A RPPC (real photo postcard), dated probably in the 1940's, of the "E. J. Leavitt" general store and post office in Flagstaff, Maine.
EVAN JAMES LEAVITT came to the town of Flagstaff by 1935, with his wife Evelyn and their two young children. He was first employed at a local saw mill prior to taking over operations of the general store in town. Attached to the building was the town's post office, and he took charge of the facility on 9 Dec 1941.
There were around 125 residents in Flagstaff when it was announced, in June of 1948, that Central Maine Power was going to build a dam at Long Falls, on the Dead River, which would create a man-made reservoir, Flagstaff Lake. In the process, it would inundate the town and neighboring Dead River Plantation. For twenty years, CMP had been purchasing properties in the vicinity of the river, and there was always talk within town that this would be the end result. Their decades long fear had now come true, and their town would now be destroyed.
Valuable lumber was cut, houses were moved, while others were simply burned down or left standing for the rising waters to claim. Cemeteries that held the early town settlers were reinterred elsewhere.
Postmaster Leavitt announced on 19 Oct 1949 that the town's mail would now be delivered out of New Portland by rural carrier, effective on the 31st, and he closed down the post office on November 1st. There were only 20 families now remaining in town, but Evan chose to stay behind to run his store until all had left. The dam was due to be finished that winter, with the flood waters soon to follow.
With the new year came spring run off, which rapidly began filling the new lake, and so the end of the town was near. Evan stayed on as store keeper until the last week of March, 1950. A new home and store had been built over in Eustis, so it was now time to move on.
For the next couple of years, any buildings still standing, which included the general store, would again be seen when the lake was lowered in the winter (to avoid overflowing the dam that following spring). They were all eventually burned down by 1952.
Evan died in 1977, aged 72, and was buried in Flagstaff Cemetery in Eustis. He shares a stone with his wife, Evelyn (Wing), who died in 1986. They can be found in the Descendants of Samuel Leavitt v.5, pg 135.
This creased and torn photograph was purchased on Ebay back in February, an unbelievable $4. special labeled as a posed haying photo, with Dr. James Leavitt mentioned in the auction headline. On the reverse side, besides the doctor, it also mentions "Laurence, Mel, Frank Leavitt". No location was written on it, but a quick search easily found the only family to match these names.
This is the family of Dr. James Mellen Leavitt of Lord's Hill in Effingham, New Hampshire. He was born 26 Jul 1852 in Effingham, NH, the son of James Bean and Mary (Lamper) Leavitt [Desc. of Thomas Leavitt v4, pg 123/180 & v4-1990 pt1 p17] and was married to Emma Estelle Leavitt, dau. of Thomas B and Elizabeth H (Jordan) Leavitt [Desc. of Samuel Leavitt v5, pg 152], born 10 Oct 1855 in Boston, Suffolk, MA. They had nine children (While the 1900-'10 censuses both say "ch 7/5", NH VR show two more children had died in infancy), five of whom grew to adulthood.
When comparing the ages of the three boys, Laurence, "Mel" (Mellen), and Frank, in the picture with the above 1910 census, it seems to show the picture was taken around that year. If Dr. Leavitt is in the foreground, then the older man standing at the right in the wagon may be a farm laborer (in 1920, the family had hired man Fred Murray living with them, aged 46). The three women would likely be Estelle and their two daughters, Mae and Gladys.
In the photo, an outline of mountains can barely be seen off in the far distance. From the 2008 Google Street View of Province Lake Road, the same range can be seen when looking westward over the former Leavitt farmland (the homestead is on opposite side of road). GPS: 43.760260, -70.997582
Below is the satellite view of this neighborhood, with the old home and the family cemetery marked. In one of the fields opposite the home this old photo was taken. Much of the landscape has likely changed in the last 100 years, but the general location of this "photoshoot" is at least known. The NALF Reunion of 1990 visited Effingham and toured many of the buildings in town.
This amazing photo of the Dr. Leavitt homestead was sent to us by Pete Michaud (Nov 2021). On the back, only James was identified, as the man with beard (he is in the center with the doctor's bag). Based on the three children in photo, it is likely dated circa 1893, with woman on steps probably his wife, and his mother (who lived with him) sitting in the chair. The man beside the horse is likely a hired farm hand.
Dr. Leavitt died at the Mass State Hospital in Boston, MA on 10 Feb 1931, while E. Estelle died in Effingham, NH on 23 Feb 1942. Both are buried in the family cemetery, opposite their late home.
GEORGE RUSSELL LEAVITT of Laconia, New Hampshire
The son of Almon Curtis and Mary Freeman (Russell) Leavitt, he was born in Laconia on 30 Nov 1857 [NH vr]. He was educated in the local schools, followed up by classes at the New Hampshire Conference Seminary in Tilton, and the Gaskell Commercial College in Manchester, NH. He was employed for sixteen years by the Boston, Concord & Montreal Railroad, working with his father, as a telegraph and ticket agent. While his biography in "New Hampshire Men" says he had begun working in the "wood, coal and lumber business" in 1890, he was actually doing so (in partnership with his father, as "A.C. Leavitt & Son") by 1884.
