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Special Collections: Guide to the Frances Robinson Mitchell Papers

Arranged and described by Brenda Howitson Steeves
Raymond H. Fogler Library Special Collections Department
April 2004
Introduction and Summary Information
Collection Title: Frances Robinson Mitchell Papers.
Dates of the Collection: 1893-2001 (inclusive); 1944-1995 (bulk).
Provenance: The Frances Robinson Mitchell Papers came to the Special Collections Department as a gift from Frances Robinson Mitchell in 1993 and subsequent years.
Collection Number: MS 350.
Box Numbers: 1-20 (formerly Boxes 1886-1886e, 2277-2282b).
Size and Arrangement: The collection consists of 12 archival record cartons and 8 document boxes of material (14 cubic feet).
Conservation Note: The collection has been re-housed in acid-free folders and boxes. Metal fasteners have been removed. Photographs have been housed in polypropylene sleeves and remain with the relevant documents.
Preferred Citation: Frances Robinson Mitchell Papers, 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 the personal and family papers of Frances Robinson Mitchell of Orono, Maine. Mrs. Mitchell’s family, the Robinsons, were involved in logging and lumbering in Maine and owned Sherman Lumber Company in Sherman Station, Maine.
Frank L. Robinson, the first member of the family to work in the lumber business, had a long and varied career. Prior to starting his own business, he used his talent in setting up mill machinery at mills in Caribou, Maine; Salmon River, New Brunswick; and Alpena, Michigan. His first business of his own was a shingle mill in Palmyra, Maine, after which he built a portable mill at a site in Sherman Station in 1894 and bought a store there in 1898. In 1901 he built a mill in Columbia Falls and purchased a store and office along with blueberry barrens and timberland there. In 1907 Frank Robinson and his son Walter built a mill, office, boarding house and barn in Sherman Station; Sherman Lumber Company was incorporated that year. Three Robinson brothers, Lawrence, Walter and John, were partners with their father in the business. It began as a producer of sawn lumber only; in 1911 it began to manufacture hardwood flooring and later produced hardwood panels for the furniture industry. In 1967 the first chipper was installed to supply round wood chips to the pulp and paper industry. After their father’s death in 1930, the three brothers shared duties in Sherman Lumber, with Walter running the mill, John the office, and Lawrence the woods operations and sales.
During the Depression Lawrence also diversified into raising seed potatoes; money earned from this venture enabled the family to buy forestland, accumulating some 16,000 acres. Lawrence became president of Sherman Lumber after the death of his brother Walter and remained so until he sold his interest in the company in the 1970’s. He and other family members incorporated the East Branch Land Company, a timberlands and logging business, in 1973. Lawrence Robinson died in 1980.
Frances Robinson Mitchell, born in 1924, was the daughter of Lawrence Robinson and Geneva Steen Robinson. Frances Robinson attended Ricker Classical Institute in Houlton, Maine and enrolled in the University of Maine in 1942, attending for two years. She then served for two years in the U.S. Marine Corps Women’s Reserve. She married Raymond Mitchell in 1947 and they have two daughters, Anne and Jeanne. Mrs. Mitchell was active in civic and business affairs and in 1989 published a book, “Experiencing the Great Depression and World War II: A Look Back to an Unforgettable Period.” She served as treasurer of the East Branch Land Company at its incorporation in 1973 and assumed a full time role in the company in 1979.

Scope and Content Note
This collection contains both materials reflecting the life, interests, and activities of Frances Robinson Mitchell and materials which document the Robinson family’s work in the lumbering and timberlands business in northern Maine.
The collection was given to the Library in several segments and has been arranged by library staff working in conjunction with Mrs. Mitchell. Further additions are expected. The collection contains three major sections: materials collected by and reflecting the interests and activities of Mrs. Mitchell, the Robinson family, and Sherman Lumber Company; materials used in writing Mrs. Mitchell’s book; and business records of the East Branch Land Company.
