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Strong, a Mussul Unsquit village

A Legacy of Woods and Waters

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Century-old Books Discovered In a Cardboard Box
Century-old Books Discovered In a Cardboard Box

Strong Elementary School Librarian Jami Badershall was cleaning the back room of the library, and she started going through cardboard boxes. She found two old books, both in fragile condition, but she didn’t know what to do with them.

“I just left them there for awhile, but I thought I should do something,” Badershall said.

When she showed them to social studies teacher Crystal Knapp Polk, they decided the best place for them would be the Historical Society and presented them to the society’s archivist, Carl Stinchfield. He was astonished by the unexpected gift.

“These contain names of Strong High School students from 1895 to 1933, terms they were in school, and their grades,” he said. “This is a wonderful gift for our Historical Society.”

A second book contained neatly handwritten records of school board meetings. One directors’ report included an entry that George W. Norton was approved to start in September as a teacher at the Free School, with a salary of $62.50 a month. The student records also included letters from former students who needed to provide employers with a record of their grades.

The donation of the records coincided with the society’s start of the yearlong Maine Memory project to research and map local homes, businesses and townspeople’s lives after the Civil War.