The Harmon Museum's
beautiful 1866 Ithaca Company wall clock is in dire need of repair,
cleaning and tuneup (photo above is example, not actual
clock). The estimated cost of this work is $1,000.
Anyone interested in forming a clock committee, please email Dan Blaney or phone Dan
Museum's 2007 Summer Display will recognize the centennial
anniversary of the August 15, 1907 fire which destroyed most of
downtown (photo above depicts the Hotel Fiske
burning). More details, including guest speaker and
special program dates, will follow in the next edition of
the newsletter (summer 2007).
Harmon Museum Summer
The Harmon Museum, home of the Old
Orchard Beach Historical Society, is free & open to the public
Tuesday thru Saturday, Noon-5:00
Harmon Museum Receives
Harry Jones (above center), flanked
by his mechanics, Alfred Morse and Louis Burnell, and his
Stinson Detroiter SB-1, September 1927.
Old Orchard Beach
Historical Society has received $540 to preserve and provide
better access to its aviation collection. The Maine Historical
Records Advisory Board provided the grant with funds from the
National Historical Publications and Records
As many have
noted, the "creative economy" is an important factor in the
state's economic growth.Old Orchard Beach, a resort community, relies on its
creative economy to bring in tourism and support its local
residents. Cultural resources like the Old Orchard Beach
Historical Society, The Harmon Museum and Old Orchard Beach
Public Library, these grants sustain the basic infrastructure
of this key sector of our economy.
"Grants of this
kind support community efforts to protect the stories of our
birth, property rights, government, and how we lived our
lives," noted Jim Henderson, Director the Maine State
Archives. Small grants have stimulated local citizens and
organizations to commit more of their own resources to these
projects. "Although financial support is important,
recognition of local concerns and efforts through an award
also generates a substantial amount of enthusiasm," Henderson
Weigle, Project Archivist, wrote the grant back in September
2006 and received the good news December 2006. The former
Director of Dyer Library, Anastasia was able to bring in a
grant for the Dyer Library Archives back in 2005. As the
project archivist, Anastasia; together with Evelyn Cooper,
historian and Joyce Rorabaugh, collection coordinator; will
survey, preserve, process and make available to the public the
aviation collection at The Harmon Museum. This collection
includes artifacts, photographs, postcards, and scrapbooks.
The Harry M. Jones Collection is a large part of this. Harry
M. Jones is one of Maine's great pioneers in aviation history
who, in 1919, began his career as operator of an airplane
hanger at Old Orchard Beach and made a number of promotional
Harry M. Jones (1890-1973) served as
Maine's State Aviation Commissioner in the 1930's and had a
long, distinguished and interesting career in aeronautics with
ties to Old Orchard Beach. Jones had a hangar at the Old
Orchard Beach airfield for his Jones Flying Corporation
and gave sightseeing flights. He made the
first air mail flight in Maine on October 23, 1919 flying
from Portland to Augusta. He was the first
(and last) person ever to land a plane on the Boston Common;
was pilot of the first-ever air parcel post flight from
Boston to New York in 1913, and a test pilot during
WWII. Jones was arguably the most visible New
England aviator in the 1920s. He served as Maine's State
Aviation Commissioner in the 1930s, and eventually became an
Inspector for the Civil Aeronautics Administration.
New Book Pictures
Local historian and Old Orchard Beach Historical Society
trustee Dan Blaney has released a new book, Postcard History Series: Old
Orchard Beach, containing 227 photos and
historical postcards of Old Orchard Beach from his
immense personal collection.
From 1631 to the present, Old Orchard Beach has had a
singularly rich history among New England's summer
communities. Old Orchard was originally a small seacoast
farming community nestled on the shore of Saco Bay. When the
railroad came in 1873, the coast exploded into one of the
grandest Victorian settings in Maine. It boasted famous
religious camp meetings, transatlantic flights, big bands, big
fires, harness racing, and automobile racing on the beach. The
Kennedy family, Bette Davis, Fred Allen, Rosa and Carmen
Ponselle, Pierre Trudeau, and Charles Lindbergh all
rejuvenated themselves in this community. Old Orchard Beach is
still a vacation mecca, and residents and visitors alike will
find enjoyment and education within these pages.
