Friday, July 30, 2010

On Malaga Island

Down East:
Between July 1911 and November 1912, the state of Maine purchased the island,
incarcerated a fifth of its [black, white, and mixed race] inhabitants on
questionable grounds at the Maine School for the Feebleminded in New Gloucester,
and forcibly evicted everyone else on the orders of Governor Frederick Plaisted.
The islanders had dismantled and taken their homes with them, but state
officials made certain no trace of the community remained. They took down and
relocated the schoolhouse (to Louds Island in Muscongus Bay), then dug up the
seventeen bodies in the cemetery, stuffed them into five group caskets, and
unceremoniously buried them at the School for the Feebleminded (now Pineland
A Web site devoted to Malaga Island: A Story Best Left Untold, a radio documentary produced by Rob Rosenthal, can be seen here.

- John C.L. Morgan

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