The story of a community is told through the documents and objects people leave behind but sadly, these are often dispersed over the years. In recognition of his efforts to bring these objects home and tell our story, the Association for Rollinsford Culture and History (ARCH) has chosen Robert Nesman as the recipient of the 2016 ARCH Heritage Award. Given annually to recognize significant contributions to the preservation of the history, heritage and culture of Rollinsford and the lower Salmon Falls Region, the award will be presented to Nesman this Saturday night, November 12, at the organization’s annual dinner and auction at Spring Hill in South Berwick, Maine.
Over the past twenty years Mr. Nesman has amassed a significant collection of ephemera and objects related to the history of Rollinsford. A lifelong resident of the town, he began collecting in the 1990s when he happened upon a piece from Salmon Falls and realized that more items could be found if he looked for them.
Today Nesman’s collection numbers over 500 pieces, much of it documents such as deeds, wills, letters from mill girls, advertising handbills from local businesses, and postcards but which also includes objects such as police and fire badges, items from fraternal organizations, and a bottle from Nutter’s Pharmacy. The oldest item in the collection is a deed for property in the Baer Road area dating to 1750 and bearing the name of Daniel Clements. His favorite object in his collection? “The one I haven’t found yet!” One of Nesman’s greatest pleasures is reuniting photographs and other items with families which still reside in the area, and he has also generously shared his collection with local historical societies.
A nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving the history and heritage of Rollinsford and the lower Salmon Falls region, ARCH maintains the historic Colonel Paul Wentworth House on Water Street in Rollinsford. For more information, please contact (603)742-4747 or consult the website at www.paulwentworthhouse.org.