1935 Master Model Maker: William L. Duncan, Sr.


Family legend becomes truth! As seen in the Star Herald, Feb. 28, 1935, William L. Duncan, Sr. presented to Washburn High School a ship’s model that he made from a piece of the “Constitution.”


Published in: on July 23, 2014 at 2:10 pm  Leave a Comment  

William Duncan Cumming’s Letter Home to his Father During World War I


The letter was published in the Star Herald on January 23, 1918.


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1931 Cumming Duncan Clan Picnic



Published in: on July 21, 2014 at 6:54 pm  Leave a Comment  

1927 Cumming Duncan Clan Picnic



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“Scottish Clan Reunion” 1928

Star Herald, August 23, 1928, Washburn

On Friday, August 17th, at the Aroostook Valley Park, the “Scottish Clan” composed of the Duncan family and their connections met for their annual reunion and picnic. There were nearly 100 persons in attendance. Dinner was served in the large dining hall. One of the special features of the dinner was the “Scotch Haggie and Oat Cakes” prepared by Mrs. Barbara Cumming of Nashua, N. H. and Mrs. Wm. L. Duncan, Sr.

After dinner, a business meeting was held. Tom Cumming, Sr. of Easton was elected President, and Stuart Duncan of Washburn, vice-president; Barbara Cumming Secretary, and D. L. Duncan, Treasurer.

Scottish games was the order of the afternoon, vaulting, high jump, quoits, throwing the hammer, and other games. Harry Duncan, James Cocker and William Duncan were the star players. A number of the young people had musical instruments, and gave a fine musical program. Some of the old Scotties showed up the old Scotch reels, and Wm. Cumming Sr., James Cumming of Nashua, N. H., and D. L. Duncan danced a few steps of the Highland Fling.

Some of the out-of-town guest were Mr. and Mrs. James Cumming and Miss Verna Buzzell of Nashua, N. H., Cumming family of Easton, James Cocker and family of Fairfield, Me., Robert Cumming of Mars Hill, Rev. Herman A. Clarke and family of Gardiner, Me. This was a very pleasant occasion and much enjoyed by all.

View the newspaper article here.


1928 Scottish Clan Picnic

1928 Scottish Clan Picnic

Published in: on April 28, 2014 at 4:21 pm  Leave a Comment  

1924 Five Cumming Grandchildren Sprinkled

Star Herald, Sept. 4, 1924, Easton

On Friday evening, Aug. 29, over forty of the neighbors and friends gathered at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Wm Cumming to witness the sprinkling of five of their grandchildren, namely, Earle Berfield Langley and William Cumming Langley, children of Mr. and Mrs. P. B. Langley; James Morrison Cumming and Anna Louise Cumming, children of Mr. and Mrs. Jas. M. Cumming; George William Cumming, child of Mr. and Mrs. Wm. D. Cumming. The pastor, Rev. T. S. Ross, dedicated these children to God in Christian baptism. The baptismal bowl used for the occasion was one brought from Scotland by Madam Cumming and belonged to Scottish nobility. A social hour followed and refreshments were served. All went to their homes feeling that the evening had been very pleasantly spent.


Published in: on April 27, 2014 at 4:00 pm  Leave a Comment  


The Telegraph, Nashua, NH, Nov. 18, 1932

Over 200 friends and relatives attended the reception given by Mr. and Mrs. James M. Cumming in honor of their golden wedding anniversary in the vestry of the Arlington St. Methodist church last evening with many of the women of the church and members assisting in the arrangements.

The church was beautiful in its festive dress, palms and golden yellow chrysanthemums being used in profusion.

At about 8 o’clock, Mr. and Mrs. Cumming entered the reception room preceded by two of their little

Beth's mother, Viriginia Cumming, was a flower girl at the 1932 golden party. Beth models her great-grandmother Barbara's 1885 gown.

Janice’s mother, Viriginia Cumming, was a flower girl at the 1932 golden party. In about 1967 Janice modeled her great-grandmother Barbara’s 1885 gown.

grandchildren, Shirley Cumming of Everett, Mass., and Virginia Cumming of Lexington, Mass., as flower girls, who strewed flowers in their path, to the strains of the wedding march played by Miss Doris Gage. They were followed by members of the Cumming family, W. A. Buzzell and daughter, Miss Barbara Buzzell, whose 26th birthday anniversary also fell on her grandparents’ golden wedding day; Mr. and Mrs. George Cumming, Everett, Mass., Mr. and Mrs. Everett Cumming, Lexington, Mass., followed by six grandchildren.

Mr. and Mrs. Cumming and the two little flower girls then received their many friends in a bower of flowers under a large golden wedding bell which showered them with confetti during the evening.

First in line who offered congratulations were Rev. and Mrs. C. D. Maurer, then followed members of the Delta Alta Sunday school class, the first Sunday school class Mrs. Cumming had taught at the Crown Hill Methodist church when she first came to the city from Salem, this state, 25 years ago. Then followed the members of her present Sunday school class, Mrs. Cumming having taught continuously and Mr. Cumming heading the intermediate boys’ class.

