When I first wrote about the “Silent Sentinels,” the list of Maine’s Civil War monuments with photos at www.maine.gov/civilwar/sentinels.html, the 150th anniversary of the beginning of the Civil War was still a year away.
Now, it’s less than three months until April 12, and I’m not among those who are prepared.
What might your historical society, museum or committee do?
The Monson Historical Society has published in its newsletter, Monson Historical News, a list of those who served in the Civil War from the town, compiled by Wayne Bennett.
There will be a display this summer at the museum, and possibly a booklet. So the society is looking for a copy of documents, photos or other memorabilia relating to men and women involved in the Civil War from Monson. The organization will reimburse the cost of making copies.
Wayne noted that information from military and pension records can be amazing.
You can order both records for a veteran for $75 from the National Archives through Veterans Service Records at Nara.gov.
If you like, Monson Historical Society will do the paperwork to order a veteran’s records for the cost of obtaining the files.
If you don’t have someone on the list of Civil War veterans but would like to participate, you may “adopt” a veteran by furnishing the money to obtain the records.
“The building that houses the Monson Museum was built by these Monson veterans as a Grand Army of the Republic Hall. Let’s honor these men in 2011 by compiling the most information possible into a book for generations to come,” Wayne wrote.
Become a member of MHS for $8 a year sent to Monson Historical Society, c/o Estella Bennett, P.O. Box 173, Guilford 04443.
Tell MHS about information you have to share at firstname.lastname@example.org.
One hundred and twelve years ago, Willis Carter wrote down the 1909 school census for the town of Pembroke as of April 1.
The Pembroke Historical Society shared that list of 472 students in the spring-summer 2010 issue of The Pemmaquon Call. The surnames are numerous, among them Carter, Dudley, Cushing, Leighton, Ashby, Hurlburt, Blackwood, Antone and Featherson.
Carter, whose 50-year career in education included time as superintendent, also wrote down the student census for 1910 and 1921.
The Willis Carter Diaries are held by Fogler Library at the University of Maine. According to the Special Collections Guide to the Manuscript Collections, they cover 1881-1885, 1900-1910 and 1921-1928.
The society is considering compiling a booklet with all three student censuses in it. If you’re interested in such a booklet, let editor Gail Menzel know at 270 Leighton Point Road, Pembroke 04666, or email@example.com.
George L. Carter of Tyngsboro, Mass., is transcribing material from the diaries for the historical society.
In the same vein, a nice feature of the same newsletter is a transcription of Lena Maude Clark’s History of the Class of 1926, the original of which the historical society received from the Pembroke High School Alumni Association.
During their sophomore year, Clark noted, the school burned during Christmas vacation. Temporary accommodations at the Grand Army Hall were filled with desks “of all sizes and descriptions.”
Her recollections of the six who graduated in 1926 included their weight and shoe size.
Other features of this issue include Howard A. Mayo Jr.’s “From Boston to Pembroke: The business letters of John M. Mayo to Stephen C. Foster” and Thomas J. Abernethy’s “I Can’t Have a Seat by the Fire.”
Abernethy’s daughter, Mary Abernethy Parker, gave the historical society a copy of the 1976 voice recording he made of the poem he wrote when he couldn’t attend the 1922 reunion of “The One Hundred,” American recruits who were trained by the Canadian Royal Flying Corps to be pilots in World War I.
The editor’s annotations add tremendously to the transcription.
Get your copy of The Pemmaquon Call twice a year by joining the Pembroke Historical Society, 270 Leighton Point Road, Pembroke 04666. Membership is $10, $15 family, $5 student.
Send queries to Family Ties, Bangor Daily News, PO Box 1329, Bangor, ME 04402; or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.