Postcard History Series: Old Orchard
Beach by Daniel Blaney is available at
Borders, Nonesuch Books, Ocean Park Gift Shop, direct from Dan
Blaney at Beach Glass in Old Orchard Beach, Cottage Decor in
Old Orchard Beach, Field Mouse in Saco, the OOB
Historical Society & Harmon Museum and online at Amazon.com
Moving Wall Vietnam Memorial Comes to Old Orchard Beach May
Wall will be at Memorial Park in Old
Orchard Beach May 24th through May 28th. This important
memorial requires many helping hands and volunteers are
needed. For information on volunteer opportunities,
contact Jason Webber at [email protected] or phone 207-934-0860.
The Moving Wall Vietnam Memorial ~ May 24 through 28,
Memorial Park, Old Orchard
Beach. FMI contact Jason Webber at [email protected] or phone
Old Orchard Beach Historical
Society 2007 Meeting Schedule
Harmon Museum, 4 Portland Avenue, Old Orchard
Beach. FMI email [email protected] or phone 207-934-9319.
All meetings are open to the public and visitors are
welcome. Meetings Dates for 2007:
May 15, 2007 - 7:00 p.m.
July 10, 2007 - 7:00 p.m.
September 11, 2007 - 7:00 p.m.
November 13, 2007 - 7:00 p.m. (Election of
Incorporated November 10, 1954, the Old
Orchard Beach Historical Society was founded to preserve, promote,
educate, collect and make available information documenting the rich
history of our town and ites people. A membership
organization, the Society welcomes anyone who shares an
interest in Old Orchard's past, present, or future and who
wants to ensure care of our Harmon Museum and its extensive
archives. After the death of W.Warren Harmon in 1974, his home
at 4 Portland Avenue became our home. Recently,
restoration and renovation work performed over the
winter on the second floor foyer of the museum building was
Orchard Beach Historical Society 2006-2007 Officers
President: Charles Davis ~ Vice
President: Arthur Guerin ~ Treasurer: Priscilla Gallant ~ Secretary:
Season's greetings from all of us at the Old
Orchard Beach Historical Society and the Harmon Museum.
We are pleased to introduce the first edition of our e-
newsletter. The goal of this publication is to improve communication
with all those who share an interest in preserving the history of
our beautiful seaside community for future generations to enjoy.
We invite you to submit articles, photographs or
other items of interest for inclusion in future issues of our
e-newsletter. Do you or a friend or relative have a particularly
interesting memory of our town? Put it in writing so it can be
enjoyed by all. Submissions should be sent to Articles.
Photo at right:
Caption reads Ice formation at Old Orchard Beach, Maine
Following is a wonderfully descriptive book excerpt
describing our town. What is so interesting about this piece is
that, although seemingly a present-day description of Old Orchard,
it was published exactly 100 years ago, in 1906, by L.H. Nelson Co.
in the book "Old Orchard and Vicinity."
"From the mouth of the Saco River eastward to Prout's Neck
stretches a wide ribbon of sea-beach curving like a mighty long-bow.
Sections of this great sand highway are known by various local
titles, but about four miles of it - where at low tide the hard,
find sand is nearly one-quarter of a mile wide - bears the famous
name of Old Orchard - the best- known and most popular bathing beach
in New England.
As the longest, widest and most solid sand
beach of new England, Old Orchard early became known and appreciated
by health and pleasure seekers. The town now includes many permanent
homes as well as hundreds of summer cottages, scores of hotels,
restaurants and boarding houses. During the summer season its
population rapidly increases to rival that of the prosperous cities
in the immediate vicinity.
As the years go by, Old Orchard
gains rather than loses in popularity. Other resorts seem to have
their ups and downs, but this great popular bathing-place is
pre-eminent in the splendid opportunity it affords for beholding the
great gray ocean in its most lovable moods. It never loses its
freshness or interest to those who have once felt its seductive
Be a part of ushering in Old Orchard Beach's bright future by
preserving its golden past! The Historical Society works to educate
the public about the significance of Old Orchard's past and its
relationship to our lives today. Without its members, the Old
Orchard Beach Historical Society is nothing but a name. We need you
and are grateful for your continued interest in preserving,
understanding and celebrating the cultural heritage of Old Orchard
Beach and the Saco Bay region
We encourage you to invite
others to become members and support preservation work in the
region. Membership is just $10 per year and supports maintenance and
operation of the Historical Society's home, the Harmon Museum, an
excellent example of Victorian period Arts & Crafts architecture
located at the top of Old Orchard Street.
To be sure you continue receiving messages from the Old Orchard
Beach Historical Society, confirm your email address by sending an
email message to Subscribe with the
word "Confirm" in the subject line.
You may unsubscribe at
any time by sending an email message to Unsubscri be with the
word "Unsubscribe" in the subject line.
Best wishes to you and yours for a safe, happy and peaceful