LEEDS — Members of the Leeds Historical Society have been meeting weekly with Claudeen Bergeron’s sixth-grade class at Leeds Central School, working on a project for the Maine Memory Network. Last April, the Historical Society received a grant from the Maine Historical Society in partnership with the Maine State Library, enabling it to buy a computer, scanner and other equipment to use with the LHS collection.

In applying for the grant, the Historical Society proposed to collaborate with the school to put together an online exhibit featuring John Young Merrill, a farmer from Leeds whose 1855-1865 diaries were donated to the LHS. When finished, the exhibit will include scanned pages from the diaries, a complete transcription from one year and various other items from the Merrill collection. The students have been spending their library and computer lab time preparing the items for posting online at Maine Memory Network and researching various topics mentioned in the diaries.

The students have also scanned other photographs in the Historical Society collection, and we are hoping to post a second exhibit on Maine Memory, this one featuring the Leeds Corn Shop.

The group has a number of old photographs of the corn shop from the early 1900s, including some slightly fuzzy but very interesting interior shots, showing floor to ceiling stacks of cans.

What the Historical Society doesn’t have is pictures of the corn shop in the 30s, 40s and 50s, and members are hoping that in some Leeds person’s collection there may be some photographs from that time period that they could borrow and scan.

The Leeds corn shop was a vital part of the town, still remembered by many current residents, and members would love to include some first-person anecdotes along with the photographs.

To share corn shop photographs or memories of working in the corn shop, contact Pam Bell at 933-4121 or Laura Juraska at 524-2324.

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