1875 Tax Valuation Records

Museum Monday

I had the opportunity to visit the Maine State Library and scan the 1875 Scarborough, Maine, Tax Valuation Record using their Zeutschel OS 12002. It is a multi-camera book scanner that creates high-resolution images of bound and oversized materials. The scanned images were then combined into a PDF file. A “Scarborough Books” collection was created and the PDF file uploaded with some metadata information. Thank you so much for the assistance of Adam Fisher of the Maine State Library for his help and assistance in this Project. The scanned images were then combined and compressed into a PDF file.  I then uploaded the resulting file to Digital Maine to make the images publically available.

Birth, Marriage & Death Collection

Pages 1-28 (as numbered at the top left corner of a page) are Scarborough residents, generally arranged alphabetically by surname. That is to say, all people whose surname begins with a “C” are together.

In the second section are non-residents who owned property in Scarborough. These pages are unnumbered and are divided by the towns the individual lived in and then semi-alphabetically by surname. The towns include:

  • Buxton
  • Cape Elizabeth
  • Deering
  • Gorham
  • Portland
  • Saco
  • Westbrook
  • Miscellaneous

A third, unnumbered, section indicates residents and non-residents that live in Scarborough but do not own property.

If you have ancestors who lived in Scarborough, Maine, in 1875, this book may provide information of great interest. It provides information on real estate values, personal property (horses, oxen, cows, swine, sheep, carriages, and furniture.  Also included are stocks and bonds, money lent at interest, and logs and timber held.

The 1875 Scarborough Tax Valuation Book is a great resource to add texture to your family history and genealogical research.

The download from Digital Maine is here.

Harmon’s Mill, Scarborough, ME

Mappy Monday
Museum Monday

They say that a picture is worth a thousand words; well, a good map can be worth ten times that. In my volunteer activities at the Scarborough Historical Society, I had been asked to confirm the locations for Scottaway Hill, Harmon’s Mill, and Mill Creek.

I looked into the society’s families files. The Harmon’s have a nice sized file, but all the documents we have seem to relate to other Harmons in the area (presumably descendants of Samuel Harmon). I looked at some of my other regular sources and found the same quoted information in several locations, “Samuel Harmon purchased several large tracts of land at Scottaway Hill in Scarboro, ME, built a mill on the river there known as Harmon’s Mill, and settled at the place in 1728.”

Map of Blue Point & DunstanI thought this should be simple; I had seen the Blue Point and Dunston map from The History of Scarborough, which does a great job of showing where Scottow’s Hill, Harmon’s Mill, and even Harmon’s Landing were. Of course, “the road to Falmouth” is Route 1 today and the R.R. shown on the map is the Eastern Trail today. I double-checked with the society’s curator and she confirmed that Scottaway Hill and Scottow’s Hill are the same place.

1.  Assuming the “Blue Point and Dunston” map is correct, Harmon’s Mill should be about 1/3 of the way between Route one and the Eastern Trail along the creek. That would put it right near the ninth hole at Willowdale golf course – behind the Portland Pie Company’s Corporate Headquarters.

My “go to” place for anything dealing with water is the USGS. They have a hydrography map that is incredible. http://viewer.nationalmap.gov/viewer/nhd.htm. Zoom in to the area you are interested in. I like to toggle on layers for Geographic Names, Structures, and Transportation.  You can toggle on imagery as well.

2.  To confuse things, the USGS map, and some other maps I’ve seen, indicate that Mill Brook is the right hand of the two forks shown on the Blue Point and Dunston map, not the one shown to host the mill. If so, the original site could be anywhere along that right-hand stream.  I think this is the least likely scenario, but one that could be considered.

3.  Finally, local tradition says that the mill was along the creek that doesn’t show up on any modern maps. Certainly, there is evidence that a creek ran through the area, but because of the development over the centuries there is no evidence of the mill there.  Also, this site would be along the way to Harmon’s Landing. 

