Publication Date


Document Type


First Page


Last Page



The Good Samaritan Home Agency has served young pregnant rural women from throughout the state of Maine since 1902. In its first four decades, the Home attracted more women than it could serve by incorporating rural values of self-reliance and hard work into its philosophy and organizational structure. Women came to the home to deliver their children and stayed for a required six-month residency. Taking advantage of inexpensive childcare and job placement provided by the Agency, many women gained the opportunity to remain in the city; keep their children, obtain jobs, and marry. By the 1940s, pressure from state and federal social work agencies to follow national social work standards, caused the Agency's transformation from a residential program emphasizing individual responsibility to a series of foster homes with a focus on adoption. As a result, the Good Samaritan Home Agency could no longer meet the needs of the rural women it most wanted to serve. Mazie Hough is the Associate Director of the Women in the Curriculum Program at the University of Maine. She received her Ph. D. at the University of Maine in 1997. Her dissertation is a comparative study of the treatment of unwed mothers in Tennessee and Maine during the first half of the twentieth century.