July 1940 (75 years ago) Do you recognize these 'new arrivals' to the Prouts community? (Answer Below)

Happy Columbus Day!

When and how did YOUR family first discover Prouts? 

(We want your stories for the archives!)

Here's a fun 'arrival' story from the archives....

Arriving at Prouts - August, 1880

(135 Years ago)

I was just rounding out my 10th year of life when I first came to Prouts Neck in the month of August, 1880. It was that summer that my mother learnt of a resort called PROUTS NECK not far from Portland, which Mrs. Eaton described in glowing colors; although warning my mother that everything about the place was exceedingly primitive. But this only had the effect of stimulating my mother's imagination and so it was then and there resolved that the family should proceed to Prouts Neck and find out what it was all about!

We left Montréal for Portland on a Friday morning, if I recall correctly, in a heavy rain storm which kept up without ceasing all that day. Our arrival later at Scarborough Beach station, after change of trains at Portland, was dismal enough to discourage the stoutest and most enthusiastic heart. The station was illuminated by two smoky oil lamps, one upon the platform and the other in the waiting room; and after detraining we were herded into and packed away inside the smelly depth of what seemed to be at the time an inky-black cavern on wheels attached to two dripping and disconsolate looking horses in charge of a mysterious being completely encased in oilskins from head to foot. This fearsome “Black Mariah” then moved off slowly through numerous local mud-puddles, evidently bound somewhere but we do not whither; and after what seemed to be an interminable journey (in reality only 4 miles!) our dismayed party was deposited, very forlorn, dispirited and extremely hungry, upon the steps of the Checkley house. We felt, naturally, that our troubles were then practically over, but in fact they had barely begun!

For some reason never quite clear, my father’s telegram to Mr. Foss had not reached him; as the Checkley was quite full at the time (it then accommodated only about 20 or 30 guests), he was unable to give us either board or lodging – it then being long after the hour that in those days was sacred to the evening meal at 6 o’clock. Mr. Foss however did the best he could for us, and sent one of his people over with our party, again packed into the “Black Mariah”; to the West Point house, with an introduction to Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Libby, the then proprietor and his wife. As good luck would have it, at last, Mr. and Mrs. Libby were able to put us up, although the six people comprising our party were crowded into one double and two single rooms, minus any bathing facilities! After a scratch meal of what had been left over from the regular guests’ suck there –– It was still raining in sheets during these episodes –– we sank heavily into our several sleeping quarters; but not until my father, who was thoroughly exhausted and irritated by all of these untoward happenings, had been one and all very sternly not to unpack any of our luggage except for such articles as were requisite for the night, as we should surely be leaving this dreadful spot on the first train in the morning that would take us away from it for ever!

However, the shifty “weatherman” proved to be the “deus ex machina” which preserved the Merrick clan to Prouts Neck posterity; for the following day –– presto! dawned brilliantly clear, with a fine breeze from across the salt water and the air full of ozone; so that all at once, after a night of tribulation and sorrow, the full joy and radiance of Prouts Neck broke upon us and filled our hearts with thanksgiving –– the birth of an affection and devotion that has increased and mellowed with the passage of the years, even unto the third and fourth generation of the family!

From the memoirs of J. Hartley Merrick, 1939ca
(For the FULL story, go to ProutsNeckHistory.org and search Merrick or 1880. )

Postscript: Prouts Families descended from the Merricks include: WilliamsClement, Buckley, Scully, Hopkins, Roak, Chew, Pratt, Morgan, Perry, Churchill and Marsh.

This may have been the very-same 'Black Mariah' (actually pretty nice transport at the time), that carried the Merricks on that fateful night in 1880.
A brief 1934 beach video - to chase the autumn chill away!
Freeman Hinkley leads us on a brief (1 minute) tour of the Beach Club - 1934 (81 years ago)
October 10, 2015 (5:30pm) - JOIN US - at the PNYC for a brief History Update, followed by a pot luck dinner, and ancient (1960s) folk songs....
Last year 40 friends joined us around the Yacht Club fire.
As you can see ANYONE is welcome to this folk-fest. Bring some food, some drink, a voice, perhaps, and plenty of good cheer.
History Help

We're here year-round to scan your photos, teach you how to use your iPhone to capture old photos in frames and albums, and to help you preserve your family history. Drop us a line, call, or if you're nearby, we even make house calls!

ANSWER: Oh, yes... those cute kids on the cover? Chip Willauer and Pam Coues Dimond.  (Not sure who the kid with the wicked looking stick is...?)  As to when and how Chip & Pam got to Prouts, that's an interesting story.... for later.....

Lots more history waiting for you on the website! Click the cricket!

It's YOUR history.

PS: We are now a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization!
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