As we close out another year at Maine Historical Society, we happily report on a major milestone achieved in the Brown Research Library. Archivist and cataloger Nancy Noble has just processed the 5,000th pamphlet to enter the MHS collections!
While pamphlets may not sound as glamorous or intriguing as some other items, there’s rich history to be found in them. This one–100 years of hardware : Almon H. Fogg Co., Houlton, Maine, 1859–provides a long-term view of an important northern Maine business in the 19th and 20th centuries. The introduction reads:
1959 marks a century of continuous business for one of the oldest firms in Aroostook County, now regarded as the ‘Great Potato Empire.’ In 1858, Almon H. Fogg, who was born in Bangor in 1836, arrived in Houlton. A year later, as a young man of twenty-three, together with Augustus N. Pierce, he organized the firm of Almon H. Fogg & Company, purchasing a small grocery store from William H. Winslow at the corner of Maine and Mechanic Streets. For the next 100 years business has been conducted, uninterrupted, at the same location except for a year when the original store was destroyed by fire. In 1866 Augustus N. Pierce died and his interest was purchased by his brother, Clarence H. Pierce, father of the present president, James M. Pierce.
The pamphlet eventually came to us through a Pierce descendent, Alice Mary Pierce; her collections are being processed at MHS throughout the winter.
Few businesses today can boast of the longevity enjoyed by the Fogg Company. Perhaps there’s something to be learned about their secret to success by reading this pamphlet.