Harmon’s Mill Location
Map by Google – Annotations by Don Taylor

 

So, if local tradition is correct and Harmon’s Mill was located along Manson-Libby Road, probably about half way to Harmon’s Landing. If so, then Scarborough History is incorrect. That said, three sites are really close to each other; all are within a half-mile circle and are within 1/2 to 1 mile from Scottow Hill. I may never know, for certain, where Harmon’s Mill was exactly, but to know that it existed and to know it was an important business in Scarborough 250 years ago is the important thing.

 

If you have evidence supporting that Harmon’s Mill was at one of these or some other location, I’d love to hear from you. I would like to know where Harmon’s Mill was, and I know the descendants of Samuel Harmon would love to learn where it was also.

 

List of Kings from the William King Scrapbook

William King Scrapbook

Page 28 – List of Kings 

Amanuensis Monday

[We have a project at the Scarborough (Maine) Historical Society (SHS) where we are scanning and digitizing scrapbooks.  Most of the pages are newspaper clippings and other documents which lend themselves to optical character recognition (OCR); however, there are also pages that are handwritten.  To make those pages searchable within the final PDF document, I have been transcribing them as needed.]

Scrapbook, accession number 62.74.4, is a scrapbook of William King which was donated to the SHS in 1962. Its contents are mostly newspaper clippings. The clippings go back to 1905 and the most recent clipping appears to be from 1952. The majority of the clippings are undated. The handwritten pages appear to be mostly genealogical lists of individuals that are ancestors of the King family and are also undated. This list is from Page 28, as identified in the scrapbook index. The original was scanned at 2550 × 3509 and is available at the SHS Museum. The original image was duplicated, cropped, resized for the web to 564 × 508, and is displayed here.

The following is my transcription of this document:

Richard King. Born 1761 Died Oct 27th 1830. Age 69 years
Hannah King. Born June 22 – 1771 – Died May 25 – 1845 age 74 years.

Cyrus King Born May 4 1790
Mary King   “      Oct 12 1791
Wm King            Jan 13 1794
Eliza King           Aug 31 1796
Joseph L, King   Jan 22 1799
Robert S King    Feb 28 1801
Benjamin S. B. King  Jan 11 1803
Jane Ann King    Mar 9 1805
Fidealia H King   Jan 9 1808
Robert S King     Mar 14 1811
Miranda S. King  Aug 9 1813

Transcribed by Don Taylor
Scarborough Historical Society
14 Apr 2016

———- DISCLAIMER ———-

Family Recorder – James Hawkes & Margaret Esthers

William King Scrapbook

Page 33 – Family Recorder: James Hawkes & Margaret Esthers

Amanuensis Monday

[We have a project at the Scarborough (Maine) Historical Society (SHS) where we are scanning and digitizing scrapbooks.  Most of the pages are newspaper clippings and other documents which lend themselves to optical character recognition (OCR); however, there are also pages that are handwritten.  To make those pages searchable within the final PDF document, I have been transcribing them as needed.]


Scrapbook, accession number 62.74.4, is a scrapbook of William King, which was donated to the SHS in 1962. Its contents are mostly newspaper clippings. The clippings go back to 1905, and the most recent clipping appears to be from 1952. The majority of the clippings are undated. The handwritten pages seem to be mostly genealogical lists of individuals that are ancestors of the King family and are also undated. The following page is from Page 33, as identified in the scrapbook index. The original was scanned in two parts at 2550 × 3509. The two parts were then stitched together using PhotoStitcher into a 3672 × 3958 file that is available at the SHS Museum. The stitched image was duplicated, cropped, resized for the web to 504 × 487, and is displayed here.

One aspect of this list that I found rather interesting is that rather than using traditional month names, the writer used number months, for example, “Fifthmonth” for May and “Seventhmonth” for July.  I encountered that use once before and am wondering if I should add “Numberedmonth” to my search methodology in the future. If you have thoughts about doing so, please leave a comment below.

