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.
My grandmother, Elizabeth Keegan Rier, worked in the sardine industry in Lubec most of her life beginning in the early 1900s into the 1970s. According to my Uncle Barney, she left school after third grade in Trescott and went to work in the Lubec sardine “camps.” She, and many other women from Lubec, have fond memories of their work in the sardine factory. Grammy Rier always said, it was work, but yet, a very social event for the women and a friendly competition every day.
The following 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.
The last page of this history “Yesterdays Sardine Factory – Today” was written by my Uncle Barney who established a Sardine Museum in Lubec after he retired, which he opened when he felt like it, but mostly he collected and worked on antiques and old machinery.
Washington County, Maine In the Civil War 1861-66 by Ken Ross lists every soldier and sailor from Washington County, contains detailed descriptions of the battles they fought in and much, much more. A writer friend of mine kindly loaned me this book so I could find my ancestors who fought in the Civil War.
More than 4700 men from Washington County served in the Civil War. Over 490 of these men died of disease, more than 224 men died of wounds, over 590 men who were wounded survived to live with their wounds, 509 were disabled.
Maine and the nation paid a high price in the Civil War. It claimed 620,000 lives, nearly as many lives as American lost in all other conflicts combined (644,000).
My ancestors who fought in the Civil War include my great grandfather William Means’ eldest brothers, Andrew and Eliphalet Means, sons of Otis and Elsie Means. Both men were Sergeants in the 3rd Battalion (The Third Regiment Maine Volunteer Infantry); both men were disabled.
Andrew Fuller Berry Means enlisted at age 23 and served from 12/11/61 to 7/21/62. Battles that the 3rd Battalion participated in during that time period were:
1ST BULL RUN (1861 July 21)
BAILEY’S CROSS ROAD (1861 August 27 & 28) YORKTOWN (1862 April 5-May 4) WILLIAMSBURG (1862 May 5)
FAIR OAKS (1862 May 31)
SEVEN PINES (1862 June 1)
WHITE OAK SWAMP (1862 June 25)
CHARLES CITY CROSS ROADS (1862 June 30)
MALVERN HILL (1862 July 1)
Eliphalet Scribner Means enlisted at age 22 and served from 12/11/16 to 12/11/63. Battles that the 3rd Battalion participated in during that time period are listed above, as well as those named below:
2nd BULL RUN (1862 August 30)
CHANTILLY (1862 September 1)
FREDERICKSBURG (1862 December 12-15)
CHANCELLORSVILLE (1863 May 1-5)
GETTYSBURG (1863 July 1-3)
WAPPING HEIGHTS (1863 July 23)
AUBURN MILLS (1863 October 12)
KELLY’S FORD (1863 November 7)
ORANGE GROVE (1863 November 27 )
MINE RUN (1863 November 30)
Andrew Means was a physician in Boston. After the war, Eliphalet was the proprietor of the ES Means store in Machias. They both lived with their disabilities, as did hundreds of other men, for many years. Andrew died in 1905 at the age of 67. Eliphalet died at the age of 49 in 1888.
Washington County, Maine In the Civil War 1861-66 by Ken Ross is available on Amazon in paperback for $18.00, a valuable addition to your reference library.
UPDATE: This book can be found at the Whitneyville Library and at The Washington County Courthouse Heritage Center Museum and Genealogy Research Room in Machias.
“They did not know enough to run” Private Samuel B. Wing
TIME-LINE WITH HISTORICAL INFORMATION (47 pgs.) compiled by Craig Young
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you all! There is a fine, old fashioned blizzard today.
You will note the resident duck, Harriet, keeps watch over the lake as she has all of my life.
More shots from a sunny, winter day.
nonfiction, well-researched historical fiction, stories about where they lived, how they lived in their time. When I wrote about my grandmother Harriet and her 1908 letters, I borrowed every book I could find on local history at the library (Porter Memorial Library). Most helpful was: A Maine Hamlet by Lura Beam, published in 1957, second printing 2004. I had read this book as a young girl but this time read it with fascination. Beam describes the village of Marshfield 1894 – 1904 when she lived with her grandparents. My grandmother, Harriet Means Johnson, grew up in Machias less than two miles away from Marshfield in the same time period as Beam. A Maine Hamlet takes one back to another time with stories about Beam’s memories in Marshfield.
Beam was educated at University of California in Berkeley and then Barnard, the college for women at Cornell in NY. She went on to a career in education, sociology, and writing. Her insights are valuable into what is now an elusive place and time for many. She calls us to write about our memories, tell our stories and those of our grandparents.
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