If you look carefully, you will see the sign below the shuttered windows upstairs on the right. Miss Means was my grandmother Harriet Means Johnson. Photo courtesy of Michael Hoyt.
A close up of the sign.
There is a woman in the upstairs windows on the left. She is not my grandmother. I expect the upstairs was divided – or perhaps she is a parent waiting for a child to finish their piano lesson.
This is the first photograph I have seen of Harriet’s studio in Machias, Maine. Before today, I did not know the location of her studio above the Machias Lumber Company on Main Street. The building is still there.
Harriet studied piano under the renowned Frederick Mariner who had a summer home on the Penobscot River. Mariner’s studio was in NYC but he accepted gifted students at the Bangor Piano School.
Harriet Putnam Means 1906: Graduation from Bangor Piano School
Later Harriet moved to Bangor, opened a piano studio there, then eloped with Ezekiel “Zeke” Johnson in February of 1908 – without telling her parents.
Read the Harriet stories, gleaned from her 1908 letters, here.
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 in Trescott at age 13 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.
Bringing Your Ancestors to Life: The History of Irish Immigration into Maine.
Searching for Grammy Rier’s Parents and Siblings.
My Great Great Paternal Grandfather, James Keegan.
Visiting the Gravesites of My Great and Great Great Grandfathers. James Keegan Sr. and Jr. families.
of my mother, Louise Johnson Rier, and my grandmother, Elizabeth Keegan Rier. It was taken at Stewart Field in Newburgh, NY about 1944 when my father, James “Gene” Rier, was stationed there. I have many photos of Mom from that time, and photos of Grammy Rier over her lifetime but none at this age, about 52 years old, dressed up in a fur coat and hat. Quite a treasure!