Kennebec Historical Society to hear about German POWs in Maine

German prisoners of war picking potatoes in Houlton during World War II. (contributed photo)

In 1944, the U.S. Army Air Base, in Houlton, Maine, in Aroostook, County, became the site of a Prisoner of War (POW) internment camp for German soldiers captured in North Africa and France. The POWs could not be forced to work, but they could volunteer. Those who wanted to work helped the local farmers harvest peas and pick potatoes and cut wood in the forest after harvest time during the winter. In September 1945, Aroostook County farmers decided to take advantage of this opportunity. My dad requested some prisoners to help with our potato harvest. When harvest time rolled around, eight young Germans would arrive by truck each morning about 7 o’clock to help us harvest our crop…with ONE guard. As a 13-year old boy, the arrival of German soldiers, was fearsome. My young mind was not too sure it was a good idea to have the “enemy” right here on our farm.

The Kennebec Historical Society’s November speaker, Henry (Hank) D. Lunn has been a resident of Camden since 1958 and a student of Maine history since his birth on a potato farm in Aroostook County. He graduated from the University of Maine with a major in history and government and has a M.Ed. in Counseling and School Administration. Mr. Lunn retired from public education with over 40 years of experience as a teacher, counselor and educational consultant in the schools of Maine. For the past several years, he has been delivering his “Living History” presentations to schools, historical societies, libraries, and community organizations.

The Kennebec Historical Society November presentation is co-sponsored by the Maine State Library and is free to the public (donations gladly accepted). The presentation will be followed by some light refreshments and take place on Wednesday, November 20, 2019, at 6:30 p.m., at the Maine State Library, located at 230 State Street in Augusta.

Celebrating 30 years of private practice in physical therapy

Suzanne and Ray Bouchard

After helping hundreds of people live pain-free lives in Germany, France, Mississippi, Tennessee, Oklahoma and Maine, Susanne Bouchard, PT, LMT established Bouchard Physical Therapy Services that opened its doors for business in 1989 first at the building of Orthopedic Surgeon Dr. Robert Hottentot and in 1990 Augusta (Stone Street) in a rental facility.

Susanne Bouchard, PT, LMT, CEO, Physical Therapist, Founder and President of the Business, is a licensed Physical Therapist since 1971, and since 1984 in Maine; is a licensed Massage Therapist since 1971, and licensed in Maine since 1994; is a licensed Balneo- and Medicinal Bathmaster since 1971.

With over 49 years experience now, she originated her physical therapy studies in Germany, and in 1977 moved to the United States with her husband, a native Mainer.

Susanne remembers: “Back then, when people asked me what I did for work and I said Physical Therapy, they had no idea what it was. It wasn’t even in the yellow pages in Maine. At that time physical therapy was mostly located in hospitals.”

Since there were almost no private physical therapy practices in the area, Mrs. Bouchard saw the need and the opportunity: “I wanted to be able to give my patients the highest quality of care, as well as utilize specific physical therapy methods developed in Germany.”

Gaining unique skills and expertise from that country and combining it with the American way of treatment approach, she has been able to provide high quality physical therapy techniques that have brought about lasting treatment results.

Being trained in Cranio-sacral Therapy, Neuromuscular Therapy, Muscle Energy, Strain-Counterstrain, Connective Tissue Massage, and Swedish Massage has made the hands-on therapy invaluable. “It’s extremely rewarding when a patient tells you of being completely free from pain as a result of the therapy sessions.”

In 1990 Dr. Robert Hottentot, orthopedic surgeon, who was on the Board of the Waterville Boys and Girls Club, was instrumental in heating up the water temperatures of their swimming pool to 92° F, so it could be used for therapeutic purposes. Since water therapy (aquatics) plays a vital role in rehabilitation in Europe, Susanne Bouchard, during her physical therapy schooling was trained in aquatic physical therapy, and had learned the healing values of warm water therapy. Coming to the state of Maine she discovered that there were almost no warm water pools available to the community.

For a total of 20 years Mrs. Bouchard and staff carried out aquatic physical therapy treatments with the patients. From 1991 to 2001 at the old Boys and Girls Club pool in Waterville, and at the new facility, the Alfond Youth Center in 2001, aquatic physical therapy continued in the small pool being at the temperature of 92° F, until 2011.

