This collection consists of two scrapbooks documenting different parts of Mildred Irene Rabon’s life, from the late 1930s to the late 1950s. She lived in New London, Connecticut and there are around 300 photos and loads of ephemera in these two albums.
The first is a 12.25 x 14.5” brown “Scrap Book”, string-bound, with embossed floral frame pattern on the front cover, which contains newspaper clippings and around 163 black-and-white photos depicting Mildred’s time in Girl Scouts, from 1941 to 1953. Many of the photos are of Mildred at troop presentations of operettas such as Hansel & Gretel and Mother Goose, her time at camp, and other activities. The newspaper clippings taped into the scrapbook offer annotation to accompany the photos. There are also form letters from each year that Mildred went to Camp Pattagansett and illustrated cards depicting camp activities. Mildred also kept troop membership cards, programs for events, and kept some of her badges in the scrapbook. Photographs measure between 2.5 x 3.75” and 10 x 8.25” and are either held to the pages with corner tabs or tape. There are 3 colored portraits of Mildred as a young girl. Many of the pages are brittle and all are loose.
The second album is another large brown 12.25 x 13” scrapbook with a floral design on the cover. The string is there, but all the pages are loose and may not be arranged in the correct order. This album contains around 139 black-and-white photos and 13 Kodacolor prints of Mildred’s school and church life, beginning with her birth certificate and ending shortly after her high school graduation, from around 1938 to 1958. As such, the photos are mostly of Mildred with classmates, teachers, and her brother. She participated in school activities, piano recitals, church services and programs, and gave a speech at a Memorial Day program one year. The ephemera from these events, including newspaper clippings, programs, and cards, have been taped to the pages. Photos measure between 2.5 x 1.75” and 10 x 8.25” and are held to the pages with corner tabs and sometimes tape, accompanied by handwritten annotations. Again, the pages of this album are also loose and brittle.
Example of newspaper clippings:
First Week at Camp Reported Very Successful
Rhoda Ivers of Fall River, Mass., director of Girl Scout Camp Pattagansett, announces that the girls have had a very successful week. The camp opened last Sunday and Miss Ivers said that there are still vacancies for any girls who wish to attend the camp.
The Brownies in Happy Hollow have been learning to make their own beds, to keep their tents neat and to live with others. The Brownies have had scavenger hunts, hikes, picnics and dramatics, besides the regular routine of meals, jobs, swimming and crafts.
In Outpost, girls of ten and 11 years have been on several hikes, including a hike to Powers pond, where they cooked their supper. The oldest campers, in Wind on the Hill, have specialized in softball games. As a climax they defeated the staff team, 13-9, last night. Irene Liebenau was the star pitcher for the campers. Thursday the older girls hiked to the Yale Engineering camp, where they cooked their supper.
Thursday night each unit presented a sketch or pantomime depicting a scene of the Revolutionary days. The oldest campers had charge of the campfire. The Brownies reenacted the Boston tea party. Donna MacKenzie as Nathan Hale and Frances Zittell as Paul Revere acted for the Outpost unit. The signing of the Declaration of Independence and Washington at Valley Forge were the contribution of Wind on the Hill. Louise Lawrence played the part of Washington. The staff portrayed Paul Revere’s ride, following which group singing was held and fireworks were displayed.
Mildred’s Memorial Day speech (1944)
My country is called the United States. Once there was a war which was called the Civil War, because it was between two parts of our own United States. The people of the North and the people of the South fought. The soldiers of the North wore blue uniforms and were called the boys in blue, the soldiers of the south wore grey uniforms and were called the boys in grey. The war lasted a long time and many brave soldiers were killed. At last the war was over and the people said, “We must teach our childred to remember the soldiers who died fighting for their country.” So monuments were built and one day of each year was set aside to honor the soldiers. May 30th is the day and we call it Memorial Day or Decoration Day. On that day we decorate the graves with flowers and flags. To-morrow as we decorate the graves of those soldiers, let us pray for our brave soldiers of to-day. Let us pray that this war shall not be in vain.
God keep this country free,
Free from tyrants and their whips
That stamp out truth and seal the lips,
Free for every race and creed,
Free from fear, free from need,
God keep this country free.