ROCKLAND — For those who collect old postcards, old maps, old advertisements, old magazines, books about local history, and other old and curious things, the Rockland Historical Society’s annual Postcard and Ephemera Show and Sale will be held 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 22, at Rockland Congregational Church, 180 Limerock St. Admission is $3.
As an early tourist destination, Maine is a gold mine for postcard collectors. In 1916, Gov. Oakley Curtis declared April 19 to be Post Card Day and asked each Maine resident to mail six postcards to friends and relatives inviting them to visit Maine for a vacation. In 1909, Herman Cassens, a native of Rockland, had founded the Eastern Illustrating and Publishing Company in Belfast with the goal of photographing every town from Maine to California to create souvenir postcards for tourists. Cassens never got much farther than New England and Upstate New York, but the result of his photographers’ work and Gov. Curtis’ declaration is a wealth of real postcard images of the small towns of Maine. That’s why Mainers love old postcards.
The Penobscot Marine Museum in Searsport has a large collection of the original glass plate negatives from the Eastern Illustrating and Publishing Company, and they will be selling reproduction postcards and large photograph prints of Maine scenes made from those negatives.
Postcard dealers will be selling thousands of old postcards and other paper items. The Rockland Historical Society will be selling books on local history and old and curious things. The historical society also will be selling sandwiches, homemade cookies, and coffee. The postcard show is the Rockland Historical Society’s main fund-raising event.