As both clinics were growing, and word of mouth spread the news that we helped eliminate chronic pain (together with her staff excellent one-on hands-on care for one hour personalized treatment sessions were offered), they had to look for more space.

In 1993 the Augusta Physical Therapy clinic moved into the radio station building at 160 Riverside Drive, in Augusta, until the new facility there was built.

In August 2002, the Waterville Physical Therapy clinic moved into their new facility at 149 Silver Street, Waterville, which gave everyone a lot more space and a gym area. That is where they are located today.

In Augusta, over a period of 14 years the business grew from a little office to a full fledged larger physical therapy clinic, and health and fitness facility. Everyone was happy to move into the brand new building in October 2003, after the clinic had spent 9 years in the little radio station building next door. The new physical therapy facility is located behind the radio station, down the hill. The mailing address continues to be 160 Riverside Drive, Augusta.

In 2003 Bouchard Physical Therapy changed ownership and was donated to Light of Life Ministries, Inc, a not-for profit 501 (c)(3) organization. The name change took place which since then provides services to the community: Advanced Health Physical Therapy and Fitness, a division of Light of Life Ministries, Inc. Susanne Bouchard remains the executive director and manager of both facilities.

“During the past few years, the competition has been tougher as there are more therapy clinics in the area, says Mrs. Bouchard.” Advanced Health Physical Therapy has been able to continue to make a positive impact through service to the community by upholding a reputation for providing outstanding patient-oriented care. Word of mouth has been our best advertisement.”
Mrs. Bouchard also credits the company’s ability to stay competitive through the commitment to excellence of her high quality, experienced therapy staff.

She thanks local physician providers, Maine and beyond, who have entrusted their patients to Advanced Health Physical Therapy. “What makes this physical therapy practice so unique is that each patient receives hands-on care from a very good, long-standing staff knowledgeable in the specific soft tissue approach dealing with chronic pain, and most other types of pain”.

At Advanced Health Physical Therapy and Fitness, the physical therapists and physical therapist assistants are licensed in the state of Maine, are Medicare certified and are credentialed with most major insurance companies. With the passage of Direct Access in 1991 in Maine, a prospective patient/client can be seen by our physical therapists directly (self refer) on a cash basis.

Mrs. Bouchard reports that frequently the physical therapy programs are being updated and the professional staff (doctors of physical therapy and physical therapist assistants) attend major continuing education seminars and other skilled training seminars to keep up with the latest developments in physical therapy and rehabilitation wellness.


“At the start of your treatment sessions with Advanced Health Physical Therapy you will discover that we are a very unique PT practice. We first thoroughly evaluate, investigate and assess each patient, which takes about one hour. Then we design a specific treatment program that addresses the immediate physical issues and those that are prescribed by referring physician.

“We provide individualized hands-on physical therapy including deep massage, myofascial release, Muscle Energy Techniques, Cranio-sacral and Neuro-muscular Therapy, Strain/Counterstrain and other Soft tissue Release Techniques for pain relief, besides Stretching/ Strengthening Exercises, Mobility/Flexibility exercises, Balance and Posture training, Gait training, Functional Movement training. We also offer moist heat, Ultrasound, Electrical Stimulation, Ice packs and Ice massage, instruct in Contrast bath and many other modalities and procedures as indicated,” says Mrs. Bouchard.

With over 30 years in providing quality physical therapy they have established themselves in this community and the Kennebec Valley having served thousands of satisfied patients.

Their continued research proves a high success rate: 95 percent of patients get well, learn and stay well. When a patient graduates from physical therapy, the patient receives a coupon to use the fitness club/ wellness center for one month free, to easily facilitate the continuation of their wellness and fitness to stay healthy and pain free.

Mrs. Bouchard believes that physical therapy should be easily accessible. That is why they offer convenient patient parking, short wait times, one-on-one treatment rooms, early morning, lunch time and evening appointments.
For the patient’s benefit the clinics accept and file most insurance plans, and make payment plans available. They also accept Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover.


