In partnership with the Maine Memory Network Maine Memory Network

Lincoln, Maine

A Town of Hearty, Resilient Souls

The Stanislaus Family

Responses from four students in Mrs. Harris' Social Studies class can be viewed below:

Sylvia Stanislaus, Lincoln, 1936
Sylvia Stanislaus, Lincoln, 1936

Item Contributed by
Lincoln Historical Society

Nick Birtz
"Research your topic and summarize the 'who, what, when, and where' in the form of a few paragraphs"

Sylvia Stanislaus was born on March 28, 1836 on the Passamaquoddy Reservation at Pleasant Point. There isn’t much known about Sylvia’s parents, except that her father’s name was Joseph and he was a full-blooded Native American. Sylvia’s mother’s name was Mary, who was half white, half Native American. Sylvia lost both her parents at a young age and was later adopted by a Penobscot woman from Greenbush. Growing up, she learned how to make baskets which she sold until she turned 96. She spent many summers selling her wares in Rye Beach, New Hampshire. Sylvia got into a railway crash in 1933, causing her to go blind until her her death in 1938. Sylvia lived to 102, eight days before her 103rd birthday.

Stephen Stanislaus was born to the Penobscot tribe in Mattawamkeag in 1831 by his mother, Mary Nicolas, and his father, Stanislaus. He worked as a river guide until he became Governor of the Penobscot tribe on October 5, 1880. Stephen probably made changes to the Penobscot people and to people in the area to ensure a better life style for them while he served his eight year term. Stephen Stanislaus died in 1916.

Sylvia Stanislaus
Sylvia Stanislausposter by James Rider

After they were married in Bangor in September 1859, the couple traveled by canoe to Lincoln. They soon built a house on Mattanawcook Island, which is on the Penobscot River, near where the mill is today. Their house burned to the ground in 1926, so the family proceeded to move to the mainland. They had their Golden Anniversary celebration on September 18, 1909, given by their only living son, Francis.

Francis Stanislaus was the only child out of eight Stephen and Sylvia had that lived to adulthood. The rest of them probably died through miscarriages and dying while being born. Later, around twenty years after Sylvia’s death, Francis built a structure called the Casino Building, located between the Catholic Church and the Stanislaus home.

Lauren Page
“Create a ‘why’ question, research the answer, and create response answering the question.”

Why did the Stanislaus family live in Lincoln?

I think that the Stanislaus family chose to live in Lincoln in the 1920s because Stephen was a Penobscot Native American and had lived here for years. His ancestors moved here because there is lots of wildlife for food and skins, lumber for building, and the Penobscot River for transportation. When Sylvia and Stephen were married, they wanted extra room to grow, to build their own house with the wood from the forest, and to have extra farming land. They chose Lincoln for all of those reasons. That is what I learned about the Stanislaus family moving to Lincoln, Maine.

Dominic Hewes

How did the Stanislaus family impact or relate to my life?

One way this connects to my life is, I’m 1/8 Native American and so is my grandfather. Also, my grammy makes baskets like Sylvia Stanislaus. Another way I connect to this family is, my grandfather lives near the Penobscot River that they lived on, too.

Stanislaus home on Mattanawcook Island, Lincoln, ca. 1910
Stanislaus home on Mattanawcook Island, Lincoln, ca. 1910

Item Contributed by
Lincoln Historical Society

How did the Stanislaus family impact the town of Lincoln?

Many people got cars from Francis Stanislaus in town when he owned Casino Motors. That business also gave lots of jobs in town.

The Stanislaus family was also important to Lincoln because they provided the town with Native American culture and Stephen was the governor of the Penobscot tribe. Stephen was governor for eight years. He made choices about what the tribe would do and made big decisions.

Works Cited

“The Stanislaus Family.” Various articles. Lincoln: Lincoln Historical Society.