Maine Historical Society

MAINE HISTORICAL SOCIETY

PRESERVING HISTORY
ENGAGING MINDS
CONNECTING MAINE

On-Demand Programs

Ghosts of Pineland
BEGIN AGAIN SERIES: A Talk with William Barry

Recorded on September 16, 2021

Historian William David Barry discusses the evolution of Pineland from its origins at the dawn of the 20th century as a home for Maine's so called "feeble minded" citizens (later termed special needs individuals) and his years fresh out of the university as a teacher's aid at Pineland. He also highlights the books, Pineland's Past: The First Hundred Years by journalist Richard S. Kimball (Libra Foundation, 2001) and Voices of Pineland: Eugenics, Social Reform and Legacy of "feeble mindedness" in Maine by University of Southern Maine Professor Stephen P. Murphy (Information Age Publishing Inc., 2011).

The talk does not address the present 1000-acre recreation center and farm, but provides a useful overview of special care attitudes in Maine against the international backdrop, and points out archival material in institutions around the state.