Friday, September 16, 2011

South Berwick Girl Donates 125-Year-Old Clay Pipe to Museum

Sarah Arenberg, 10, was swimming off the Rollinsford boat ramp in the Salmon Falls River this summer, when she saw something white glint on the muddy bottom.
“I thought at first that it was a shark’s tooth,” said the Marshwood Great Works School fifth grader, who lives in South Berwick.
To local historians, Sarah’s find was no less interesting: a clay pipe that someone may have smoked near that spot over 125 years ago.
Sarah and her mother, Debbie Arenberg, researched the pipe on the Internet. The name of the maker, W. White, was stamped on the pipe bowl. The Arenbergs learned that the Whites’ factory building in Glasgow, Scotland, was built in 1877 and still stands. It produced pipes through the 1890s.
Sarah recently donated the pipe to the Counting House Museum, owned by the Old Berwick Historical Society.
“We are delighted to have such an interesting object,” said Pat Laska, the society’s president. “Clay pipes were in common use in South Berwick and Rollinsford before the 20th century.”
The pipe, in good condition except that the stem appears shortened, is now on display on the second floor of South Berwick Town Hall, where the society maintains a display case of historical objects.
Photo caption: Sarah Arenberg, age 10, holds an old clay pipe she found this summer while swimming in the Salmon Falls River. Made in Scotland, the pipe is likely more than 125 years old, and is now on display in the Old Berwick Historical Society’s display case on the second floor of South Berwick Town Hall. (Courtesy photo)