Section 2 (Birthdays, Anniversaries, and Family Milestones)


James Cook & Lane Michael
Coastline map of Newfoundland; VI. leaf containing the northern part from Pointe de Ferolle to the island of Quirpon, with the Detroit of Bell-Island and the Labrador coast…, 1784.
Osher Sheet Map Collection

“I was planning a trip to Labrador and Newfoundland to celebrate a milestone birthday. I have been to Newfoundland once before, but never to Labrador. My previous trip to Newfoundland in 2018 I got there via the ferry from North Sydney Nova Scotia into Channel-Port aux Basques. My travel partners and I covered a lot of territory while we were there, but didn’t get North of Gros Morne National Park on the West /Gulf of St Lawrence coast. I was disappointed not to get further up the Northern Peninsula to L’Anse aux Meadows, so I was going to do that during my trip planned for September 2020. […] Since the Canadian border was, and still is, closed, this is the trip I did not get to make.

But, the time off from work to make this trip was still on my calendar, so I scaled back my beloved Canadian road trip and headed to Washington County, Maine. I have made many trips to Washington County over the years, and I know those roads fairly well. It is such a beautiful part of Maine that I quickly stopped thinking of this trip as some kind of a booby prize, and instead endeavored to spend more prolonged time in beloved places, and explore a few new places I had never been to before, especially the public reserve lands around Grand Lake Stream. Someday I will take another trip North into the Canadian Maritimes, but until then, I have new places in Washington County, Maine to have fond and magical memories of!” -Nancy Foss

Willem Janszoon Blaeu
Map of the Northern Island, also known as Bermuda, East of the Gulf of Mexico at 32 degrees and 25 minutes. Lying 3300 miles from London England towards Lisbon, and 500 miles southeast of Roanoke (which is located in Virginia). Accurately described, 1635.
Osher Sheet Map Collection

“I was born in Bermuda while my father was stationed there for the Navy. When I finished college in 1996, my mother and I went back to Bermuda for a visit and to celebrate my graduation. This was very much on my mind as I went through the process of earning my doctorate over the last few years. In the fall of 2016, I began a Ph.D. program and then also experienced the passing of my mother. A trip to Bermuda to celebrate completing my doctorate, and to remember my mother, was planned for the fall of 2020. The trip was to include a cruise from Boston to Bermuda and two days in port to explore the island. My spouse, Anna, and I would be joined by good friends who now live in Denver, Colorado. We booked the trip in a moment of optimism that the global pandemic would be alleviated by the summer of 2020, and that was clearly not the case. We are waiting to see what the world looks like, and what travel looks like, before we reschedule.” -Sarah

Luis Teixeira
Azores Islands, inspected with the utmost diligence, accurately described and depicted by Louis Teisera, Portuguese Royal Cosmographer, 1595.
Osher Map Library Sheet Map Collection

“To mark our 10th wedding anniversary, my wife and I had planned a trip to the Azores. We were going to be island-hopping to cover as much hiking, snorkeling, swimming and hot springs as we could. We were also planning a short layover in Portugal on one end of the trip to explore Lisbon and/or Porto.” -Erin

John Harris & John Senex
[A new map of the English empire in the ocean of America or West Indies] by J. Senex; A New Map of the Island of Jamaica, 1721.
Smith Sheet Map Collection

“My family and I had plans to travel to the place of my birth: Trelawny, Jamaica, in December 2020 to celebrate my father’s 70th birthday. We had been planning this trip and a party to celebrate his birthday for over a year. Going to the Caribbean in December is also a welcome retreat from winter conditions in the Northeast!”
-Natallie Gentles-Gibbs

Willem Janszoon Blaeu & Joan Blaeu
Kingdom of Hibernia, commonly called Ireland, 1635-1638.
Story Sheet Map Collection

“In March of 2020, a group of us were planning a trip to Ireland to celebrate a friend’s 60th birthday. For the past twenty years, whenever a milestone birthday occurs (40, 50, 60 years young), the person whose birthday it is chooses a place to travel and invites others to join them. We’ve been to Italy, Mexico, England, Georgia, and Florida to name just a few locations. Last year was equally special because the person who was celebrating their birthday (who is of Irish descent) was also celebrating their retirement.

