As the new consultant for the Southern Maine Library District, I have been visiting all the public libraries in Cumberland, York, and southern Oxford Counties. The Art & Soul Festival provided the perfect opportunity for me to tour the Long Island Community Library, meet the staff and trustees, as well as learn a little about island living. I was so impressed by the efforts of those I met (Library Director Nancy Jordan, trustees Nancy Noble, Patty Temple, and Connie Brayley, and organizer Mary McAleney) and by the strong community support for the library event.
I especially liked the “Bling Room” with fun costume jewelry for sale and bought a nice patriotic pin. My husband and I browsed the book sale and art auction offerings and while I was speaking with library staff, my husband was persuaded by student volunteers to buy some raffle tickets. We couldn’t stay for the drawings as we needed to catch our ferry back to Portland and were shocked to hear later that he had won one of the gift baskets! Thanks everyone for the great visit to the island.
Deborah A. Clark,
Maine State Library
This collection of pottery, on loan from Carl and Pauline Silveri, represents Portland and local Maine potters from about 1840 to the early 1920s, including E. Swasey & Company of Portland ME, a company which at one time was one of New England’s most prolific pottery works and today is all but forgotten.
Eban Swasey was a potter who apprenticed in Exeter NH in the mid-1800s. In 1875 he and his partner, Rufus Lamson, moved to Portland ME and established the Portland Earthen Ware Manufactory, producing redware. Swasey and Lamson eventually went their separate ways, and in 1890 Swasey established E. Swasey & Co. at 273 Commercial Street in Portland.
In 1897, Swasey’s youngest son Perley joined the company, which became a sizeable enterprise by the turn of the century. Eban died in 1906, but the business carried on until finally sputtering out of business in the Depression. The factory buildings are still there on Commercial Street – refurbished and with the “E. Swasey” logos freshly restored on the end of the mill, they serve today as an office park.
There are also documents in the exhibit related to the E. Swasey & Co. Other Portland pottery companies in the exhibit include J.E. Goold and Geo. A. Young Co.
10 more days until Art & Soul, our annual fundraiser for the Long Island Community Library. Here are our intrepid library volunteers selling raffle tickets on July 4th, at the Long Island Fourth of July parade. The winning raffle tickets will buy you a wonderful themed basket, or a personalized cruise on the bay.
Stop by the library and see the kid’s rainy day basket, a blueberry bucket filled with surprises donated by Ivy Hall Gift Shop (Evergreen United Methodist Church outreach), a Maine Lottery Tree, a chocolate basket, a lobster bake basket, an Irish basket, and a mailboat run basket.
AND the FIRST ticket drawn will be treated to an afternoon trip around Casco Bay with Steve and Chris McDuffie on the BLUE NUN. Room for six, destination to be determined by Captain and winner and weather.
Tickets are 3 for $5.00 (stapled together) or $2.00 per ticket. The tickets are sold at the library, from library volunteers & from Mary McAleney, 207-799-4306, firstname.lastname@example.org
See you in 10 days!