Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Ephemera in the Digital Age

Ephemera:  items designed to be useful or important for only a short time, especially pamphlets, notices etc

In this digital age, it seems that photos, news and information are spread rapidly with the help of digital cameras, and the Internet. So many things can be found online: books, music, museum collections etc. However, not everything is digitized.....

My neighbor, Tobias, of the Sweet Pea Cottage, found an old copy of the "Ogunquit Village Directory" from 1960. This pocket sized directory listed everyone's house address, phone number ( if they had a phone). Not only addresses in Ogunquit; winter addresses were also included (Palm Beach, NYC and Montreal were quite common ). Listings of businesses, small advertisements, helpful hints, and other other useful information are found in this handy guide.  The pamphlet also featured a useful map. Ironically, the map is still accurate. In over 50 years, most of the roads and many houses are still standing. However, street numbers have changed due to Enhanced 911 in the 1990's.

Many of the phone numbers are still accurate too. Family homes, some businesses still have the same telephone number after 50 years. In 1960 Ogunquit switched to the prefix of MI6 (646) for the first three digits to dial. People outside of town had to dial the 7 numbers. Those in-town could dial the last five. In 1960 Maine had one area code. As of today, Maine still has one area code: 207.
 The back cover of the guide features a schedule for the Ogunquit Playhouse. West Side Story played in July and Bette Davis starred in The World of Carl Sandburg in September.

In 1960, the "See and Do"section listed things like, "Cool rides in the Pines" and  "Movies Theatres-Latest Pictures" as some of the midcentury pasttimes.  Remember in 1960, there was virtually no airconditioning in Ogunquit Maine, so a cool ride in the pines was a nice way to cool off.

The guide listed places for free parking. One place was behinds "Firemen's Hall" on School street. However free parking behind Firemen's Hall is no longer available.
Ogunquit Beach Inn  at 67 School Street, phone (207) MI6-1112


  1. Dixons Run Road is off of King's Lane so there's something a bit off on this map - still, interesting! Would love to see that directory but I understand why you could not publish it :-)
    - Margaret from Dixons Run Road

  2. Margaret!
    You are correct. Back in 1960 Kings Hwy ( I think its the old Post ROad/Main Steet) weaved in and out of ROute One. That part of Kings Hwy was renamed Glen Ave...

  3. OMG Joan Fontaine AND Bette Davis?!?!!? Fabulous!!!

  4. Can you tell me where the Wyer family lived in Ogunquit?