In 1912, a mixed-race community of about forty-five people was evicted by the state of Maine from Malaga Island, just off the coast of Phippsburg. It was an act motivated by economics, racism, eugenics, and political retribution.

Eight islanders were committed to the Maine School for the Feeble-Minded. The remaining islanders faired as best they could after moving to the mainland. Once the island was clear, the state moved the Malaga school to another island. Then they dug up the graves and reburied the remains in the graveyard at the Maine School for the Feeble-Minded.

The Malaga community was erased.

For generations, Descendants have feared to speak about what happened to their families because of the local stigma of mixed-blood and feeble-mindedness.  Others in Phippsburg would rather forget the incident - a story best left untold, some say.

This is that story.

Malaga Island: A Story Best Left Untold was produced by photographer Kate Philbrick and radio producer Rob Rosenthal in collaboration with WMPG-FM and the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies in Portland, Maine. We invite you to listen to our hour-long radio documentary, view photos, and examine historic documents. Also, please take a moment to leave a comment in our Forum.

Produced in collaboration with:
Major funding provivded by