In partnership with the Maine Memory Network Maine Memory Network

Maine Memory Network

Mourning and Place

This slideshow contains 24 items
1
Moore Memorial embroidery, Portland, 1838

Moore Memorial embroidery, Portland, 1838

Item 5510 info
Maine Historical Society

Mourning and Grief

Family members expressed their grief and remembered deceased siblings, children, parents and spouses in needlework, drawings, paintings and jewelry.

These remembrances made use of personal items such as the deceased person's hair and often incorporated landscape, figural and architectural details that were popular at the time.

Sorrowful imagery, such as trees and persons bowed as if by a great weight, also are used to express mourning.


2
Wiswall mourning pendant, ca. 1775

Wiswall mourning pendant, ca. 1775

Item 18430 info
Maine Historical Society

This pendant belonged to the Reverend John Wiswell (1731-1812), a resident of Falmouth (Portland) in the late 18th century.

His Episcopalian faith and allegiance to the Church of England eventually forced him to flee abruptly and without his family to Boston on Captain Mowatt’s British warship on the eve of the American Revolution in 1775.

This locket commemorates Wiswell's wife, Mercy, and daughter, Elizabeth, who died while trying to reach him in Boston.

Also memorialized are their two young sons (unnamed) who died in 1773.


3
Brewster Family memorial, ca. 1805

Brewster Family memorial, ca. 1805

Item 26555 info
Maine Historical Society

The overall design of this painting on silk is common of mourning pieces from the early 1800s.

Urns and weeping willows served as symbolic markers for the loss of a loved one.


4
Diantha Cole Edwards Memorial, 1859

Diantha Cole Edwards Memorial, 1859

Item 26513 info
Maine Historical Society

Lorenda (upper) and Charlie Edwards were deceased at the time of the making, as evidenced by the wreath and interlocking circles design.

The deceased Lorenda’s hair used in this memorial was obtained when her grave was moved 20 years after her death.


5
Eunice P. Deane portrait, ca. 1800

Eunice P. Deane portrait, ca. 1800

Item 25966 info
Maine Historical Society

Remembering Place

The land on which we live, and the communities surrounding us, shape our lives and define who we are. We develop important relationships to geography and structures, to the natural world and the built environment.

Relics from old buildings, drawings of street scenes, and painted signs in some way connect us to those places we remember in the past.

These functional items and decorative pieces help recreate the environments that have been important in the past, much the same way some people memorialize family and close friends through portraits and family registers.


6
Reverend Samuel Deane, Portland, ca. 1800

Reverend Samuel Deane, Portland, ca. 1800

Item 5284 info
Maine Historical Society

The itinerant, deaf artist John Brewster Jr., painted this pair of portraits of Rev. Samuel and Mrs. Eunice Deane during an early visit to Portland.

Deane was minister at the First Parish Church from 1764 until his death in 1814.

Throughout his life, he kept journals of local events – extracts were published in 1849 and provide important insights into town life in the 18th century.


7
Congress Street, Portland, 1800

Congress Street, Portland, 1800

Item 14879 info
Maine Historical Society

In later life, marble cutter and volunteer fireman Charles Quincy Goodhue developed a passion for local history.

Around 1890, he began to make a visual record of local scenes he titled Portland Through Grandfather’s Eyes.

This scrapbook included drawings based on memories, historical documents, and local stories.

This re-created view shows the First Parish Church with the adjacent Rev. Deane House as they might have looked almost 100 years before he made the drawing.


8
First Parish Church, Portland, ca. 1886

First Parish Church, Portland, ca. 1886

Item 18704 info
Maine Historical Society

The First Parish Church, or Old Jerusalem, was built in 1740 and stood until 1825.

This model represents the style of public architecture that was common in mid-18th century Portland.


9
Gardiner Fireman's Ball drawing, ca. 1880

Gardiner Fireman's Ball drawing, ca. 1880

Item 25964 info
Maine Historical Society

An anonymous draftsman captured the energy and enthusiasm at a dance in the social hall in Gardiner.

The dance floor is full of people enjoying the music played by a local band.


10
Lottery sign, Portland, ca. 1820

Lottery sign, Portland, ca. 1820

Item 25965 info
Maine Historical Society

Major William Francis operated a lottery business on Union Street in Portland from around 1810 to 1830.

He advertised his location as “Fortune’s temple.”

Lotteries reached their peak of popularity in the 1820s, and were a common way to raise money for private efforts to build bridges, canals and roadways.

In 1827 a critic complained there were 25 shops in Portland peddling lottery tickets.

This sign, made by an unknown artist, advertised the gold coins to be won by engaging in the lottery craze.


11
Tavern sign, Raymond, ca. 1850

Tavern sign, Raymond, ca. 1850

Item 26511 info
Maine Historical Society

An unknown maker made this sign for Samuel Witham’s tavern in Raymond.


12
Hand-pump fire engine model, Portland, ca. 1850

Hand-pump fire engine model, Portland, ca. 1850

Item 16874 info
Maine Historical Society

George Frederick Morse worked his entire life for the Portland Company, one of the city’s largest industrial manufacturers.

He began his career in 1852 as a draftsman, and worked his way to the position of Superintendent.

He made this model of a hand pumper fire engine while he was in high school in Portland.


