UNIFORMS OF THE BOOTHBAY REGION
1930s Nurse’s Cape
This cape belonged to Olive McKay Wright (1913-2011) who cared for people at home or in the hospital from about 1934 to 1941. Olive worked at St. Andrews Hospital and attended nurses’ training classes there from 1934 to 1936. The initials St.A.H. on the cape indicate it was part of Olive’s hospital uniform. She probably wore a white nurse’s dress underneath. Although Olive completed her training at St. Andrews, distinguishing herself by earning perfect marks in Obstetrics, she did not pursue additional schooling elsewhere to become a registered nurse.
She also worked at the old hospital on Church Street in Damariscotta and at Miles Memorial Hospital when it opened in 1941. In 1942, Olive left nursing to become postmistress in Pemaquid Harbor where she worked for 27 years. Olive grew up on the McKay family farm in Edgecomb where she helped her parents with daily chores and the care of her younger siblings until she graduated from Lincoln Academy in 1931. The McKay Road in Edgecomb is named after her family.
Boothbay Region Band Uniform
Former Boothbay Region Band member and bass drum player, Harry Pinkham, wore this uniform for many years. Harry played in both school and town bands until he graduated from high school in 1946. He continued to play in the town band throughout his life in Boothbay Harbor. While Harry was still in school, a group of Boothbay region musicians called the Samples Shipyard Band revived the long-time tradition of forming a local band. In August of 1942, they held the first open-air concert in many years on the library lawn.
It is unclear when the band changed its name to the Boothbay Region Band, but by 1960 they were holding regular library lawn summer concerts in conjunction with the Hallowell band. The band music we enjoy today at parades, concerts, and special events is now a well established tradition, one that has been kept alive for future generations by local musicians like Harry.
Knight of Pythias Uniform
This Knight of Pythias uniform and regalia belonged to Charles T. Orne, 1870-1950, of West Harbor and was donated by the family. When not in use, the uniform was kept in the leather-bound chest. Early in the Pythian history, upon a man’s induction into the order, he received a ceremonial sword, given by family members, business associates, or others as a token of esteem. In recent decades, instead of each member owning a sword, the local chapter maintains a collection of swords for use by its members. Long narrow swords are generally used in public during parades and drills, while short swords are used in displays. Markings on the swords varied widely. Swords were often inscribed with “FCB,” an acronym for the Pythian motto, “Friendship, Charity, Benevolence.”
The Knights of Pythias is a fraternal organization which was organized with the purpose of raising money through dues of its members to help care for the poor and promote good citizenship. The local chapter was organized on November 22, 1882 with 93 charter members. The Opera House was built in 1894 and housed the Masons and the Knights of Pythias. By 1905, fraternal organizations had gained popularity across the country and locally the Pythian Lodge #32 had grown to 500 members.
In September 1907, The Register reported on a two-day event sponsored by the Knight of Pythias Uniform Rank. It was a field day with delegations from Rumford, Bath, Lewiston, Portland, and Livermore Falls. All guests arrived by steamship for a parade and clambake, followed by an evening ball at the Opera House. The next day sporting events were held which included a hundred-yard dash, high jumping, the broad jump, a ball game, a tug-of-war, and a fat man’s race.
An annual birthday party was held each November, and in 1949 at this event the 1000th member was inducted. Due to the popularity of this Lodge and its meeting hall, in the 1950s, several Western Maine Jubilees were hosted by the Boothbay Harbor assembly.
Raymond Pennoyer’s World War I Army Uniform
Raymond P. Pennoyer (1891 – 1959) was born in East Orange, New Jersey. During World War I he served in the 15th Division of Engineers who were among the first troops to land in England. He transferred to Company A, 334th Tank Battalion, fought in the Battle of Argonne and received the Purple Heart. Pennoyer worked for US Steel Corp in Pittsburgh and retired in 1950 to Boothbay Harbor.