Geography-Anthropology

Hamilton Collection of Maps and Other Materials Related to the Maine Woods Donated to the Osher Map Library, University of Southern Maine

Hamilton Collection of Maps and Other Materials Related to the Maine Woods Donated to the Osher Map Library, University of Southern Maine

On April 23rd, the Osher Map Library hosted a small ceremony to mark a significant donation to the map library that will be of immense interest to all those concerned with the Maine Woods. USM Prof. Nathan Hamilton is a native of Greenville, at the southern end of Moosehead Lake. With his father, Gerry, and his wife, Cynthia Thayer, he has actively collected and preserved a large collection of maps, photographs, and other archival material that document the region’s economic and cultural history. Nate included a small portion of his materials in an OML exhibition that he guest-curated in 1997–98: “Maine Wilderness Transformed: Timber, Sporting, and Exploitation of the Moosehead Lake Region” (online at http://www.oshermaps.org/exhibitions/maine-wilderness-transformed).

Among the highlights of the materials Nate and Cyndy brought with them on the 23rd were: the Kineo House “fishing record,” beginning in July 1894, in which guests recorded the number and size of the fish they caught; a unique collection of photographs of Kineo House and its guests in the summer of 1909, assembled by Mrs. V. K. Turner; a very long 1910 map of Moosehead Lake by the Kennebec Water Power Company; a manuscript of the grounds of Kineo prepared and further annotated by the power company’s employees as they sought to develop the site; travel narratives by Thomas Sedgwick Steel that popularized the woods, such as Canoe and Camera (1880) and Paddle and Portage (1882); the maps that accompanied Steel’s guides; and several states of Lucius Hubbard’s several maps of the lake and northern Maine (1874– ).

Among those present at the event were Harold Osher MD; USM Provost Jeannine Uzzi; USM professors, Libby Bischof, Rob Sanford, Lydia Savage; and Glenn Parkinson, president of the Friends of OML.

OML will take possession of the rest of the collection during the summer. Nate has arranged for preliminary cataloging of the material; the material will become available to users as it is integrated into OML’s databases and imaged. (The online exhibition catalog will also be updated with the new imagery.)

Cynthia Thayer, Andrew Arsenault (Nate’s cousin), Nate, Provost Uzzi and Dr. Osher

Cynthia Thayer, Andrew Arsenault (Nate’s cousin), Nate, Provost Uzzi and Dr. Osher

Provost Uzzi and an irrepressible Dr. Osher examining a 1909 photo album of Kineo House.

Provost Uzzi and an irrepressible Dr. Osher examining a 1909 photo album of Kineo House.

Provost Uzzi, Dr. Osher, Mr. Arsenault (Nate's cousin), and Nate Hamilton debating the finer points of Kineo House.

Provost Uzzi, Dr. Osher, Mr. Arsenault (Nate's cousin), and Nate Hamilton debating the finer points of Kineo House.

Nate Hamilton and Dr. Osher talking over a large 1910 map of Moosehead Lake

Nate Hamilton and Dr. Osher talking over a large 1910 map of Moosehead Lake