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Special Collections: Guide to the Miriam Colwell papers

Arranged and described by Troy Turner, September 2011.

Administrative Information

Collection title:  Miriam Colwell papers
Collection number:  SpC MS 1727
Dates of collection:  1817-2008
Size of collection:  6 boxes (6 linear feet)
Provenance:  Gift of Miriam Colwell in 2011.
Arrangement:  Arranged in three series: I. Cole family related items; II. Chenoweth Hall's papers; III. Miriam Colwell's papers.
Preferred citation: Miriam Colwell papers, Special Collections, Raymond H. Fogler Library, University of Maine, Orono, Maine.
Restrictions on access and use:  Stored in the library's remote storage area.  One week's notice requested for access.

Historical Notes

Miriam Colwell was born in Prospect Harbor, Maine. She attended the University of Maine at Orono for a year, then moved to New York City. She returned to Prospect Harbor to become the town’s postmaster at the age of 23. She published three popular novels set in Maine: Wind off the Water (1945), Day of the Trumpet (1947), and Young (1955). Contentment Cove, written in the 1950s, was published in 2006.

Chenoweth Hall was born and raised in New Albany, Indiana.  She left to attend the University of Wisconsin in Madison, Wisconsin where she received her degree in musicology.  After graduation she moved to New York City.  Her first job was teaching music in New Jersey elementary schools but she went on to become a copywriter in New York City advertising agencies.  In 1939 she moved to the small coastal town of Prospect, Maine to devote her time to writing, painting and sculpture. There she became a noted art teacher, sculptor, and painter of landscapes in a modernist style influenced by John Marin and Marsden Hartley.  Her paintings and sculpture soon began to be shown in numerous Maine exhibits, and eventually included exhibits in Boston, New York City and Philadelphia.

Miriam Colwell’s mother’s family, the Cole family, settled in the area of Prospect Harbor in the late 1700s.

Scope and Content Note

Family papers, calendars, correspondence, and literary notes of Maine author Miriam Colwell and her partner, Chenoweth Hall. Cole family papers include business records of the Deasy and Handy Country Store, several Cole family businesses, journals, correspondence, and genealogical information for the community of Prospect Harbor.

Related Materials

Researchers may also want to consult MS 131, Deasy & Handy general store and post office records 1865-1957.


Description of the Materials

Series I : Cole family related items

Box 1

F1 Balance sheet 1904 to Louis P. Cole from George C. Blance

F2 Louis P. Cole correspondence, letter to Mrs. L.P. Cole (Susie, maiden name Blance ) 1931

F3 Correspondence of Captain Daniel Deasy

F4, 4a Receipts of Deasy and Handy (Country Store) 1870s

F5 Correspondence F.W. Cole 1870s

F6 General information on Asa Cole (correspondence, commission as, Lieutenant in Maine militia while still part of Massachusetts,     Clerk, and inspector of fish in the town of Gouldsboro), Document signed by Alyah Cole ( Asa Cole’s father) for business dealings between Nathan Allen and Joseph Shipman Ward and Prospect Mill.

F7 Correspondence from Captain Daniel Deasy (Daniel also appears to have been a selectmen of Gouldsboro in the 1870s)

F8 Correspondence from Captain Joseph Handy

F9 Miscellaneous Correspondence of George Gould, G.M. Small, Allen Family, B. Cole, and Captain D.G. Cole

F10 Correspondence of business transactions J.B. Cole, 1901

F11 Louis P. Cole misc. family info (small stationary from Louise giving family history. Also list of birthdays possibly in Asa Cole’s handwriting (fragile)

F12 Asa Cole’s journals 1/1/1817 – 1847 and 1859

F13 Correspondence to Alice Cole (Louis Sister) Diary with dates of family members deaths

F14 Correspondence to Melville Cole

F15 Postcard book belonging to Genevieve Cole (Colwell) ( Miriam’s mother) 1906

F16 Newspaper clippings, Lecture #1 (Given by Major Clark Blance M.C. ,1927, Wedding engagement of Elizabeth Colwell, Pamphlet “Fields of Prospect Harbor” illustrated poem, Clipping of Cole’s being Postmaster for 100years.

F17 Photos identified (F.W. Cole, Annual reunion 5" x 7" of Cole family 1902

F18 Clippings and Diary of Susan Blance Cole

F19 Book of minutes, charter, by-law and receipt of the Prospect Harbor Union Society, 1900

F20 Book with names and dates relevant to the Cole family and Prospect Harbor community with dates for births and deaths up to 1978

F21 Misc. document, contract of D.G. Cole 1868

F22 Miriam Alice Colwell baby book with photos and names

F23 The Coburn Clarion, 1905, Coburn Classical Institute there are two Cole’s listed in the Graduating class in this annual.

