August 21 – September 30, 2015Vol. 17, No. 12

Belgrade Women Facilitate Donation to Historical Society

Martha Withers's high school graduation photo, 1941.

A substantial collection of Belgrade memorabilia gathered over a lifetime by a 1941 graduate of Belgrade High School has made its way back to Belgrade from West Grove, PA. Thanks to the efforts of Tasha Stevens and Priscilla Spiller, several boxes of a lifetime of collecting by their great aunt, 92-year-old Martha Withers Pink, were recently received by the Belgrade Historical Society.

Realizing the historical significance of the items, the historical society is celebrating the arrival of the material to add to its collections. After accessioning, the documents will be scanned to make them available to the public, use on its website, and post on Facebook.

Although now living in an assisted living facility, Martha Pink has faithfully kept the many items with Belgrade ties for many years. Included in the collection are the 1905 wedding dress worn by Mrs. Pink's mother, Beulah Watson Withers, plus her going-away dress and hat. Binders full of pictures and newspaper clippings provide many details of life in Belgrade in the first half of the 20th century, as do the scrapbooks, letters, diaries, and photo albums.

The collection contains a large book of old postcards collected by Martha's father, William Withers (1877-1968), who operated a mill in North Belgrade. Barrels and boxes made there were used by farmers to ship their apples, potatoes and corn to far-away markets on the Maine Central Railroad that went through Belgrade.

Belgrade Historical Society Board Chair Dennis Keschl said, "Martha Pink's collection provides us with many links to life as it was a century ago. We'll soon have them in our History Room at the Center for All Seasons in Belgrade Lakes." The room is staffed with volunteers to greet visitors on Thursdays from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.