Up and down the Kennebec Valley: Newspapers of Central Maine, Part 1

by Mary Grow

In previous pieces there have been references to local newspapers, especially the Augusta-based Kennebec Journal. Both it and its sister publication in Waterville, the “Morning Sentinel”, have had long lives; but they are not and never have been the only newspapers in the central Kennebec Valley.

Here is a partial list of 18th and 19th century Augusta and Waterville papers, excluding monthlies and student and most other specialty publications. The Library of Congress list of newspaper holdings has others.

  • The earliest was the Eastern Star, Aug. 4, 1794 to sometime in 1795, published in Hallowell by Howard Robinson, the first of at least a dozen Hallowell papers started before 1830. Augusta was the northern part of Hallowell until February 1797.
  • The Tocsin, 1795-1797, was published by Thomas B. Wait and John K. Baker from Falmouth, who sold it to Benjamin Poor in September 1796.
  • The Kennebec Intelligencer, started Nov. 14, 1795, was published by Peter Edes (son of printer Benjamin Edes of Boston); it became the Kennebec Gazette in 1800 and the Herald of Liberty in 1810. The Herald of Liberty went out of existence in 1815 when Edes moved to Bangor.

An excerpt from an on-line source says the Tocsin and the Kennebec Intelligencer were the earliest inland papers in Maine. The first Maine newspapers were published in Portland beginning in 1792. Kennebec Valley staff members worked hard to bring local people news from London in 61 days and from the United States Congress in Philadelphia in 16 days.

  • Hallowell Gazette was a Federalist organ published by Ezekiel Goodale and James Burton from January 1814 to 1827.
  • Augusta Patriot, March 17, 1817, was published by James Burton and, perhaps because Burton vowed to avoid “personal invective, political rancor, and sectarian heat,” discontinued in less than two years for lack of readers.
  • Kennebec Journal, Jan. 8, 1823, was published by printers Luther Severance and Russell Eaton. It started as a Whig paper, with about 450 initial subscribers, and transitioned to the successor Republican party.

The Kennebec Journal had several owners in the mid-19th century, including briefly (1854-1857) James G. Blaine. Henry Kingsbury, in his Kennebec County history, describes Blaine’s management as “able and vigorous.” During part of the Civil War, the paper published a small daily supplement with current news, received by telegraph. At the beginning of 1870, Howard Owen, Charles E. Nash and Alden Sprague made the Daily Kennebec Journal the first successful daily paper in Augusta, while continuing the weekly version that Kingsbury says acquired subscribers state-wide.

  • Gospel Banner and Universalists’ Family Monitor existed from July 25, 1835 to July 16, 1836; Gospel Banner and Maine Christian Pilot from July 23, 1836 to July 15, 1837; Gospel Banner, a weekly, from July 30, 1842 to Nov. 4, 1897. Kingsbury lists a number of successive owners and editors, the majority Universalist ministers.
  • Maine Patriot and State Gazette, Oct. 31, 1827-December 1831, was published weekly by James Dickman, edited by Aurelius V. Chandler for three years and J. W. Bradbury in 1831, after Chandler resigned and moved south for health reasons. (He died on Dec. 31, 1830, in Charleston, South Carolina, at the age of 23.) This paper was started to support Andrew Jackson against John Quincy Adams in the 1828 election.
  • The Age, Dec. 23, 1831, was started after Maine’s capital was relocated from Portland to Augusta in 1827, to meet two needs: printing state documents and providing publicity for the state government. It was initially printed in the Maine Patriot and State Gazette’s facility, and, Kingsbury wrote, “absorbed” the Gazette. It was edited by part-owner Francis Ormond Jonathan Smith, former editor of the “Portland Argus”.

Early in his Augusta career, Kingsbury wrote, Smith wrote an article calling a Belgrade resident a deserter during the War of 1812. The Age’s publisher was tried for criminal libel and was acquitted, giving the paper valuable publicity.

In the early 1840s, according to Kingsbury, The Age and the Kennebec Journal made an agreement under which each published on three alternate days, creating Augusta’s first version of a daily paper. He did not say how long the arrangement lasted. From 1844 on The Age changed ownership frequently; an Augusta printer named Gilman Smith was the owner when the paper was discontinued during the Civil War.

  • Maine Farmer began in Winthrop in 1833 as the Kennebec Farmer. In 1844 Russell Eaton, Esq, bought it and moved it to Augusta, where it became the “Maine Farmer” and was published until 1900 (or later).

In her Albion history, Roby Crosby Wiggin describes and quotes from a Thursday morning, Feb. 27, 1851, copy of Maine Farmer, found by Albion residents remodeling an old house. The paper then had a circulation of 5,500 and cost four cents a copy. Annual subscription prices were $1.75 paid in advance, $2 paid within a year and $2.50 paid more than a year late. Anyone who signed up six paying subscribers got a free subscription.

Wiggin describes a variety of content – local news, national news, fiction, inspirational pieces and farming information and advice, all intermingled. Advertisers sold medicines and a medical self-help book; pickles; coffee; furniture; and coffins in a choice of pine, black walnut or mahogany with free cushions included.

