Town Report Digitization Project an online treasure

By Roxanne Moore Saucier, BDN Columnist
Posted Nov. 07, 2010, at 6:26 p.m.

J. Bolier was paid $81.63 for “care of men injured by railroad accident.”

The Report of the Selectmen of Oldtown doesn’t say when the accident occurred, but the report was for the year ending March 1, 1870. That’s a wonderful historical clue.

The municipality paid Geo. H. Brown $2 that year for “damage on sleigh,” and Cyrus Cooper $60 for “damage to horse.” No doubt repairing a horse cost more than repairing a sleigh.

There also was an appropriation to “Orono College” for $1,180, though the line item doesn’t specify how the amount would be spent.

In 1870-71, selectmen expected to spend $4,000 on schools, $2,500 on roads, $500 on repair of bridges, $3,000 in support of the poor and $8,000 under the Contingent Fund, a line item which, as in many towns and cities, accounted for a plethora of miscellaneous items.

Further, John Rigby was contracted to rebuild the Irving Bridge for $3,500.

Was your ancestor paid for teaching or providing some other service to Old Town in 1869-70? Look up the town report in the Town Report Digitization Project, free online at www.library.umaine.edu/townreport/.

The joint project of the University of Maine’s Fogler Library, Maine State Library, municipalities and historical societies will be the topic of a program sponsored by the Friends of Fogler Library.

“Town Reports: Rich Texts, Vital Resources” will be presented at 3 p.m. Monday, Nov. 15, in the Special Collections Reading Room on the third floor of Fogler Library on the UMaine campus in Orono.

Librarians Mel Johnson and Richard Hollinger will demonstrate that town reports are unique and valuable resources for local history and genealogy. They are essential sources for research on regional and state history, containing information about social history often available nowhere else.

Area municipalities with reports online, and the years, are:

• Albion: 1866-1879, 1880-1899.

• Alfred: 1906-1924.

• Auburn: 1860, 1872-1883, 1891.

• Augusta: 1857-1859, 1860-1879, 1880-1899, 1900-1905.

• Bangor: 1851, 1857-1859, 1860-1879, 1880-1891.

• Bath: 1850-1869, 1898, 1908, 1916, 1920.

• Belfast: 1902, 1910-1911, 1917-1918, 1924-1926.

• Boothbay Harbor: 1891-1900.

• Bowdoin, 1880-1888.

• Brunswick: 1867, 1882-1897.

• Caribou: 1893-1899, 1900-1915.

• Cherryfield: 1894, 1912, 1917, 1927, 1932-1934.

• Cutler: 1943-1950.

• Deer Isle: 1941-1949.

• Dover: 1898, 1909-1915.

• Dover-Foxcroft: 1922-1929.

• Eastport: 1917-1920, 1926.

• Ellsworth: 1878, 1899, 1911, 1933, 1942-1949.

• Falmouth: 1863-1879, 1880-1899, 1900-1915.

• Farmington: 1863-1879, 1880-1899, 1900-1919, 1920-1925.

• Fort Kent: 1947-1951.

• Foxcroft: 1904-1914.

• Gardiner: 1851-1859, 1860-1879, 1880-1899, 1900-1901.

• Guilford: 1897-1899, 1900-1919, 1920.

• Hallowell: 1853-1859, 1860-1879, 1880.

• Holden: 1868-1879, 1880-1899, 1900-1919, 1920-1939, 1940-1950.

• Houlton: 1879-1989, 1900-1910, 1934.

• Jay: 1869-1876, 1884-1895.

• Jonesport: 1901-1902, 1909-1919, 1920-1939.

• Kittery: 1853-1857, 1860-1872.

• Lewiston: 1858-1859, 1860-1879, 1890, 1914.

• Litchfield: 1869-1879, 1880-1899, 1900-1919, 1920-1925.

• Livermore: 1886-1904.

• Machias: 1915, 1920-1921, 1927-1930.

• Manchester: 1860, 1868-1879, 1880-1899, 1900-1919, 1920.

ä Old Town: 1870-1893.

• Paris: 1878, 1887-1888, 1897, 1906, 1924-1928.

• Portland: 1843-1854, 1870-1871, 1878-1880.

• Presque Isle: 1932-1942.

• Rockland: 1857, 1863-1879, 1880-1883, 1892-1894, 1911.

• Rumford: 1881, 1926, 1935-1937.

• Skowhegan: 1864-1865, 1877-1879, 1880-1899, 1900-1903.

• Skowhegan Village Corporation: 1901-1902.

• Stow: 1904, 1920-1939, 1940-1950.

• Thomaston: 1893, 1900-1907.

• Wilton: 1900-1918.

• Winthrop: 1855-1859, 1860-1879, 1880-1895.

• Wiscasset: 1878-1879, 1880-1893.

Keep in mind that not every year in a span may be included.

Individuals, towns and organizations that would like to add town reports to this site should contact Sharon Quinn Fitzgerald at Fogler Library, 581-1667, or e-mail sharonquinn.fitzgerald@umit.maine.edu.

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“Go stand in front of the Honor Roll, Daddy. We’ll take your picture.”

Looking quite youthful in his Navy uniform and sailor hat, Dinty Moore would dutifully stand by the Abbot Honor Roll, which is handy to the Civil War Monument near the Piscataquis River.

Taking photos was a Memorial Day ritual after my father had marched in three parades in one morning — Sangerville, Guilford and Abbot.

Marching became a family activity in the 1960s when I played in the PCHS band, and in the 1970s for my sister.

That wooden Honor Roll with the names of the Moore boys on it — Gayland “Dinty” Jr. and Carroll W. in World War II, Roderick M. in the Korean War — means the world to me.

Eight years after Daddy died, he still stands there for me.

Before I know it, that Honor Roll will be gone, to be replaced by a monument of gray granite.

An Honor Roll that will last and last will cost $20,000, and the Abbot Historical Society, which now owns my dad’s Navy uniform with ribbons, is encouraging those who love Abbot to chip in $25 in memory of, or in honor of, a town veteran.

Checks can be sent to Town of Abbot, PO Box 105, Abbot, ME 04406.

For $100, I can honor Daddy, Uncle Carroll and Uncle Roddy, and E. Lewis Page, Daddy’s friend who was killed in World War II.

This Veterans Day, I can almost imagine the four of them standing in front of a granite Honor Roll that will last and last.

Now that would be a picture.

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Moosehead Roots genealogy group will meet at the Moosehead Center for History, formerly the Community House, at 10 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 13, in Greenville.

The meeting will feature members sharing their own research, especially research tips, helpful resources and new research discoveries.

Goal setting and planning for the coming year will be part of the meeting. New or advanced researchers are welcome. For more information, contact Betty Ryder at 695-2287 or betty@rydersroost.net.

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Wassebec Genealogy Chapter will meet at 6:30 p.m. Veterans Day, Nov. 11, at the Mayo Regional Hospital Conference room in Dover-Foxcroft.

The society is open to all with an interest in Piscataquis County or genealogy in general. There will be a brief business meeting, then a program by Milo historian Walter MacDougall on the “Life of Moses Greenleaf.”

For information, contact the Bennetts at 876-3073 evenings.

Send queries to Family Ties, Bangor Daily News, PO Box 1329, Bangor, ME 04402; or e-mail familyti@bangordailynews.com.

http://bangordailynews.com/2010/11/07/living/town-report-digitization-project-an-online-treasure/ printed on December 19, 2014