F24 Interview with Miriam Colwell by Sandy Phippen for the MPBN show Great Reads, and another by Sandra Lynn Hutchison

F25 Photo-unidentified

Box 2

Oversize items:

Asa Cole’s ledger for the post office and as a town clerk (1825-1860)

Property list of D.G. Cole, ledger of port charges in the 1850’s, reused for a partial scrapbook of clippings at a later time.

Magazines: The Atlantic, Legion and newspapers, owned by Chenoweth and Miriam

Genevieve Cole’s post card book and scrapbook


Series II : Chenoweth Hall papers


Box 3

F1 Chenoweth Hall correspondence with a Swiss and German embassy regarding honorary award

F2 Correspondence with Chenoweth Hall

F3 Correspondence with Chenoweth Hall regarding stories written by Geneva Sawyer Cole

F4 Sketch book, no name, possibly Chenoweth’s

F5 Misc. news paper, credit, medical, drivers license, cards and note cards belonging to Chenoweth

Chenoweth Hall’s container of note cards: record of short stories and other notes

Daily Calendars 1940-1988

Diaries 1937, 1941, 1960

Check book


Series III: Miriam Colwell papers

Box 4

F1- 10 Miriam Colwell’s autobiography Draft parts 1-10

F11 Notes, Miriam Colwell’s memoir

F12 Miriam Colwell’s memoir unbound, Two Shared Lives

F13 a-h Miriam Colwell’s handwritten draft of the memoir

F14 Research for memoir

F15 a-j  Memoir with corrections

F16 Material for memoir

F17 Book clubs and book reviews

F18 Trips with information of destination, travel itinerary for Grand Circle Tour, 1999

F19 Travel brochures – Feb/Apr 1978, Florida, Jekyll Island GA, Ashville NC, Williamsburg VA, Washington D.C., also 1976-77 brochures

F20 Correspondence and prices for reprinting of the 1954 work, Young

F21 Clippings, book reviews, Wind Off The Water and Day of The Trumpet

F22 1998 Gouldsboro Historical Society honors Miriam Colwell; article in the Portland magazine p33, 1998; Legion Magazine with Prospect Harbor post office on the cover, 1976

F23 Articles on the reprint of Miriam Colwell’s Young

F24 Book company contracts on Day of The Trumpet and This Night Holds No Horizon

F25 Letters about Young reissue, guest book possibly from a public appearance for the book Young

F26 Personal notes to Miriam Colwell in the 2000s

Box 5  

F1 General correspondence, Miriam Colwell

F2 Solicitations

F3 Museum of Art, Maine

F4 Obituaries

F5 Programs and Handbills

F6 Hancock Point Village Improvement Society winter address list

F7 Poems and vignettes of friends and family

F8 Susan Blance Cole notes

F9 French lessons with Nanci and Janine (1960s?)

F10 Political Science Class –notes and exams 1971 Miriam’s

F11 Gouldsboro History

F12 Misc 1990s

F13 Misc. 2000s

F14 Sandy Phippen’s one act play Standing Just Outside The Door sent to Miriam

F15 News updates of people that Miriam and Chenoweth knew

F16 Periodicals from New Mexico that have something to do with Catherine Whitney’s husband (?)

F17 Condolences to Miriam on Chenoweth’s passing

F18 Correspondence to Miriam 2000s

F19 Outgoing correspondence from Miriam

F20 Poem and photographs of Chenoweth Hall’s collection being processed at the Smithsonian

F21 Letters of interest to Miriam 1990s

F22 General correspondence 2000

F23 General correspondence 2001

Box 6

F1, 1a General correspondence 2002

F2, 2a General correspondence 2004

F3, 3a General correspondence 2003

F4 Notices 2003

F5 1955 trip to New York City program from the Caesar’s Hour, bill from Hotel with charges, stationary from hotels and itinerary

F6 General correspondence 2007-08

F7 Brochures, notices, notes, calendar 2007 showing the art of Arline K. Thomson, art shows and plays

F8 Misc.

F9 Matt and Chantell’s wedding 2000

 Finding Aids for selected manuscript collections in the Special Collections Department at Fogler Library are accessible online in URSUS, in a browsable Guide to Manuscript Collections. Please contact Special Collections at spc@umit.maine.edu or (207) 581-1686 for further information.

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Special Collections Staff: spc@umit.maine.edu | Revised: 08/25/2014
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