During the evening, Mr. and Mrs. Cumming were presented with several gifts by their friends; J. K. Spence presented them with a purse of gold given by the neighbors and friends; Miss Kate Harwood made a presentation speech and a gift of gold from the members of Mrs. Cumming’s Sunday school class and Miss Marguerite Smith, as representative of the Delta Alta class, made the presentation of a lovely bridge lamp and bowl of flowers. To all of these Mr. and Mrs. Cumming responded most fittingly.

A program was then carried out, a feature of which was the singing of a duet by Mr. and Mrs. Cumming, a Scotch song, When Ye Gan Awa’, which created an indelible impression on those present.

The program consisted of: prayer by Rev. C. D. Maurer, followed by remarks by him; two original poems read by Herbert Durrell Smart in honor of the occasion, entitled: Old Neighbors, and Old Church Bells; selection by the male quartet, F. C. Merrill, J. K. Spence, H. L. Rock, R. Richardson; song and reading, Miss Marjorie Ware in an old fashioned costume; hymn, sung by Mrs. George Cumming and Mrs. Everett Cumming; piano selection, Miss Elizabeth Duncan; reading, Norma Coombs, selection by a quartet made up of Mr. and Mrs. George Cumming and Mr. and Mrs. Everett Cumming accompanied by Miss Elizabeth Duncan; solo, on the flex-a-tone by George Cumming, with Mrs. Cumming at the piano; solo by Mrs. George Cumming and then the final number, Auld Lang Syne, sung by all.

A beautiful birthday cake, lighted with 26 candles was then brought in by little James Everett Cumming, Lexington, and presented by Miss Barbara Buswell. Guests were all given a piece of wedding cake before they departed.

Refreshments were served with the members of the Sunday school class serving.

The committees in charge of the anniversary consisted of Mrs. Robert G. Morrison, Mrs. Charles E. Lazott assisted by Mrs. Mary Philbrick, Mrs. J.K. Spence, Mrs. H. A. Lamora, Mrs. Merrill, Mrs. Herbert Rock, Mrs. Ethel Wheeler, Mrs. George Sawyer, Mrs. McCutcheon, Mrs. Jennie Cross, Miss Sadie McNiel, Mr. and Mrs. F. C. Merrill, Mr. and Mrs. Clarence Ware, Mrs. Ellis Bruce and Mrs. Oliver Miller.

Charles H. Blake was the decorator. Guests were present from Worcester, Kittery Point, Me., Haverhill, Townsend, Stoneham, Everett, Reading and Lexington.

View the newspaper article here.

Read the lyrics here for the song Jim and Barbara sang together, “When Ye Gan Awa’,” and listen to the music here (scroll down to bottom for “Hunting tower, or, When ye gang awa’, Jamie”).

Published in: on April 26, 2014 at 5:16 pm  Leave a Comment  

Barbara (Duncan) Cumming in the Church

Barbara (Duncan) Cumming (Feb. 23, 1864, Dunnottar Parish, Stonehaven, Aberdeenshire, Scotland-Nov. 10, 1945, Milton, MA) married James Morrison Cumming ()ct. 27, 1860, Upper Buckie, Grandholm, Woodside, Scotland-Oct. 24, 1938, Nashua, NH) at her father’s home, Carron Brae, Kincardine, Victoria County, New Brunswick on Nov. 17, 1882. Both came to the Scotch Colony as children, Barbara in 1873 on the “Castalia” to Kincardine and Jim in 1874 on the “Sidionian” to Upper Kintore. Barbara’s wedding dress was on display at the Cumming/Duncan reunion in Easton, ME in July 2012 and at the 140th anniversary of the Scotch Colony at the Manse in Kincardine, New Brunswick in August 2013.

The church was very important to the early settlers of the Scotch Colony. Barbara Cumming continued to serve her church throughout her life, as evidenced by these newspaper clippings.


The Telegraph, May 9, 1935

Arlington St. Home Mission

Barbara (Duncan) and James Morrison Cumming

Barbara (Duncan) and James Morrison Cumming

The annual open meeting of the Woman’s Home Missionary Society of the Arlington St. Methodist church took place in the vestry Wednesday evening with over 50 members and guests in attendance. The program was in charge of Mrs. James M. Cumming and in addition to be entertained those present were told of the work of the Missionary society with the different groups in mission fields. Mrs. Cumming was assisted by the members of the society.
The full program was as follows: welcome by Mrs. Cumming; doxology; reading, Miss Dorothy Biber; piano solo, Miss Ruth Johnson; vocal duo, Ralph McCausland and Charles D. Maurer, Jr., talk on Mother’s Jewel work by Miss Jessie Hill; reading, Miss Marjorie Ware; vocal solos, Mrs. Frank Shattuck, talk on Woman’s Home Missionary society, Mrs. Cumming; collection of mite boxes; piano solo, Anna Eleanor Maurer; reading, Miss Shirley Osgood; talk, Home Guard Work by Dorothy Knight; benediction, Rev. D. D. Maurer.
Refreshments were served and a social time enjoyed.

