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What Grammy Knew:  A Digital Essay on the Life of Frances Davis Plaisted (1892-1990)

By Beth Taylor

My grandmother, Frances Davis Plaisted, was born in the horse and buggy era and she raised a son who would help design the Space Shuttle. Her father brought electricity to the mills of Sanford, Maine and held great expectations for his children. But, in 1912 Fran fell in love with the Captain of the high school baseball team – “Cap” to his friends, Leon to her. Her father, a deacon of the First Baptist Church and on the boards of the bank and railroad, did not approve of Fran marrying a farm boy. So they eloped and then Leon took her back to live on his family’s farm in South Sanford. Frances learned to be a farmer’s wife – cook, housecleaner, mother, doctor, seamstress, and teacher. In her scrapbook, handwritten memoir, and photo albums we see glimpses into an era, a region, and a woman’s knowledge.

Photographs in this digital essay come from Frances’ albums, Flikr, The Sanford Historical Committee, and random websites. If you have any questions about an image or if you have any information or corrections to suggest, please contact me.

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