Harriet Hichborn


Harriet Hichborn should be remembered as an irrepressible artist with a fearless nature and a loyal heart. She was born in Stockton Springs into a large and notable family in late August of 1869. Her father, the accomplished shipbuilder Hon. Nathan Griffin Hichborn, was descended from Robert Hichborn, one of the original Cape Jellison settlers and a cousin to Paul Revere. Her mother, Caroline (née Rendell), had high expectations for her children in their academic lives.

Harriet was known for being a bright and diligent student with a beautiful soprano voice, and as a pretty young woman with a theatrical bent. She excelled at needlepoint. Her mastery with the camera was complimented by her skill as a watercolorist, as she experimented successfully with hand coloring her photographs. She was also a Universalist and admired for the strength of her spiritual convictions.

Religion and photography must have been worlds of refuge to her. She lived for many years with a domineering older sister whose health was poor. Harriet often sought solitude in her darkroom. It is typically thought that her frequent exposure to darkroom chemicals contributed to persistent psychiatric trouble, which in turn led to her hospitalization in later years. She ultimately took her life in December of 1923, at the age of 54.