If Walls Could Talk, Week of June 23, 2016

Katie Ouiletteby Katie Ouilette

WALLS, I’ve got a secret that I want to share with our faithful readers.  Do you remember my telling you all that Vi Kyes had returned to Skowhegan a few weeks ago?  Also, do you remember that she had given me the entire history of the Skowhegan Tourist Hospitality Association, which was, at the time, part of the Skowhegan Area Chamber of Commerce?  Well, included in that notebook was a photo of the STHA’s Guests of the week from Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. whom you quoted, WALLS, that their being guests was a lifetime experience and cancelled their continuing on to Montreal, in order to remain here and ‘Montreal would have to wait”.

Y’know, faithful readers, the Skowhegan Hospitality Association’s Guest of the Week project that WALLS is telling you about here was dated 1964. Who were our guests that year?Well, there were nine weeks of great hospitality, for guests from Brisbane, California; Webster, New York; Sillery, Québec; Milburn, New Jersey; Warwick, Rhode Island; Laverock, Pennsylvania; Canton, Massachusetts; and Sarasota, Florida.  The thank cards and notes of appreciation are the best, as places that extended the best-of-the-best hospitality that con-tributing stores, motels, restau-rants, florists and, of course, Lakewood Theatre, gave mean-ing to the words Maine Vacationland.

Actually, faithful readers, little do we realize how much our guest of the week project meant to our guests and those who host-ed them.  Yes, many of the stores and places we of Skowhegan once boasted are no longer a part of our tourism scene, but our guests have memories lingering on through the years.  One of the truly great happenings, over the years, has been the newspaper write-ups about people who were our guests in their local newspa-pers.  Ah, Skowhegan is that shining star that reached into Canada and across our own U.S.A.

WALLS, throughout the years that Skowhegan was the center of Maine hospitality, maybe you are ready to tell folks about Barbara Bailey’s working toward making the ‘hospitality dream’ come true for Fairfield Center. Remember, everyone….Our Maine historian Earle Shettleworth, is scheduled to highlight that community when he speaks at the Fairfield Grange on July 7.

A recent Somerset Economic Development meeting, of which Heather Johnson is now execu-tive director, was held at Outdoors at The Forks.  Our host was owner Russell Walters, who spoke, plus Donna Moreland, of Maine Tourism, and Larry Warren, owner of Huts and Trails.  On the scene, too, was Joe Kruse, owner of Lake Parlin Lodge and the Ouilette family can attest to the hospitality there…..the favorite fishing grounds for their annual fishing trip, which was worth coming from Bellingham, Washington for.

Yes, faithful readers, the entire length of U.S. Route 201, from Fairfield Center to Jackman has so much for your honey-do list this summer, from White Water Rafting to Fishing and lots of his-tory, including Coburn Mountain!


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