Postcard and Ephemera Show

Sep 13, 2018
This postcard offers a view looking north up Rockland’s Main Street from Orient Street around the turn of the century. The three closest buildings on the right burned to the ground in the Berry Brothers Stable Fire of 1920.

Rockland — Rockland Historical Society’s annual Postcard and Ephemera Show & Sale will be held Saturday, Sept. 22, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., at the Rockland Congregational Church, 180 Limerock St. Admission is $3.

The annual event draws those who collect old postcards, old maps, old advertisements, old magazines, books about local history and other old and curious things. As an early tourist destination, Maine is a gold mine for postcard collectors. In 1909, Herman Cassens, a native of Rockland, founded the Eastern Illustrating and Publishing Company in Belfast with the goal of photographing every town from Maine to California to create souvenir postcards for tourists. In 1916, Gov. Oakley Curtis declared April 19 to be Post Card Day and asked each Maine resident to mail six postcards to friends and relatives, inviting them to visit Maine for a vacation.

Cassens never got much farther than New England and Upstate New York, but the result of his photographers’ work and Gov. Curtis’ declaration is a wealth of real postcard images of the small towns of Maine. The Penobscot Marine Museum in Searsport has a large collection of the original glass plate negatives from the Eastern Illustrating and Publishing Company, and they will be selling reproduction postcards and large photograph prints of Maine scenes made from those negatives.

Postcard dealers will be selling thousands of old postcards and other paper items. The Rockland Historical Society will be selling books on local history and old and curious things. The historical society also will sell sandwiches, homemade cookies and coffee. The postcard show is the Rockland Historical Society’s main fundraising event.

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115; or dernest@courierpublicationsllc.com.

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