The first section, arranged alphabetically by subject, includes material from clubs and activities in which Mrs. Mitchell has been involved, correspondence to her and her family, and material gathered as part of her interest in the Marine Corps and World War II. It also contains correspondence and business papers of Frank L. Robinson and other members of the Robinson and Steen families. A section of material documents Sherman Lumber Company activities, including union organizing and a strike at the company in the 1950’s. This section of the collection also contains a number of photographs of interest, including those showing logging and lumbering in the early part of the 20th century, activities at Sherman Lumber and other mills, and numerous photographs of Robinson family members.
The section related to Mrs. Mitchell’s book contains mostly her collection of clippings on the Depression and World War II.
The section of business records of the East Branch Land Company contains correspondence, deeds, leases, including many drafts of a mineral lease negotiated by Mrs. Mitchell, reports, tax documents, and plans.
The researcher interested in Sherman Lumber Company may also want to consult
MS 463, which contains records of that company.
Box List
Box 1 (formerly Box 1886)
Folder heading
Churches: Religion
Clubs: American Legion
Clubs: Athene Club
Clubs: Bangor Nature Club
Clubs: Daughters of the American Revolution
Clubs: Eastern Maine Medical Center Auxiliary
Clubs: Miscellaneous
Clubs: Orono Woman’s Club
Clubs: Penobscot Valley Country Club
Clubs: Rifle & Pistol
Clubs: Ruggles House Society, Columbia Falls, Maine
Clubs: Waves National
Columbia Falls, Maine
Box 2 (formerly Box 1886a)
Contrasts and Comparisons: 1990’s
Contrasts and Comparisons: 1990’s; religion
Dept. of Transportation (Maine)
Education in general
Genealogy: Batchelder family
Genealogy: Dow family
Genealogy: Robinson family
Genealogy: Sanborn family
Genealogy: Towne family
Goodwin, Agnes Robinson: Attorney certification, June 7, 1900; other miscellaneous items
Goodwin, Agnes Robinson: Obituary (8-5-15) Indians
Korean War: 1st Marine Division, clippings, etc.
Life in Northern Penobscot County, Maine 1954-1961: Mitchell family photographs
Logging: Photographs (3 folders)
Lombard Steam Log Hauler, articles, clippings, etc.
Lumbermen, Northern Penobscot County
Lumbermen, Northern Penobscot County; Merry Men of Maine, articles, photographs,
etc., biographical information written by F.R.M
Maine Forest and Logging Museum report, 1993; submitted by Paul E. Rivard
Maine history
Maine road maps, 1940, 1950
Marine Corps Heritage Foundation
Marine Corps League
Marine Corps related, clippings, memorabilia, etc.
Box 3 (formerly Box 1886b)
Marine Corps related, clippings, memorabilia, etc.
Material related to mountain lions, cougars, wolves (Maine)
Military calendars done by U. S. Marine Corps & others
Miscellaneous clippings
Mitchell, Anne Marie: school papers, etc.