View the article here.

The Telegraph, Feb. 21, 1938

Sunday School Pupils Tribute

Pupils of the Sunday School department of the Arlington St. Methodist church paid tribute tobarbaraduncancummingsundayschoolteacher Mrs. James Cumming, former resident of this city, now of Lexington, Mass. where she and her husband make their home with their son. It was Mrs. Cumming’s birthday and the young people sang various songs paying homage to Mrs. Cumming who was teacher at the school for many years.
Mr. and Mrs. Cumming resided in Nashua for many years and were associated with the church from the time of its inception. They resided on Clement St., while here.

View the article here.


Published in: on April 25, 2014 at 3:38 pm  Leave a Comment  

For the Sake of Auld Lang Syne: THE ROMANCE OF JIM AND BARBARA

Rev. Herman A. Clark wrote this poem to honor Barbara Duncan Cumming and her husband James “Jim” Morrison Cumming on the occasion of their 50th wedding anniversary. They were married November 17, 1882 at  the home of her parents, “Carron Brae,” in Kincardine, Victoria County, New Brunswick. Rev. Clark married Barbara’s niece, Florence Duncan. Barbara’s grand niece Kristin Chapman Headley transcribed the poem that follows.

Affectionately Dedicated
Herman and Florence


As we reckon by time as told by the clock
Many days go to make up life,
While every day brings us something new,
Few are outstanding to a man and wife.
Hard work, and plenty of it, is the average lot,
Life runs on about the same.
Most of us ask for our “daily bread”,
Few ever win riches and fame. (more…)

Published in: on April 24, 2014 at 11:16 pm  Leave a Comment  
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1933 Ninth Annual Clan Picnic

Star Herald, September 14, 1933

Washburn, Maine

The ninth annual clan gathering of the Duncans and Cumming families took place at Aroostook Valley Park on Friday. It rained all day, which was sorely needed by our fields and did not interfere with the merry-making in the large dinning hall at the park. We are lucky to have a bunch of Scots that can pull together at these yearly gatherings. One of the outstanding unselfish leaders is our present chief—James Cumming of Nashua, N. H. Too much credit cannot be given to him for the masterly way he discharges the obligations he imposes on himself to make the occasion enjoyable, such as the personal supervision of the making of his matchless bean hole beans. His guidwife (scotch accent) Barbara runs her man a close second in her cooking of the famous Scotch haggas as well described by Burns in his “Cotter’s Saturday Night.”

Altho Spud prices have been on the down and down for years we did not allow that to dampen our spirits and certainly those long well loaded tables showed no depression with that variety of Scottish fare.

During the program of Scottish songs and stories, interspersed between a five-piece orchestra, a number of letters were read from absent member. Among the rest, one in verse from Rev. H. A. Clark of Gardiner, Me., and addressed to our worthy chief and his wife entitled—“The Romance of Jim and Barbara.” The Rev. gentleman seemed to be very well posted on the girl and boy courtship of the couple, and he was also eloquent on their early backwoods life in Kincardine Colony, and now that they have passed the golden wedding milestone we all hope to see Jim and Barbara present at our gatherings for a good many years to come.

Another letter was read from Geo. Cumming, a young electrician in Boston, Mass., in which he extolled the ideals of the clan. He said—“No longer do we do as our forefathers did”—carry the fighting fiery cross through the glens calling out the clans to battle, but instead we gather together in friendly competition of service to each other. We understand that George has been busy tracing back his forefathers of the Cumming clan, but the shady lives of these ancient free-footers discouraged him. No use digging up these old records, George for you might have discovered blue blood in your family tree which would have been just as bad. During the program some of the sprightly old clansmen were still able to demonstrate the lightsome steps of the Highland Fling. Among the notable songs was a duet, the Old Scottish Classic—Jimmie and Jennie—and it was rendered by Jim and Barbara, our chief and wife. Our clan seems to be very healthful and somewhat prolific for our record shows seven births and no deaths during the year.

These officers were elected for the coming year: Chief, Alex Duncan, Washburn; Vice Chief, Anson Cumming, Easton; Sec’y and Treas, Mrs. Barbara Lyons of Presque Isle.

Altogether we spent a very enjoyable day and thank all who helped make it so, of whom not the least was Zellwood Potter, caretaker of the park.

This article was sent by William L. Duncan, an aged and pioneer citizen of Washburn. But Billy is not so old after all. He still plays the piccolo in the band. You should all hear Billy. He’s a wonder.

View the original newspaper story here.


Published in: on April 21, 2014 at 12:59 pm  Leave a Comment  

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