by Eleanor Roosevelt (who spells his name Bennett). Dr. Bennet began practicing medicine in Lubec and surrounding villages in 1876. He died in 1944 at the age of 96 when the First Lady wrote this tribute in her syndicated newspaper column “My Day.”
Dr. Bennet delivered Franklin and Eleanor’s son, Franklin Jr., on the island of Campobello in 1914. When Roosevelt was fell ill with poliomyelitis while on vacation at their Campobello cottage in 1921, Dr. Bennet accompanied Franklin and Eleanor back to New York City. His son Dr. DaCosta F. Bennet followed in his father’s footsteps and practiced medicine in Lubec almost until his death in 1975.
I was surprised to find that Dr. E. H. Bennet delivered my grandmother, Elizabeth Keegan Rier, in 1892!
My grandfather Frank Rier was born in Lubec and lived there most of his life. My grandmother, Elizabeth Keegan Rier, was born in Trescott and moved to Lubec at age 13 to work in the sardine industry. Grammy married Frank Rier on October 12, 1911 in Leominster, MA. They lived in Leominster until around 1924 – 1926, when they returned to Lubec. Grandfather Frank had a garage in Lubec and was an auto mechanic. The family story told was that Grammy’s sister Mary lived in Leominster and her sister Teresa lived in Boston. I assumed that Mary married before Grammy did and lived in Leominster opening the door for my grandparents to re-locate there; Frank worked at the FA Whitney Baby Carriage Company in Leominster as a striper, a skill he learned while detailing cars, or perhaps it was the other way around.
Yesterday I found that Grammy’s sister Mary lived in Lubec in 1920 and worked in the sardine factory as a packer, as did Teresa (who I thought had moved to Boston by then). Mary and Teresa were single and in their 30s at the time.
Does anyone else have family from Lubec/Trescott area that re-located to Leominster, MA to work around 1911? I’m doing a little detective work to find out how my grandfather Frank found a job and married there. Just when one believes you have the family history coming together, something new turns up!
Featured photo: Frank and Elizabeth Rier circa 1940s.
Below: Circa 1920. L to R. Frank, Elizabeth holding their son, Paul, daughter Marion stands beside Grammy, and their son James “Gene” Rier, my Dad, is on the far right.
This article is an excerpt from the book 200 Hundred Years of Lubec History, 1776 – 1976 by Ryerson and Johnson, published by the Lubec Historical Society. It is a great reference book to learn more about my family history and can be found at the Lubec Memorial Library.
A Short History of the Sardine Industry in Lubec, Maine.
A Story about My Dad’s Home Town.
and Jabez Pike. Lubec, Maine is rich in history. After the Revolutionary War, the location of this village on the sea, close to Canada and the Maritime provinces, offered a key location for smuggling goods that escaped American and Canadian/British customs officials. It was a land, a sea, and a people set apart from the inland regions of both countries. The residents worked the land, the seas, and all the valuable resources offered, as a means to survive and prosper. The artificially drawn lines of two separate countries and their taxes on imports and exports made no difference to these hearty people. This is story of Jabez Pike as written by his grandson Sumner Pike. It is an excerpt from the book 200 Hundred Years of Lubec History, 1776 – 1976 by Ryerson and Johnson, published by the Lubec Historical Society. It can be found at the Lubec Memorial Library.
To read more about smuggling off the coast of Maine and the Canadian Maritimes:
I love learning about the colorful history of Lubec. My great great grandparents Ingraham and Mary Rier immigrated to Lubec from Nova Scotia in the 1870s with their four children. My grandparents Frank and Elizabeth (Keegan) Rier lived most of their lives there. Growing up, I visited Grammy Rier often at her home overlooking Johnson’s Bay, and my aunts, uncles and cousins who lived nearby.
This map is from the book 200 Hundred Years of Lubec History, 1776 – 1976 by Ryerson and Johnson, published by the Lubec Historical Society. This book can be found at the Lubec Memorial Library.
From the book 200 Hundred Years of Lubec History, 1776 – 1976 by Ryerson and Johnson, published by the Lubec Historical Society. This book can be found at the Lubec Memorial Library.
Featured photo of Lubec Village in 1911 is from the Trescott Historical Society website.