Mitchell, Anne Marie: photocopies of engagement to Lt. Byron Edmund Brooks. 1974
Mitchell, Anne Marie; Mitchell, Jeanne: report cards; 1953-1958
Mitchell Frances and Raymond: Prayer book from their marriage, 1947
Mitchell, Frances and Raymond: Congratulatory cards on birth of daughter Anne Marie,
Mitchell, Frances and Raymond: Congratulatory cards on birth of daughter Jeanne, 1951
Mitchell, Frances and Raymond:  Correspondence; greeting cards (4 folders)
Box 4 (formerly Box 1886c)
Mitchell, Frances and Raymond: Correspondence; greeting cards
Mitchell, Frances and Raymond: Christmas Cards
Mitchell, Frances and Raymond: Floor plans, Jeanne and Russ’s home, Farmington,
Mitchell, Frances and Raymond: Orono home – Photographs (2 folders)
Mitchell, Frances R.: Auction material
Mitchell, Frances R.: Certificates
Mitchell, Frances R.: Correspondence (5 folders)
Mitchell, Frances R.: Correspondence, personal, 1940’s - 1970’s
Mitchell, Frances R.: Correspondence while in England and Scotland, 1969 (3 folders)
Box 5 (formerly Box 1886d)
Folder heading
Mitchell, Frances R.: Correspondence while in England and Scotland, 1969 (2 folders)
Mitchell, Frances R.: Correspondence with Peter A. Soderbergh (concerning book project), 1990-1991
Mitchell, Frances R.: Correspondence with Raymond W. Mitchell; wedding invitation, 1947
Mitchell, Frances R.: Correspondence with state and national legislators
Mitchell, Frances R.: Diploma, Ricker Classical Institute, June 2, 1942; graduation
Mitchell, Frances R.: Legal documents
Mitchell, Frances R.: Military memorials, foundations, and philanthropies (2 folders)
Mitchell, Frances R.: Paper-Frank L. Robinson and family of Maine
Mitchell, Frances R.: Personal, World War II
Mitchell, Frances R.: Photography exhibit, 1973
Mitchell, Frances R.: Poems
Mitchell, Frances R.: Programs and calendar with both names listed
Mitchell, Frances R.: Projects
Mitchell, Frances R.: School papers
Mitchell, Frances R.: Teaching position, Patten, ME, 1946-1947
Mitchell, Frances R.: U. S. Marine Corps
Mitchell, Frances R.: University of Maine
Mitchell, Jeanne Louise (2 folders)
Box 6 (formerly Box 1886e)
Mitchell, Raymond
Mitchell, Raymond: Diploma for radio servicing and merchandising, Oct. 1941
Newcomb, F. E.: Appointment to deputy surveyor of lumber, Penobscot County, April 15, 1905
North Carolina
Northern Penobscot County: illustrations, articles
Palmer, Eleanor Beryle (family friend)
Park Holland: revolutionary soldier, Maine surveyor by Philip T. Coolidge
Pattangall, William Robinson: Sunday Telegram News feature, Dec. 15, 1968
Patten Academy: photographs, articles, etc.
Patten, ME: History
Penobscot Indians
Penobscot Indians: Indian land claim case, 1977 - 1978
Photograph: Horse, Smuggler, undated [owned by Frank L. Robinson]
Postcards: locomotives
Programs, piano recitals, school concerts, etc., 1932-1933, 1956-1966
Robinson, Agnes Mary: see Goodwin, Agnes Robinson
Robinson Family: Correspondence, 1880-1917
Robinson Family: Correspondence, 1953, 1961; miscellaneous family items
Robinson Family: Deeds
Robinson Family: Miscellaneous, 1883-1913
Robinson Family: Photocopies of documents
Robinson, Frank L.: Correspondence and receipts from Bailey & Curtis for money paid on stumpage, 1903, 1905
Robinson, Frank L.: Correspondence, personal, 1906-1914; obituaries, Feb. 20, 1930
Robinson, Frank L.:  Correspondence with Wm. H. Gray Lumber Co., 1907
Robinson, Frank L.: Correspondence with B. Stebbins Lumber Co., 1898-99
Robinson, Frank L.: Correspondence, deeds, agreements, insurance policies, etc.
