The Aroostook County Genealogical Society was given the opportunity to save some important genealogical information collected by Bertha Philbrook. Bertha has been saving newspapers for the last 50 years or so. She has donated them to us (ACGS). The bundles consisted of The Aroostook Republican and News, the Bangor Daily, St. John Valley Times and the Star Herald, and bits and pieces of other papers.
We decided to make the most of what we were given and save all the obituaries, birth notices, divorces, bridal pieces, anniversaries and engagements, also any interesting articles of genealogical interest to future generations. We have so far been given a garage full, and they are now stored in Jay Bullard’s cellar since they have been sorted. Some members of ACGS spent their Saturdays and some week days sorting through the piles and putting them in boxes by year, separating each of the four major newspapers separately.
We started by checking if anyone was in need of these newspapers after we were done with them; we had a request for specific dates of St. John Valley News. Of course given the way we received them and we are only a quarter of the way through the total, we gave them what they requested, and may find more.
ACGS member, Linda Zapatka jumped in and took on the Aroostook Republican, about 30 years, not complete years, and has put in the clippings in book form and has digitized those books, putting the information on CD for viewing in Jpg format. First she digitized the St. John Valley News so they could be given away. This was broken down into two books, obituaries and marriages and anniversaries in one scrapbook, and engagements in a second book. All information gathered and kept has been indexed. She was also given a large box of just clippings that Bertha had saved over the years, some dating back to the 1940s’. She took these and separated them chronologically and then put them all in book form labeling them Bertha’s Box. The book is over 326 pages and the images from all those pages wouldn’t fit on a single CD so she divided it into Book 1 and Book 2. These have also been put on CD and indexed, what a treasure of information on Aroostook County.
Other members are taking home the Bangor Daily and sorting the years by date and returning them to Jay for storage in his cellar, until they can be separated and gone through for final deposit into book form and CD.
Our objective, for this project is to make available to everyone an easy form of finding information on people looking for relatives in this area. The smaller papers, the Aroostook Republican and the Star Herald cover the area around and including, Caribou, Presque Isle, Fort Fairfield, Washburn, Woodland, New Sweden, Mapleton, Perham and other small towns in this part of Aroostook County. So any information in these will be very valuable to genealogists researching the area. The Bangor Daily covers more of the whole state so only obituaries will be clipped from these, they will then be cataloged and indexed for easy research. This will be an on going job for our Society for quite a few years.
CD’s available – price is $10.50 each plus s/h $2.00 contact us for purchase.
- St. John Valley Times – 1984 – 1999
- St. John Bridal Book 1-1984 to 1986
- St. John Bridal Book 2-1986 to1996
Bertha’s Box Book 1 and Book 2
Bertha Philbrook’s Newspaper Collection Book 1-5
(The Aroostook Republican & News)
- Book 1 – 1979 – 1985
- Book 2- 1986-1990
- Book 3 – 1998 and 1999
- Book 4 – 1997 and 1993
- Book 5 – 1996 to 1994