These trips are women only, and a way for us to come together to celebrate our achievements, navigate our way around new places, and experience life. They revive our sense of adventure, and recharge our batteries to return to our normal lives. We’re left with fond memories, good stories, and a reminder of the importance of good friends. This trip was especially important to me because I lost my mother in December of 2019 and I really needed to spend time with this group of women to share my loss and celebrate life. Our last trip together was in November of 2018, so we were all due. We’ve stayed in touch over the past year, but we all feel the loss of each other’s company.” -Bonnie

Guillaume de L’Isle
Map of Hungary and its former dependents, 1703.
Osher Map Library Sheet Map Collection

“My husband won a business reward trip through his company. It’s quite an honor to win this award and the trip was only part of the reward. On this trip, the winners were allowed to choose certain activities that the travel agency had planned. These ranged from hot springs, museums, spa treatments, etc. This trip happened to fall on my scheduled vacation from work AND my 50th birthday was the next month. It was a WIN, WIN, WIN. The trip was scheduled in April, one month after we went into quarantine in March and all travel was cancelled.” -Anonymous

Pierre Mariette, J. Somer, & Nicolas Sanson
Mexico or New Spain, New Galicia, Yucatan & and other Provinces up to the Isthmus of Panama…, 1656.
Osher Sheet Map Collection

“I would have been flying to Mexico City to attend a concert for my birthday in mid-March of 2020, but the border closed and the whole world shut down. This was a bummer, but not nearly as much of a bummer as it would be to catch COVID-19 or potentially expose someone vulnerable to the virus. Aside from that, instead of traveling constantly for work, I have been grounded for over a year. While I desperately miss the lifestyle of constant travel, I have also really taken advantage of this period of quiet and rest.” -Caitlyn

S. H. Maw
The City of Quebec: with historical notes, 1932.
Osher Map Library Sheet Map Collection
Donated by Zip Kellogg

“We almost always travel to Quebec over Memorial Day weekend and we were planning a return trip in May 2020. On our trips to Quebec we usually drive up route 201, stopping in Jackman, Maine, for lunch and then continuing through to Quebec City. We like to stay in the old city and spend the long weekend touring the city, dining out, and visiting nearby attractions. Once the pandemic washed over the US and Canada, we knew that the trip would not happen in 2020. Even if the border had not been closed and restaurants and hotels had not shut down, we would not have been comfortable traveling.
[The cancellation of our trip] was especially disappointing, because our oldest son was graduating high school, and we knew that the odds of organizing a trip with the whole family would become increasingly less likely as he moved into the adult world of college and work. This, combined with the cancellation of his planned trip to Europe in April with his friends at school and the cancellation of spring senior activities, very much took the wind out of our ability to celebrate this time of milestones in our oldest son’s life.” -John

Department of the Gulf, Map No. 5, Approaches to New Orleans, Prepared by order of Maj. Gen. N.P. Banks, Henry L. Abbot, Capt. and Chief Top Engrs., Feb. 14, 1863.
Carpenter Sheet Map Collection

“These were not cancelled plans, but rather plans that would have happened if not for the pandemic. My father died in July of 2020 (from cancer, not COVID-19), and my sisters and I were unable to travel to New Orleans to be with my mom or hold a funeral. My father’s death during COVID-19 was challenging in many ways. My mother lives alone in New Orleans (she was my Dad’s caretaker) and my sisters live on the West Coast. I would have driven to New Orleans both in July of 2020 when my Dad died and in December of 2020. This was my Mom’s first Christmas without her husband since they married in 1964, and her first with none of her children or grandchildren present since the first sister showed up in 1965. It was emotionally straining for all of us to not be together, and it was also the right choice to not travel. My mother is a soon-to-be 80 year old who is a three-year cancer survivor. She forbade any of us to travel to her, as she said she could not live with it if any of us became ill after coming to see her.” -USM Employee

Alexandre Vuillemin
New Map of Italy showing its new political divisions, its lines of communication, railways, roads and ocean liner routes, 1861.
Osher Map Library Sheet Map Collection

“I was to travel to Florence, Italy, for my 50th birthday in October of 2020 but since that was not an option due to COVID, I instead celebrated by renting a cottage in Higgins Beach, Maine. Not quite Italy but it was lovely.” -USM Employee

“My boyfriend and I were planning to fly into Rome and then travel to Ravello where we would then walk/hike the Amalfi Coast with stops in Ravello, Atrani, Anacapri, and Positano. It was a celebration of his medical school graduation and, from a personal standpoint, [the cancellation] was very disappointing since we will not be able to go on that trip during his three-year residency program.” -Healthcare worker

