Thomas White Dry Good Emporium, Bangor, 1864

Contributed by Maine Historical Society and Maine State Museum

Thomas White Dry Good Emporium, Bangor, 1864

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Thomas A. White's Dry Goods Emporium adjoined the Penobscot Exchange on Exchange Street in Bangor. White was one of the first shops in Bangor to specialize in dry goods -- rather than carrying a variety of groceries and other items as well. The store pictured in the middle was a wholesale business. The north and south stores were for retail sales.

The brick building is captured in a drawing done by John Martin (1823-1904), an accountant and shopkeeper who wrote and illustrated a journal reflecting on his life and experiences in the Bangor area. The illustration appears on page 545.

Martin noted in his account that accompanies the drawing that when the Civil War broke out in 1861, Daniel Chaplin, a clerk for Thurston & Metcalf used part of the building pictured to recruit volunteers. He reportedly signed up 110 men in two days for the 1st Maine Heavy Artillery, in which he became a captain.

Martin worked for Thomas White from July to the end of November 1861, even though the pay was quite low. White had a reputation of being difficult to work for, Martin wrote, "His presence was a perfect hell in his store or house."

The man in the drawing is White. The items on the sidewalk are a bale of soldiers' blankets and a bale of cotton warp.

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About This Item

  • Title: Thomas White Dry Good Emporium, Bangor, 1864
  • Creator: John Martin
  • Creation Date: 1864
  • Subject Date: 1864
  • Location: Bangor, Penobscot County, ME
  • Media: Ink on paper
  • Local Code: Coll. 1972; 1997.16.4
  • Object Type: Image

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For more information about this item, contact:

Maine Historical Society and Maine State Museum
489 Congress St., Portland, ME 04101
207-774-1822 x230

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