Edmund S. Muskie Oral History Collection


Mike Richard

Document Type

Oral History

Publication Date


Interview Number

MOH 137


Barbara (Mitchell) Atkins was born in July of 1945 in Waterville, Maine. She grew up with four older brothers: John, Paul, Robert and George Mitchell. Her mother, Mary, was a weaver in the woolen mills in Waterville, and her father, George, Sr., was with the Central Maine Power Company and with the Colby College maintenance department. The family was Maronite Roman Catholic of Lebanese descent. Her mother was born in Lebanon and came to the U.S. in 1920. Barbara attended St. Joseph’s elementary school, Waterville Junior High School and Waterville High School where she played volleyball, basketball, was a cheerleader, a member of the French Club, and involved in editing the yearbook. She earned her degree at the University of Maine at Orono, majoring in Sociology. She married Edward L. Atkins, a Waterville man who had a printing and photography business. Barbara managed the office staff for her husband’s business when she wasn’t teaching. Edward Atkins was a strong Democrat, although he came from a Republican family.

Scope and Content Note

Interview includes discussions of: Boys Club in Waterville; Edward Atkins; impressions of Jane Muskie; impressions of Ed Muskie; Atkins printing business; Dick McMahon; Lebanese social events in Waterville in the 1950s and 1960s; and the economic and political situation of Waterville, Maine.

Use Restrictions

Copyright Bates College. This transcript is provided for individual Research Purposes Only; for all other uses, including publication, reproduction and quotation beyond fair use, permission must be obtained in writing from: The Edmund S. Muskie Archives and Special Collections Library, Bates College, 70 Campus Avenue, Lewiston, Maine 04240-6018.