Kennebec Historical Society presents life and death of Maine millionaire

Maine millionaire Harry Oakes

Born in Sangerville in 1879, Harry Oakes’s life experiences took him to six continents, earned him a knighthood as well as a personal fortune rivaling all others, but also tragically ended in a brutal 1943 murder that remains unsolved. Portrayed by Gene Hackman in one of the actor’s least memorable endeavors, Sir Harry’s actual career, fortune and death garnered world-wide attention, even though he never forgot his Maine roots. He is buried in the bucolic beauty of the East Dover Cemetery.

KHS Speaker David Leigh’s career in Maine education spanned 31 years as a teacher, high school principal and community college instructor. In retirement, Leigh has continued to direct the TIME/NEWSWEEK Cover Project. Begun with his students in 1972, the collection now includes over 1,100 autographed news magazine covers, some dating as far back as 1938. In addition, he has presented enrichment lectures on cruise ships to the Canadian Maritimes, the Caribbean and to Great Britain. He and his wife Ann own and manage a 62-acre tree farm in Belgrade.

The Kennebec Historical Society’s February presentation is free to the public (donations gladly accepted) and will take place on Wednesday, February 21, at 6:30 p.m., at the Emmanuel Lutheran Episcopal Church, located at 209 Eastern Avenue, in Augusta.

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