  • The Washingtonian was a temperance paper started by journeyman printer Henry Green in 1840 and published “briefly,” Kingsbury wrote, at the height of the temperance movement in Maine.
  • Drew’s Rural Intelligencer, first published Jan. 6, 1855, was a weekly published by Rev. William A. Drew, a former “Gospel Banner” editor. A website offering a bound copy of the first year’s issues gives its subtitle, “Devoted to the Wants and Pleasures of Rural Life; both in Town and Country,” and says it mostly covered “agricultural and home craft pursuits.” In 1857 a new owner moved the paper to Gardiner, where it appeared until 1859.
  • Maine Standard was a Democratic weekly published from April 5, 1867, to April 5, 1881, described by Kingsbury as a successor to The Age. Its publishers for the first year were Thaddeus A. Chick and Isaac W. Reed, succeeded by others.
  • The New Age, which began publication in 1881, was a successor to the Maine Standard, and was also Democratic. The publisher is given on-line as Manley H. Pike and Company, a reference to artist and writer Manley Herbert Pike (1857-1910), who bought the Maine Standard in 1881. This writer failed to find a date the paper was discontinued; it was still being published when Kingsbury wrote in 1892.
  • Home Farm, 1880–1887, was published by Boardman and Hall and edited by Samuel L. Boardman. It was an eight-page weekly, subtitled “A journal of practical agriculture and home life.” George J. Varney’s article on the history of Augusta in the Maine Gazetteer calls it “an attractive sheet for a small price.”

(Samuel Lane Boardman [1836-1914] wrote books on history, including Peter Edes’ life in Boston and in Maine; on Maine agriculture; on Maine horse-racing, and on ornithologist George Augustus Boardman [1818-1901], who worked in eastern Maine and New Brunswick. One hopes that George was not Samuel’s father, because Wikipedia says George’s only marriage was in 1843.)

In Waterville, Kingsbury wrote that the first attempts to provide newspapers were short-lived. According to Kingsbury and to Henry C. Prince (who was editor of The Waterville Mail when he wrote the chapter on the press in Edwin Carey Whittemore’s 1902 history of Waterville), the early papers were:

  • The Waterville Intelligencer, started in May 1823 by William Hastings, a Baptist-oriented paper sponsored by Waterville College and devoid of local news. Its last issue was Nov. 26, 1828.
  • A successor named The Watchman, first published on Dec. 11, 1828, established by Hastings as an experimental political, literary and miscellaneous paper, and discontinued after its Dec. 30, 1829, issue.
  • The Times, a Whig paper started in June 1831 by John Burleigh, a failure by the fall of 1833.
  • The “Waterville Journal, Burleigh’s and Waterville College’s second venture, a non-sectarian religious paper that first appeared December 1833. Prince wrote that the college promised to help edit the paper and sign up subscribers, but “these promises not being fully met,” the paper folded after a year. (The Library of Congress lists a second Waterville Journal that began publication in 1878.)

In May 1841 (Prince) or 1842 (Kingsbury), Daniel Ripley Wing and William Mathews founded The Watervillonian, described as “a literary and family journal.” Prince quotes Mathews as sarcastically describing the paper starting with 400 subscribers and by filling its pages with dead authors’ works reducing the number to 250 in a year. The paper ceased publication after that first year; Mathews said the publishers earned $600.

Kingsbury wrote that Wing (Dec. 13, 1816 — Dec. 2, 1885) remained in the newspaper business the rest of his life, and Mathews’ later renown in literature “needs no comment.”

(Mathews [July 28, 1818 – Feb. 14, 1909], was a Waterville native who entered Waterville College when he was 13; he got his bachelor’s degree in 1835 and a law degree from Harvard in 1839. He supplemented his law business with the newspaper. A teacher, writer and lecturer, he lived in and around Chicago from 1856 to 1880 and in Boston from 1880 to his death.)

Mathews, Wing and Mathews’ brother Edward started the Yankee Blade in June 1842. A new part-owner moved it to Gardiner in August 1843.

In April 1847 Charles F. Hathaway (later to found the Hathaway shirt factory) started The Waterville Union. Prince says it failed after 14 weeks, mostly due to “stringent rules adopted and enforced” about payment for subscriptions and ads (it sounds as though Hathaway wanted his money on time).

Hathaway sold to Ephraim Maxham, who started The Eastern Mail (first issue July 19, 1847) and on Sept. 4, 1863, renamed it The Waterville Mail. Wing had been working for Maxham; in 1849 he bought a half interest in the paper and stayed with it until his death.

The Mail endorsed the first Republican Presidential candidate, John Charles Fremont, in the 1856 election, but it only later became a reliably Republican paper, Prince wrote.

In 1886 two of Daniel Ripley Wing’s sons, Charles G. Wing (or Charles Burleigh Wing, according to an on-line genealogy that says Daniel Ripley Wing’s wife was Ann Elizabeth Burleigh) and Daniel Frank Wing, bought the Waterville Mail from Maxham and made it one of Maine’s highest-quality local weeklies. It went through more ownership changes before folding in May 1906.

