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Oversize Gems

Our Thursday mornings, History Helpers are often immersed in projects to improve access to GHS collections. This morning, while hunting for a folder of early cemetery plans, volunteers encountered a trove of gems in our “oversize collection”.

Archival items that don’t fit into our usual organization of collection boxes on shelves, etc. may be file into extra-large file folders, with reference to OC A, OC B, etc. One such folder contained these beautiful family certificates.

Those Were the Days!

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:

Dr. Freeman's Recipe

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 remainder of the morning! The note – no bigger than than a standard index card – reads thus:

McCann Scrapbooks

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.

West Gray School 1941

In the first of our new series, “From Our Files”, is this class photo from West Gray School in October of 1941. The reverse of the photo identifies the class thus: Front row, left to right: Wayne Manchester, Barbra Pollard, Catherine Thurlow, Richard Pollard, Robert Skilling, Myrtle Thurlow. Second Row: George Thurlow, Percilla Pollard, Patricia Carll, Mary Thurlow, Hubert Cobb, Everett Thurlow, Kenneth Skilling. Back Row: John Cobb, Jr., Austin Kuch

Gray Land Divisions

The Cumberland County Registry of Deeds is a vast resource for property transactions, family links, and so much more. This plan of the Town of Gray, ME was compiled and drawn from a plan belonging to Samuel Weymouth, and from the U.S. Geological Map Scale of Plan 100 rods per inch Compiled and drawn by H.W. Foster CE Cumberland Mills, ME – May 5th 1906; Retraced March 1932; Filed 16 Sept 1938

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