Harpswell Historical Society

Incorporated 1979

929 Harpswell Neck Road
Harpswell, Maine  04079

The Harpswell Historical Society is dedicated to the discovery, identification, collection, preservation, interpretation, and dissemination of materials relating to the history of Harpswell and its people.

Table of Contents

Historic Park 
and Museum

Links to 
related sites


Life in Harpswell Maine in the Early to Mid 1900's

Malcolm Whidden

By the Third, Fourth and Fifth Graders at
Harpswell Islands &
West Harpswell Schools

A 1997-98 Harpswell History Project

Gladys Abby Allen
Allen's Seafood
Henry Barnes
Alice Catlin
Donald Coffin
Daniel Darling
The Dead Ship of Harpswell
Clem Dunning
Judith Howard
Harpswell Hotels
Bernard Johnson
Roy Knight & Cliff Moody
Arnold LeMay
Arnold LeMay
Becky Longley
Currier McEwen
Rob Miller
Barbara Munsey
Don Rogers
Alice Swallow
Dick Westcott
Malcolm Whidden
Ken & Marge Wille
Mary Wilson
Mary & Eleanor Wilson
The Witch Of Harpswell
Gerry York

Malcolm Whidden

Malcolm was born in Cundy's Harbor in a house across from the fire department. He has one brother and one sister. He has always lived in Harpswell. His house had only one or two lights. There was no running water and no furnace. For heat he had a wood stove in the kitchen. There was no television. The electricity didn't go out as much, because there weren't as many trees along the road.

To get water he had to walk 300 yards to the well and 300 back. One time he emptied the buckets into the tanks in the house and went to the well for water, and when he got back there was a bullet hole in one of the buckets. He had no idea how it got there.

His chores were milking the cows, feeding the pigs, and chopping wood. Instead of having a bathroom he had an outhouse.

They had an icebox to refrigerate their food when he was real small and when he was six they had an electric refrigerator. He took baths in the kitchen sink and some times in the bathtub. When he was twelve, he carried water for a neighbor who took in wash.

They went to Brunswick to get food. When he was four or five years old the grocery bill was less than five dollars a week and Milky Ways were five cents a bar. Their family ate fish and caught most of it themselves. His favorite kind of fish was hake and mackerel.

When he was eight or ten his grandfather helped him build a string of lobster traps that he fished. Most of the time he went to Harpswell Center for school and he went to Brunswick for high school. He walked a mile and a half to Harpswell Center for school and he got a ride when he went to Brunswick.