The first issue of The Waterville Sentinel appeared Wednesday, Dec. 1, 1880, published by M. A. Leger and E. O. Robinson, who believed Waterville would grow fast enough to justify two newspapers. In the next two decades the newspaper went through multiple ownership changes, and, Prince wrote, several changes in publication day – Wednesday in 1880, Friday as of February 1881, Saturday beginning in May 1884.

In December 1896 then-owner Samuel Appleton Burleigh of Vassalboro tried a bi-weekly appearing on Tuesdays and Fridays. The weekly publication resumed Friday, April 16, 1897. In November 1897 a section in French was added; it lasted a month.

The Waterville Morning Sentinel succeeded the earlier title in 1904, started by a group of Democratic politicians plus one newspaperman, Thomas F. Murphy, according to Wikipedia. As of March 3, 1904, it was published daily, Marriner said. It was the Morning Sentinel from 1961 to 1971, the Central Maine Morning Sentinel from 1971 to 1996 and is currently the Morning Sentinel. At some point it changed from weekly to daily publication.

On Wednesday, Feb. 18, 1887, the first issue of Ben Bunker’s unabashedly political The Kennebec Democrat appeared in Waterville. Three months after Bunker’s death in March 8, 1894, Augusta people bought the paper, moved it to Augusta and renamed it “The Maine Democrat”, Prince wrote.

The former Home Farm (see above) moved from Augusta to Waterville and reappeared as the Eastern Farmer at the end of September 1887. Varney says Boardman still owned it; Kingsbury says Hall C. Burleigh and the Wing brothers (who were publishing the Mail) took it over, found it a “financial incubus” and killed it, selling the list of subscribers to the Lewiston Journal in April 1888.

The owners of the Waterville Mail added the Waterville Evening Mail as the city’s first daily newspaper beginning on Jan. 29, 1896. Prince wrote that the four-page paper, still published in 1902, was primarily a source of local news, though world events were mentioned.

Main sources

Kingsbury, Henry D., ed., Illustrated History of Kennebec County Maine 1625-1892 (1892).
Marriner, Ernest Kennebec Yesterdays (1954).
Whittemore, Edwin Carey, The Centennial History of Waterville, Kennebec County, Maine (1902).

Websites, miscellaneous.

AARP OUTREACH: It’s Maine family caregivers month

by Jane Margesson
AARP Maine, Communications Director

At AARP Maine, we know that caregiving can be one of the most important roles you will ever take on in your life. You may have become a caregiver suddenly or perhaps your role has evolved over time. No matter where you are in the continuum of caregiving—starting to plan, helping to coordinate a big move, or taking care of a family member in your home—having resources at your fingertips will make the process easier.

That is why we developed a Maine Family Caregiver Resource Guide for Maine caregivers of all ages. You can find the guide on our website or we would be happy to send a free copy by mail as well.

With many organizations offering different types of help and services, it can be a challenge to sort out the specific type of help or services best suited for your needs. Our guide can help address that. AARP Maine developed this resource guide with you, the caregiver, in mind as a starting point to help you find the services and supports you need throughout your caregiving journey.

This resource guide can assist you in several ways:

  • It can help you get the type of assistance you need. This directory lists many government and nonprofit resources, which you can access both in-person and online.

It can also help you connect with others. You’ll discover, if you have not already, that you’re a part of a community of caregivers and caregiver supporters. You are truly not alone.

In fact, a few years ago, AARP Maine worked with the state legislature to designate November as Maine Family Caregivers Month. This is important as it raises awareness about the needs and challenges of Maine’s over 180,000 family caregivers throughout the state. Especially with the holidays coming up, and even more especially during a pandemic, we need to be mindful of caregivers and their families.

Mainers, please know that you can count on AARP to be a strong and dedicated advocate on behalf of family caregivers. Many older Mainers and their families are struggling to navigate our state’s long-term care system and when you are a caregiver, the challenges of providing support to your loved one can feel overwhelming. We need to broaden the options for community and home-based services so family caregivers have the best resources available to care for their loved ones no matter where they live.

We also recommend that you visit the AARP Caregiver Online Resource Center at www.aarp.org/caregiving for a broad array of additional resources and tools for caregivers.

Warmest wishes to every one of Maine’s 180,000+ family caregivers and their loved ones. We hope you will reach out to us if you have any questions or if there is anything you need.

AARP Maine – www.aarp.org/me and follow us on Facebook (@aarpmaine) and Instagram (@aarpme).


Van Wyck Brooks

Peter Catesby Peter Cates

Van Wyck Brooks

In his fascinating 1936 literary history, The Flowering of New England, Van Wyck Brooks (1886-1963) astutely commented on Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, in an essay, justifying the importance of a poet’s profession, its nobility and necessity to life itself:

“Poetry did not enervate the mind or unfit the mind for the practical duties of life. He hoped that poets would rise to convince the nation that, properly understood, ‘utility’ embraces whatever contributes to make men happy. What had retarded American poetry? What but the want of exclusive cultivation? American poetry had been a pastime, beguiling the idle moments of merchants and lawyers. American scholarship had existed solely to satisfy the interests of theology.

