When the lights are on, somebody's home.
More than likely you will find Barbara Rumsey studying this or that in her office at the Boothbay Region Historical Society building on Oak Street.
Seated next to the Fresnel from Ram Island Light, Barbara seems small in stature. Perhaps that’s because of my choice of lens or maybe the big glass is distracting. But, make no mistake about it, Barbara is not diminished by the glass or the lens — she is a large part of what makes our collection of historic regional artifacts so special.
The day I stopped by to visit Barbara, Margaret Tew and Marnie Mitchell (the newest “official” staff member) were all involved in filing projects, research and general organization associated with the mechanics of preserving local history. There is an amazing amount of information packed into every room.
Dexter Rumsey, Barbara's father, was one of my first acquaintances in Maine. On a break from chores at Treasure Island (Little River, East Boothbay) I wandered off the property to the first cottage I encountered on King Phillips Trail, which belonged to the Rumseys.
It was a sunny day. I waved hello and stopped to see if anyone could tell me about the area. Barbara was visiting her folks. That was 1975.
I don't see Barbara very often, but when I do, we always have fun catching up and telling stories about people we know and things we've done. She has lots of interesting knowledge. Much of Barbara's family has roots in western New York State where my mother's people lived. Her voice brings back many good memories.
Sometime, when you are driving by the historical society and you see the lights on, stop in. Say hi to Barbara for me and take a look around. You won't be sorry.