Seeing our physically disadvantaged and injured clients restored to health in a comfortable, caring and personalized atmosphere, where skilled Physical Therapy is delivered through trusted, credible and capable hands.

Advanced Health Physical Therapy (formerly Bouchard Physical Therapy Services of Augusta) was founded out of a need to provide dedicated and skillful physical therapy services:

  • With excellent rehabilitation programs through professional and caring staff in appropriate state-of-the-art facilities
  • Improvement is facilitated through training, teaching, healing techniques and well-being education in an encouraging, personal and supportive environment

During the past 30 years we have successfully carried out our vision of a physical therapy clinic that is patient centered, one on one hands on, staffed by experienced and caring professionals.

To achieve our vision we have:

  • Developed precise rehabilitation treatment programs that are focused on treating the whole person. As physical therapists we establish functional goals that we communicate to the patient and work with the patient to achieve these goals
  • Provided our patients with great service and successful rehabilitation programs. We receive referrals from over 140 different medical doctors from Maine and beyond, and patients/clients that self refer, as we have direct access in the State of Maine
  • Hired and maintained an experienced, caring staff of therapists and assistants who have a combined experience of more than 80 years in outpatient physical therapy

One Project that is not finished yet is our HEALING WATERS THERAPY POOL.

In Augusta, on October 17, 2019, we have the open house from 3 to 6 p.m., at which time we give tours to view the Therapy Pool and the Clinic Facility.

Susanne M. Bouchard, PT, LMT, CEO, Founder, Bachelor of Science in Physical Therapy, 1971, Physical Therapy School at University of Tuebingen, Germany, has practiced in Germany, France, Mississippi, Tennessee, Oklahoma and for the past 26 years in Maine. She is a 1971 Licensed Massage Therapist, 1971 Licensed Balneo and Medicinal Bathmaster.

She oversees and works at both clinics in Waterville and Augusta.

We establish a treatment plan to relieve your pain and regain your function, educating you to prevent further injury and enjoy a pain free lifestyle.

Mrs. Bouchard concludes: “With all that said and done, we believe that we have made an impact into this community during these past 30 years, as we have touched many thousands of lives, who remember us.

The Biblical motto: “laying hands on the sick and they shall recover” has been our motto since the start of our physical therapy clinics. Tens of thousands of patients, clients, and customers have again and again affirmed to us that we truly perform: “hands on personal care”.

So we celebrate 30 years of physical therapy care during this coming year and say.

Thank you to our community.

Fall Scouting Camporee brings out adventures, challenges with super hero theme

Scouts Anastasia Ames and Isabelle “Isa” Russell, both members of Troop #695, in Chelsea, and are earning requirements towards their Tender­foot rank.

by Scott Bernier, of Augusta

On a mission to collect all six Infinity Stones, Thanos plans to use the artifacts to inflict his twisted will on reality. The fate of the planet and existence itself has never been more uncertain. Only the greatest heroes assembled can stop the mad Titan. Who can stop Thanos from wiping out half of the population? The Scouts can!

Julian Cain, of Sidney, dressed in his Captain America costume.

The 2019 Fall Scouting Camporee was held October 11-13 in Sidney, and the theme was “Marvel Universe Adventure.” Scouts from across the region, if not the galaxy, converged on the at the Silver Spur Riding Club where the three-day event was held and took part in competition and challenges as well as fun and fellowship. Scouts from Jackman, Jay, Palmyra, Randolph, Waterville, Augusta, Gardiner, Oakland, Farmingdale, Skowhegan, and Chelsea attended.

The event was organized by the Scouts and leaders of Sidney Troop #401 who have been planning the event for months. Taylor Hayden, of Skowhegan Troop #485, dressed up as Spiderman. “He’s my favorite superhero,” Hayden said. He is a new Scout and enjoyed the Captain America Scout Skills area the most where Scouts went into the woods to build a survival shelter.