Robinson, Frank L.: External inspection report for steam boiler at Braggville, 1899
Robinson, Frank L.: Financial papers; promissory notes; receipts; 1886-1907
Robinson, Frank L.: Lease agreement concerning Edward Derosier, 1905
Robinson, Frank L.: Mortgage documents from Eastern Trust and Banking, 1901-1905
Robinson, Frank L.: Patents; 1891, with correspondence
Robinson, Frank L.: Receipts, bills, miscellaneous, 1880-1911
Robinson, Frank L.: U. S. Department of Agriculture correspondence, 1911
Robinson, Geneva: Correspondence
Robinson, Geneva: Correspondence, 1980’s
Robinson, Geneva: Correspondence, 1990’s (4 folders)
Robinson, Geneva: Obituary, 1995, and sympathy cards
Box 7 (formerly Box 1886f)
Robinson, Geneva: School materials
Robinson, John T. and Robinson, Maude: Birth certificates, 1879-1886
Robinson, John T.: Certificate of life insurance; 1918
Robinson, John T.: Correspondence, etc., 1867, 1906
Robinson, John T.: Correspondence with Laurence V. Jones, attorney, 1933-1935;
Includes copies of will of John T. Robinson and Frank L. Robinson
Robinson, John T.: Diaries, 1927-1962
Robinson, John T.: Discharge information letter from D. C. Thompson, 1st Lieut. Inf. USA, 1918
Robinson, John T.: Cancelled checks, 1906-1907
Robinson, John T.: University of Maine, Fall term report card, 1906; Spring 1907
Robinson, Lawrence L. and miscellaneous
Robinson, Maude: Correspondence, essays, etc., 1901, undated
Robinson, Walter L.: Correspondence, Apr. 23, 1907
Sherman Lumber Company: Advertisements
Box 7 cont.
Folder heading
Sherman Lumber Company: Correspondence, 1939-1961
Sherman Lumber Company: Insurance policy, 1959
Sherman Lumber Company: Labor union clippings; anti-union materials; general
Sherman Lumber Company: Labor union; general information
Sherman Lumber Company: Labor union; correspondence, reports, 1955-1958
Sherman Lumber Company: Labor union; election materials, 10/06/55
Sherman Lumber Company: Labor union; labor agreement, 03/01/57
Sherman Lumber Company: Labor union; legal briefs, 1955,1956,1957
Sherman Lumber Company: Labor union; news clippings; 1956,1957,1958
Sherman Lumber Company: News clippings
Sherman Lumber Company: Photographs (2 folders)
Sherman Lumber Company: Photographs: sawmill and first chip plant, 1950’s
Sherman Lumber Company: Record book, 1890; time books, 1896, 1900, 1901
Special Interests
Sport (periodical), Dec. 1949; Jim Thorpe article and clipping
Steen family: Coat of arms
Steen family: Miscellany and photograph
Steen, Geneva A., see Robinson, Geneva
Steen, Marjorie A.
Steen, Marjorie A.: Oracle, Bangor High School, 1923
Steen Marjorie A.: Papers regarding her teaching career; obituary 02/26/94, etc.
Steen, Marjorie A.: War ration books
Steen, Verna E., see Trafton, Verna Steen
Trafton, Edgar B.
Trafton, Edgar B.: Memorial album, 1962
Trafton, Edgar B. & Verna Eloise Steen: Marriage book, 1939
Trafton, Verna Steen
Trafton, Verna Steen: Autograph book, 1919-1928
Box 8
Trafton, Verna Steen: Memorial Album, 1990
Trafton, Verna Steen: World War I correspondence
The Way Life Was. . .: Operator’s license, Maine, 1919; newspapers, 1878, 1879
The Way Life Was. . .: Undated miscellaneous material
The Way Life Was. . .: News clippings, 1935-1974
The Way Life Was. . .: News clippings, 1975-
Williams, Ted; News clippings, etc.
World War I: Maps, France
World War II: American War Leader series
World War II: Material; articles, clippings, etc.
World War II: Correspondence showing typical WWII personality and humor

Box 8 cont.
Folder heading
World War II: Enola Gay debate; atomic bombing of Japan; Smithsonian exhibit, 1994
World War II: European Theatre of Operations
World War II: Maine in the war
World War II: Midway
World War II: Our Finest Hour – Life Magazine Collectors Edition, 2000
World War II: Pacific Theatre and other Marine Corps operations
World War II: Pacific Theatre of Operations; Guadalcanal and other 1st Marine Division operations
World War II: Pearl Harbor
World War II: Roosevelt, Franklin D.
World’s Fair, 1939: Programs, guidebook, etc.

