New Stuff

National Register Sites – Mapped!

In Spring 2019 I learned about Story Maps, and so this summer I decided to make an interactive map showing all of Biddeford’s National Register of Historic Places sites. Mobile and desktop friendly, it will bring you to all the National Register locations in our fair city. All mistakes and omissions are mine, but as of January 2020 it should be up-to-date. Enjoy!!

Here is a short link, for your convenience: https://arcg.is/1mXG5i

Events, New Stuff

Ahhh summers at the Pool…(Biddeford Pool, that is)

Timber Point CenterThe library is so pleased to host a new display which has been organized and curated by the folks at the Timber Point Center. The exhibit, “The Ewing Family: Life at Timber Point”, gives a fascinating peek into the life of one of the numerous families who called Biddeford and Biddeford Pool home during summers of old. The Ewing family, who built the seasonal residence on Timber Point over 1929-1931, are pretty typical of the summer families of the era. Well-to-do urbanites who retreated to the peace, calm and beauty of the Maine coast during the summer season, enjoying family and friendships and a break from the hectic pace of working life.

The display is a vivid snapshot of life for these families, but even more interestingly shines a light on a way of life that many of us do not know about. That is, it shows that these large summer “cottages” and the residents within are somewhat less grand than we may imagine. The Ewings, in particular, seemed to have enjoyed a simple, industrious, and quiet life at Timber Point that you may be surprised by. Even their famous friends seemed to have (happily) come and gone quietly, and perhaps that in itself helps the rest of us understand the draw of this area to the well-heeled…even today.

Please come see this lovely display, it will be up through the beginning of April. You can read about it and catch a sneak-peek at Timber Point Center’s blog:

(http://timberpointcenter.org/2014/01/21/the-ewing-family-life-at-timber-point-2/).

Neat finds and fun stories

The Legend of Francis Fortune

Another great history vignette by Sharon Cummins at Old News from Southern Maine, one of my very favorite history blogs. You can also find it in the June 10th York County Coast Star, along with the fabulous illustrations that always accompany Sharon’s work. Enjoy!

“The Legend of Francis Fortune”

Neat finds and fun stories, New Stuff

The “Item” tragedy at Biddeford Pool, 1909

Read the fascinating story of the capsizing of the boat “Item” while on an excursion to Biddeford Pool to view President Taft’s yacht “Sylph” at anchor. He was in the area to visit his sister-in-law’s summer home at the Pool. I’d never heard this story before, so this was quite interesting to read about! Thanks to Sharon Cummins at SoME Old News for this great item!

You can check out images of President Taft’s visit to Biddeford Pool from the library’s collection at Maine Memory Network.

New Stuff

NEW online genealogy/history resource!

BIDDEFORD AREA BIOGRAPHICAL RESOURCE!

I am thrilled to announce the launch of our Biddeford Area Biographical Resource, a web-based point of access for those doing local history or genealogical reserach on people who lived or worked in the area. 

The Resource is simply an electronic version of the \”Biddeford Biography\” index cards which live here at the library, and have been kept at least since the 1930\’s. Some people in the index are not from Biddeford, but perhaps passed through or had an impact in the community in some way.

Some of the newspapers referenced by the cards have no known copies in existence, so there is no way of checking the accuracy of the statements. But, many of the referenced items are still accessible, either in our library or online, so there are links to point you in the right direction.  

As we index more local history books and cull names we\’ll be adding those to the Resource.  Also in the works are links to any photographs we have of the people.

It is going to be SO AWESOME. (Okay, it already is awesome, but it will get even cooler as time goes on!)