Jeremy Croft, of Sidney, is working on his First Class rank. He was one of the “Silver Surfer Relay Race” during which the Scouts carried a rock on a spoon and raced through an obstacle course. “Its a lot of fun,” Jeremy said, about being able to run a station at 11 years old. Scouts not only compete in activities but it was entirely youth planned and run with adult supervision, said event chairman Eric Handley, who is the official Nick Fury for the event. “I am really proud of these kids,” Handley said. “The entire camporee wouldn’t have happened if we didn’t have the Scouts. This was their event. They chose the theme. They chose the stations. They planned each one and then adjusted as things went along. Not everything worked out perfectly but that is how they learn. And everyone had a lot of fun.”

Stations challenged Scouts on traditional Scout knowledge but each tied into a hero or villain in the Marvel Universe. Scouts had fun at Hawkeye’s Archery Range, the Quest for the Infinity Stones Compass Course, and Captain America’s Scout Skills among others..

Harry Bromberg, from Oakland, is a new Scout and this was his first multi-troop camporee. He helped run the Dr Strange’s Puzzle in which Scouts had to tie a complicated knot – a clove hitch – around a stump without being within ten feet of the stump. They had to use sticks and rope but mostly teamwork to solve the puzzle. Harry’s favorite hero is the Incredible Hulk.

Eric Handley, was the official Nick Fury for the event.

Scouts also took part in Tony Stark’s Rocket Launch where they not only built a rocket but assembled the mechanism that launched the rocket. Some rockets flew 200 feet. This was the favorite area of new Scouts Anastasia Ames and Isabelle “Isa” Russell. Both are members of Troop #695, in Chelsea, and are earning requirements towards their Tender­foot rank.

Chris Somerset, of Jackman, assisted an adult at Hawkeye’s Archery Range. The 15-year old said it was fun to help teach younger Scouts how to shoot a bow and arrow safely. “My favo­rite Avenger is Captain America because he is honest and trustworthy,” Chris said.

There was also a re-enactment from the movie “Captain America Civil War” in which the Scouts were divided into two teams in order to capture the other team’s flag, a costume contest, and a community dinner with meals prepared by the Scouts and enjoyed by all. Skowhegan Troop #485 won the Youth Cooking Contest with its “Captain American Chop Suey” and the adult winner was John DeWitt, of Troop #401, with Italian chicken. The evening ended with a traditional Scout campfire.

Scouts received a commemorative patch and two Marvel Comic Books as part of Scouting’s effort to encourage reading.

Tech students reach out and help barbershop singers

Maine-ly Harmony chorus members display their safety riser backs, from left to right, Dee Dumais, Cathy Anderson, Betty Avery, Candace Pepin, BJ Pellett, Lea Davis and Dotti Meyer. (Photo courtesy Maine-ly Harmony)

by Lea Davis

Maine-ly Harmony women’s a capella barbershop chorus travels around the state performing for civic and church organizations, senior citizens, VA veterans, open houses, festivals, fund-raisers, Valentine greetings to individuals, the list goes on and on. The women who harmonize together bring smiles wherever they go. The members rehearse on Wednesday evenings at the Emmanuel Lutheran Episcopal Church, in Augusta. At rehearsals and performances, they stand on risers to be able to see the director and to be seen by audiences. But singers positioned on the high back row of the risers have been uneasy for some time, fearful that a move could result in falling backwards. Well, the ladies fear no more!

Thanks to teacher Bob Stewart, at the Lewiston Regional Technical Center (LRTC) and his students, the singers now have riser bars across the back to keep them safe!

It all came about when chorus member, and former Lewiston High School teacher, Dee Dumais, contacted the LRTC regarding the need for riser bars. Since students are geared to work on community projects as well as school projects to enhance and promote their valuable skills, Bob was receptive to considering the project for his Sheet Metal and Welding Class. To the delight of the chorus members, the juniors and seniors of his two-year program tackled the challenge. And what a challenge it was!

Most of the construction was custom made, with no manual or instructions, other than YouTube videos and comparisons with the back rails of the risers used by Lewiston’s high school chorus. Some issues involved pipe bending, he said, which had to be very specific, as well as reworking dimensions, sizing and measurements. Reworking also involved the welding because the process can cause warping of the metal.

The clamps that hold the rails to the risers had to be redone a couple of times to allow installation to be user-friendly. It turned into a three-year intensive project for Bob and his students, with a few setbacks along the way, and all done while other class projects were ongoing. The riser bars were completed last June, with the juniors and soon-to-be-graduating seniors adding much labor to the finishing touches.

