IF WALLS COULD TALK, Week of September 7, 2017

Katie Ouilette Wallsby Katie Ouilette

WALLS, do you remember telling our faithful readers about our welcoming tourists to our Central Maine? Well, do it again, WALLS.

Yes, Alton Whittemore raised money to build what was known as the Skowhegan Information Center but is now the Skowhegan Chamber of Commerce Office. I am very proud that my granddaughter, Danielle Denis Dubois is now president of the Skowhegan Area Chamber and she and husband Kevin have their home in Canaan, whichi s truly Skowhegan area. Our great-granddaughter has begun Middle School, in Skowhegan. Yes, WALLS, I am truly proud that Danielle, as she is walking in nana’s footsteps.

Now, what about tourism in Skowhegan? Skowhegan used to be a tourist-mecca, but, borrowing a thought from writer, George Smith, Maine is the same, but different. WALLS, remember when there was a sign at the beginning of our turnpike that wanted tourists to stay away? Well, the traffic from downtown Skowhegan and up the entire Madison Avenue prove that tourists not only like to come to Skowhegan, but even on their way up Route 201, folks like the scenery that changes every year, it seems.

Oh, yes, WALLS, one thing that Skowhegan used to have was The Guest of the Week, for which the Skowhegan Tourist Hospitality Association and members of the Skowhegan Area Chamber of Commerce were responsible. WALLS, you didn’t even exist then, but many folks who had downtown businesses and restaurants remember. In the days of the Denis ownership of Lakewood, there were always free tickets to the Lakewood Theatre. Yes, WALLS, there were many things that folks who came to Maine loved, but Skowhegan was famous by way of the daily newspapers of our guests from other states and the wonderful greeting that awaited folks in Maine. Yes, memories came alive about the Skowhegan Tourist Hospitality Association when you opened the Skowhegan Hospitality Association’s Scrapbook which Vi Kyes gave to us to “guard with our lives.” We can be proud of the people who made those visits memorable.

So, faithful readers, you’ve read of the past and present and, hopefully, some of these good things will again brighten the
tourism aspect which was so well known in our area. We have wonderful historic places along the Kennebec River that is waiting for folks-from-away to discover.

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