Skolfield Whittier House
Backstory and Context
The Skolfield-Whittier House was the homestead for three generations of significant women beginning in the 1860s. Martha Skolfield came as a bride to the house. Her daughter, Eugenie Skolfied Whittier (1860-1951) was active in the early twentieth-century Brunswick community. An advocate for suffrage, she became an officer in the new League of Women Voters. She also served as president of the Saturday Club, a group of women who hosted musical and intellectual programs. Eugenie and her husband, Dr. Frank Whittier, had three daughters: Alice, Isabel, and Charlotte. While Charlotte sadly died at the age of nine, both of her sisters grew up to be well educated and successful professionals.
Eugenie's child-raising philosophy influenced her two surviving daughters to choose careers that were then considered to be non-traditional. Isabel May Skolfield Whittier (1896-1976) Alice Augusta Skolfield Whittier (1898-1994) both graduated from Bryn Mawr College. Both summered in the homestead after they launched their careers. Isabel Whittier taught history at Brooklyn College after earning a Master's degree at the University of Pennsylvania. An author, she based a children's book on the bats that lived in the house.
Dr. Alice Whittier was an early woman graduate of Yale Medical School. In 1930, when she set up a practice in Portland, she became Maine's first woman pediatrician. She served as Chief of Pediatrics at Maine Medical Center from 1950 to 1958. Her concern for the health of women and children led her to donate her time in clinics. Upon her retirement in 1978, Bowdoin College awarded her an honorary degree. Alice donated her family home to the Pejepscot Historical Society, now the Pejepscot History Center, which continues to manage the house as a museum.