Jan. 31, 1945: A fire rips through a privately operated boarding home being used as an unlicensed nursery in Auburn, killing 16 babies and a nurse. Three women and five children escape the flames.

The state had cited the operator for code violations, and although the operator had delayed making improvements, state authorities failed to close the facility before the fire.

Logan Marr Courtesy photo

Jan. 31, 2001: Five-year-old Logan Marr dies of suffocation after her foster mother, Sally Anne Schofield, binds her with duct tape and straps her into a high chair in the basement of Schofield’s home in Chelsea.

Schofield, a former Maine Department of Health and Human Services caseworker, is convicted of manslaughter in 2002 in connection with the child’s death. She is released on parole in 2017.

The case, which becomes the subject of a PBS “Frontline” episode, results in an overhaul of child protection procedures in Maine. The state made placement with family members a higher priority.

The Winslow Homer studio at Prouts Neck in Scarborough. Gregory Rec/Staff Photographer

Jan. 31, 2006: The Portland Museum of Art acquires the building and the surrounding grounds of the Winslow Homer Studio in Prouts Neck, a coastal community of summer residents that is part of Scarborough.


For the next six years, the museum works to restore the building’s appearance to the way it looked when Homer used it.

The studio, which also was the famed artist’s residence, was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1965.

Homer (1836-1910), a Boston native, lived and painted in the studio from 1884 until his death.

Joseph Owen is a retired copy desk chief of the Morning Sentinel and Kennebec Journal and board member of the Kennebec Historical Society. He can be contacted at: [email protected]

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