Lions name speech contest winners

Pictured are Lion Mike Kay, Speak-Out chairman, first place winner, Taylor Kruse, a junior at Skowhegan Area High School, second place winner, Victoria Broadley, also a Junior at SAHS, and King Lion Diane Chamberland, of Skowhegan Lions Club. (Contributed photo)

The Skowhegan Lions Club recently completed its annual Speak-Out Contest at the Margaret Chase Smith Library Center, in Skowhegan. Lions Speak-Out gives high school students a forum to present a prepared speech on a topic or issue of their choosing and to defend their ideas when questioned.

Honoring Abner Coburn in Skowhegan on March 22, 2018

Katie Ouilette Wallsby Katie Ouilette

WALLS, faithful readers, we’re having a party and you and your friends are invited!

March 22 is the date. Why? Well, we of the Skowhegan Heritage Council and you will celebrate our Maine Governor Abner Coburn’s birthday! He was born on March 22, 1803, and the Skowhegan selectmen made this Declaration:

“In honor of all that Abner Coburn has done for the Town of Skowhegan and state of Maine and the exemplary life he lived, the Selectmen for the Town of Skowhegan have proclaimed have proclaimed March 22 forevermore to be Abner Coburn Day!”

There is a booklet about Abner Coburn, but WALLS, you surely don’t have to copy all of it. It does begin with his family history, but most important is the fact that his mother was Mary Weston and his father was a farmer and surveyor. You are right, WALLS. Abner grew up on the Back Road, received some education at the Pitt School ant then the family relocated to Bloomfield (the south side of the Kennebec River and Skowhegan’s name at one time). In Bloomfield, Abner attended Bloomfield Academy until he was 14 years of age and his father, Eleazer, felt that Abner and his brother, Philander, should leave their formal education and he would teach them surveying. Abner and Philander grew very wealthy and owned thousands of acres of land and tree growth and as a logger, Abner obviously valued education, as he gave so much to schools and colleges throughout the U.S.

Abner built the mansion on Main Street Hill in Skowhegan in 1848 and he and Philander lived there, Philander died in 1876 and Abner lived there all his life.

That brings us to the many positions of the man who became Maine’s governor. Actually, WALLS, because of space and word-count, I will leave much of this for our faithful readers to read at their libraries, but the fact that Governor Coburn stood beside Abraham Lincoln, as he took his oath of office when elected president, Wow! We surely had a famous governor.

Yes, all of us of the Skowhegan Heritage Council hope to see you at the Skowhegan Free Public Library and we will serve dessert. As a matter of fact, we will serve you cookies that Mary Marston, who lived in the Coburn mansion on Skowhegan’s Main Street Hill. The Marston family had four children who grew up there and, years ago, Lakewood stars visited the Marston’s often.

See you on March 22, as you will learn much of our Governor Coburn, as we celebrate him at 4 p.m.

Huard’s Karate team member tops in New England

Huard’s Sport Karate team member Landon Nunn, 12, of Skowhegan, captured first place in New England for point fighting for the 2017 season.
Photo by Mark Huard, Central Maine Photography

Skowhegan library children’s section awarded grant

Word has recently been received by the Skowhegan Free Public Library that the children’s section of the library has been chosen as a recipient of the Dorothy Louise Kyler Foundation grant in the amount of $5,000. The foundation specifies that all funds must be spent on books, audio books, CDs, and DVDs for the children’s collection.

Youth Services Librarian, Angie Herrick, wrote the grant last fall, stating a need for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) related materials. Much of the current children’s non-fiction section is dated and funds are tight. According to a report put out by Georgetown University, Americans should expect to see a 26 percent increase in STEM job fields in the next ten years. This means that nearly a quarter of all new jobs will be centered on math, science, engineering and technology skills. It is the hope that this grant will allow the library to purchase new materials that will bolster the current collection without taking money away from the small book budget the library sets aside for children’s materials. The library would like to be able to provide these new and reliable resources to engage young learners in the STEM fields. Items on the wish list include: coding and technology books, math and science series, Lego design books, and lots of educational DVDs for all ages.

The Skowhegan Library Youth Services Librarian has been working with the Maine State Librarian’s STEM Liaison, Christina Dorman, and Early Literacy Children’s Specialist, Stephanie Schott, to make sure that quality materials are selected. New items should begin appearing on the library shelves in February.

Matthew Steward named to dean’s list at Bob Jones University

Matthew Steward, a sophomore criminal justice major, of Skowhegan, was among approximately 890 Bob Jones University students named to the Fall 2017 Dean’s List, in Greenville, South Carolina.

The dean’s list recognizes students who earn a 3.00-3.74 grade point average during the semester.

Students named to the U. of Vermont dean’s list

The following local students have been named to the University of Vermont dean’s list, in Burlington, Vermont:

Delaney Curran; of Skowhegan; Kaitlyn Sutter, of Palermo; and Kayla Christopher, of Oakland.

Steward named to dean’s list

Matthew Steward, a freshman criminal justice major, from Skowhegan, was among approximately 860 Bob Jones University students named to the Spring 2017 dean’s list, in Greenville South Carolina.

Skowhegan Woman’s Club celebrates 136 years

The Skowhegan Woman’s Club (GFWC ME) is celebrating its 136th anniversary. One of the main functions of the club is volunteering in community and lending a hand. Recently members of the GFWC, Skowhegan Woman’s Club, Debra Burnham, left, Skowhegan Woman’s Club treasurer, and Joyce Noonan, right, Skowhegan Woman’s Club fundraising chairman, hand a $500 check to Dale Jandreau, center, Skowhegan Free Public Library director.  Contributed photo

Local residents receive bachelor’s degrees at WPI

On Saturday, May 13, on the Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) campus quadrangle, in Worcester, Massachusetts, over 1,000 bachelor’s degrees were awarded during the university’s 149th commencement ceremony.

Julia Pershken, of Albion, was awarded a bachelor of science degree in civil engineering with distinction.

Mikayla Bolduc, of Skowhegan, was awarded a bachelor of science degree in biomedical engineering.

Researchers meet on Monday

Skowhegan History House Museum & Research Center is instituting a new program for researchers. Museum trustees are opening up the Research Center on Mondays for researchers only. The center will be staffed with folks who have experience with conducting research, especially genealogy, from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m., each Monday excluding those that fall on holidays or holiday weekends.

Kay Marsh or David James, both trustees, will be available to assist researchers with finding information, orienting them with the research center, and where appropriate provide additional source locations. Those who are interested in conducting research pertaining to Skowhegan or genealogy should take advantage of this opportunity for assistance from these two local experts.

The Museum house will remain closed on Mondays and no tours will be available. Skowhegan History House Museum & Research Center will continue to offer services Tuesday – Saturday, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. through October 21. For more information call 207-474-6632 or send a message via