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23 January 2019

CGS Collections: Maine

Detail from the cover of Gazetteer of the State of Maine
One in a series by CGS member Chris Pattillo, highlighting some of our holdings at the Library in Oakland. For a fuller listing of our books, journals, and more, consult the CGS Library catalog. Our catalog is also included in WorldCat.

Our material on the State of Maine occupies shelves F16 – F30 and includes six boxes of Maine Genealogical covering the years 1995 to the current issue. We have an 1881 Gazetteer of the State of Maine With Numerous Illustrations by George J. Varney. It professes to mention “every town, plantation, mountain, lake and bay … of the several counties, cities, towns and villages of the State.”

Another book we have from the same era is History of Cumberland Co., Maine: with Illustrations and Biographical Sketches of Its Prominent Men and Pioneers by W. W. Clayton, published in 1880. One of the things that distinguishes this book is that it includes several images of women – not just men. I particularly like how the author grouped portraits of a couple with a rendering of their home and property.
Mr. and Mrs. Reuben Brown, from
History of Cumberland County

Maine is also noteworthy for having a county named after a woman – Jenny Wiley County. We have two thick volumes about that county on our shelves. (The “D” on the binding reminds us that these were from the Dorman Collection.)
Many Maine books have a conifer on
the binding
I noticed that more than one book in our Maine collection depicts a coniferous tree on the bound edge. I wondered about this until I came to Maine: The Pine Tree State from Prehistory to the Present. This 1995 text was edited by Richard W. Judd, Edwin A. Churchill, and Joel W. Eastman.

If you happen to be researching York County, Maine, you are in luck! The CGS library has 19 volumes of deeds. Anyone who has done research with deeds, you will recall how not infrequently handwritten notes are written at ninety degrees to the body of the text. In this transcription, such notes have been dutifully transcribed in the same manner.

Finally, I looked at Pioneers on Maine Rivers with Lists to 1651, compiled from the original sources by Wilbur D. Spencer and published in 1930.  This hardback lists each of Maine's rivers and the communities that developed along its banks. For example, the Piscataqua River has twelve subheadings. The introduction includes the following anonymous poem, which sets the stage for the book.

Bold pioneers of bygone days,
Who left the homes they loved the best
And sailed athwart the trackless maze
To found an empire in the West.

Tried men and safe were those who steered
The sea-worn craft among the riffs;
Brave men and true were those who reared
Rough cabins on the northern cliffs.

Whatever dangers might assail,
On hopes like theirs the world might wait;
With zeal like theirs no plan could fail,
In faith like theirs was born a State.

Great motherland of stalwart men,
Who greet incoming tides and times,
Who seek the mysteries again
Of modern days and distant climes!

The restless sea rovers in their blood,
The living north wind stirs their breath,
Their souls reflect that motherhood
That forms a part of them till death.

There is much more to find on the State of Maine
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