Category Archives: Seacoast (mostly) History

Posts related to the history Seacoast area of Maine and NH.

Return visit to Orris Falls with Windows to the Wild

Early in January, 2017, I enjoyed a chilly morning to Orris Falls Conservation Area with Windows to the Wild host Willem Lange and producers Steve Giordani and Phil Vaughn. The resulting show, titled “The Maniacal Traveler” is scheduled for broadcast … Continue reading

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Searching for the lost village of Punkintown

In the 1920s, unmarried sisters Mary and Almira Payne reportedly were the last residents of Eliot’s Punkintown, a small community of 10 or so families who once lived near the outlet of York Pond. One town history relates Mary had no legs … Continue reading

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Fragments of history: When the KKK came to Kittery

Why and how did Kittery-ites join the Ku Klux Klan in the 1920s? The Foreside parade in this undated J. Frank Walker photo likely took place on either June 30, 1924, or August 17, 1925, when Portsmouth Herald articles document these … Continue reading

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Lives lived, and lost, at the Kittery Town Forest

Sometimes when I walk in Kittery’s 72-acre Town Forest, I wonder what became of Ella Hill and her girl Annie. From 1891 to about 1897, Ella and Annie lived here at the Town Farm, or Poor Farm. In 1891, the … Continue reading

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Remnants of the Gilded Age at Brave Boat Harbor

Kittery Point, Maine — I dip my paddle in the water, push the kayak into the channel, and glide away from the causeway.  I’m paddling into the marsh, heading out to Brave Boat Harbor for high tide. At least once … Continue reading

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Skulls of history in a forgotten tomb

Where was he, the most noteworthy man who ever called my town home? Back and forth I wandered, searching. Where was the life-sized portrait of Sir William Pepperrell? At the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Massachusetts, nobody seemed to know, … Continue reading

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Snowmageddon 2015? Remembering the winter of 1716-17

By December, five feet of snow blanketed the ground. Although temperatures were not bitterly cold, the snow kept falling, with several storms in January. By early February, some drifts rose 25 feet. On February 18, the snow began falling again, … Continue reading

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A different kind of Groundhog Day: The Candlemas Massacre

On January 24, on the morning after Candlemas Day, 1692, the town of York, Maine was burned to the ground by a band of 150 Abenaki Indians.  Between 40 and 48 people were killed in the massacre, with an estimated … Continue reading

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If People Magazine existed in 1776: cast your ballot for the hottest Patriot!

Patriot John Hancock is the King of memorable signatures, so much so that his name has become synonymous with signing a document.  As President of the Continental Congress, he was the first to sign the Declaration of Independence on July … Continue reading

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Globalization, circa 1807, curses the Lady Pepperrell House

Lady Mary Hirst Pepperrell had impeccable taste.  So say many sources, but the best indicator is the home  she built in 1760 on Route 103 in Kittery Point. The Lady Pepperrell House is one of Maine’s outstanding examples of 18th … Continue reading

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