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From Our Files

This photo from our photos collection includes Elizabeth Ellen “Lizzie” Hawkes Osgood and brothers George, Elmer, and Orin along with their parents, Ebenezer Hawkes and Ellen Higgins Hawkes. Lizzie married George W. Osgood on 04 Jul 1886 in Portland, Cumberland Co., Maine. When she died in May of 1941, her obituary indicated she was “long active in social, civic, and Grange circles; was a longtime member and sang in the choir of the Universalist Church. She was survived by three brothers,…

As the shelter-in-place orders came down in mid-March, I did not find it a great sacrifice.  I had projects aplenty, my cupboards and freezer were well stocked, and I had a good supply of toilet paper.  As time passed, my eldest daughter insisted on doing the grocery shopping for me weekly and we would visit from 8 feet apart in my breezeway as she wiped everything down with Chlorox. She was concerned about my age and my heart condition. 

Teachers Deb Tenenbaum and Mark Cutter had juniors in their 21st Century English Class at Gray-New Gloucester High School put together Quarantine Journals throughout the first two months of quarantine. Portions of these journals have been posted on their new website, 21st Century Quarantine Journals.

Over a period spanning more than 30 years, Ellen Cole McCann dutifully snipped stories and photos of interest to Gray residents from local newspapers. Each year’s articles were collected into a spiral bound notebook. About thirty such notebooks are available on the open shelves of our research room on the second floor of the Historical Society.

While reviewing the contents of Gray Historical Society Collection Box #58, filled with the notes of George Hill as he researched for his book, History, Records, and Recollections of Gray Maine, I happened upon a small envelope tucked into a twenty-five cent, black and white school composition notebook with a curious note. Though its author is difficult to discern, the contents of the note piqued my interest and diverted my attention [this happens all-too-often when I research!] for the…

The new look in logging camps is to be found here in this little cross-roads town. And, shades of Paul Bunyan, it is different from the usual thing! The S. D. Warren Company’s de luxe logging camp, complete with every comfort of home, is unlike anything ever seen before in the timber country. The camp is located up in the woods at the head of Little Sebago Lake, near the Raymond town line, and here some 30 men, women and children live a normal and comfortable existence. In fact, that…

The sole remaining Pennell clock face is now back in the Pennell building after being taken down and stored during the clock restoration of 1992.  After a long and well-deserved rest, the face will once again keep time, this time from inside the Pennell building.

Collection #33 in our Gray Historical Society research collection is entitled, simply, John Merrill Collection. The title alone does nothing to reveal the treasure within: about 35 small booklets, each capturing snippets in days long gone from Mr. Merrill’s life and times.

One could easily get lost in this set of diaries, each day with an entry of some small significance to the author. Here, quite randomly, are some of the musings captured within these volumes:

The COVID – 19 pandemic presented not only a global health crisis but also disrupted the daily lives of Gray residents. Between the stay at home orders, physical distancing, closure of many businesses and a variety of other restrictions, the impact was substantial.