Portland Maine

Portland Maine is centerpiece of Love Story set in the 1940s.

Arline and Ruthie on 1931 Chevy

Posted by on Feb 8, 2013 in 1920s and 1930s, All Blog Posts, Portland Maine, Vintage Style | 0 comments

Arline was born into a family of two older brothers Arnold and Harry and two older sisters, Rena and Gladys. She and her sister, Ruthie, a year and half younger, came a decade later, “Mama’s two little surprises”.

Arline (R) and Ruthie on a ’31 Chevy

This is a picture of Arline and Ruthie on the fender of sister Rena’s car. There’s a Chevy bowtie insignia on the spare tire mount with the 6 bolt wheels. Chevrolet had this dish syle wheel from 1926-30 roughly. But the two bar bumper is from 1931. By Arline’s age and the design of the car we think it’s a 1931 Chevrolet 3 window coupe. To tell which year we distinguish the back bumper, shape of the rear window and type of spare tire mount.

Here is another 1931 Chevy. Isn’t she just a dandy!

1931 Chevy

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Rural Mail Delivery, Post Office in a Farm

Posted by on Feb 6, 2013 in All Blog Posts, Holiday, Mail and The U.S. Post Office, Portland Maine, Vintage Style, WW2 | 0 comments

My mother remembers that as a child in Portland Maine, the mail was delivered twice a day. Today, the post office plans to end Saturday delivery of letters. Hard copy mail connects people in a way that nothing else can. In some rural areas post offices are located inside homes and farms. This news clip from Jan. 1990 is about a postmistress in my family. A post office is a center especially in small towns and rural areas.

Postmistress of Densmore Mills
Rural Post Office in Canada

Here’s what the clip says:
Lillian Hines gives a joking response when asked what she plans to do when she stops working next month. “I’m just going to go and sit in everybody’s house, ” she says laughing. It would seem only fair for the soon-to-retire postmistress. People have been coming to her house in this small Hants County community every day for 35 years to pick up their mail.
Between customers, Mrs. Hines recalls those years, sitting over a cup of coffee in her bright kitchen next to the small room which holds the mail slots, postage meters and other postage paraphernalia. Her memories of job center around the people met over the years. She remembers fondly when the community had its own school and youngsters would pick up the mail on their way home at noon. And when the general store was still open across the road, the routine for many men was to drop by for the mail and then head to the store for a chat. The post office was frequently used to drop off messages or food for church suppers. She was also on the front lines for the latest news and gossip. “When the phones first came in the people used to say, “Call Lil–she’ll know,” when they wanted a rumour confirmed. Of course as a postal employee she was sworn to secrecy and never divulged information gained about people’s lives through their mail. Mrs. Hines says Christmas’s were special in the past when more cards were sent and excited children would come in to pick up parcels. The job of running the Densmore Mills post office has been in Mrs. Hines family for several decades. Her in-laws had the task before her. As a young war-bride, brought to Canada from Scotland in 1946, by her now deceased husband Roscoe, the job as postmistress helped her meet people when she was new to the country. The community was able to express its loyalty to the post office and Mrs. Hines when several years ago Canada Post proposed closing the post office to introduce rural delivery. The customers vetoed the idea and the office remained in business, something Mrs. Hines is grateful for…..”

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Arline’s Birthplace Photo c.1924

Posted by on Feb 6, 2013 in 1920s and 1930s, All Blog Posts, Historical Portland, Media, Portland Maine, Vintage Style | 0 comments

I was writing about a snow scene in front of my mother’s first house and came across this online–a photo of it! This is the house Arline was born in on Forest Avenue in Portland Maine.

House Where Arline was Born
Forest Ave., Maine c.1924

This photo is from the tax assessor and was taken the year of her birth in 1924. It was fun showing it to my mom, “Hey that’s my house!” She went on to fill me in, “There is a very high hill on the left there. We always had sleds. The neighbors would slide down to the sidewalks.”

It’s a winter scene and she was born in June. She imagines that’s papa out back. There was a shed out back. Steps up to the back door. In summer there was always a hammock on the front porch. The upstairs was an attic. “Funny, there’s no one I can share this with,” she says, “I mean anyone left who’d recognize our home.”

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Mattie May, Arline’s Mother

Posted by on Jan 27, 2013 in All Blog Posts, Portland Maine, Vintage Style | 0 comments

Mattie Plummer in Maine

Mattie, Arline’s mother second from left c.1895

I write about old fashioned 1940s courtship. I connect to a young woman further back. This is an old photo of Arline’s mother, my maternal grandmother Mattie (Martha) in rural Cumberland. I’ve had a decades long desire to learn more about Mattie, about my mother’s parents, their turbulent relationship.
Below Right: Mattie is top right. Mattie’s eldest daughter who is my mother’s sister, Rena stands before her. Top left is Ann Eliza, Mattie’s mother. Bottom left is Eunice: Ann Eliza’s mother. Photo is four generations of my maternal lineage. Family history treasures.

Four generations in a Maine family

Mattie in 4 Generations

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1940 Friendship Hug

Posted by on Jan 8, 2013 in 1940s Life, All Blog Posts, High School Years, Photo, Portland Maine, Vintage Style, WW2 | 0 comments

1940 Friendship Hug

Visiting home with a Hug Arline  and friend Marty          c. 1945

Of the 320 letters in the hope chest a few were from Marty, a close friend of Morris and Arline’s.
Marty dated Arline’s best friend Peg. Peg and Marty’s relationship did not survive the war.


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Great Grandfather Arthur

Posted by on Dec 28, 2012 in 1940s Life, All Blog Posts, Historical Portland, Media, Portland Maine, Vintage Style | 2 comments

My quest for family history on my mother’s side is turning up photos.

My Great Grandfather Arthur is Seated

This portrait is of my mother’s maternal grandfather and his brothers, here all pallbearers at their father’s funeral. Seated is her grandfather Arthur Edmund Thurlow, then L to R are his brother’s Winfred Scott, Harry Wesley, and Frank Eugene Thurlow.

For a time Arthur lived with his wife in the home of my mother’s cousins. On Sundays Arthur walked over to mom’s home on Forest Ave. (the house is still there, see below) with his Bible. The Berry’s owned the larger house below, they had a son and a daughter. And Arline’s house was in the back.

Her parents did’t have a car. Her dad had a truck at one point.

Arline’s Parent’s Home
Forest Ave., Portland, Maine

They’d be in the kitchen when Arthur visited because the children had their Sunday bath in a kitchen tub. Arthur would bounce Arline on his knee and sing her a little jingle. Mom loved it because the song was different each time, funny and surprising.

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