“Neither had been a self-sufficient cause for self-devotion. Henceforth, let it be understood that he who, in the solitude of his chamber, quickened the inner life of his countrymen, lived not for himself or lived in vain. The hour had struck for poets. Let them be more national and more natural, but only national as they were natural. Eschew the skylark and the nightingale, birds that Audobon had never found. A national literature ought to be built, as the robin builds its nest, out of the twigs and straws of one’s native meadows. “

Between 1620, when the Pilgrims arrived at Plymouth, Massachusetts, and 1815, when the creative spirits were gaining firmer ground in New England, the country was fighting for survival in an untamed wilderness. Farming and the formation of a civil society under the eyes of a just, loving and wrathful God were facts of life. Art, music and literature were mostly frowned upon except during the few patches of free time.

But a few worthwhile poets did emerge – the Puritan Anne Bradstreet (1612-1672, who married her husband Simon when she was 16); the physician and pastor Edward Taylor (1642-1729, who moved to the remote settlement of Westfield, Massachusetts, in the Berkshires and wrote some very intricate verses during his spare time that were discovered 200 years after his death in the back rooms of the Yale University Library) and William Cullen Bryant (1794-1878, whose family was originally from Knox before settling in Massachusetts).

However, the Romantic period in England and Europe brought about a passionate, very subjective individuality that would inspire Longfellow, his friend Hawthorne and Emerson, Thoreau and other Transcendentalists.

For what it’s worth, English poets were writing Odes and other tributes to nightingales while Longfellow did celebrate the beauties of nature frequently and not just the twigs. I look out on the back lawn in November and see a lot of twigs and stripped branches but do look forward to the end of winter in late May.

FOR YOUR HEALTH: Your Ophthalmologist Is Ready To See You

If you haven’t seen an eye care professional in a while, suggests Doctor Ruth Williams, now may be a good time to do so.

(NAPSI)—When ophthalmologist Ruth Williams, MD, opened her office after shutting down early in 2020 due to the pandemic, she was surprised to see how many people had developed serious eye problems in just a few months.

Preventive care is especially important in eye care because many common eye diseases can rob you of your good vision before you notice signs of trouble.

“Far too often, we witness the consequences of patients entering the ophthalmologist’s office too late to avoid severe vision loss,” said Dr. Williams, a glaucoma specialist at the Wheaton Eye Clinic in the Chicago suburbs. “Protecting vision is such a high value thing.”

The good news is ophthalmologists—medical and surgical physicians trained to recognize all the potential threats to vision—have figured out how to safely practice medicine in the era of COVID. Dr. Williams says most eye doctors hope not to shutter their offices again.

EyeCare America Can Help

If the cost of an eye exam is a concern, the American Academy of Ophthalmology’s EyeCare America program may be able to help. This national public service program provides eyecare through thousands of volunteer ophthalmologists for eligible seniors 65 and older, and those at increased risk for eye disease, mostly at no out-of-pocket cost to the patient. As one EyeCare America patient said, “Because of your program, my vision will be saved. The doctor was professional, and the diagnosis was spot on. EyeCare America is a beautiful thing!”

Who Should See an Ophthalmologist?

The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends all adults have a comprehensive eye exam by age 40, and every year or two after age 65.

Other reasons to see an ophthalmologist include:

1. If you are experiencing new symptoms, including blurry, wavy or blank spots in your field of vision.
2. If you injure your eye, even if it seems minor. Damage to the eye is not always obvious and may require treatment.
3. If you get eye injections for an existing eye disease and have not done so during COVID-19, you should contact your ophthalmologist now.
4. If you’ve put off surgery, such as cataract surgery, during COVID-19, you should contact your ophthalmologist.

Safety Procedures During COVID

Ophthalmologists have taken many steps to create a safe environment during the pandemic. Your ophthalmologist is probably ready for you. Here is what you should expect to see:

  • The clinic is likely to restrict the number of people who enter. If you don’t need someone to be there with you, don’t bring anyone to your appointment.
  • The clinic may ask you to wait outside or in your car, instead of in the normal waiting room.
  • Expect to see hand sanitizer when you enter the building and in the waiting room and exam rooms.
  • Expect to be asked to wear a mask.
  • Chairs will be spaced out to accommodate social distancing.
  • Cleaning will occur more frequently throughout the clinic.
  • As usual, exam rooms and equipment will be thoroughly cleaned after every patient exits.
  • Expect to be asked a series of questions to determine your risk profile.
  • Expect someone will take your temperature.
  • Your ophthalmologist may use a special plastic breath shield on the slit lamp machine they use to look into your eyes.
  • Your eyecare professionals may ask you to wait to speak until after your eye exam is complete. Then they can talk with you and answer questions when they can be a safe distance from you.

Learn More

For more information regarding EyeCare America and to see if you or someone you care for qualify, visit www.aao.org/eyecare-america.

