Notes from the Archives

by Nancy Noble, MHS Archivist/Cataloger

A smattering of recently-processed travel brochures.

One of my favorite things to catalog is early 20th century travel brochures. These are especially fun to do in the spring, when the longer days full of sunshine want to beckon me out into nature.

Who can resist brochures advertising places such as “Arcadia-by-the-sea” (Brunswick) which promises “Shore and chicken dinners,” as well as “The Marshall House” in York Harbor?

Although the coastal delights lured many a traveler, most are for camps on lakes, such as “Richardson’s Willows” in Belgrade, “Migis Lodge” in South Casco, “Lake View House” in Winthrop, and “Farrington’s on Lake Kezar” in Centre Lovell, Maine. Many of these are illustrated with pictures of people camping, hunting, and fishing.

One of my favorites of this recently acquired group of travel brochures, which came to us from the Harvard School of Education, is “The red route : week end tour through Kennebec, Somerset and Franklin Counties, Maine with The Ledge House and Cabins, Dead River, Maine, as an ideal place to spend the night or have dinner.” This brochure includes a map, and references to Arnold’s march to Quebec.

All these brochures are evocative of another time and place, without the modern amenities we know today, where getting to Maine was an adventure by steamer, rail, or a combination thereof.

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