University of New England - Innovation for a Healthier Planet

Fannie M. Harford diaries, 1897–1922

Full finding aid (pdf)

Collection Scope and Content

This collection consists of four diaries written during the years 1897-1900, 1915, and 1922. In these diaries, Fannie M. Harford records detailed accounts of daily weather patterns, including record-breaking weather events. She writes about her home and family life, recording visits to friends, travel to other cities, and time spent in the summer at their beach house. Harford discusses properties and the movement of tenants in the South Portland neighborhood where she lives. The family regularly procures goods and services and travels freely between locations via electric cars and automobiles. In the two later diaries, Fannie Harford is living in Portland, first with her son Charles and later as a boarder in various homes. She writes about her social life and friends, health challenges, what she is reading and daily letter writing. These diaries provide an intimate view into the daily life of Fannie M. Harford, her family and friends. Readers can track developments in Portland area infrastructure and enjoy daily weather reports.

Biographical/Historical Note

Fannie M. Harford was born Fannie Merrow in 1850 in Essex, Massachusetts. She married Frederick H. Harford in 1872. The couple lived in South Portland with their children Charles, Grace (who died in 1894 at 16), and Fannie Louise (who died between 1910-1915 in her early twenties). Fred Harford was an attorney, as was their son Charles. Fannie M. Harford maintained an active social life and served as a member of the Mount Pleasant Cemetery Association. The family had significant wealth and property. After Fred Harford’s death in May 1914, Mrs. Harford moved to Portland. Fannie M. Harford died in 1932 and is buried in the Mount Pleasant Cemetery.