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Special Collections: Guide to the Booth Brothers & Hurricane Island Granite Company Records

Arranged and described by Brenda Howitson Steeves

Raymond H. Fogler Library Special Collections Department

October 2004

Introduction and Summary Information

Collection Title: Booth Brothers & Hurricane Isle Granite Company Records.

Dates of the Collection: 1909, undated (inclusive); undated (bulk).

Provenance: Donated to Maine State Museum by Robert Macdonald in 1980; donated to Special Collections Department by Maine State Museum.

Collection Number: MS 63.

Box Numbers: 1-2 (formerly Box 1633).

Size and Arrangement: The collection consists of one archival record carton and one document box of material (1.2 cubic feet).

Conservation Note: The collection has been re-housed in acid-free folders and boxes.

Preferred Citation: Booth Brothers & Hurricane Isle Granite Company 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.


History

The collection contains records of Booth Brothers & Hurricane Isle Granite Company of Hurricane Island, Maine.

The company was formed from a merger of two longstanding granite quarries at a time when the granite business was flourishing in the Penobscot Bay area of Maine. In 1870 General Davis Tillson had opened a quarry on Hurricane Island and established the Hurricane Island Granite Company. This led to the development of the island and a growth in population to meet the company’s needs. The company cut and shipped granite for buildings in cities all over the country, including St. Louis, Chicago, Baltimore, Boston and Washington.

Booth Brothers had been founded by John Booth in 1870. Born in Scotland in 1839, Booth had come to New York City in 1870 and with his older brother William, established the company. With quarries in Maine and Connecticut and offices in New York City, New London, Philadelphia, and Rockland, Maine, the company produced granite for building and paving.

In 1889, Hurricane Island Granite merged with Booth Brothers, bringing together quarries at Millstone Point, Connecticut; Tenants Harbor, Maine; Seal Harbor, Hurricane Island and two quarries on Vinalhaven. The new company, Booth Brothers & Hurricane Island Granite Company, had capital stock of $250,000. William Booth of New London was president and the company headquarters was in New York City, with the Maine office in Rockland.

The company did well for a number of years after the merger, receiving contracts to supply at least part of the granite for the Metropolitan Bank Building in New York, the New York Custom House, the terminal of the Chicago & Northwestern Railroad in Chicago, and the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. In 1910 the management of the quarry operations on Hurricane Island changed. The Hurricane Isle Quarries Company was organized and took over the properties, business, and leases of Booth Brothers & Hurricane Island Granite Company. The president and directors of the company were all relatives of General Davis Tillson including his son-in-law, daughters and grandson. Shortly thereafte,r changing architectural styles and the introduction of new building materials, especially concrete, plus the costs of cutting and shipping granite, led to the demise of the granite industry on Hurricane Island. By 1915 only two families were left on the island and by 1916 the island was deserted.


Scope and Content Note

This small collection contains primarily order forms on letterhead of Booth Brothers & Hurricane Isle Granite Company. The forms are undated and do not identify the customer ordering the granite. They are arranged in numerical order by order number and seem to be from three different orders. Within each order number, the forms are arranged by section, course and number. Information on each form includes order number, cutter’s name, hours spent in cutting, cost of the work, dimensions of the block, and a design drawing of each block.

The collection also contains a few miscellaneous order forms as well as receipts from 1909 for checks issued.

Box List

Box 1

Folder

1                      Miscellaneous unspecified orders

2                      Checks (1909) & delivery slips

3                      Order forms: Order 69, Section B – R

4                      Order forms: Order 69, Section B.B. – R.R.

5                      Order forms: Order 83, Section 1, Course A – H

6                      Order forms: Order 83, Section 1, Course R.R. – Z

7                      Order forms: Order 83, Section 2, Course L – S

8                      Order forms: Order 83, Section 2, Course A.A. – I.I.

9                      Order forms: Order 83, Section 2, Course K.K. – R.R.

10                    Order forms: Order 83, Section 2, Course S.S. – Z.Z.

11                    Order forms: Order 83, Section 3, Course C.C. – Z.

12                    Order forms: Order 83, Section 4, Course P, Z, A.A. – N.N.

13                    Order forms: Order 83, Section 4, Course O.O. – Z.Z.

14                    Order forms: Order 83, Section 5, Course A.A. – Y

15                    Order forms: Order 83, Section 6, Course R.R. – Z

16                    Order forms: Order 83A, Section 8, Course Z, A.A. – S.S.

17                    Order forms: Order 83A, Section 9, Course B.B. – L.L.

18                    Order forms: Order 83A, Section 10, Course Z, A.A. – L.L

19                    Order forms: Order 83A, Section 10, Course M.M. – V.V.

20                    Order forms: Order 83A, Section 11, Course A.A. – A.B.

21                    Order forms: Order 83A, Section 11, Course B.B. – I.I.

22                    Order forms: Order 83A, Section 11, Course K.K. – M.M.

23                    Order forms: Order 83A, Section 11, Course N.N. – R.R.

Box 2

1                      Order forms: Order 83A, Section 11, Course S.S. – Z.Z.

2                      Order forms: Order 83A, Section 12, Course A.I. – A.W.

3                      Order forms: Order 83A, Section 12, Course B.M. – C.D.

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: 01/10/2014
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