INside the OUTside: Winter in Maine; checking out the local ski resorts

Dan Cassidyby Dan Cassidy

This has been such a whirl-wind spring, summer, fall and now we’re heading into a winter such as many of us have never seen before. All this thanks to COVID-19 that has affected lives and has changed the way we live here in Maine and around the world.

I checked out several Maine ski areas, some who held open houses while others plan and watch for the snow to cover their trails in hopes of opening soon.

Sugarloaf Mountain Homecoming

I did get the opportunity to attend the Sugarloaf Ski Homecoming this fall, however rather than greeting friends or visiting booths filled with art show, new and interesting ski gear and ideas of what’s new in the ski industry.

Things have changed. The base lodge was just about empty and the crowds were minimal to say the least.

This ski season is going to have significant changes including parking in the parking lots, social distancing, wearing masks and/or wearing goggles, boarding chairlifts with spacing on the chairs and many other things that we all took for granted in years past that have all changed including locker room spacing, restaurant or food consumption that will have new rules. Also, to take some of the waiting in line to purchase day tickets, a new kiosk has been built so transactions can be done outside with new kiosk machines to take place of personal ticket sales.

The base lodge won’t be able to accommodate gear and bag storage and the Mountain staff has many strict changes that will be enforced this season.

HOLD ON ….WORD HAS JUST BEEN RECEIVED … Sugarloaf and Sunday River are scheduled to open Monday of this week! That’s great news for skiers and snowboarders who can make it to these ski resorts over Thanksgiving!

Sugarloaf getting ready to open

The base lodge at Sugarloaf will have strict indoor capacity access, according to staff management. Capacity will be strictly limited inside the base lodge. Gear storage and changing will not be permitted and guests should come prepared to boot up in the vehicle parking lots and you should carry gear in small day packs. Minimal time indoors should be expected.

“This will be an interesting winter for sure,” Noelle Tuttle, Communications Director said. “While we still don’t know exactly what the landscape will look like, we’re fully committed to opening safely for Sugarloaf’s 70th winter season.”

According to Tuttle, all ticket sales and guest service needs will be managed through the outdoor ticket windows at the Base Lodge and online ticket purchases will be encouraged to utilize the new online express kiosks. Online tickets will be priced lower and will be available for purchase in the next few weeks.

So, let’s say you and a few passengers drive for an hour to reach the mountain. Let’s hope that at least the driver is wearing regular boots, sneakers or the like, and NOT ski boots. That would be an accident waiting to happen if that person is behind the wheel driving.

Shuttle capacity has been reduced by 50 percent as per state recommendations and will be cleaned after each drop off. The new RFID gates at the mountain base loading area will help eliminate interactions between guests and staff members while reloading pass holders.

According to mountain personnel, face coverings are mandatory at all times in public areas, including while riding the lifts. You will not be permitted to ride the lift without appropriate face covering.

Social distancing is required for everyone to stay at least six feet apart. Indoor occupancy will be strictly limited.

Tuttle said that the centerpiece of the 2030 vision is the new West Mountain development, which will include a new lift, new alpine trails with snowmaking and a new real estate development. In addition, the development will provide mew summer opportunities with a new downhill mountain bike park and upgrades to Bullwinkle’s that will allow it to operate during the summer months.

At Bullwinkle’s, a new temporary building and bathroom facility will provide additional space for guests to warm up and use the bathroom facility. Also, an additional temporary bathroom facility will also be installed at the Base Lodge.

Sunday River Ski Resort, located in Newry, is just minutes from Bethel village in western Maine’s Mahoosuc Mountains and is a true four-season destination.

The resort has made major upgrades to its snowmaking system that will double snowmaking capacity. They have added an additional 10 percent this year. The resort also has plans to add more automated snowmaking over the next 10 years, according to Karolyn Castaldo, Director of Communications.

Sunday River is a Boyne Resort facility and is one of the largest ski areas in the Northeast. The mountain consists of 870 skiable acres, 135 trails and glades, 2,340 vertical feet and has 18 lifts to transport skiers and riders to the upper slopes.

RFID will allow direct-to-lift access for ticketed as well as season passholders. According to Castaldo, they will be implementing a new food and beverage system that allows for contactless ordering and payment of food. This will be an integral piece to the COVID-19 operational plan for the mountain’s dining outlets.

Online ticket purchasers who have not picked up an RFID card at the resort yet will be able to do so from kiosks at the base lodge and hotels. Once a guest has their card, they can reload online to skip the ticket line altogether upon arrival.

While Sunday River has not set an opening date for this ski season, they intend to open the resort as soon as there is top-to-bottom coverage on at least one trail.

Saddleback Mountain is located in the beautiful High Peaks of western Maine. It was founded in 1960 and has some of the best skiing terrain in the east. The mountain sits at 4,120 feet of elevation and 2,000 feet of vertical. It is Maine’s third biggest mountain with a base elevation of 2,100. The mountain is set to reopen in the next several weeks. As just about everywhere in Maine, access to the base lodge will be limited and skiers and riders are requested to carry a day pack and prepare to spend most of your day outdoors. Everyone will be requested to make reservations for lunch and still maintain an enjoyable time with friends and family. The Casablanca Glades have been recut and the rest of the trails are scheduled to be in top shape for this season.

