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In this article Kimberly Sebold outlines the process by which historians reconstruct the lives of ordinary rural people—in this case, fishermen, carpenters, farmers, and farm-wives living on Mount Desert Island. Using a combination of archival research, archaeology, landscape interpretation, and common sense, Sebold and her colleagues paint a surprisingly detailed picture of these seemingly obscure individuals and the community in which they lived and experienced the joys and hardships of nineteenth-century Maine life. Dr. Sebold received her Ph.D. from the University of Maine in 1998. She is currently an Assistant professor of History at the University of Maine at Presque Isle.