Family Register 

Parents 
James Hawkes     Married      Margaret Esthers
Born                                           Born

                                            Children

Births.
Names.
Deaths.
20 Secondmonth 1771
Elizabeth Hawkes
16 Fourthmonth 1884
15 Tenthmonth 1772
James Hawkes
24 Fifthmonth 1857
25 Eleventhmonth 1774
Anna Hawkes
27 Seventhmonth
7 Secondmonth 1782
John Hawkes
27 Seventhmonth 1830
13 Fifthmonth 1783
Benjamin Hawkes
7 Secondmonth 1849
24 Eleventhmonth 1784
Eben R Hawkes
1 Tenthmonth 1853
29 Eighthmonth 1786
Margaret Hawkes
15 Eleventhmonth 1851
18 Eighthmonth 1789
Betsey Hawkes
15 Eleventhmonth 1851
27 Secondmonth 1792
Isiah Hawkes
3 Seventh-month 1858
13 Sixthmonth 1794
Eunice Hawkes
21 Tenthmonth 1844
18 Twelthmonth 1796
Aaron Hawkes
27 Sixthmonth 1866

I

Transcribed by Don Taylor 
Scarborough Historical Society 
14 Apr 2016 

Endnotes:
Because all dates are after 1752, they are presumed to be Gregorian.  I added a conversion for each of the months used for search purposes:
Secondmonth = February
Fourthmonth = April
Fifthmonth = May
Sixthmonth = June
Seventhmonth = July
Eighthmonth = August
Tenthmonth = October
Eleventhmonth = November
Twelthmonth = December

———- DISCLAIMER ———-

“In 1897 Nothing Happened…” ‘cept a Shipwreck

by Don Taylor

Sign "On this site in 1897 nothing happened" photo by Don Taylor
One of my wife’s nieces lives here in Scarborough. On her house, she has a sign which reads, “On This Site in 1897 Nothing Happened.” I know her home was built in the 1980s, as was most of her neighborhood, which is nestled between Pleasant Hill and Higgins Beach. When I first saw the sign, I thought, “well, maybe nothing happened on her property, but I’ll bet something happened in the area.”
Sure enough, on August 11, 1897, there was great excitement in Scarborough. During the day before, it was wicked foggy. One observer said it looked as if “the space between earth and sky was filled with gray-white cotton.”[i] During the night it just got worse. About two o’clock in the morning, there were loud crashes and curdling noises coming from the water. I’ll bet, they were loud enough you probably could hear them through the thick fog two miles away at my niece’s property. When the fog cleared in the morning, it was clear that a ship had run aground.  
Howard W. Middleton appeared very low in the
water while she was aground
Photo: Scarborough Historical Society
The Howard W. Middleton, a three-masted schooner had run aground on a ledge near Higgins Beach. It contained 894 tons of Pennsylvania coal headed for Portland. All the crew members made it safely to shore. Tug boats from Portland tried to get it off the rocks to no avail.[ii] Most of the cargo was saved, although it is said that some of the locals salvaged enough coal for themselves to last them through three winters.  
Photo of Howard W. Middleton Shipwreck by Rich Bard Photo.
Remnants of Howard W. Middleton shipwreck
 Photo by Rich Bard (CC BY-ND 2.0)
The following month a storm drove the wreck further inland onto Higgins Beach where some of the remains can be seen 119 years later during low tides.
It may be that nothing happened at my wife’s niece’s property in 1897, but certainly there was a lot of excitement in her neighborhood that year surrounding the sinking of the Howard W. Middleton.

ENDNOTES

[i] Internet: As told by Emma Bray David (December 1967) per The Full Wiki http://www.thefullwiki.org/Higgins_Beach#Howard_W._Middleton_Shipwreck
[ii] Internet: Scarborough: They Called It Owascoag; Maritime Tales: Shipyards and Shipwrecks; http://scarborough.mainememory.net/page/1533/display%3Fpage=2.html

———- DISCLAIMER ———-