-1838); Postmaster of Steuben from 1823-1827; Connecticut native
  • Moses Colson - presumably Moses Colson (1782-1860); Maine native, possibly Cherryfield, Maine

Friday, February 10, 2023

Papers of John Keller Ames (1834-1901), Lumberman of Machias, Maine


Invoices and letters associated with John Keller Ames (1834-1901), lumberman of Machias, Maine, whose Christmas card is shown above.  His middle name variants are Kelloch, Keeler, etc.

If you have information on John Keller Ames or any of the people/firms mentioned  below, please leave a comment for the benefit of other family researchers.

Invoices, Letters, in alphabetical order:

Adriance, Platt & Co. of Portland, Maine (Poughkeepsie, New York), Manufacturers of Mowers, Reapers, Binders - invoice of July 24, 1896
Adriance, Platt & Co. of Portland, Maine (Poughkeepsie, New York), Manufacturers of Mowers, Reapers, Binders - invoice of July 27, 1896
Bearce, Murphy & Co. of Portland, Maine, Notions, Clocks, Jewelry, Spectacles, Eye Glasses - invoice of June 15, 1888
A. H. Berry Shoe Company, Manufacturers and Jobbers, of Portland, Maine - invoice of September 14, 1892
John Bird Company, Wholesale Grocers, of Rockland, Maine - invoice of July 6, 1896
W. L. Blake & Co. of Portland, Maine - Fine Engine Va;ve & Cylinder Oils and Portland Lubricating Greases - invoice of March 16, 1891
Cobb, Wight & Co., Wholesale and Retail Grocers and Ship Chandlers, Rockland, Maine - invoice of September 29, 1891
Emerson & Stevens Manufacturing Company, Oakland, Maine - Scythes and Axes - invoice of September 9, 1892
C. R. Gardner of Pembroke, Maine, Manufacturer of Brick, Dealer in Mowing Machines & Farming Implements - letter of July 15, 1889
Hill, Pike & Co. of Calais, Maine, Molasses, Tea, Jobbers of Flour - invoice of March 26, 1896
M. A. Jewell & Company of Portland, Maine, Teas, Tobacco, Cigars, Molasses, Vinegar, Pickles - invoice of July 31, 1886
J. L. Keith & Son of Old Town, Maine, Custom Boots and Shoes - invoice of April 9, 1888
J. L. Keith & Son of Old Town, Maine, Custom Boots and Shoes - invoice of April 12, 1888
I. P. Longfellow of Machias, Maine, Broken Egg, Stove and Mixed Coals - invoice of August 4, 1882
Loring, Short & Harmon of Portland, Maine, Books, Stationery & Paper Hangings - invoice of May 27, 1881
McLellan, Mosher & Co. of Portland, Maine, Blank Book Manufacturers, Stationers, Lithographers, Law Booksellers - invoice of June 10, 1889
Monson Refrigerator Co. of Monson, Maine, Arctic Slate Lined Butter Boxes - invoice of September 9, 1887
Portland Rubber Company of Portland, Maine, Rubber Goods of Every Description - invoice of March 30, 1896
John F. Rand of Portland, Maine, Hosiery, Gloves, Corsets, Underwear & Notions - invoice of September 15, 1893
John F. Rand of Portland, Maine, Hosiery, Gloves, Corsets, Underwear & Notions - invoice of October 24, 1893
Byron Stevens of Brunswick, Maine, Bookseller & Stationer - invoice of March 20, 1889
Widber & Bacon of Portland, Maine, Building Lumber, Doors, Sashes and Blinds, Black Walnut, Cherry, White Wood, Mahogany, Ash, Etc., Brownville and Monson Slate - invoice of October 24, 1881
William Anson Wood Mower & Reaper Co. of Portland, Maine, Mowers, Reapers, Self and Hand Dump Hay Rakes, Harvester and Twine Binder - letter of January 23, 1884
William Anson Wood Mower & Reaper Co. of Portland, Maine, Mowers, Reapers, Self and Hand Dump Hay Rakes, Harvester and Twine Binder - invoice of July 9, 1886
F. C. Young of Winterport, Maine, Harnesses, Trunks, Bags and Robes - invoice of August 12, 1889

1889 Letter from Calvin Rubin Gardner (abt 1834-1909) of Pembroke, Maine, to John Keller Ames (1834-1901) of Machias, Maine; re: Bricks

July 15, 1889 letter from Calvin Rubin Gardner (abt 1834-1909) to lumberman John Keller Ames (1834-1901) in Machias, Maine, regarding Gardner's delivery of bricks to Ames.

According to the letterhead, Gardner was a manufacturer of bricks, a dealer in mowing machines and farming implements and the proprietor of the Gardner House lodging establishment.  

This auction site features a postcard of the Gardner House, although the house depicted may have been a private home.

Gardner mentions delivering bricks to Ames via the Schooner Osias. I wasn't able to find information about a schooner named Osias (Ozias or Osiris ?). Interestingly, there were several people named Ozias in the area. Hopefully a reader will weigh in.
Perhaps the current-day Brickyard Road (map below) was named for Gardner's brickyard, which, if so, was presumably located along it, perhaps close to a wharf.  

