Thursday, January 15, 2015

The Woolen Mill Documented...

   Bruce Harvey has completed a series of black and white photographs of the Kezar Falls Woolen Mill.

   This photograph is of the original mill, before the addition of 1926.  You can view his wonderful images at this site:

Thursday, January 1, 2015

South Hiram Village: Part Two

   In 1964 Dr. William Teg’s History of Hiram stated: “The chief industrial attraction of South Hiram village was for many years the Glen Bobbin Mill which at present is inactive.”

    It was organized in 1918 by Carleton T. Fox and his brother, Charles G. Fox near the site of an earlier shingle mill built by Milton Smith for Eugene Stanley.

The mill employed 20 to 25 people and produced wooden bobbins and spools for the woolen and cotton textile industry for 41 years. In 1941 a fire destroyed the main mill and had to be rebuilt. It was liquidated in 1964. The owner in 1983 was David P. Wurtz. Today it sits idle and unoccupied.

   The Glen Bobbin Mill shown here circa 1950’s. The house on the hill behind the mill was once belonged to Melvin Smith, later Charles Fox. James and Charlotte Black lived here for many years and it is still owned by the Black family.

Monday, December 15, 2014

South Hiram Village - Slab City: Part One

The old mill in South Hiram

   The small village of South Hiram is adjacent to the southeastern border of Porter. It was once part of the Kezar Falls Village Corporation and is therefore considered part of the local area covered by the Parsonsfield-Porter Historical Society.

    It was a busy little country village with a school, post office, stores, mills, church and Grange Hall. Today the old post office is an ice cream stand, the Hiram Town Hall occupies the former South Hiram Elementary School, and the MSAD 55 area schools are located here. Nearly everything else is gone.

   This section of Hiram was settled prior to 1820 with the first settler being William Stanley (1776-1822), closely followed by Bartholomew Gould (1764-1822), Captain Timothy Garrish (1764 -1846), and Obediah Gerrish (1796-1861). William Stanley built two saw mills on Stanley Brook prior to 1822. The first on was situated at the outlet of the lower Stanley Pond, and near his residence about 1810. His second mill stood in the village, built a few years later. The nickname of “Slab City” was derived from the thriving sawmill business. 

   George French took this picture of the saw mill in the village sometime in the late 1940's or early 1950’s. The mill was operated by three generations of Stanley’s and was continued by many other owners. It was torn down in 1963 after standing idle and in a state of disrepair for several years. The Allard family home can be seen here behind the mill and just the roof of the South Hiram Elementary School to the left of that.


Monday, December 1, 2014

Maine's Role in the Civil War

   Maine played a vital role in the Civil War.  At the History House, we have been trying to bring the war home through our talks and exhibits on Porter and Parsonsfield's participation.  Other museums around the state are also focusing on Maine's contributions and sacrifices for the Union.  Follow the link below to find out what museums are exhibiting civil war artifacts, like this Maine Militia star at the Saco Museum.  Be sure to call ahead for winter hours.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Getting Started in Genealogy...

   The 2014 season of the Parsonsfield-Porter Historical Society is now history.  Perhaps our exhibit, Tracing Our History/Telling Our Stories has tempted you to start digging for your family roots.  If so, this link to this NE Historic Genealogical Society video may help...

   Happy digging!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Giving Thanks...

Freedom from Want - Norman Rockwell

 We have a lot to be thankful for at History House!  It is that time we all look forward to, when we can welcome old and new friends to our annual Thanksgiving dinner.  Call Jan Iler at 625-7019 for a reservation so we can be sure there is enough to go around!

1:00 pm
Saturday November 15, 2014
at the Porter Town Hall

   Here is a recipe from the historical society's 1947 cookbook.  I'll be posting other recipes during our "off" season.  Might be a fun way to while away the winter days...

Monday, October 20, 2014

Scrapbooking and Digital Collages to Preserve Your Family's History

   Digital is the way to go if you wish to preserve your family photographs, newspaper clippings and other memorabilia.   This presentation will give you a starting point to create beautiful digital collages to keep and share with family.  Presentation will begin at about 1:30pm after a brief business meeting.   Below is a page from my digital album...

Hope to see you there!  It is the last business meeting of the season and we will be drawing the name of the winner of the beautiful quilt!