Tag Archives: Meddybemps ME

A New EBay Treasure from Meddybemps

I love trolling EBay looking for genealogical treasures. It is a huge online antique store where rare items can be found, often for a very reasonable cost.

Annie Maude Stewart/Stuart’s family (my great grandmother) lived in Charlotte and Meddybemps, Washington County, Maine for almost a century, from 1820 to 1920. The two towns share a boundary line:

Stewart and Carlisle Cousins, c1881

They were and have always been very small villages. Meddybemps at its peak in 1860 was home to about 300 souls. Today, there are about 150 residents. Charlotte’s high population was in 1850 with about 700 people. Today, it less than half of that at about 330.

In some ways, little has changed over the years in Meddybemps and Charlotte. They have remained quiet little communities, surrounded by trees and lakes. I don’t think there is much farming there anymore and Calais remains the “big” city “down the road apiece.”

EBay is my “go to” place for vintage items from early Maine and I’ve slowly built a collection of old postcards. Some buildings still stand today, while others are not only long gone, but nature has reclaimed what once was cleared land.

Here are two of the Meddybemps scenes I’ve purchased:

I even found a postcard of my Stuart/Stewart family’s summer place on Meddybemps Lake!

Cousin Bertha is standing in the doorway, c1910. She had just graduated from high school. I was fortunate enough to meet Bertha when she lived in Chatham, Massachusetts in the 1980s:

I am now the proud owner of yet another scene of Meddybemps from the same 1910 time period:

If this scene is somewhere along Main Street, then I think these buildings are gone. However, there are a number of side roads that the Google car didn’t travel so there is a possibility this house is still there.

I am hoping to be in touch with someone local who might recognize it – they might even know who owned the house since homes are often called names like “the old Stuart place.”

I try to regularly remind my readers to check out EBay. Where else would I be likely (living in Tucson) to find treasures like these?

Meddybemps, c1917 and 2016

Yesterday’s trip down Memory Lane was to Passaic General Hospital, which showed that the grand old lady is faring well as part of a 21st century medical center complex.

Today, I’d like to share another treasure, a vintage photo postcard of Meddybemps, Maine. I’ve written about Meddybemps a couple of times, the last being when I wrote about Bertha Ella Stuart’s valedictory speech, in which she described life in this village.

MeddyBemps Postcard
Meddybemps, Early 1900s

This photo was taken about the time Bertha gave her speech, c1910. Meddybemps had several businesses, as you can see, but the building most likely to still be there is the little church. You can see the steeple down the road behind the man in the horse-drawn wagon.

Here is a cropped view of the little church:

Meddybemps Church

I’ve visited Meddybemps and it remains a very small little town, not more than a village even today. Bertha would likely be pleased if she could see it now.


The church steeple has been removed, but the church is still on Main Street.

Here is the 2016 view of the same stretch of road:

Main Street in Meddybemps Today

This is a second view, a but further on down the road:

Meddybemps Church on the Left

If it weren’t for the church, I would never in a million years expected that this was the same road. Massive clearing had been done by those early settlers. As years passed and old farm houses fell vacant, nature took over and brought all the trees back.

Meddybemps is a beautiful little town!

Permelia, Felicia and Carey Stuart, Lives Cut Short

Meddybemps, Maine is and always has been a small town in Washington County, Maine, not far from Calais and the Canadian border.

My Stewart, later spelled Stuart, family settled next door in Charlotte by 1820. Before the Civil War, my 2x great grandparents, Charles and Elida Hicks Stewart moved to Meddybemps. They were one of the first families I researched because my grandfather, Vernon Tarbox Adams,  was their grandson and my grandmother could tell me about them.

However, there was something important about the family that she didn’t know, nor would I ever discover from vital records (which weren’t kept at that time in that town) or family Bible (which, if they owned has not survived) or from census records because two of the three children were born and died in between census years. The only place I would learn about these little children was in the Meddybemps Cemetery.

According to the 1860 census, Charles and Elida were parents of three children: Wallace, Harry and Melissa. By 1870, they were the parents of four children: Wallace, Harry, Melissa and William. In 1880, they had one more child, daughter Annie Maude, born in 1874. Gaps in the birth years of their children was a clue that some might have died young.

Dave and I visited there about 1981 and this is what we found in the Stuart family plot:

Meddybemps Headstones 1
Carey M., Felicia M. and Permelia M. “Stuard”

It must have been heartbreaking for Charles and Elida to lose their second child and first born daughter, Permelia M. on 22 June 1854 when she was an eighteen month old toddler. I have not found any family record of her cause of death.

Elida was six months pregnant at the time and, in September 1854, she gave birth to Felicia M. However, on 22 August 1861, Felicia died not having quite reached her 7th birthday. Again, no family record of cause of death has been found. Little Felicia was buried next to her infant sibling Permelia, who had died just before Felicia’s own birth.

Son Carey M. was born in November 1866, but died on 18 February 1869, at the age of two years and three months. He was buried next to his two young sisters.

No other gravestones have been found for Permelia and Felicia. Apparently, their burial spots were known to their parents, but if they had been marked, the original stones have been removed. The Stuart family wasn’t wealthy and I doubt that their young daughters had anything except perhaps rocks to mark their burial places.

However, when son Carey also died, Charles and Elida had a somewhat unusual gravestone made as the stone is shaped to look like three grave markers, but is, in fact, one piece of stone shared by the children.

If not for this headstone, Permelia and Carey would have been lost to history. Only Felicia lived to be enumerated in a census.

I wish I knew more about these children, but there is no one left who knows.