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Register of The Birches, Vacation Cottage Guest Book

Frank Bingham Webber was born on April 22, 1848 to John Webber (1811-1882) and Sophia Grant Bingham (1827-1921) in Waterville, ME. He had three siblings: Ellen R. Webber Blanchard (1843-1894), Eliza Cushman Webber (1845-1862), and John Norris Webber (1859-1924). He married Emily/Emma Frances Kelly (1849-1914), and had several children: Grace E. Webber Bartlett (1871-1909), Ellen Bertha "Nellie" Webber Eastman Hall (1874-1962?) Harold "Harry" F. Webber (1877-1939), A. Gertrude Webber Shannon (1882-1957), Marion W. Webber Hayden (1884-1972), and Marguerite Emily Webber Lander (1890-1982). Webber, along with his partner, F. B. Philbrick, under the firm name of "Webber and & Philbrick" owned the Waterville Iron Manufacturing Co. in Waterville, ME. The company manufactured plows, stoves, and small domestic ironware. He died on March 3, 1910 due to Brights Disease.

Kennebec County, Maine: July 7, 1890 - September 10, 1900. A guest book for the Birches, a camp in Maine owned by Frank B. Webber (1848-1910). The cabin was located in the Belgrade Lakes region of central Maine, and it appears it was used by Webber and his extended family and friends, mostly from the Kennebec County, ME, and more specifically, Waterville, ME and Augusta, ME. The entries date from July 7, 1890 to September 10, 1900 and start with a log of the guests including their name, place of residence, length of stay and occasional short note which was meant to corresponded to a longer entries detailing their stay later in the ledger. This log takes place over the first twenty-three (23) pages, and the over several additional pages at the end of the ledger for a total of approximately forty (40) pages.

After this guest log, comes approximately sixty-six (66) pages of diary-style entries written by the guests regarding their stay. Theses entries are written by numerous hands, and total about 15,000 words. The majority of the entries are lengthy, often detail the entire party staying at the cabin, how they arrived, the weather, and how they spent their time there; from fishing and hunting trips, to excursions to nearby islands or into town, as well as the antics the family and friends would get into during their stay. In the entries Frank Webber is often referred to as Commodore, while another member of the family is referred to as Admiral. Some of the family names of guests are: Barrett, Blanchard, Caswell, Barlett, Reynolds, and Philbrick. One notable author of one of the guest is Norman Leslie Barrett, an attorney who would become Justice of the Maine Supreme Judicial Court.

The register includes a hand-done title page, which goes so far as to imitate a copyright notice stating "entered in according to the Act of Congress. N. L. Bassett. Sec." There is also a short instruction page which, among other things, notes that "all writing should be as legible as health and education permit". There is a whole drilled into the ledger at the top left, which suggests that it was hung on a wall in the cabin. 145 numbered pages. Approximately three quarters filled. Clothbound ledger. Measures 8" x 10".

Below are a few excerpts from entries:

"The morning is the foremost of a quiet day. Up at 9:30. Breakfast at 10:45. Hot biscuits made by Mother Grace and eggs by the Commodore (not made but cooked). One or two leave, the audacity to prim up a little, but experience looks of disgust from the rest of the party . At 12:30 Mother Grace ... set out with the team for the 'boodo's' in quest of cream. ... Better luck than at fishing. Some give ones in good quantity are secured. Attempts are made after the return to whip the cream, Grace growls and swears but the courage for [?] is nor forthcoming. The rest of the day very quiet. In the evening the orchestra, same that was see at Dexter last week, gave us a rehearsal of new pieces. A good deal like a symphony rehearsal. The Commodore thinks the pieces will eventually fan out pretty."
- Sunday July, 13, 1890, pg. 31

"Thursday: Another fine day. All are roused early (4:30) by the 'Admiral' to go fishing. 'You have to go early if you are going to get any fish.' Grace, Gertrude, Dick , Martin, and the Admiral are the only ones who get up and go. After a short time fishing the 'Admiral', Gertrude and Dick return without having even a bite - Grace and Martin stay out and return to cottage about 8:30 with 9 fine perch much to the delight of rest of party as it ensures fried perch for dinner. Charlie Marion and Nellie go on their wheels to station and meet Edna who drives out with her honey. After dinner all go in a steamer ride to upper end of pond..."
- September 9, 1897, pg. 81-82.

To view the item, please click on the following link: Moderate soiling to covers. Mostly perished leather spine. Loosening binding with a few gathering detached.

Price: $475.00

Item #21003631