LOVELL — For the month of May, the Lovell Historical Society will present a May exhibit on Bertha Keniston (1876-1964), a remarkable turn-of- the-century woman, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays and Wednesdays,  and 9 a.m. to noon Saturdays, at 551 Maine St., at the corner of Route 5 and 5a.

Bertha grew up on a small farm in Stoneham and married a Lovell man at the age of 15. When she was 32, she found herself widowed with six children and a large farm. Not to be deterred, she operated the farm, took in borders, wrote newspaper columns, and actively participated in the community. In order to ensure that her children received top-notch educations, she went on to serve for eighteen years as a matron at various private schools including Gould Academy, Hebron Academy, and Kents Hill School.

Upon retiring, Bertha moved to Maplewood, New Jersy, to live with one of her daughters. Never one to sit still, she began a new career as a well-known model for the Powers Agency in New York City. She posed as a “grandmother type” in advertisements for food, household goods, and the like.

This latest exhibit is the creation of volunteer Liz Kerr, who originated the idea of rotating presentations on people, businesses, and activities related to the area. Thanks to the generosity of her great-grandson, Jim McBain, and his family, the Lovell Historical Society has a large collection of Bertha’s scrapbooks and photo albums. These items will be on display for all to enjoy.

Liz Kerr and Jim McBain Standing Beside the Society’s New Exhibit


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