His first wife, Lucy Ann Busiel, the daughter of Lewis Flanders and Annie (Lawrence) Busiel, of Laconia, NH and Boston, MA, died in Cambridge, MA on 16 July 1892, from cancer of the uterus [MA vr]. An article in the Boston Herald on Sun., 17 July 1892 (pg 18), wrote that her sudden death was the result of a surgical operation on Sat. She was buried in the Union Cemetery in Laconia, NH. They had married in Boston on 23 June 1879 [MA Marr Rec].
They had one child, son Harry Curtis Leavitt, born 23 Oct 1879 in Laconia [NH vr]. Two pictures of him were included among the Almon Leavitt photo collection.
A Google search shows there was also a photograph of Harry's mother (and another photo of Harry) but, being sold in individual pieces, were already purchased by an unknown party.
George R. Leavitt remarried in 1895, to Jessie Lyon Phelps (who was a step-sister of George's first wife). Having already worked in Boston as a banker, he moved there with his wife and son prior to 1897. With his second wife, he had two more sons: Roger Phelps Leavitt, born 30 Dec 1897 in Boston, and Jerome Rollins Leavitt, born 9 June 1904 in Lexington, MA. After 1910, they removed to Concord, NH, where George had taken a head bookkeeper job at the St. Paul's School.
Descendants of Samuel Leavitt, pg 132/159-160 (George and family)
Northern Men: A Collection of Biographical Sketches...(bio of George on pg 175): note that he was a major in the New Hampshire National Guard at the time of this writing (1893). He held the rank of captain a year earlier, as mentioned in newspaper articles on his wife's death.
1895 Laconia City Dir: George R, banker in Boston, bds Pleasant, corner New Salem
1897 Laconia City Dir: George R, removed to Boston
1900 Boston, MA census (pg 7A): hh 81/140; liv 7 Adelaide St, a commercial traveller
1910 Lexington, Middlesex, MA census (pg 9A ): rented at 4 Upland Rd, George a travelling salesman for banking house
1911 Concord, NH Street Dir (pg 192): George head bkkpr at St. Paul's, bds do.
1920 Concord, NH census (pg 7A): George a book keeper at a book bindery; rented at 18 So. Spring
1926 Concord, NH Dir (pg 252): liv at 18 So. Spring (no occ listed)
Find a Grave memorial for George R [#106077540]
"Curtis Leavitt - Laconia" is written on the back of this photograph, in modern handwriting, copied from a photo album that contained over 40 images. They included several LEAVITT people, all members of the Almon Curtis Leavitt family.
The son of Andrew B. and Eunice (Kelley) Leavitt, "A. C. Leavitt" was born in Washington, Vermont on 21 Jan 1831 [Descendants of Samuel Leavitt, pg 103/132]. He moved first with his family to Carroll, New Hampshire, later moving to Gilford by 1850, before settling in Laconia around 1853. He was station agent (depot master) for the Boston, Concord and Montreal Railroad (aka the Boston and Lowell RR, White Mountain Division, later part of the Boston & Maine), his home nearby on Pleasant Street.
With son George Russell Leavitt, they also ran a coal, wood, hay and lumber company, "A. C. Leavitt & Son", in the 1880's. George would later become a banker, working in Boston, while Almon went into retirement. His home, at 121 Pleasant St in Laconia, still stands today (2019), overlooking the rail lines where he had worked forty plus years.
Almon belonged to the "I.O.O.F.", Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and filled several officer positions at their Lodge in Laconia. He was also a selectman for the city (in 1871), and was a trustee of the Gilford Academy.
Mr. Leavitt died at his home on the 28th of March 1913, aged 82 yrs, and was buried in Union Cemetery, Laconia, on the 31st. His widow, Mary Freeman (Russell) Leavitt, removed to Malden, MA after her husband's death, and lived with daughter Lizzie, where she died in 1915.
1850 Gilford, Belknap, NH: hh 447/497; "Curtis A", clerk, liv at hotel
1860 Laconia, Belknap, NH census (pg 72): hh 612/595; A.C. "depot master"
1870 Laconia, NH census (pg 19): hh 113/137; Almon C., "station agent"
1880 Laconia, NH census (pg 4 ): hh 37/49; Almon a coal dealer
1900 Laconia census (pg 3A): hh 54/60; 121 Pleasant, owned home, free of mortgage
1910 Laconia census (pg 25A)
Laconia City Dir: 1884 (17 Pleasant, old street #), 1895 (now #121), 1897
Belknap County Deeds (full view on Family Search); 1858 looks like earliest deed in Laconia; Almon (sometimes w/ son George) has at least two dozen listed deeds, many wood lots for lumber
Find a Grave entry for Almon: [memorial #106077534]
1888 testimony by A.C. Leavitt (in railroad lawsuit between the BC&M and B&M Railroads), in which he states his work history w/ the railyard
2019 Laconia Tax Assessor [for 121 Pleasant]; home listed as being built in 1885
A Leavitt Photo archive
Photographs of our Leavitt cousins, and brief write-ups about them