Wish You Were Here

The first week of May is National Postcard Week! This May in particular, the humble postcard takes on extra significance as a simple but powerful link to distant friends and faraway places. Every day this week, we’ll share a postcard from the Sagadahoc History & Genealogy Room collections, bringing you fresh sights to see and – hopefully – a little inspiration to reach out to a friend, even if they only live down the street.

2010.8.1.342a, “Corner in Park, Bath, Me.” from the Oscar R. Marsh Collection

This postcard features a peaceful late spring sunset behind our very own Patten Free Library building, seen from a corner of Library Park. The former bandstand and 18th-century cannon bring a little energy and excitement to the image: the cannon calls to mind ancient battles, while the bandstand promises joyful Friday night concerts to come. But at the moment, the viewer can enjoy a quiet evening beneath a pretty pink sky.

2010.8.1.342a verso, “Corner in Park, Bath, Me.” from the Oscar R. Marsh Collection

At the turn of the century, a postcard’s image was often the only message. Until about 1907, the reverse side of a postcard was reserved for the recipient’s address only. This card’s sender added only a small note: “Please excuse me for being so long.” It was, I’m guessing, an apology for taking some time to reply to Miss Winnie Dudley’s last note.

How many of today’s correspondents can relate? Do you need to apologize for any unanswered emails or DMs left on read?

This postcard is part of the Oscar R. Marsh Postcard Collection in the Sagadahoc History & Genealogy Room at Patten Free Library. You can see a different version of this postcard, with more information about the history of the bandstand and cannon, on Maine Memory Network.

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