Baker Mountain, located on Route 201 in Moscow, is just north of Bingham. There is one main trail and two trails of less difficult.

“We’re just waiting for snow and would like to have volunteers,” Corey Farnham, of Baker Mountain said. The hours of operation are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. with night skiing from 5 to 8:30 p.m. Ticket prices are $12.00 per person.

Ski lessons are available from volunteers who fit equipment, and also run the lift and work in the kitchen. Races are posted on Facebook at Baker Mt. Ski Tow Club. For additional information, call (207) 717-0404.

Quarry Road Trails is located off North Street, in Waterville, just beyond Thayer Hospital. The good news is that the facility has just made snow on the East Pine Tree trail up to the Meadow, according to a Facebook page.

The area is a year-round recreation facility where people of all ages can take part in walking trails, cross-country ski, snowshoe on several trails. A large Quonset hut is located at the end of the trails for people to warm up. Day tickets and season passes are available for skiers. No pass is necessary for snowshoe trails.

Legion collects for animal shelter

Members of the American Legion of Tardiff-Belanger Post #39, Madison, are collecting for the Furry Friends at the Somerset Humane Society Animal Shelter, in Skowhegan, during this holiday season. Items can be dropped off at the hall, on 20 S. Maple Street, Madison after 3 p.m., on Wednesdays through Saturdays.

Here are a few items that are in need: cat litter, cat and dog toys, cat food containing no dye, dog food, cleaning supplies, used bedding such as comforters, blankets, sheets, etc., just to mention a few. For a complete list go the legion’s website at http://www.mainelegionpost39.org.

If you can’t drop off items, but you still would like to help, monetary donations are accepted. Mail to American Legion Post #39, PO Box 144, Madison, ME 04950, please earmark it Skowhegan Animal Shelter. The donations will be delivered to the Animal Shelter prior to Christmas. Thank you in advance for your help. FMI: call 431-5533.

SOLON & BEYOND: Recalling the story on Morris Wing

Marilyn Rogers-Bull & Percyby Marilyn Rogers-Bull & Percy
Solon, Maine 04979

Just read the e-mail from Roland, my editor, about the need for another column early and so as you probably know by now, that I have been going through my large stash of old papers. I picked up one of the old (February 10, 1974) Maine Sunday Telegram papers I had been reading. It started with the headline, Maine Profiles : 5 Generations OF WOODSMEN. It was written by Lynn Franklin and it starts out “with these words Morris Wing is regional manager, department of woodlands, for the International Paper Co., at Chisholm, supervising work on a million acres of land that supplies about 500,000 cords of wood for the company mill and about 100 million feet of logs to other firms.”

What I am about to write is the article from the paper when Morris Wing was interviewed by Lynn Franklin: All my relatives are engaged one way or the other in logging and always have been. We’ve been in Maine five generations that I know about.

The article reads: My father was born at Flagstaff, which is under water now because of the Flagstaff dam on Dead River. Grandfather, Warren Wing, was born in the upper Dead River country and was a logger and also a hunter and fisher. He loved it and trapped for spending money all his life. As I recall he’d rather trap than do anything. He inherited land from his father, who was Cyrus Wing, also born in the Dead River area.

My father is 93 and lives with us. His father, Warren, was a logger as was his father Cyrus.

Joseph Wing, Cyrus’ father, was born in Kingfield, Maine. He was also a logger and his father Paul, was born in Harwich, Massachusetts. Paul came to Maine at 14 with his parents. That’s five generations.

I grew up on the Kennebec River at Bingham. There were six children, four boys, and most of us have remained woodsmen.

When I come along father was logging and contracting and we lived on a small farm. We had little monetary income and lived on a few beef cattle, a couple of milk cows, We cut a lot of hay in the summer and what we didn’t need for the logging horses we could sell.

But father’s primary income was logging and the whole family worked with him.

My first year in the woods I was nine and I remember it very clearly. My older brother, Glen, was six years older. He was able to do a man’s job and he was actually chopping. They call it cutting now, but we used axes exclusively then.

We was cutting pulp wood, sap peeled. You don’t see the bark removed by hand any more. There were other people working on the job. It was a small crew, five or six men, and I remember my first instructions.

“Take a spud, Morris, said my father. “You can keep up with us all right. We’ll fell the trees and cut the limbs off. All you got to do is take the bark off.”

I thought I could keep up with them but I soon found that I couldn’t. However you just kept working. That’s the way it was, pretty tough. I chased those choppers all summer long, never did catch ’em, but I took a lot of bark off a lot of trees. (I will tell you more about logging in the old days next week.)

