Marnie Darling Voter shared personal -- and painful -- secrets with Maine State Museum curator Kate McBrien. Voter's descendants -- the Darling family -- had left the island off Phippsburg in 1912 when the state evicted the "mixed-race community of economically struggling people perceived at the time to be a social and moral detriment to the area," said museum Director Bernard Fishman.
Over a century ago, the State of Maine destroyed a mixed race impoverished community of families living on Malaga Island, near Phippsburg, Maine. Some of the people had lived on the island for generations. Their sons and daughters had been taught in a State authorized schoolhouse.
In 1912, the state of Maine bought Malaga Island and evicted its mixed-race residents, placing eight of them — an entire family — in the Maine School for the Feeble-Minded and casting the rest adrift, some with tragic results.
Malaga Island, part of Phippsburg, was once home to a mixed-race community forcibly removed by the state. Today, it is a public preserve welcoming visitors to explore its extraordinary history and natural beauty. Includes historical and archaeological, as well as geographical, information.
Produced by photographer Kate Philbrick and radio producer Rob Rosenthal in collaboration with WMPG-FM and the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies in Portland, Maine. Listen to the hour-long radio documentary, view photos, and examine historic documents.
Over a century ago, Maine Gov. Frederick Plaisted oversaw the destruction of a year-around fishing hamlet on Malaga Island. The island's 40 residents -- white, black and mixed race -- were ordered to leave the island, and to take their homes with them, else they would be burned. A fifth of the population was incarcerated on questionable grounds at the Maine School for the Feebleminded in New Gloucester, where most spent the rest of their lives.
"OPINION: Malaga Island: A century of shame." Portland Press Herald [Portland, ME], 20 May 2012. Business Collection, https://link-galegroup-com.ursus-proxy-10.ursus.maine.edu/apps/doc/A290271192/GPS?u=maine&sid=GPS&xid=4923b44b.