Notes from the Archives: Monhegan Press

by Nancy Noble, MHS Archivist/Cataloger

A recent addition to the MHS archives is a run of the Monhegan Press, starting with v. 1, no. 1, published on June 11, 1938, and ending with v. 3, no. 13 (Sept. 9, 1940). This was published weekly by James McAlpin Pyle “in the interests of permanent and summer residents of the plantations of Monhegan.”

The headlines of the first issue include:

  • Monhegan government will begin new plan of garbage disposal
  • Lobster catch here reaches 45,000 lbs.
  • Island free of disease Doctor Weidensall says
  • Island men divide over plan to alter lobster season here

The newspaper includes advertisements, classifieds, and “comings and goings.” But most charming of all are the illustrations of various island folks, as well as illustrations by well-known artists such as Rockwell Kent (v. 2, no. 35 – Feb. 3 1940, p. 5), in an article entitled “Rockwell Kent recalls Monhegan days as the happiest in his life.”

There are also loose illustrations by Robert Von Neuman (“Mending Nets”), Constance Cochrane (“Monhegan Wharf” and “Northwest clouds”), Sears Gallagher (“Beach note,” “Out for a haul,” and “A visit from the ‘Sunbeam’”), William M. Hekking (“Monhegan, Maine, mending nets” and “Monhegan life”), Abraham Bogdanove (“Idle moments”), Alfred Hetherington (“Harbor boats”), Phyllis Chadwick (“Arrival at Monhegan”), Walter Raemisch (“Monhegan coast-line”), Grevis Melville (“Island Harbor”), Leo Meissner (“Running sea”), and Warren P. Lombard.

We also received a run of the New Monhegan Press, from v. 1, no. 1 (April 1989) – v. 15, no. 7 (November 2003), published monthly by Peter Boehmer. The first page headlines of the first issue:

  • Town meeting [report]
  • Fifty years ago this month
  • Monhegan trivia
  • Beano

There is also mention of garbage (nothing changes in 50 years), new books in the library, and “Jack Russells run amok.”

An online version can be found at www.monhegan.com – probably the new way to get information about Monhegan Island without subscribing to newpapers.

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