May 1, 2017
Happy May Day! You may have seen a photo of our featured item on our Facebook page.
This handsome German Shepherd doorstop is 12-1/2” high and 14” wide. The back is marked, “COMPLIMENTS / KNOWLTON MACHINE CO / WESTBROOK MAINE,” which led me to the Internet where I learned the company was founded in 1864 by John Knowlton and remained in the family until 1954. Initially a general purpose job shop to support paper and textile industries in the greater Portland area, it later became Knowlton Machine Engineering (KME) and purchased by Marca Coating Technologies in 2010.
In the 1890 photo below, Knowlton Machine is the building on the right, while the center building is the S.D. Warren Saccarappa Power Station, the building on the left is the Dana Warp Mill and Saccarappa Falls are in the foreground. The Falls, whose name means “falling towards the rising sun,” had its first mill by 1720, with the town itself named after Colonel Thomas Westbrook, a commander in the Drummer’s War (1722-25) and an early mill owner. By 1885, the world’s largest paper mill was in Westbrook, for which it was nicknamed “The Paper City.”
The last photo shows Saccarappa Falls in April 2017. There are plans to remove the dam, and add boulders, fish ladders and a shoreline buffer over the next five years—all of which should make the Presumpscot River more fish-friendly.
Who would have thought that a doorstop could lead to so much interesting research! Curiosity also led to looking up the Drummer’s War, also known by about six other names, which was over present day Maine, then disputed between New England and New France. While the result was that the native population in western Maine declined and came more firmly under British control, in present day Nova Scotia, it was the first time a European power formally acknowledged that it would have to negotiate with indigenous inhabitants when the Mi’kmaq and Maliseet refused to become British subjects.
Have a great month! Follow us on Facebook for the latest info and photos. We will be closed May 6-7 for family reasons, but open Memorial Day.
Lynne & Bob McCann