Frank G. Littlefield’s Smithville Sawmill
The Ellen Littlefield Doubleday Collection contains the diaries of Frank G. Littlefield of Mills Road from 1895-1918. Frank writes about his day-to-day life in Cape Porpoise. Like so many of his neighbors, he worked a lot of jobs to make ends meet. He painted and papered local houses and hotels, he cut ice in the wintertime, and he was a gifted taxidermist. He and his wife Emma Louise grew vegetables and raised livestock. Despite all that effort, they still had to go out and fetch wild fish or fowl for the family to eat most days.
On November 26, 1897, Frank Littlefield and his friend Frank Hutchins decided to make a cash offer on the old sawmill in Smithville just across Goose Rocks Road from the Clock Farm. The offer was accepted. I haven’t yet chased the deeds all the way back, but the Smith family had owned that sawmill on Smith Brook in Smithville for at least 3 generations. The two men set to work putting it in order. They would have to build a new water wheel and reinforce the dam and the mill foundation, etc. etc. Frank Hutchins got sidetracked in spring 1898 by a lucrative contract to renovate Stone Haven. Frank Littlefield bought back his share of the sawmill and hired neighbor Herman Huff to help him at the mill. Herman was the next owner of the Sawmill. Lucky for us, Frank Littlefield also dabbled in photography. I have included diary pages so the details can unfold for you as they did for me. Transcribe a page in the comments if you’re so inclined.
The Kennebunkport Historical Society archives are a never-ending source of fascination for me. I still learn something new about our history every time I delve. One discovery leads to another and suddenly I understand the significance of something else I have been looking at for 20 years. Not everything in there is pretty and not every piece will seem valuable to everyone who sees it. We don’t know what we don’t know but it is all worthy of our protection until we do.
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