Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Welcome Spring!

Perhaps spring has never been more welcome than it is this year. 
With warmer days, bright sun and new growth all around us it fosters hope for an end in sight of this Covid 19 pandemic.

While we wait for this to happen the Parsonsfield-Porter Historical Society is unable to open the 2020 season with our planned schedule of meetings and events.  We are anxious to put up our exhibit commemorating Maine’s Bicentennial, to begin our planned activities and to welcome our members, and visitors back to History House.  

As soon as the restrictions are lifted we will publish our schedule on this blog, on our Web Site at, with ads in “Your Weekly Shopping Guide” and with e-mails to our members.

In the meantime, stay healthy and safe.   And welcome spring.

Wednesday, April 1, 2020


If we were told today that the last dollar of the United States National Debt was paid off and the surplus would be distributed to the states, we would be certain it was an April Fools Day joke.  However, in 1838 this did actually happen.

This is the story according to Thomas Moulton’s 1879 history of Porter.

 During the last term of President Jackson’s administration the last dollar of our national debt was paid and a surplus remained in the United States treasury. This surplus was distributed by congress among the different states in proportion to population. Maine distributed her share among the different towns in the state in the same manner. Porter received, April 19 and May 1, 1837, $2,174.00. At several town meetings after its reception, the surplus revenue was a theme of much discussion. Various propositions for disposing of it were submitted to our voters. Finally, April 2 1838, it was voted “to distribute the town’s proportion of the surplus revenue as soon as may be.” This vote was carried into effect, and each inhabitant received $2.07.