Palermo Historical Society Collection

Palermo Historical Society Collection
Credit: Milton Dowe home movies, Palermo Historical Society Collection, Northeast Historic Film. Farmers work to harvest hay, ca. 1930.
film (7,900 ft.) : si., b&w, col. ; 8 mm.
1930 – 1960
Palermo, ME
Machias, ME
Credit: Excerpt from Milton Dowe home movies, Palermo Historical Society Collection, Northeast Historic Film. Alewife fishery on the Sheepscot River, ca. 1940s.
The Palermo Historical Society Collection depicts life in and around the rural town of Palermo, Maine, with production dates ranging from the 1930s to the 1960s, and contains a copy of "Things That I Remember," the memoir of Milton Dowe. While offering views of family life, this collection also provides invaluable records of community and work life in New England, with special attention given to nature and wildlife. The bulk of the films include footage of hunting trips, picnics, parties, family holidays, and camping adventures. Notably, one reel depicts men harvesting hay on a farm, and then provides an example of men working at an alewife fishery. Both processes are documented from start to finish. Footage also shows the process of ice harvesting. Films in the collection offer records of events such as the Palermo Sesquicentennial, the Branch-Grange 1939 Fair, a flood in 1940, and a blizzard in March 1946. The collection also contains views of the prisoner of war camp at Seboomook, Maine. The camp, which housed German prisoners of war, closed in the spring of 1946.
The Palermo Historical Society was founded in 1994 with a mission to “preserve, record and disseminate the community history, enhance the sense of our culture and build on our reputation as a caring, help-thy-neighbor community.” The Society remains active, meeting on the fourth Tuesday of each month. Manley Nelson and Milton Dowe were longtime neighbors and friends. They enjoyed traveling together and recording home movies while on their trips. Both men enjoyed hunting and exploring the Maine landscape. Manley Nelson ran a garage and served as a Palermo town official in various capacities. Milton Dowe ran the general store, which he inherited from his father (who also served as the Palermo Funeral Director for many years), and started the first Palermo Volunteer Fire Department. He privately printed "History Town of Palermo Incorporated 1804" in 1954 WorldCat and his memoir "Things That I Remember" was published by the Palermo Historical Society in 1997. WorldCat
    Northeast Historic Film
    The Collection is open for research.
    Authorization to reuse and/or reproduce must be obtained from Northeast Historic Film. See for more information.

    60 Items in this collection