Ball Game, Sargentville, ME

LB2012.28.219
Catherine Marston Wood Collection
Gift of Diana Marston Wood

Even though baseball became a professional sport in the 1850s, at the end of the 19th century almost every Maine town, large and small, still had its own baseball team. Evie Barbour’s photo makes clear how little a town needed in order to play the game. Here the team has established a ballpark in an open field without any special equipment in sight. Even gloves and bases seem to be absent.

The men in their shirt sleeves gather to play and kibbutz while the women—protected from the sun by their hats and parasol—look on. One wonders if the little girl, so focused on the field at the moment of the pitch, wishes she could join the action.

You can glimpse the ocean beyond the trees—and the on-lookers and the players are spread across the horizon like another layer of the scenic view. The ballplayers and onlookers appear to be part of the landscape, creating a nostalgic portrayal of America’s national sport.

Yacht Race, Eagle Island, ME

LB2012.28.192
Catherine Marston Wood Collection
Gift of Diana Marston Wood

In this photo, Evie Barbour captures the quintessential Maine coast—sailboats and an island just off in the distance. By photographing the yacht race, Barbour is able to provide depth to the photo—you can almost imagine more boats in the distance.

Yacht racing began in the Netherlands in the 17th century and was brought here by the British to providing a means of social and recreational enrichment for the wealthy. But as the photo makes clear, you don’t have to be wealthy to enjoy the beauty of a race.

Eagle Island, seen in the distance, has its own special history. It was the summer home of Admiral Robert Edwin Peary who, in 1909, was the first person to reach the North Pole. The island is now a national historic site.

Old Chimney at Byard Point

LB2012.28.191
Catherine Marston Wood Collection
Gift of Diana Marston Wood

Based on other photographs in the collection, this appears to be the former site of the Eggemoggin Silver Mining Co. Smelting Works

Maine experienced a mining boom in 1870-1890 and Byard Point, at Eggemoggin Reach, with its deep harbor (which accommodated deep-drafted vessels) and an abundance of pine to fuel the steam boilers for smelting, offered an ideal place for a silver mine. Investors succeeded in completing one of two shafts fifty feet deep and most of a two-story smelting works building before tragedy struck. The Eggemoggin Silver Mine, built at great expense, was struck by lightning just as a depression engulfed the country, and the operation was abandoned. As Evie Barbour’s photograph illustrates, however, the abandoned chimney at Byard Point made an attractive picnic site. The pines provide privacy and the old chimney is a romantic reminder of things past. The two women seem deep in thought, with their eyes focused somewhere, perhaps, beyond what can be seen in the photo.

Steamer PEMAQUID at the Wharf in Sargentville, ME

LB2012.28.167
Catherine Marston Wood Collection
Gift of Diana Marston Wood

The steamer PEMAQUID was a popular subject of Maine’s postcard photographers. It carried passengers from the train station in Rockland to Sargentville and coastal towns in between. Owned by the Maine Central Railroad, the Pemaquid was central to the rail-ferry transportation network that brought tourists to Maine at the turn of the century. This network built Maine’s tourist industry before the automobile became travelers’ transportation of choice. Note the horse drawn carriage moving away from the pier.

By positioning the steamer in line with the building and pier with no visual space between them, Evie Barbour’s photograph highlights the integral connection between the transportation of the sea and land. The vivid reflections suggest the purity of Maine’s clear water. Maine’s pristine natural resources remain a major tourist attraction.