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Frances Robinson Mitchell Papers

Identifier: SpC MS 0350

Scope and Contents

This collection contains both materials reflecting the life, interests, and activities of Frances Robinson Mitchell and materials which document the Robinson family's work in the lumbering and timberlands business in northern Maine. Included are correspondence, business records, photographs, newspaper clippings, deeds, leases, reports, tax documents, and plans.


  • Creation: 1893-2005
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1944-1995

Restrictions on Access

Kept at Fogler Library's offsite repository. One week's notice required for retrieval.

Use Restrictions

Information on literary rights available in the repository.

Biographical Note

Frances Robinson Mitchell, born in 1924, was the daughter of Lawrence Robinson and Geneva Steen Robinson. Mrs. Mitchell's family, the Robinsons, were involved in logging and lumbering in Maine and owned Sherman Lumber Company in Sherman Station, Maine. Frances Robinson attended Ricker Classical Institute in Houlton, Maine and enrolled in the University of Maine in 1942, attending for two years. She then served for two years in the U.S. Marine Corps Women's Reserve. She married Raymond Mitchell in 1947. In 1989 Mrs. Mitchell published a book, "Experiencing the Great Depression and World War II." She served as treasurer of the East Branch Land Company at its incorporation in 1973 and assumed a full time role in the company in 1979.

Biographical Note

Frank L. Robinson, grandfather of Frances Robinson Mitchell and the first member of the family to work in the lumber business, had a long and varied career. Prior to starting his own business, he used his talent in setting up mill machinery at mills in Caribou, Maine; Salmon River, New Brunswick; and Alpena, Michigan. His first business of his own was a shingle mill in Palmyra, Maine, after which he built a portable mill at a site in Sherman Station in 1894 and bought a store there in 1898. In 1901 he built a mill in Columbia Falls and purchased a store and office along with blueberry barrens and timberland there. In 1907 Frank Robinson and his son Walter built a mill, office, boarding house and barn in Sherman Station; Sherman Lumber Company was incorporated that year. Three Robinson brothers, Lawrence, Walter and John, were partners with their father in the business. After their father's death in 1930, the three brothers shared duties in Sherman Lumber. During the Depression Lawrence also diversified into raising seed potatoes; money earned from this venture enabled the family to buy forestland, accumulating some 16, 000 acres. Lawrence became president of Sherman Lumber after the death of his brother Walter and remained so until he sold his interest in the company in the 1970s. He and other family members incorporated the East Branch Land Company, a timberlands and logging business, in 1973. Lawrence Robinson died in 1980.


14 cubic feet (20 boxes)

4 items (4 DVDs)

1 volume

Language of Materials


Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift from Frances Robinson Mitchell in 1993 and subsequent years. Further additions are expected.

Related Materials

The researcher interested in the Sherman Lumber Company may also want to consult SpC MS 0463 which contains records of that company.

Northeast Historic Film in Bucksport, Maine has included Frances Mitchell's home movies in a collection of amateur films produced by women, the 'Woman Behind the Camera.'

Guide to the Frances Robinson Mitchell Papers
In Progress
Brenda Howitson Steeves
April 2004
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Raymond H. Fogler Library Special Collections Repository

5729 Raymond H. Fogler Library
University of Maine
Orono ME 04469-5729 United States