Maine: An Encyclopedia

Day, Holman


  • Up in Maine: Stories of Yankee Life Told in Verse (1900; his first book of poems)*
  • The Legend of Frenche’s Isle (1900)
  • An Edict in Modern Acadia (1901)
  • Pine Tree Ballads: Rhymed Stories of Unplaned Human Natur’ Up in Maine (1902) *
  • Kin o’ Ktaadn: Verse Stories of the Plain Folk… (1904) *
  • Squire Phin: A Novel (1905; first novel)
  • The Saints of Shiloh: The Story of Evangelist Sandford… (1905)
  • The Rainy Day Railroad War (1906)
  • King Spruce: A Novel (1908)
  • Does Prohibition Pay? Maine After Fifty-Seven Years of Prohibition (1908)
  • The Eagle Badge: or, The Skokums of the Allagash (1908)
  • Maine Faces Bitter Facts (1909)
  • The Ramrodders: A Novel (1910)
  • The Skipper and the Skipped, Being the Shore Log of Cap’n Aaron (1911)
  • The Red Lane: A Romance of the Border (1912)
  • The Landloper: The Romance of a Man on Foot (1915)
  • Blow the Man Down: A Romance of the Coast (1916)
  • Where Your Treasure is: Being the Personal Narrative of Ross… (1917)
  • The Rider of the King Log: A Romance of the Northeast Border (1919)
  • All-Wool Morrison: Time: Today. Place: The United States… (1920)
  • When Egypt Went Broke: A Novel (1921)
  • Joan of Arc of the North Woods (1922)
  • Leadbetter’s Luck (1923; novel of lumbering in Misery Gore)
  • The Loving are the Daring (1923)
  • When the Fight Begins (1925)
  • Clothes Make the Pirate (1925)
  • Along Came Ruth: A Comedy in Three Acts (1930)
  • The Ship of Joy, Hugh Barrett Dobbs, Commander… (1931)
  • The Pants Jemima Made (1946)

* Published by Small, Maynard & Company of Boston.

(1865 – 1935) was born in Vassalboro and was an 1887 graduate of Colby College. Day was a poet, novelist, and filmmaker, as well as a correspondent for the Lewiston Sun newspaper for years. According to Milton Davis,

He attended Oak Grove, a Quaker seminary in his native town of Vassalboro, Me., and Colby College, where he made some reputation as a wit, writer, and drinker. Immediately after graduation in 1887, he became man-of-all-work for the Fairfield Journal, to which he contributed his first Maine country column, “Evenings in a Country Store.” From 1888 to 1892 he was editor and part owner of the Dexter Gazette (later Eastern Gazette), which he made a successful and sprightly country weekly. During the next twenty years he was chiefly associated as special correspondent and columnist with the Lewiston Evening Journal, though at times he was briefly connected with other papers in Maine and in Boston.

His films include Cupid, Registered Guide (1921) and The Knight of the Pines (1920), both 20 minute two-reel black and white silent North Woods comedies. All But Forgotten (1978) is a documentary by Everett Foster on the Holman Day film company (1920-1921) in Maine.

Day produced over 25 books. His works were comments on society and often written in his version of the Maine dialect. His Saints of Shiloh refers to the Sanfordites whose temple, Shiloh, is located in Durham.

His introduction to the poem “When General Knox Kept Open House” exemplifies his admiration for the spirit of the people of Maine.

I like the thoughts of the long nights! I know the barns are full inshore and the coasters are hunting harbor; lights shine in the windows and the rosy beams leak under the cracks of the doors as though there was so much glory inside the warm homes that it is spilling out into the night. I like to think of the open hands and smiles and greetings at the thresholds, and tables heaped. I dream of the days of the old mansions along the coast of Maine when the big men of the countryside did not live for themselves, as so many do now, but made feast and frolic for the humble ones whose cupboards were bare.

(Kin O’ Kataadn, p. 174.)

Additional resources

All But Forgotten: Holman Francis Day, Filmmaker. [moving image recording] Blue Hill Falls, Me. Northeast Historic Film. 1988.

“Contemporary New England Humorists,” New England Magazine, February, 1906.

Davis, Milton. “Holman Francis Day.” Dictionary of American Biography, Supplements 1-2: To 1940. American Council of Learned Societies, 1944-1958. Reproduced in History Resource Center. Farmington Hills, MI. Gale Group.

Day, Holman. Papers. 1899-1970. [University of Maine. Special Collections.]

Waterboro Public Library at

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This entry was last modified: January 14, 2014 08:14 PM

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