Students who participated on the project were Caleb Anthony, Daniel Bolton, Joe Cloutier, Griffin Johnson, Justin Merrill, Garrett Sampson, Connor Sullivan and Corey Wires. Bob said that he and his students feel a sense of accomplishment and pride in their efforts and hope that Maine-ly Harmony will remember them with fondness whenever they sing on the risers (which is every week!)

Lewiston Regional Technical Center encompasses students from area schools in Lewiston, Oak Hill, Lisbon, Edward Little, Poland, Leavitt Area High School and Christian Academy, as well as home-schooled students. Bob Stewart is only the second instructor of sheet metal and welding, hired in 2005 to replace retiring long-term instructor Rene Chicoine. Bob credits his predecessor for being a great instructor and the driving influence for keeping him in school when he attended Rene’s 1985-87 class, adding, “Rene’s kindness and LRTC’s ability to give me purpose and a place to shine truly changed the course of my life.”

Maine-ly Harmony members are grateful, indeed, and breathing easier these days when their repertoire includes dance moves in such songs as “Could I Have This Dance” and “I Heard It On the Grapevine!”

Kennebec Historical Society announces logo design contest for public

The Kennebec Historical Society is seeking submissions for a logo design for use primarily across digital media.

Any member of the public is welcome to submit a design. The design should be created keeping in mind that its final use is for concise and easy-to-identify brand use, representative of the KHS mission and/or history of Kennebec County. The logo needs to be usable in social media, such as for a Facebook profile image or brand icon. This logo will not replace the society’s current logo; instead, it is intended to act as a supplemental logo that maintains a connection to the current logo.

A KHS committee, in conjunction with the KHS board of directors, will select the winner.

The designer of the selected logo will receive:

  • $100.
  • A one-year membership in KHS.
  • Recognition across platforms such as our newsletter, our Facebook page, and press releases sent to local media.

Logo designs should be emailed as .JPG, .EPS, and .PDF files to with subject line “Logo Contest Submission” by 5 p.m. December 1, 2019.

For more details about the contest, visit the Kennebec Historical Society’s Facebook page (enter “@KHS1891” in Facebook’s search window), email us at, or call us at 622-7718.

Howard Hill Park dedication

Photo by Norm Rodrigue

Join the Kennebec Land Trust and the city of Augusta to celebrate the dedication of Howard Hill Historical Park. Remarks begin at 4 p.m. on Thursday, October 10, at the historic Gannett treehouse overlook. Plan ahead to allow plenty of time to hike into the overlook (visit our website for trailhead meeting locations and times, or call 207-377-2848).

In March of 2017 the Kennebec Land Trust (KLT) transferred the 164-acre Howard Hill property to the city of Augusta. This transaction successfully completed an eight-year process undertaken by the KLT to conserve this property in perpetuity for the benefit of Maine’s people and wildlife. At the time of the transfer, Augusta Mayor David Rollins noted: “This is an important day in the history of this City. Through the dedicated efforts of the folks at Kennebec Land Trust and the generosity of​ their donors, all Mainers, especially future generations, will reap the benefits of their work.”

Since 2018, the city’s Conservation Commission, KLT staff, and volunteers have been constructing a new trail network in the Park. Kim Vandermeulen, KLT Board President observed, “KLT is very grateful to the volunteers and we admire their efforts to construct a new trail system. Their work is a gift to everyone who lives, works, and visits Augusta.”

Judy Camuso, commissioner, Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife; Howard Lake, KLT Director; Bill Bridgeo, Augusta City Manager; Augusta Mayor Dave Rollins; and Andrew Silsby, President of Kennebec Savings Bank, will provide remarks at 4:00 p.m.

If you cannot attend but have questions about Howard Hill please call the KLT office at (207) 377-2848 or visit our website:

Kennebec Historical Society honors archivist Plummer

The Kennebec Historical Society’s Personnel Committee has picked longtime archivist Ernest L. Plummer, of Pittston, as the first recipient of the society’s newly-established W. Scott Hill Service Award.

