Remembering Dorchester, Jan. 15, 2020

Submitted to Dorchester Banner/Secrets of the Eastern Shore, ‘Up Pine Street’
Members of the “Mes Amies Social and Literary Club” gathered in 1940. In front from the left are Nellie Kiah, Emma St. Clair, Marie Turpin, Margaretta Cornish, Rosie Boggs, Gertie Stanley, and Mammie Mortimer. In back from the left are unknown woman, Elizabeth Woolford, Thelma Sampson, two more unknown women, and Mary St. Clair.

Meet the ladies of the “Mes Amies Social and Literary Club” in the historic Pine Street community of Cambridge. “Mes Amies” is French for “My Friends,” of course.

The group was probably similar to the friends-and-neighbors book clubs that so many folks belong to nowadays, though these ladies seemed to like getting a little more dressed up for meetings than their modern-day counterparts.

The photo was taken in 1940. The last names here are basically a who’s who of historic, centuries-old families in the African-American story of Cambridge and the surrounding countryside.

The photo is from “Up Pine Street,” a collection of photos and historical snippets put together by Cambridge native David “Nicky” Henry.