And now for Percy’s memoir: May you have… Enough happiness to keep you sweet, Enough trials to keep you strong, Enough sorrow to keep you human, Enough hope to keep you happy, Enough failure to keep you humble, Enough success to keep you eager, Enough friends to give you comfort, Enough wealth to meet your needs, Enough enthusiasm to look forward, Enough faith to banish depression, Enough determination to make each day better than yesterday.

WINDSOR: Town receives $5,000 grant to help offset added election expenses

by The Town Line staff

The Windsor board of selectmen met on October 26 with members Ray Bates, William Appel, Jr., Andrew Ballantyne, Richard H. Gray, Jr., and Ronald F. Brann. present.

According to Town Manager Theresa Haskell, public works director Keith Hall has been busy getting trucks ready for snow.

Selectmen unanimously approved appointing Peter A. Nerber as the backup Animal Control Officer.

Cemetery Sexton Joyce Perry informed the board that the cemeteries will be closed as of October 30, 2020. They have had their last meeting of the season and will meet back up in the spring.

A resident informed the board that he was the owner of a warehouse and it has a medical marijuana establishment with the proper state licensing. The Board of Selectmen thanked him for coming forward.

Haskell said the Town of Windsor has received confirmation that they will be receiving a $5,000 Elections COVID Response Grant to be used for voting.

Haskell also said they received a Building Valuation Update for the Town of Windsor from MMA Property and Casualty Pool for the town hall, town garage/food pantry, and the fire station. Each building has increased in estimated insurable value. This will be an increase of $266 per year. It has been waived this year but will need to be budgeted in next year.

Also, Haskell said the town needs to update the E-911 Addressing Officer and Alternate(s). The town has received a call from Todd Fenwick from E-911 who has indicated that he has received a grant which will be able to pinpoint every building within the town and if he is sent an updated E-911 address list it will help with this process. Todd said he will send over the results. This will not change any addresses for the town but will give a good update on what may need to be updated or changed. Haskell said with the current change within the office she is suggesting the board appoint Kyoko Roderick the new E-911 Addressing Officer and have Debbie French as the alternate. The Board of Selectmen agreed.

Haskell has prepared a letter to the MMEHT regarding having all waiting periods be 60 days. Ray Bates made a motion to have Theresa L. Haskell sign the letter having all waiting periods for the MMEHT be 60 days. The board approved unanimously.

Haskell then handed out the 2019/2020 end of year report. The total 12-month budget for the Town of Windsor was 88.01 percent. There were no categories that had deficits. Each category was within the budget. The Town of Windsor was up on revenues for the year just over $34,000 and would have been higher if they were able to collect excise taxes during the COVID-19 State of Emergency time frame. The town may see an increase in next year’s excise taxes.

Haskell received a concern about the Welcome to Windsor signs regarding the plant box deteriorating, and since the Windsor Fair Association passed these onto the town it is the town’s responsibility to maintain them. Ronald F. Brann made a motion to remove the Welcome to Windsor signs and have the Public Works Department take them down. The request passed 4-0 with Andrew Ballantyne, absent, since he left the meeting early.

The next regular board of selectmen’s meeting was held on Tuesday, November 10, 2020.

OBITUARIES for Thursday, November 26, 2020


CLINTON – Marcie Lynn (Delafontaine) Colson, 44, passed away unexpectedly Thursday, November 12, 2020. She was born in Berlin, New Hamsphire, on June 25, 1976, the daughter of Jeanne Poussard (Aubut) and Richard Delafontaine.

She attended Wells high school and later achieved her GED from Waterville high school.

Marcie worked in the industrial cleaning business from 1998 to 2013 and then went on to become a personal housekeeper from 2013 until the day she passed. She was a two-year member of U.B.M and was a confirmed Catholic with Saint Joseph Catholic Church, in Berlin, New Hampshire.

Marcie was a loving daughter, sister, mother, devoted wife, friend, and extraordinary Mimi. She had a love for everything outdoors. She loved hunting and fishing, spending time with family and her grandbabies. She enjoyed long dirt road rides and riding on the motorcycle with her husband. She was very competitive in ice fishing against her husband, always trying to catch the first, the best, and the biggest fish. Marcie was loved by all that had the pleasure of meeting her.

Marcie is survived by her parents Jeanne Poussard (Aubut), Richard and Carol Delafontaine; her husband David Colson; her son Brandon Gerry and his significant other Macklyn; her daughters Angel and her husband Kevin Asher, and Ashley Gerry and significant other Buddy; two stepchildren Stephen Lambert and Jasmine Colson and significant other Corey; eight grandchildren, Annie, Jackson, Connor, Malachi , Lilly, Arabella, Nalani, and Abigail; her two brothers Timothy and spouse Amanda Delafontaine, and Tyler Delafontaine.

There will be a celebration of life held in June 2021.

Arrangements are under the direction and care of Aable Cremation Service, LLC. , Waterville, Maine.

In lieu of flowers and donations please contact Angel Asher at amgjdc@gmail.com.


OAKLAND – Walter L. Smith, 84, passed away Friday, November 13, 2020, at his home, in Oakland. He was born September 26, 1936, in Hartland, the son of Everett Louis and Lois Ann (Stubbs) Smith.

