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Special Collections: Guide to the Maine Slate Company of Monson Records

Arranged and described by Brenda Howitson Steeves
Raymond H. Fogler Library Special Collections Department
September 2004
Introduction and Summary Information
Collection Title: Maine Slate Company of Monson Records.
Dates of the Collection: 1915-1941 (inclusive); 1915-1924 (bulk).
Provenance: Unknown.
Collection Number: MS 320.
Box Numbers: 1-2 (formerly Cage Box 66).
Size and Arrangement: The collection consists of two document boxes of material (0.8 cubic feet).
Conservation Note: The collection has been re-housed in acid-free folders and boxes. Photographs have been housed in polypropylene sleeves and remain with the relevant documents.
Preferred Citation: Maine Slate Company of Monson Records, Special Collections, Raymond H. Fogler Library, University of Maine.
Restrictions on Access and Use: Kept at Fogler Library's offsite storage facility. One week's notice required for retrieval.

The collection contains records of the Maine Slate Company of Monson as well as personal papers of Walter L. Johnson, superintendent of the company, and his wife Harriet F. Johnson.
Slate was discovered in Monson, Maine, in 1870, and the town became home to several slate quarries over the next half-century. The Maine Slate Company of Monson opened its quarry in 1903, producing black slate used for roofing and other slate products. At the company’s quarry, located 3 1/2 miles west-southwest of the village, there were about 30 feet of slate and interbedded quartzite exposed. The thickest bed of slate measured about 8 feet and the quarry measured about 100 feet across. The headquarters for the company was in Boston; in 1915 C.N. Fay was president; H.H. Fay, vice president; Charles E. Phippen, secretary; and Henry H. Mathews, treasurer.
Walter L. Johnson was superintendent of the company at Monson. He also seems to have owned land which contained a slate vein and may have operated this vein on a royalty basis. He also appears to have bred and sold White Orpington chicks in Monson. Walter Johnson died in 1923.

Scope and Content Note

This small collection contains a few folders of material from Walter Johnson’s work as superintendent of the Maine Slate Company of Monson, including correspondence with C.N. Fay, the company president, and a group of reports to Fay of daily operations at the quarry, all from 1915. Also included are ten undated photographs showing quarry workers, the mining operation, and the mine buildings.
The collection also contains personal papers of Walter and Harriet Johnson, most having to do with their business investments. One folder contains Harriet Johnson’s correspondence after the death of her husband and concerns primarily her investments and business interests in logging and other activities.

Box List
Box 1
Maine Slate Company of Monson records
1 Correspondence, June-Oct., 1915
2 Daily reports of operations, Aug.-Oct., 1915
3 Photographs of mining operations, undated (located in Box 2)
4 Negatives
Papers of Walter L. and Harriet Johnson
5 Business correspondence of Walter Johnson, 1919-1921
6 Johnson financial records, 1921-1924
7 Personal and business correspondence of Harriet Johnson, 1923-1941
8 Advertising brochures, etc., 1924, 1931, undated
Box 2

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 or (207) 581-1686 for further information.

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Special Collections Staff: | Revised: 03/18/2015
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