Two Unidentified Newspaper Pieces on Olive Raynes
Sarah Orne Jewett's Elementary School Teacher
With a photograph
First Piece from about 1906
It is enviably beautiful and satisfying to be able to recall the many incidents and experiences of 53 years of teaching; a period in which customs have changed (especially as regards methods of instruction); a period also in which costumes have changed, as a glance at the accompanying photograph will quickly show.
Miss Olive Raynes of South Berwick, Me, left Berwick academy in 1853 and started to teach a few children of friends, in the parlor of the building on Portland St. where S. P. Huntressí office is now located. A few years later, her scholars growing in number, she moved to the upper part of the building used now by Mr. Huntress as a carriage house. About the year 1861 the school was removed to its present quarters, an L of the Raynes house on Portland St.
In these buildings Miss Raynes has taught the children of the old families of the town, three generations of some of them, devoting herself wholly to her scholarsí interests, denying herself higher education except as she derived it in her schoolroom.
The solid preparation of her scholars, especially in mathematics, in which the teacher delights, is always recognized. She interests them in their work so that often it is lamptime before they arrive home.
A grandmother says that now her grandson by Saturdays night always knows his Sunday school lesson, as did her daughter in time past. This helps to show the faint scent of old-fashioned beauty that must permeate the whole routine. Yet, these scholars are as gladly received today at the academy as they were 25 or 50 years ago.
Last term she had 15 pupils of the second generation of families in which she has taught; and she has had, children of third generation.
During this period of 53 years Miss Raynes has been absent from her school only a part of two years, being ill one winter and teaching at another time at Kennebunk Landing while her sister, Mrs. Mary Esther Cushing, cared for her school in South Berwick.
She has been a member of the Berwick womenís club since its organization six years ago. Its meeting and work, she says have given her opportunity to get away from her school and to study subjects foreign to her schoolroom routines.
In 1903 Miss Raynes was surprised by a large number of former scholars who wished that recognition should be made of the 50 consecutive years of her teaching life. To the home of Mrs. Ellen Rollins, an old friend, where were gathered the grown-up scholars, Miss Raynes, all unsuspecting, was invited, and after a gay reception she was presented with a silver loving cup generously filled with gold coin as a token of regard. This inscription was engraved upon the beautiful cup:
With the love of
MANY PUPILS AND FRIENDS
Sarah Orne Jewett, the noted writer, received her first schooling from Miss Raynes. Miss Jewett, when a child, was a little frail as to her health, and her schooling was limited to her attendance at Miss Raynes' and the academy. To the present day she enjoys discussing and recalling incidents of that time with her old teacher.
Other pupils of Miss Raynes have been Miss Mary Jewett, Marcia Oakes Woodberry, the artist; Helen Dow, who has taught in South Africa for several years; Dr. Charles Oakes, New York city; Dr. Fred Abbott, Taunton, Mass; Rev. Elisha Sanderson, Mooseup, Conn; Dr. William Hale of Gloucester, Mass; Dr. Caroline Wentworth, Newton Highlands, Mass; Fred Somnes, Springfield, Mass; Judge Robert Pike, Dover, N H; Dr. Philip Lewis, Gorham, Me; Rebecca Young, treasurer of the South Berwick savings bank for a long term; George Lewis, Bowdoin college librarian; Ell[?] Ricker, South Berwick Fogg memorial librarian for many years; Dr. Theodore Eastman, Massachusetts general hospital, Boston.
2nd piece from approximately 1914.
For 61 Years a Teacher.
Olive Raynes' Private School in South Berwick Had Long Been Famed - She Taught Sarah Orne Jewett and Others who Became Noted.
[Written for Lewiston Journal.]
It is doubtful if there is in Maine a teacher who can equal in length of service the 61 years which Miss Olive Raynes of South Berwick has spent in the school-room.
She was born in South Berwick 81 years ago, the daughter of Charles and Harriett (Goodwin) Raynes. Her mother was a native of Portsmouth and a descendant of the old Governor Goodwin family of New Hampshire. From both parents and their ancestors, Miss Raynes inherited those Puritanical traits of character, strength of purpose, strict adherence to principle and single-mindedness which have aided her so much through her long years of teaching.