Plummer resigned this month after having volunteered in a variety of KHS positions over 16 years, including two terms as president. He and his wife, Joan, plan to move closer to his daughter’s family in Massachusetts.

Ernest L. Plummer

A native of Buffalo, New York, and a retired industrial chemist, Plummer has upgraded and maintained the KHS collections database, enabling catalogers to embed photographs and scanned images or original written documents into the record. The improvement in quality and quantity of society holdings has effectively opened KHS files to many more researchers seeking to learn more about some aspect of Kennebec County history.

Plummer became KHS vice president in 2007 and was elected to two-year terms as president in 2009 and in 2013. Under his leadership, the society pressed forward with efforts to retire the $190,000 mortgage on its present home, the Henry Weld Fuller Jr. house in Augusta, a goal that was achieved less than four years later. He also has been the society’s executive director and treasurer, and he recruited his wife to manage the society’s membership database, which she has done for several years.

He also spent much of his time assisting researchers and fostering cooperative relationships with other historical societies in the county. He clocked several hundred volunteer hours per year for the society’s benefit. As he winds up his years of service, he is training six volunteers to carry on his work of cataloging materials in the database.

For these achievements and others, the KHS Personnel Committee selected Plummer for the Hill award, which was established this year to honor society members who have initiated or organized landmark improvements in the society’s operation, reputation or contributions to the community. The award is named for W. Scott Hill, an Augusta physician who was one of the society’s co-founders and its first president.

The 560-member Kennebec Historical Society, a private, nonprofit organization, was founded in 1891. Its mission is to collect, preserve and make available to the public historical documents and illustrations that pertain to the history of Kennebec County and its 30 municipalities. The society hosts monthly historical lectures in a variety of locations in the county.

For more information, please contact KHS Administrative Director Scott Wood at 622-7718.

Paige Hutchins Named to SNHU Dean’s List

MANCHESTER, NH — Paige Hutchins of Augusta has been named to Southern New Hampshire University’s winter 2019 Dean’s List. The winter term runs from January to May.

KHS September program presents story of trains

Photo of the Maine Central Railroad Station, in Augusta, courtesy of The Kennebec Historical Society, Augusta, Maine.

Born in Bethel in 1835, Thomas Holt was active as an architect in Central and Western Maine from 1859 to 1870. In 1865 he designed the Portland and Kennebec Railroad Station in Augusta, which burned while under construction in the city’s Great Fire that year. Between 1871 and 1876, Holt served as Chief Engineer of the Maine Central Railroad, designing railroad buildings and bridges as well as conducting surveys for new rail lines. In 1876, he moved to California, where he pursued careers in architecture, railroading, mining, and lumbering. He died in 1889 from pneumonia contracted in a blizzard in Nevada.

The KHS September speaker, a native of Portland, Maine, Earle G. Shettleworth, Jr., attended Deering High School, in Portland, Colby College, in Waterville, and Boston University and was the recipient of honorary doctorates from Bowdoin College, in Brunswick, and the Maine College of Art. At the age of 13, Shettleworth became interested in historic preservation through the destruction of Portland’s Union Station in 1961. In 1971 he was appointed by Governor Kenneth Curtis to serve on the first board of the Maine Historic Preservation Commission, for which he became architectural historian in 1973 and director in 1976. He retired from that position in 2015. Shettleworth has lectured and written extensively on Maine history and architecture and served as State Historian since 2004.

The Kennebec Historical Society September Presentation is free to the public (donations gladly accepted). The presentation will take place on Wednesday, September 18, 2019, at 6:30 p.m., at the Hope Baptist Church, located at 726 Western Avenue, in Manchester. The program will be preceded at 4:30 p.m., by a potluck supper and at 6 p.m., by the society’s annual meeting and election of officers and directors. For details about the potluck supper, please contact Anne Cough, either by email at or by phone at 582-2823.

Students named to the University of Vermont dean’s list

Three area students were named to the dean’s list at the University of Vermont, in Burlington, Vermont. To be named to the dean’s list, students must have a grade-point average of 3.0 or better and rank in the top 20 percent of their class in their respective college or school.

Kayla Christopher, of Oakland, Natalie Palmer, of Augusta, and Kaitlyn Sutter, of Palermo.