“We had made all arrangements for two weeks in Italy from Venice to Rome, then a couple of weeks with a tour in the Balkans during February and March of 2020. Then, suddenly Italy was a global epicenter of the pandemic. Travel in and out was restricted. It’s doubtful I will ever get there now.” -Jym St. Pierre

“I was planning to travel to Brescia, Italy, with my husband and two children to see my husband’s parents. They are both in their mid-eighties and are living in a small flat in Concesio, a village in the region of Brescia, Italy. This is very near one of the early epicenters of the pandemic and they are still experiencing problems. Vaccine roll-out has also not been smooth and my husband’s parents are still not vaccinated. Only 30% of people in their age-group are. We do not know when we will be able to see them again.” -Angela

National Geographic Society (publisher)
A Traveler’s Map of Germany, 1991.
Osher Map Library Sheet Map Collection
Note: located in Reading Room

[Image not displayed; under copyright]

“I have finally become an aunt, but was unable to meet the first niece and the first grandchild in our family.” -Nora

C. E. Riddiford, National Geographic Society
A Modern Pilgrim’s map of the British Isles, or more precisely the Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the Irish Free State, 1937.
Moore Sheet Map Collection

“Personally, it has been really frustrating not being able to go to the UK to see my family… My mother turned 90 in May 2020 and while she’s in good health, it would be great to be able to see her in person. She’s profoundly deaf and utterly technophobic, so zooming with her is not good at all. Perhaps the first thing I’ll do when travel restrictions are relaxed is to fly to Norwich to see her (and the rest of the family).” -Matthew Edney

Post Route Map of the states of Ohio and Indiana, 1884.
Osher Sheet Map Collection

“Every May my wife Amanda and I travel to Indianapolis, Indiana, to visit my family and attend the Indianapolis 500. The 2020 race would have been my twentieth event to attend. Having grown up near the Indianapolis Motor Speedway the month of May festivities are an important part of my life. Going to the race has become a family tradition between my sister’s family and mine. It’s a celebration filled with lots of fun, food, and racing. It’s the largest single day sporting event in the world, but my family literally sits next to the same people/ticket holders in the stands each year. They have become our friends and we enjoy the party atmosphere with them. Of course the event was cancelled in May. It was rescheduled in August, but without spectators. […] As of March 2021, it is not clear if the speedway will be limiting attendance. […] We feel it’s still unsafe to travel and gather at such an event, but we want to ensure we do not lose our beloved seats to the Greatest Spectacle in Racing.” -John Taylor

E. F. Bean
Geologic map of Wisconsin, 1949.
Osher Map Library Sheet Map Collection

“I was supposed to gather with my extended family at the home of my grandmother in Green Bay, Wisconsin. We would have been celebrating her 98th birthday, and it would have been the first time my newborn child would have met his extended family.” -Louis Miller

Rand McNally and Company
Pennsylvania: Sunoco Road Map and Historical Scenic Guide, 1948.
Yorke Sheet Map Collection

“I was planning to attend the adoption proceedings for my (now) nephews in July 2020 in Indiana, Pennsylvania. Because of my parents’ age and the fact that I would be staying with them, I decided to stay in Maine rather than attending for everyone’s safety. It still pains me that I missed this very important family event. I also missed my parents’ 50th wedding anniversary, which we would have celebrated during the same visit. Not being able to be with my family during these defining moments has been very difficult. I hope to see my family this year for the first time since 2019.” – Cathleen Miller

Published under the direction of Major-General Kishori Lai Khosia, Surveyor General of India
Road Map of India [Bhrata k saaka mnacitra], 1977.
Osher Map Library Sheet Map Collection

“In February of 2020, I flew to Cape Town, South Africa, for a few days and met my friends with whom I was traveling. After seeing bits of Cape Town, we boarded the Azamara’s ‘Quest’ for what should have been a glorious 26-day voyage to Africa and India. However, we spent twelve days in the Indian Ocean meandering the waters as no country would allow us to land, and we finally ran out of fuel. Luckily, Oman eventually allowed us to fuel and disembark within a two-hour limitation. COVID-19 had hit the world and although we had no symptoms on board we were told to leave […].
-Meredith S.S. Smith