If you have information to share on Calvin Rubin Gardner, John Keller Ames or the Schooner Osias (sp?), please leave a comment for the benefit of other family researchers.

Saturday, January 14, 2023

Father John B. McMahon, Assigned to the Mission at Eastport, Maine, shortly after his arrival from Ireland in 1840

Father John B. McMahon (abt 1805-), ordained in Ireland, arrived in Boston in 1840 and was assigned to the mission at Eastport, Maine, from about 1841-1843, where he also provided medical services, at no cost, to his parishioners.

Because Father McMahon spoke Gaelic, he was much in demand to hear confession from the newly arrived immigrants from  Ireland and was recalled to Boston by Bishop John Fitzpatrick.

Another source mentions that Father McMahon, or another Father McMahon was in Eastport in 1838 [the article says 1828 but 1838 seems more fitting] when Brevet-Brigadier General Brady, colonel of the 2 regiment of Infantry of the U.S. requested the presence of Father McMahon of Eastport to administer the Sacred Sacraments to the soldiers at Hancock barracks in Houlton.

Father John B. McMahon is mentioned several times in The Catholic Church in Maine, written by William Leo Lucey and published in 1957 - particularly on pages 78 and 79

If you have information on Father John B. McMahon, please leave a comment for the benefit of others.

Friday, January 13, 2023

Rathlin Island, Northern Ireland

Many folks downeast have ancestors who came to Maine and the Maritimes from Rathlin Island, off the coast of Northern Island. If you have more information, please leave a comment. 

 Rathlin Island was featured on CNN on January 13, 2023 as one of "the best islands in Europe for getting away from almost everyone" - has about 150 year round residents now.

Wednesday, November 30, 2022

November 1845 Document from Bion Bradbury, Customs Collector at Passamaquoddy, Eastport, Maine, to Customs in Alexandria, Virginia


Reprinted, with permission, from the Heirlooms Reunited blog.

November 22, 1845 document from Bion Bradbury (1811-1887)Customs Collector at the District of Passamaquoddy, in Eastport, Maine, to the Customs Collector in the District of Alexandria, then, apparently, considered part of Washington, D.C.

The document concerns the Schooner Lucinda Snow of Boston, whose master was then William Hall.

The schooner Lucinda Snow came to grief after a voyage to the Gulf of Mexico, where her cargo was unloaded in Galveston, and she was then chartered by the U.S. Government for use during the Mexican-American War.  During the "great norther" of May 2, 1846, the schooner was cast upon the island of Sacrificios near Vera Cruz, Mexico, and later became the subject of a lawsuit.

Bradury, a native of Biddeford, Maine and graduate of Bowdoin College, was an attorney, before, in 1844, being appointed Customs Collector for the Passamaquoddy District. He served in the Maine State Legislature and ran several times for governor, but was not successful, although, according to a contemporary note in pencil on the document, he did serve as Lieutenant Governor at one time.

See a photograph of him circa 1880, on the Maine Memory Network.  From the July 2, 1887 issue of the Portland Daily Press:

If you have information on Bion BradburyWilliam Hall or the Schooner Lucinda Snow, please leave a comment for the benefit of other researchers.  

And if you know of a way for Google Maps to show sea routes, please let me know.

Sunday, October 16, 2022

Abraham Lincoln Campaign Button from Collection of Jim Jollotta of Eastport, Maine


Business card of antique dealer James N. Jollotta (1912-1993), "Jim", of Eastport, Maine, with an Abraham Lincoln campaign button pinned to it. 

Jim made a point of making friends of everyone he met, from figures in World War II, to politicians and their families, to screen stars, to Eastporters made good and to any interesting man or woman he encountered. Until his death in 1993, he spent every Christmas with Caroll Edwin Spinney (1933-2109), originator and persona of "Big Bird" and "Oscar the Grouch", himself with Eastport connections. 

The pin itself is not in the best condition but when I saw it on eBay in 2013, I had to have it for its connection to Jim, who was a friend of the family.

The reverse has a message written in Jim's hand, on October 23, 1963, noting that he was presenting the pin to Rev. Otto L. Palmer (1927-2021).  Jim noted that the pin had originally been presented to him by the late Mr. Joannson.

Perhaps Rev. Palmer, a native of Aroostook County, Maine, pastored at Eastport at some point, or he and Jim met each other at a gathering of some kind.

If you have information on James N. Jollotta (1912-1993), "Jim"; or Rev. Otto L. Palmer (1927-2021); or an identity for Mr. Joannson, please leave a comment for the benefit of other researchers.

1914 State of Maine for Logging Tax for John W. Hinch, Eugene R. Kelley, Danforth, Maine

State of Maine Treasurer's Office invoice for the State, County and District Taxes on forestry lands in Aroostook County: to "John W. Hinch for Eugene R. Kelley in Danforth, Maine".

This item is the subject of a listing on the online auction site eBay, for October 2022.  

John W. Hinch (abt 1860-1918) - prominent lumberman with interests in Maine and New Brunswick.

Eugene R. Kelly

If you have information on either of these men, please leave a comment for the benefit of other family historians.

