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Welcome to Prospero's Blog! My wife Mollie and I work together in our Rough Magic studio on the coast of Maine. I've always loved old books, memorabilia, curiosities and Americana (especially 19th century dramatic literature) and am happy to share my discoveries in my Etsy Shops. Please come by and browse ~ there's just no telling what you'll find!

August 21, 2010

Remembering Riverton

Riverton Park, Portland, Maine

Although the old Riverton Amusement Park on the Presumpscot River was only a short distance from my family home in Portland, Maine, I remember very little about it. My memory for long ago places and faces is generally pretty good, but since we spent our summers at the family camp on Sebago Lake, I don't recall much about the park itself. And by the time I was old enough to take serious stock of landmarks and such, the park was long gone, perhaps a casualty of the Great Depression and other catastrophic events.

But in its heyday in the 19th century, Riverton Park is said to have been one of the most popular attractions in the entire state of Maine. I've been told that on a nice summer day streetcars filled with visitors to Riverton would line up for a mile or more along Forest Avenue.

This antique photo card from the early 20th century shows the park as viewed from the river. Canoes were launched from the dock in the right foreground. That large building in the center is the casino, with the gazebo to its right.

Probably printed as an advertisement for the Portland Railroad Company, the card is available in my Etsy vintage shop. To view it there, please click here.

August 20, 2010

Goodbye Website, Hello Etsy!

Earlier this week my website rode off into a not so glorious cyber sunset.

When first went online in the fall of 2007, I had high hopes. For the next couple of years I worked diligently, listing first our own publications and later several hundred antiquarian and vintage books.

In June of 2008 Mollie, who had at first shared the site with me, took her 50%, Rough Magic Creations, to and the following November opened her holiday shop there.

At her urging, I opened my Etsy shop, ProsperosBookshelf, in January 2009, and am now approaching my 100th sale of vintage items. As compared to a grand total of 30 sales from the website in its three-year lifespan.

I could rant about the monetary cost of the site, its ponderous shopping cart and unreliable view tracker, but I won't belabor the point.

Hello Etsy! 

I've recently opened my second Etsy shop, FeedbackTheatrebooks, where all our publications now reside.

Will our audience find us there? It remains to be seen.

Do I regret the change? Not for an instant.
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