Lucy Nicolar and Mary Ranco, Indian Island, ca. 1900

Contributed by Maine Historical Society


Lucy Nicolar (1882-1969) was the daughter of Penobscot leader and author, Joseph Nicolar, and the great granddaughter of Lt. Governor John Neptune. She became a professional singer, performing on stage in traditional regalia, blending opera arias with Wabanaki songs.

Lucy Nicolar Poolaw was a life-long advocate for Native people. She, her sister Florence, and others in the community worked to raise educational standards for Penobscot children, persuaded the state to build a bridge to Indian Island, and demanded suffrage for Wabanaki people, who were denied the right to vote by the State of Maine until 1967.

Mary Ranco (born 1885) from the Penobscot Nation, first married Joseph Sapiel and later, Byron Spencer. She was an accomplished basketmaker and raised eight children.

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About This Item

  • Title: Lucy Nicolar and Mary Ranco, Indian Island, ca. 1900
  • Creation Date: circa 1900
  • Subject Date: circa 1900
  • Location: Indian Island, Old Town, Penobscot County, ME
  • Media: Ink on paper
  • Dimensions: 15.2 cm x 20.3 cm
  • Local Code: Browse--Indians of North America
  • Object Type: Text and 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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