Danforth, in Washington County, is adjacent to Weston, in Aroostook County

Wednesday, August 3, 2022

CDV of a Man IDed as Eugene C. Drisko; by the Vose studio of Machias, Maine

Reprinted, with permission, from the Heirlooms Reunited blog

Carte de Visite of a man identified on the reverse as Eugene C. Drisko; by the Vose studio of Machias, Maine.

His given name starts with "Eug" and then fades but is presumably Eugene.  

Eugene married:
  1. Asenath Ingersoll Barton (1852-1876), with whom he had a daughter Mabel Drisko,
  2. Arathusa B. Smith (abt 1861-1933), with whom he had two children, a daughter Mina Eva Drisko and a son Joseph Whitney Drisko, with the latter dying in infancy.

If you have information to share on the Drisko, Farnsworth, Barton and Smith families of Washington County, Maine, please leave a comment for the benefit of other researchers.

Saturday, July 30, 2022

Photograph of a Man and his Work Horse Team at a Logging Camp in Northern Maine

Reprinted, with permission, from the Heirlooms Reunited blog

Late 19th or early 20th century photograph of a man and his work horse team at a logging camp in Northern Maine.  No identification of the man or specific location.

The reverse has this handwriting: 
This picture was taken in the birch woods in Northern Me.
Where the tall and queenly birches
All decked in silver rags
Are wooed by balsam lovers
Mid lonely mountain craigs

Either "craigs" was meant to be "crags", or "craig" is a clever clue to the man's identity.

In case you have a similar photograph with a similar background, please leave information as to who and where in the comments, for the benefit of others.
With most of Maine's population in the South, "Northern" to some can sometimes be no farther north than Central Maine in the area where logging was king.  But it's possible this photograph was taken in the northernmost county of Maine, Aroostook, or the northern reaches of Somerset, Piscataquis, Penobscot or Washington counties.

Thursday, July 28, 2022

Photograph of a Young Man IDed as Colin MacNichol, No Studio Imprint, but possibly Eastport, Maine, area

Reprinted, with permission, from the Heirlooms Reunited blog

Photograph of a young man identified on the reverse as Colin MacNichol

The reverse mentions: "Gave to me in 1920".

No studio imprint to give an idea of locale, but it's possible he was from the MacNichol family in Washington County, Maine and Charlotte County, New Brunswick.
Possibly James Colin MacNichol (1886-1960), if he went by "Colin", at least when he was younger.  This man was born in Eastport, Maine, the son of Avery Alexander MacNichol and Margaret (O'Brien) MacNichol. This Colin would move to New York and would marry Nancy Nicholls.

Although the photograph seems to have come from a later era, another possibility for Colin might have been Colin MacNichol (abt 1848-1913), a Customs officer in Eastport, Maine.  This Colin was born in Mascarene, New Brunswick, the son of John MacNichol and Jane (McDiarmid) MacNichol.  Colin married Abby Davis about 1894.

If you have a theory as to the identity of the Colin MacNichol pictured, please leave a comment for the benefit of other researchers.

CDV of a Young Boy IDed as Sterling Fessenden at 7 Years 11 Months, Eastport, Maine

Reprinted, with permission, from the Heirlooms Reunited blog

Carte de Visite of a young boy identified on the reverse as  "Sterling Fessenden, 7 years 11 mos, Eastport, August 1883"
It's likely that Sterling was Sterling Fessenden (1875-1943), son of Nicholas Fessenden (1847-1927) and Laura Emily (Stirling or Sterling) Fessenden (1852-1935) [although her birth year looks to be 1851 in the photograph of her stone]. 

Sterling's paternal grandparents, Hewitt Chandler Fessenden and Mary Turner (Peterson) Fessenden were in Eastport, Maine, by 1860 where Hewitt practiced medicine.  Their son Nicholas moved to Fort Fairfield, Maine, upon his 1874 marriage to Laura Emily Stirling, a native of that town, where Sterling would be born in 1875. I imagine young Sterling's photograph was taken on a visit to his paternal grandparents.

Sterling would graduate from Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine, and find his way to China, where he would run the Municipal Court in Shanghai and, if the facts are correct, lead a rather controversial life.  

If you have corrections and/or information to share on the Fessenden and Stirling/Sterling families, please leave a comment for the benefit of other researchers.

Friday, May 20, 2022

John Moor(e) Thistle (abt 1854-1910), Mariner, of Eastport, Maine and his Chinese Wife Mary Ah Say (1864-1903)

 An interesting article from the Seacoast Online of New Hampshire about Chinese families in Exeter, New Hampshire, which contains mention of the family of John Moor(e) Thistle (abt January 1854-1910) of Eastport, Maine, who married a Chinese woman, Mary Ah Say or Ashay (1864-1903) , in Japan.  

According to the article, John and his bride moved to Shanghai, China, where they had four children, and later moved to the United States, presumably the area of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, where another two children were born, at least one in Portsmouth in 1892.

At the time of enumeration of the 1900 US Census, John and family were living in Exeter, New Hampshire.  John, the son of Irish immigrant James Thistle and Louise (Roix) Thistle, died in 1910 in Exeter.

Read the article here: