March 20, 2019 – “Maine or Massachusetts?”

Hello, everyone!

By now, I am accustomed to reading the notes in the Home Movie Collection guide and discovering misidentification of cities, landmarks, and other points of interest. Thankfully, this does not happen often and my notes supplement the pre-existing ones. Unfortunately, I dealt with the latter and it consumed my time.

After plugging in the Home Movie Collection hard drive, I watched the latest batch of films. Strikingly, the majority of the content consisted of the family visiting beaches or swimming in public pools. As I watched the family entertaining themselves with sunbathing, sand sculpting, body surfing and other activities commonly associated with beach visits, I checked the Repair Log notes to make sure the information presented to me matched. Indeed, the information proved to be invaluable and added context to footage reviewed.

Unfortunately, two cases of misidentification lack of identification plagued both sets of notes. The first of which concerned a country club the parents visited in 1951, before the births of their children. The notes indicated they visited “Laurel C.C.” Founded in 1917, Mississippi’s Laurel Country Club (the country club specifically branded with that name) hosts golf, tennis, and other social events including swimming. After comparing photographs to the footage, I concluded that the two swimming pools (and the cabins seen in the footage) did not resemble each other. Even further, the welcome centers did match, either.

I tried to find out the location of the Laurel Country Club seen in the film to no avail. Fortunately, my luck changed with the second instance. The notes said the family visited Portland, Maine in 1955, while the film repair log notes labeled their visit to be in Cape Cod, Massachusetts. So, my task included sorting out which one accurately described the footage.

While Cape Cod generally described the region the family visited, a specific portion seemed to be indicated as Portland, Maine. Sadly, the family did not film and landmarks that either confirmed or denied this place as Portland, Oregon. One location did give a hint and one that made me want to tear my hair out. The hint came in the form of  an eatery called the Lobster Pot Shop.

Even after creating screencaps of the the sign and the establishment itself, I still failed to find out where the family went. I nearly gave up until I discovered a vintage postcard on sale on Amazon.com. The Lobster Pot Shop resided in West Yarmouth, Barnstable County, Massachusetts. I searched for more information about the restaurant and I did not find anything that said that the Lobster Pot Shop still exists! A very curious situation, indeed!

While the remaining footage contained the family’s Thanksgiving dinner and the parents playing with their children in the backyard, the aforementioned examples stood out as interesting to share. Soon, my shift ended and I saved my work. Afterward, I returned all the materials to the stacks, bid farewell to the staff, and left for the day.

In review, I uncovered two mysteries in the submitted footage. I managed to solve one that left more questions than answers, while the other remains elusive. Since I took the day off last Friday, I am making up those hours tomorrow (expect a post, too). Until then, enjoy the rest of the evening and stay safe! Bye!

Author: 57r3l574d

I am currently a Graduate Student at the University of Central Florida and simultaneously employed by the university library's Special Collections and University Archives as a Other Personnel Service (OPS) Student. Expected to graduate in 2019 with a History MA - Public History Track.

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