It was a daunting task. One hundred boxes of unnamed materials and documents found in the attic, crawl spaces and closets of the Washington County, Maine Courthouse needed to be preserved.
Five years later, a team of volunteers, using grants and small county appropriations, have inventoried, flattened, placed in numbered acid-free file folders, photographed and compiled on CD some 150,000 documents, including transactions and data from as far back as 1791.
The first completed CD inventory was presented to the county commissioners last week. Copies of the inventory CD are available for $10.
One of the documents found was a deposition given in 1839 by then-80-year-old Hannah Watts Weston. In the deposition, Weston tells of her run carrying gunpowder with her sister-in-law Rebecca Weston through the woods between Jonesboro and Machias on June 12, 1775. Hannah Weston was 17 years old and had been married for almost a year.
The gunpowder was intended to help Machias residents capture the British vessel Margaretta, in what was the first naval battle of the American Revolution.
“We carr [sic] between 30 to 40 pounds of powder and ball. Get halfway there and Rebecca gave up and I took her load,” the document states.
You can read more in an article by Sharon Kiley Mack in the Bangor Daily News at http://www.bangordailynews.com/detail/132400.html.
My thanks to Ken MacCallum for telling me about this story.