Box 9 (formerly Box 2277)
Book Related: Contrasts and comparisons in the 1990’s, articles, clippings, etc. (2 folders)
Book Related: Correspondence
Book Related: Customs and customary things; Great Depression and W.W.II period, articles, clippings, etc. (3 folders)
Book Related: Marine related (2 folders)
Book Related: Marine related; biographies
Book Related: Marine related; World War I
Book Related: Material concerning the Great Depression and World War II
Book Related: World War II; Japan and Japanese Americans
Book Related: World War II; mementos (2 folders)
Book Related: World War II; music
Book Related: World War II; Pacific Theatre of Operations; Guadalcanal
Book Related: World War II; Pacific Theatre of Operations; other Marine Corp. operations
Book Related: World War II; Camp Lejeune; Motor Transport School
Book Related: World War II period; discharge material, etc.; Camp Lejeune, etc.
Box 10 (formerly Box 2278)

Book: Mitchell, Frances Robinson. Experiencing the Great Depression and World War II: A look back to an unforgettable period, 1989
Book: Soderbergh, Peter A. Women Marines: The World War II era, 1982
Book: Panunzio, Constantine M. The soul of an immigrant, 1928
Book: We had everything but money
Book: Women Marines Association. A pictorial history
Book: Delany, Sarah and A. Elizabeth. Having our say, 1993
Box 11 (formerly Box 2279)
Folder heading
Photographs, family: Mitchell, Anne and Jeanne
Photographs, family: Mitchell, Frances Robinson
Photographs, family: Mitchell, Ray
Photographs, family: Robinson, Agnes and Goodwin, Othello
Photographs, family: Robinson, John and Deborah
Photographs, family: Robinson, John T.
Photographs, family: Robinson, Lawrence and Geneva (2 folders)
Photographs, family: Robinson, Lawrence: Photos of building bridge across East
Penobscot at Whetstone, 1954
Photographs, family: Robinson, Maude
Photographs, family: Robinson family
Photographs, family: Steen family (2 folders)
Photographs, family: Wedding albums: Anne and Jeanne Mitchell
Photographs: Bangor, Maine, 1919
Photographs: B & A wreck at Grindstone (sometime after 1895)
Photographs: Columbia Falls, Mt. Chase, Patten, Maine
Photographs: East Branch, Penobscot River (view from Robinson camp)
Photographs: Sherman Station, Maine
Photographs: Miscellaneous
Photographs: U. S. Marine Corps photos: World War II combat areas
Postcards: France, World War I
Box 12 (formerly Box 2280)
Box 13 (formerly Box 2281)
Periodicals: American History; June 1995, Dec. 1996
Periodicals: The American Legion for God and Country; Sept. 1991, Dec.1992, May
1995, Sept. 1995, Sept. 2000, Jul. 2001, Sept. 2001
Periodicals: As You Were; Premiere Issue
Periodicals: AWR; Nov. 1985, Fall 1989, Winter/Spring 1992
Periodicals: Down East; July 1996
Periodicals: Fortitudine; v.28 no.3-4, 2000-01
Periodicals: Headquarters Bulletin; no. 237, June, July 1945
Periodicals: Keeping in Touch; Summer 1996
Periodicals: Leatherneck, July, Oct, Nov. 1948, Aug. 1967, Nov. 1971, Jan. 1973
Periodicals: Leatherneck, Jun. 1973, May, Nov. 1974, Nov. 1975, Jan, Apr-Jun 1976
Periodicals: Leatherneck, Aug, Nov. 1976, Nov.1978, Nov.1979, Jan. 1981, Feb, Sept, Nov.1983
Periodicals: Leatherneck, Apr, Dec.1984, Feb, May, Dec.1985, Nov.1987, Jun, Jul.1988

Box 13 (formerly Box 2281) cont.
