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Scarborough: They Called It Owascoag

People Who Called Scarborough Home

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Dr. Philip Haigis

Dr. Philip Haigis, Scarborough, ca. 1960
Dr. Philip Haigis, Scarborough, ca. 1960

Item Contributed by
Scarborough Historical Society & Museum

Dr. Philip Haigis, son of Peter Haigis and Ruth Hodges Haigis, was born 29 April 1916 at Foxboro, Massachusetts. After medical school at Kirksville (Missouri) College of Osteopathy, he completed his residency at the Osteopathic Hospital of Maine in Portland. He arrived in Scarborough in 1944 and opened his first office in the Marshview Restaurant while it was closed for the winter, as it was the only place that could be found at the time. Dr. Haigis then moved to a home at Route 1 and Scottow Hill Road where he also had his practice. He was on call seven days a week: house calls were $5.00 and office visits were $3.00. In the early years of his practice, Dr. Haigis was the only doctor in Scarborough. He served thirty-one years as the school physician and health officer for Scarborough. During this time, Dr. Haigis was also a member of the Masons, a member of the Lions Club and an amateur radio operator.

In 1951 following a terrible accident at Scottow Hill, Dr. Haigis and several men, some of whom were fellow members of the Lions Club, raised funds to convert an old bread truck into an ambulance. All of the equipment was donated and Dr. Haigis trained the personnel. Scarborough was the first town in Maine to have a rescue service, and later the group helped set up units in Standish and Cape Elizabeth. For many years, Dr. Haigis was the Maine State Director for the International Rescue First Aid Association. Another “first” attributed to Dr. Haigis was the creation of the mobile canteen unit that accompanied firemen on major fires.

Somehow, Dr. Haigis also found time to play occasionally with the Don Doane Band, a local jazz band. Just before he passed away, Dr. Haigis donated his musical instruments to Scarborough High School. In 1975, Dr. Haigis left Scarborough for Puerto Rico, where he became a civilian medical officer for the U.S. Navy. After fifty years of marriage, Faith died in 1990 and Dr. Haigis later married Helen Sluder of Naples, Florida. At age 78, he died of cancer in Naples, Florida, and is buried in Foxboro, Massachusetts.

Sources

Killelea, Elaine. "Case History of Dr. Haigis Lists Many Firsts". Portland Press Herald and Sunday Telegram, 1975.

Matson, Jess. Final Project: Dr. Philip Haigis, high school term paper, 1999.

Winslow Homer and Frank Coolbroth, Prouts Neck, ca. 1900
Winslow Homer and Frank Coolbroth, Prouts Neck, ca. 1900

Item Contributed by
Scarborough Historical Society & Museum

Winslow Homer

Winslow Homer, landscape painter best known for his marine subjects, was born in Boston 24 February 1836 to Charles Savage Homer and Henrietta Benson Homer. His mother, an amateur watercolorist, was Homer’s first teacher. After Homer’s graduation from high school, his father arranged an apprenticeship for him with a commercial lithographer in Boston.

 Rocky Cliff at Prouts Neck, ca. 1940
Rocky Cliff at Prouts Neck, ca. 1940

Item Contributed by
Scarborough Historical Society & Museum

By 1857, Homer had left the lithographer and his freelance career as an illustrator was underway, a period that lasted nearly twenty years. In 1861, Harper’s Weekly sent Homer to the front lines of the Civil War with General McClellan’s army where he sketched battle scenes and camp life. Back in his studio after this assignment, Homer worked on a series of war-related paintings based on his sketches. After the war, he spent time in Europe and began painting landscapes as he continued to work for Harper’s. By 1875, Homer stopped working as a commercial lithographer and focused on his painting. Following two years in England (1881-1882), Homer returned to the United States and moved to his family’s estate at Prouts Neck, where the sea and the cliffs in front of his studio became the subject matter of his great marine paintings. A lifelong bachelor, Homer was married to his work. He died in 1910, aged 74, in his Prouts Neck studio and is buried in Mt. Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Source

Beam, Philip. Winslow Homer at Prouts Neck. Boston, MA: Little, Brown and Company, 1966