University of New England - Innovation for a Healthier Planet

Bhima MacDonald Sturtevant papers, 1814-2000

Full finding aid (pdf)

Collection Scope and Content

This collection contains essays, poetry, manuscripts, maps, photographs, clippings, research and correspondence. Her research topics include islands, health, dancing, food, humor, music, transportation, the city of Portland and Abigail May. Some notable correspondents include Elizabeth Coatsworth, Hazel Wilson, Mary Worthley, Loring Williams and Dorothy Healy. Also included is information relating to the Old Orchard Beach Historical Society.

Biographical/Historical Note

Bhima Sturtevant was born in Detroit, Michigan in 1887. She studied voice at the Peabody Institute in Baltimore, Maryland. In the 1930s she moved to Portland, Maine, and had a summer home in Old Orchard Beach. Her first work was an aqueous history of Portland, published just before WWII, but she continued to document the history of Portland, becoming one of the foremost authorities on the area’s past. Sturtevant’s works were published in local and national newspapers, and she was a consultant to other authors on books regarding Maine history. She also wrote over a thousand poems during her life, and was president of the International Longfellow Society. Sturtevant was also president of the League of Women Voters in Maine, the Maine Writers Research Group, the Old Orchard Beach Historical Society, and was active in the Maine Historical Society. She was awarded the Kings Medal for her service to British troops in WWII, and was co-director of the USO in Portland.