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!

Thursday, October 2, 2014


Public tours of the Blazo-Leavitt House will be available October 3rd, 5th and 19th through MSAD 55 Adult & Community Education.  Advance reservations are required – call 207 625-3092.

Cost: donations at the time of the tour will benefit the Parsonsfield-Porter
           Historical Society. 

Location: 515 North Road (Route 160 South in North Parsonsfield across from Pars Sem).

Tour Guide: Peter Cyr - the present owner who purchased the property in Nov. 2013 and
Is in the process of extensive restorations.  Thus, it is very much a “work in progress”.  

The Blazo-Leavitt house was built in 1812 by William Blazo, uncle to prominent Parsonsfield lawyer Robert Tibbetts Blazo. Oral tradition holds that Robert Blazo, as a young man of fifteen in 1812, and later aged twenty in 1817, had helped with the construction of his uncle’s house. Robert was bound out to William when his father, Daniel, died in an accident in1802.  Later, ownership passed to Robert and then to his two daughters and eventually to Susan (Blazo) Leavitt’s son, Robert Greenleaf Leavitt.  The property remained in the family until it was sold by Robert Leavitt’s daughter, Constance (Leavitt) Hanson in 1974.  

This large two story house has five large brick chimneys, unique doorways and interior details.  What is now the large ell was built in 1812 and the main house built in 1817.  It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982.

Robert Tibbetts Blazo began his career as a schoolmaster, went on to become a lawyer and was an influential resident of Parsonsfield.  He conveyed the land and was instrumental in establishing Parsonsfield Seminary located across the road from this house.  (For more details check Wickipedia on the internet.)


Saturday, September 6, 2014

People and Places of Middle Road Village- A presentation by Lyn Sudlow

 Saturday, September 20 at 1pm at History House...

Middle Road Village was once the thriving center of Parsonsfield. There, at the crossroads of Middle Road and Merrill Hill Road, stood the town meeting house and offices, a school, a library, store and post office where the mail came each day.

   There were 2 churches, a large cemetery, a couple of blacksmith shops, a tavern and an inn and more than a score of beautiful houses. Residents included successful doctors, lawyers, farmers, and merchants. Today little is left of what existed back in the 1800's. Lyn Sudlow, who has been researching the history of Middle Road Village, will take us with her on a virtual journey into the past as we explore the changes over the years.  Please join us for this informative talk.

Have you purchased your quilt raffle tickets yet?

Monday, August 25, 2014

Open House this Sunday at the Porter Old Meeting House....

Come enjoy an afternoon of music
at the
Sunday, Aug. 31, 2013     1 – 3 pm

Pianist Frank Baxter will be playing a variety of music on the Meeting House organ accompanied by vocalist Kathleen Ford.
This is also an opportunity to tour this local gem and learn about its history

Rain or Shine!
Located on Old Meeting House Road, Porter, ME

Directions: from Kezar Falls Village: take Rt. 25 West to Colcord Pond Rd., then right on Old Meeting House Rd. From Porter Village: take First County Rd., bear left at Colcord Pond Rd. then right on Old Meeting House Rd.
FMI call– 625 7019
Sponsored by
Parsonsfield-Porter Historical Society
(Sorry, no “facilities” available)