Lucy Nicolar Poolaw and Bruce Poolaw, Indian Island ca. 1940

Contributed by Maine Historical Society


Lucy Nicolar (1882-1969) was a nationally-known performer and businesswoman. She was part of the Penobscot Nation, and grew up on Indian Island. Her father was Penobscot leader and author, Joseph Nicolar.

Nicolar, a mezo-soprano, performed as “Princess Watahwaso” and recorded with Victor Records. Lucy Nicolar met and married Bruce Poolaw, from the Kiowa Tribe of Oklahoma, while traveling across the country performing as “Indians” at wild west shows and on the theater circuit.

When the stock market crashed in 1929, Nicolar returned home to the Penobscot reservation with her husband Bruce. Together, they opened Chief Poolaw's TeePee in 1947, a store that featured Penobscot artwork.

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About This Item

  • Title: Lucy Nicolar Poolaw and Bruce Poolaw, Indian Island ca. 1940
  • Creation Date: circa 1940
  • Subject Date: circa 1940
  • Town: Indian Island
  • County: Penobscot
  • State: ME
  • Media: Postcard
  • Dimensions: 14 cm x 8.5 cm
  • Local Code: Coll. 196 B5/15
  • Collection: Portland Society for Natural History
  • Object Type: Image

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For more information about this item, contact:

Maine Historical Society
485 Congress Street, Portland, ME 04101
(207) 774-1822 x230

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