Folder heading
Periodicals: Leatherneck, Sept.-Nov.1988, Nov.-Dec.1989, Feb, Apr, May 1990
Periodicals: Leatherneck, June, July, Sept.1990, Feb, May, Nov, Dec.1991
Periodicals: Leatherneck, Jan, Apr, May, Jun, Oct-Dec.1992, Jan.1993
Periodicals: Leatherneck, April-July, Oct-Dec.1993
Periodicals: Leatherneck, Feb, Jun, Jul, Dec.1994, Jan-Apr.1995
Periodicals: Leatherneck, May, June, Sept-Dec.1995, Jan, Nov.1996, Nov.1997, Apr,
Periodicals: Leatherneck, Nov-Dec.1998, Feb.1999, Nov-Dec.2000, Apr, Jul, Aug, Sept-
Box 14 (formerly Box 2282)
Periodicals: Marine Corps Gazette, Jan.1945, Nov.1969, Nov.1971, Sept.1972, Jul.1974, Nov.1975, Nov.1976, May 1990
Periodicals: Marine Corps League News, April, 1973, Oct-Dec.1983, Marine Corps League, Oct-Dec.1987, Summer-Winter 1988, Spring-Autumn 1989
Periodicals: Marine Corps League, Winter 1989, Summer, Winter 1990, Spring, Autumn Winter, 1991, Spring, Autumn 1992
Periodicals: Marine Corps League, Winter 1992, 1993 all, Summer-Winter 1994, Spring, Summer, Winter 1995, Autumn, Winter 1996
Periodicals: Marine Corps League, Spring, Summer 1997, 1998 all, Spring, Autumn 1999, Spring, Autumn, Winter 2001
Periodicals: MHQ: The Quarterly Journal of Military History, Spring 1995
Periodicals: National Geographic, March 1992 Douglas MacArthur May 1995 NGS Maps in World War II
Periodicals: Naval History, April 1994
Periodicals: Newsweek, Nov.25, 1991
Periodicals: Reminisce, 1991-94
Periodicals: Reminisce, 1995-99
Periodicals: Time, Dec.2, 1991, May 30,1994
Periodicals: U. S. News, June 25,1990, Dec.2 1991
Periodicals: White Caps, Aug.1996
Periodicals: World War II, March 1993 - July, 1995.
Periodicals: World War II, Nov, 1995-current
Box 15 (formerly Box 2282a)
Folder heading
East Branch Land Company: Company information sheet; year-end reports
East Branch Land Company: Correspondence (5 folders)
East Branch Land Company: Deeds
East Branch Land Company: Deeds; Lot 86 Stacyville
East Branch Land Company: Getty Mining Company
East Branch Land Company: Land Valuations
East Branch Land Company: Lease; Ernest K. Lehmann and Associates, Inc.
East Branch Land Company: Lease; General Crude Oil Company (c. 1-17)
East Branch Land Company: Lease; Getty Mining Company (c. 1-3)
East Branch Land Company: Map; Township 3 Range 7
East Branch Land Company: Mining
Box 16 (formerly Box 2282b)
East Branch Land Company: Penobscot River studies (2 folders)
East Branch Land Company: Report on East Branch Land Co. Tract in Township 3, Range 7, 1939
East Branch Land Company: Research; Lot 86, Stacyville, Maine
East Branch Land Company: Silvicultural withdrawals
East Branch Land Company: Stumpage prices
East Branch Land Company: Tax related material
East Branch Land Company: Tree value and stumpage determination
East Branch Land Company: H.C. Haynes preparation of partition deeds 2000-01 (2 folders)
East Branch Land Company: Management agreement with Prentiss & Carlisle
East Branch Land Company: Whetstone Bridge crossing permits & bridge inspection
East Branch Land Company: Material dealing with new owners of Sherman Lumber Co. & Robinson Timberlands Inc. since 1973 (2 folders)
East Branch Land Company: John Hancock Life Insurance Co.
East Branch Land Company: Plan of Village Lots in South Half of Stacyville
East Branch Land Company: Plan of North Half of Township #3
East Branch Land Company: License with Robinson Timberlands Inc. & the University of Maine

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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