Sunday, May 20, 2012

The Malaga Island tragedy, one century later

I have two lengthy stories in today's Maine Sunday Telegram, and it's the one way inside in the Insight section that's been the most popular, shared, and commented article on the paper's website today.

I'm pleased this is so, as it is on the Malaga Island tragedy, a shameful episode in our state's history that documentarians Rob Rosenthal and Kate Philbrick aptly termed "a story best left untold." Well the story -- of a Maine island community cleansed from the coast on the orders of the governor of Maine in 1912 -- is getting told, and by the Maine State Museum no less, which opened an impressive and symbolically important exhibit on the incident yesterday.

One correction: one of the islanders was declared "feebleminded" and incarcerated at a state asylum because she didn't realize Teddy Roosevelt had been succeeded by William Howard Taft as president. In the print version of my piece, I understand I wrote "Robert Taft" by mistake, which means I ought to have been sent to Pineland as well.


  1. Thanks for bringing attention to Malaga, Colin! Here is my account of exhibit opening day with descendants:

  2. Thanks for posting; good to hear Gov. LePage is promoting the scholarship fund. It was unclear Friday what he would or wouldn't be saying in that regard.

    He is also absolutely right about the KKK and state policy in regards to Native Americans, who weren't allowed to vote in state elections until late in the 20th century.

  3. Colin

    Please read my new novella The Malaga Chronicles. It will give you some new insights.