With the exception of two years spent in the public schools, Miss Raynes has conducted a private school which the best families in town have helped to support. She and her sister, Mrs. Crushing, began this as a little parlor school, but it soon became too large for a small room and was moved to a building at the Square. After using this room for several years, Miss Raynes has an addition built to her home on Portland street which she has since used.
Her discipline was strict and she was never satisfied with poor attainment but exacted from each pupil the best of which he was capable. Especially in reading, arithmetic and language did she excel, and in addition to the studies required in the public schools, ever tried to instill right principles of conduct. The Sunday school lesson was always taught as much as any other lesson, and tired mothers always felt sure their children would be prepared for Sunday as long as they went to Miss Raynes.
She fitted pupils for Berwick Academy all thru her teaching and among this year's graduates from that institution are two of her former pupils, who will go to college. In addition to the exacting demands of her school, Miss Raynes has borne other heavy burdens. She is the last of a family of seven children. Her sister, brother, mother and father were all faithfully cared for during long illnesses, while she did her housework and teaching, too.
She is a member of the Congregational church, which she joined while still a school girl, and is seldom absent from any of its services, not excepting the Sunday school.
Her home is filled with valuable and beautiful old colonial furniture, a Washington chair, six Sheraton chairs, and sofa, and a magnificent sideboard being among her treasures. The signs of advancing years are becoming perceptible now in Miss Raynes. Her step is feebler, her hearing less acute, but she retains the simple faith and courage with which she has always faced life's perplexities and expects to continue teaching in the fall. Scarcely a family in town but has sent its children to her and sometimes the second and third generation. Miss Sarah Orne Jewett, her sister, Mary R. Jewett and nephew, Dr. Theodore Eastman of Boston, Marcia Oakes Woodbury, the artist, Samuel Hale of Boston, Dr. William Hale of Gloucester, Dr. Charles Oakes of New York City, Dr. Willis Nealley of Brooklyn City Hospital and many other lawyers, doctors, merchants and ministers have gone out into the world from her teaching and become distinguished in their chosen line of work.
This photograph appeared with the earlier article.
Some of Miss Rayne's Pupils, Photographed about 50 Years ago.
1, Frank Lord, Boston, Lawyer. 2, Herman Grant, deceased. 3, Albert Bailey, deceased. 4, Charles N. Raynes, deceased. 5, [unreadable]. 6. William Huntress, deceased. 7. Frank Colcord, deceased.
8, George Colby, deceased. 9. Mrs Mary (Thompson) Whitcomb, Malden, Mass. 10, Mrs Nellie (Whitehead) Buzzell, deceased. 11. Lizzie Neally, deceased. 12, Mrs Mary (Allan) Hanson. 13, Rebecca Young, So. Berwick. 14, Sarah Orne Jewett, So. Berwick. 15, Kate Sanborn, So. Berwick. 16, Mrs Elizabeth (Plaisted) Clark, Somerville, Mass. 17, Mary Jewett, So. Berwick.
18, Mrs Lizzie (Sanborn) Harvey, deceased. 19, Mrs Mittie (Allan) Hanson, Brooklyn, N.Y. 20, Hattie Harriman. 21, Ephraim Allan, in the west. 22, Maria Grant, deceased. 23, Fred Cromwell, 24, George Plaisted, Hyde Park, Mass.
25, Lizzie Trafton, deceased. 26, Mrs Nellie Young Moulton, Dover, N.H. 27, Charles Whitehead, So Berwick. 28, Sarah Colby, deceased. 29, Mattie Grant, deceased. 30, Mrs. Eva (Clark) Perkins, Ogunquit, Me. 31, unknown. 32, Edward P. Sanborn, Morrison, Colo. 33, Henry Harriman. 34, John Colcord, Ithica [Ithaca], N.Y. 35, Carrie Sanborn, deceased. 36, John Whitehead, So. Berwick. 37, Louise Sanborn, deceased. [Not shown?]
Edited by Terry Heller, Coe College.
These documents are reprinted here by permission of the Old Berwick Historical Society. They may not be reprinted without the permission of the Old Berwick Historical Society.