When you talk about getting in the water, you're talking about my father's side of the family. Naturally, growing up in Maine, we have access both to "the beach," by which we mean the ocean, but also the lovely lakes all around us. My love for being near the water comes directly through my dad, who came by it honestly, from his own upbringing.

His mother, my grandmother Mattie Seavey, who grew up in the East Deering neighborhood of Portland, Maine, and, who remembered swimming as a child in the tranquil waters of Casco Bay, loved to swim and always had her suit and bathing cap ready to go at a moment's notice.

As a young woman, she worked at the Poland Spring House, and probably took off with her girlfriends for a quick dip in the nearby lake when she got off the switchboard. Here are a couple of her scrapbook pictures taken from around that time, in the swimsuit styles of the 1920s:


Grammy Seavey (Mattie Leighton) on the left 



Grammy Seavey (Mattie Leighton) on the right

Later, she and my grandfather, Howard Seavey, spent a lot of time at Woods Pond, in Bridgton, Maine, where he had grown up. Here they are, drying off before heading back home, probably in the 1940s:


Howard and Mattie Seavey

My dad loved the water and was a strong swimmer, both in the frigid waters of Casco Bay, and in the many lakes he fished and swam in. Here he and my Aunt Polly, his younger sister, are, probably at Willard Beach in South Portland, around 1935 or so:


My dad, Dick Seavey, at Willard Beach, circa 1935


My aunt, Polly Seavey, at Willard Beach, circa 1935

Memorial Weekend marks the beginning of summer for many families.
Time to get out that suit!
Originally published 5/28/2011at: Digging Down East

((Written for the 4th Annual Swimsuit Edition of Carnival of Genealogy))

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