13
Fire Bucket, ca. 1806

Fire Bucket, ca. 1806

Item 6040 info
Maine Historical Society

In 1783 the Fire Society of Falmouth was established to help members reduce the risk of loss from fire.

Members of the society were required to have their own fire buckets with their name painted on them, or they would receive a fine.


14
Cummings fire bucket, Deering, ca. 1813

Cummings fire bucket, Deering, ca. 1813

Item 26517 info
Maine Historical Society

Dr. Stephen Cummings (1774–1854) lived in the Deering section of Portland and was a member of the Union Fire Society.

The society motto, Esto Perpetua, means "may you endure forever!" The artisan Aaron Fitz made leather fire buckets as well as harnesses, saddles, and trunks in his shop on Fish Street in Portland.


15
Burning of Second Parish Church, Portland, 1866

Burning of Second Parish Church, Portland, 1866

Item 25971 info
Maine Historical Society

Woodbury Hatch, a Civil War veteran, worked professionally in Portland as an ornamental painter and also served as a member of a volunteer fire brigade.

In 1866, he battled the Portland fire. His first-hand experience is evident here; you can almost feel the heat radiate from this painting.


16
Model of the Portland Observatory, ca. 1905

Model of the Portland Observatory, ca. 1905

Item 17324 info
Maine Historical Society

One of Portland’s most distinctive landmarks is the Observatory, built by Lemuel Moody in 1807.

From the tower Moody could observe ships entering the harbor and then hoist a signal flag to announce the arrival, allowing the ship’s owner to prepare the wharf and men needed to off load the ship.

This model was made from shingles salvaged from the observatory during a restoration in 1906.


17
Commemorative pitcher, 1807

Commemorative pitcher, 1807

Item 187 info
Maine Historical Society

Lemuel Moody is said to have ordered 75of these commemorative pitchers decorated with the Observatory and an index of signal flags.


18
Signals at the Portland Observatory

Signals at the Portland Observatory

Item 6157 info
Maine Historical Society

This watercolor serves an index for the various signal flags that were flown from the top of the Observatory.

In addition to an owner’s pennant, each flag announced the entrance of a ship into the harbor, allowing crews on land to prepare for the arrival.


19
Painting of the Edward H. Crockett, 1944

Painting of the Edward H. Crockett, 1944

Item 6964 info
Maine Historical Society

The Sea

The close connection to the Atlantic Ocean and Maine's more than 3,000 miles of coastline have powerfully shaped the lives of people who live here.

Through shipbuilding, mercantile marine activities, fishing, sea battles, and recreation people in Maine have had close encounters with the sea.


20
Russell Shipbuilding Company yard, Portland, 1919

Russell Shipbuilding Company yard, Portland, 1919

Item 13977 info
Maine Historical Society

Models, drawings and painting of ships, harbors and shoreline are among the many creative expressions of these experiences.

These artifacts serve as a record of the many ways the sea has been part of Maine history.

In 1864 George Russell established his shipyard in the East Deering section of Portland. By 1891, the Russell yard had built over 50 vessels—mostly wooden merchant ships.

This painting shows the yard during World War I. In the ways are wooden steamships, or Ferris ships, made for the war effort.

The Russell Yard closed in 1921.

Portland is visible in the background, as is the railroad bridge across the Back Cove inlet.


21
View of Portland Harbor, ca. 1853

View of Portland Harbor, ca. 1853

Item 1125 info
Maine Historical Society

Painted from Fort Preble in South Portland, this harbor scene includes several important local landmarks – Fort Scammel (built ca. 1812) and Cushing Island with the recently built Ottawa House.

Sailing ships, ferries, rowboats fill the harbor with activity.


22
Clay Cove, Portland, 1840

Clay Cove, Portland, 1840

Item 14865 info
Maine Historical Society

Based on memories, historical documents, and local stories, Charles Q. Goodhue made drawings to re-create a sense of Portland’s landscape.

This view of Clay Cove, now the location of the Ferry Terminal on Commercial Street, shows early wharves and shipyards.


23
Storekeeper account book, Parsonsfield, 1803

Storekeeper account book, Parsonsfield, 1803

Item 182 info
Maine Historical Society

Ammi Quint of Parsonfield, and Newington, N.H. used this ledger to keep track of his credits for work and the debts he owed.

Like many yeomen of the period, he was resourceful and able to do all kinds of work from bricklaying, shoe making, house painting, and farm work.

He had a beautiful handwriting style, and added this illustration of ships to the cover page of his account book.


24
William McLellan Sr., Portland, ca.1800

William McLellan Sr., Portland, ca.1800

Item 18426 info
Maine Historical Society

Capt. William McLellan Sr. (ca. 1735-1815) was the son of an ambitious immigrant and jack-of-all-trades.

During the Revolutionary War, McLellan was owner and master of the sloop Centurian, one of the ships destroyed by the British during the Penobscot expedition in 1779. After the war, he was a leading merchant in town.

John Brewster Jr., the son of a Connecticut physician, painted the portrait. He was born deaf.

He trained as a painter and traveled the New England coast as an itinerate artist between 1796 and 1833.

Brewster advertised locally in 1805, 1806, and 1821. He eventually settled in Buxton.


This slideshow contains 24 items