|The Collection includes displays of many photographs, documents and artifacts relative to the history of the City and the People of Westbrook.|
|Our extensive scrapbook collection encompasses 151 books that were compiled by Westbrook citizens. They contain a collection of ephemera relating to our City, i.e., news clippings, marriage and engagement announcements, general items on Westbrook history, and photographs of people, places and events. The collection also includes postcard and calling cards, business cards, and one totally dedicated to the Spanish American War. A 1901 - 1932 notebook holds inventions and patents of Howard Parker. As interesting as the scrapbook contents are, sometime it is just as interesting to see what they were made of, old wallpaper books, old magazines, and old composition books.|
In 2015 we received 197 more scrapbooks which were the life collection of Eleanor Conant Saunders, a Lifetime Member of the Historical Society and a much loved Westbrook citizen. Topics in her collection include the Presumpscot River, City Hall (Ellie was the wife of former Westbrook Mayor Donald Saunders), city celebrations, people, the community hospital, the bicentennial, recreation, parks and cemeteries, yearbooks, education, politics, arts, police, buildings and five scrapbooks containing obituaries only.
All our scrapbooks have been indexed for easy searching but to look through them is a wealth of insight into the past.
|Westbrook has always had a diverse religious history (see 'Photo-Archives' for individual church histories). Many of the local churches have published anniversary booklets which not only tell a history of their religious growth, but also a history of our town, its people and of the era. Click on the links below and read some of these fascinating books, written by, and about, the church and its citizens.|
|BETHANY HALL: Beginnings|
|HIGHLAND LAKE CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH: History Highlights|
|ST. EDMUND'S PARISH, CATHOLIC CHURCH : 1996 - Celebrate the Spirit of Our Faith|
|ST. HYACINTH PARISH, CATHOLIC CHURCH: 1879 - 1979|
|ST. MARY'S CATHOLIC CHURCH: Celebrating Diamond Jubilee 75 Years|
|TRINITY LUTHERAN CHURCH:
60 Years of Church Life 1882 - 1942 --- 100 Years of Good News
|UNIVERSALIST CHURCH OF WESTBROOK:
A Church History Part 1 --- Part 2 --- Part 3
|WARREN CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH :
100 Years 1869 - 1969 --- 1869 - 1969 Appendix [with hand written notes]
|WESTBROOK CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH:
History of the Church 1832 - 1932 ---
Jubilee Year 125th Anniversary 1957
|WESTBROOK UNITED METHODIST CHURCH:
Church History 1799 - 2003 [with updates on the organ and windows]
THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT WESTBROOK
WESTBROOK CITY LEDGERS
City ledgers, dating to pre-Civil War, contain information on naturalization, poll taxes, property taxes, alms for the poor, as well as "Disbursements to City Volunteers and Their Families" (soldiers of the Civil War).
Ledgers are now stored in the office area and are easily assessable for research.
LIST OF LEDGERS
Assessment of Property of Volunteers: 1863-1965
Treas. Receipts of Families of Westbrook Volunteers1862-1866
Westbrook Trust Co, Soldiers Fund Receipt book
Notes & Bonds Issued: 1871-1888, 1871
Assessor Town of Westbrook: 1860
Recapitulation – Road Tax: 1860-1861
Receipt Ledger: 1859
Record of Valuation (no date)
|WESTBROOK TALENT COLLECTION|
Articles and items pertaining to local artisans are preserved at the society. The collection grows constantly, as people donate items and tell us of local talent. [Do you know of anyone else who should be added to these lists?]
|ARTISTS: A collection of native artists adorn a wall in our meeting room. The following is a list of some of Westbrook's artists:
Duane Allen, WHS 1927
Patricia Hebert Crowley, WHS 1958
Andrew Curran, WHS 1981
Julia Hawkes, 1854-1934, Quaker artist
Edward Mayo, 1917-1989, WHS 1933
Tom Nadeau, WHS 1939
Carolyn Jordan Smith, 1882-1988
Janice Fullerton St Cyr, WHS 1963
Corinne Turgeon, WHS 1933
Charles Wright, WHS 1952
WRITERS: We has a long list of authors who have a Westbrook connection: Some of their writings can be read in the library.
|Harriet Adams, Poetry
Mary Morton Cowen, Children's stories
Dick Goodie, Novels
Rick Hautala, Mystery
Nancy A. Henry, Poetry
Beverly Jensen, Short stories
Karen Sherman Ketover, Reference
Pat Larrabee, Children's books
Diane LeConte, children's books
Karen Lemke, Mystery
|Martha Manchester Menard
Kenneth Moody, Historical
Alice N. Peterson, Poetry
Fabius M. Ray, Historical
Edwin B. Robertson, Railroad, Covered bridges
Betty Sawtelle, Inspirational
Ansel B. Sterling, Poetry
Harold G. Titcomb, Novels, Historical
Rudy Vallee, Biographies
Andrea Vesquez, Short stories
CIVIL WAR ITEMS IN WESTBROOK'S COLLECTION
The diary on the left belonged to an unnamed Civil War soldier who was a member of the 30th Maine band. It contains his thoughts and observations during the period of February 7, 1864 through July 7, 1864.
At the end of the transcription is a list of the names mentioned in the diary and what information was found on them on the Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System web site of the National Parks Service.
Click here to access the diary transcription.
At the outbreak of the "War of Rebellion" and President Lincoln's call for volunteers, Westbrook formed two Campaign Corps. One company was called the "Wideawakes" and the other the "Lincoln Guards". According to the American Civil War Research Database, the Town of Westbrook ended up sending 447 men to serve in that war. Of that number 15 were killed, 1 died a prisoner of war, 17 died of disease, 37 were disabled and 20 deserted. The following Civil War-related items are in the historical society collection:
23 Westbrook cemeteries were transcribed stone by stone in 2001-2003; the information has been compiled into Westbrook Cemeteries, a book by Donna & Norm Conley. The data is also available on CD Rom. A current listing of Westbrook deaths and obituaries (close to 7500) are kept on file at the Society.
(NOTE: See the 'Photo-archives' page to see what happens to our old school buildings)
Photographs and original remembrances of these areas are contained in our Communities of Westbrook notebooks.
In the 1990s Westbrook house surveys were done by Portland Landmarks on 50 year old homes. Although the information on each house is limited, it is available and the Society and is trying to increase it data by requesting Westbrook citizens to submit information and photos of their homes. (Click HERE to access a Building Survey Form) Information on individual houses is the 2nd most requested information from the Society…after genealogical information.
The Philip LaViolet Military Collection was dedicated on May 7, 2008. Phil had been a member of the Westbrook Historical Society for over 25 years and was an Honorary Member. He dedicated his life to preserving the history of Westbrook’s military veterans. Although the collection contains donations from many Westbrook families; it was Phil who organized seven volumes of histories and obituaries of Westbrook’s War Veterans. These volumes cover Westbrook veterans from the Revolutionary War up to present day conflicts. Most importantly they contain items about the actions on the home front, such as the article about Earle Stanley a local barber who gave free haircuts to all military personnel during WWII and the Bernier and Caron families who had 5 and 7 sons, respectively, serving in the war. The Historical Society is proud to have this collection honoring a deserving Westbrook citizen.
Clothing from the John Hay collecion
1898 wedding gown of Ella Melcher Holston