He attended schools in Palmyra and Benton. On November 16, 1957, he married the former Ruth Johnson, in Skowhegan. He was a veteran who proudly served his country in the United States Army until his honorable discharge.

He held a number of jobs during his lifetime including Mill Wright, Boiler attender, master oil burner technician, truck driver for Waterville Hardware, warehouse foreman, and volunteer chaplain for the hospitals. He was a member of Calvary Church of God, in Oakland, Living Waters Worship Center, in Ocala, Florida, and Blood Bought Church, in Oakland. He enjoyed fishing, working on cars, hunting, loved animals of all kinds, and strolling through the woods talking to the Lord.

Walter is survived by his wife of 63 years, Ruth (Johnson) Smith, of Oakland; five daughters, Evelyn L. Beaulieu, of Rangeley, Lois A. Letourneau and husband Dan, of Ocala, Flaorida, Rhonda L. West, of Oakland, Rosemarie L. Smith, of Oakland, and Lisa L. Goodrich and husband Randy, of Sidney; stepdaughter, Jeanne Brann and husband Merle of Phillips; grandson, Aaron L Smith of Rome; sister, Alta Thomas, of Leesburg, Florida; several grandchildren and great-grandchildren; several nieces and nephews.

He was predeceased by son, Lyle W. Smith; sister, Evis Littlefield and husband Arthur, brother, John “Jack” Smith and wife Lorraine, half-brother, Earl “Harvey” Stubbs.

A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date at the convenience of the family.

Arrangements under the direction and care of Dan & Scott’s Cremation & Funeral Service, 445 Waterville Road, Skowhegan, ME 04976.

In lieu of flowers, friends wishing may make donations in Walter’s memory to the American Cancer Society, New England Division, One Bowdoin Mill Island, Suite 300, Topsham ME 04086-1240.


WATERVILLE – Alleen Thompson, 101, passed away on November 13, 2020. Alleen was born in Waterville on September 18, 1919, to Margaret Arnold Thompson, of Waterville, and Mark R. Thompson, of Brookfield, New York.

An amazing woman, she lived an extraordinary life. Her love of books began early as she spent a good deal of time at the Waterville Public Library in her youth. She was a graduate of Waterville High School, and the class of 1940 at Colby College, Waterville, with a major in geology. She lived at home rather than on campus and became a member of the Alpha Chapter of the Sigma Kappa Sorority. She went on to earn her master’s degree in library science at Simmons College, Boston, Massachusetts.

Alleen was accomplished in her work yet humble about her life experiences. She was a pioneer of her times when, while working at Penn State’s Engineering Library in 1941, the Navy organized its women’s auxiliary known as WAVES. She most enthusiastically joined the third class of WAVES and was assigned to the Naval Air Station in Miami, Florida, as a communications officer. As a WAVE ensign during World War II she was re-assigned to Kaneohe Naval Air Station, in Hawaii, in 1943. It was full on wartime in Hawaii and the work was demanding; decoding messages by the thousands, midnight watches, and tending the radios, teletypes, and switchboards. Alleen left the Navy after the war in 1945 as a full lieutenant.

Because Alleen was such a modest person about her accomplishments, some of her prestigious jobs may never be known to all. We do know, however, that for six years she held a top library post at the State Department of Public Health in Berkeley, California.

Around 1955, General Electric came calling as they were building the Dresden (Illinois) Power Station, to include a nuclear reactor. Her job would be to build a brand new library on atomic science from the ground up. The library was over 2,000 square feet and contained thousands of highly technical books, magazines, and publications, many of which were classified.

Still a WAVE Reserve, Alleen continued her communications job as head of General Electric Company’s special library at the Atomic Power Equipment Department, in San Jose, California. She was one of only a handful of women who rose to the rank of Lieutenant Commander, Reserve, a post only two slots below Captain’s rank.

In 1965 she became the first West Coast woman elected as President of the Special Libraries Association. As Mrs. Elizabeth B. Roth (Head Librarian of the Standard Oil of CA Library) stated in her announcement, “In Alleen are combined the high standards of a New England education and the rough experience of mastering several western libraries. You can’t show her a library problem that can’t be identified, attacked, and licked. Eastern skeptic and Western pragmatist, she admires wit and aggressiveness, especially in special librarians.” One of the highlights of her presidency was being invited to the White House and introduced as one of the “1200 Most Influential Persons in the United States” for her time. In 1970, she was tasked with setting up a library in Korea. In 1982, Alleen was named to the Special Libraries Association’s Hall of Fame.

She traveled extensively for work and pleasure visiting Art Museums throughout Europe, Japan, and India to name a few. Alleen visited well over 40 countries during her remarkable life journey.

Alleen returned to her Waterville roots in 1998 making the solo cross-country trip by car with her belongings and two cats. Being back in Waterville, Alleen had the opportunity to reconnect with old friends and with what the city had to offer. That had to include all things Colby! She enjoyed lectures, the Great Books programs, the plethora of exhibitions at the Colby Museum of Arts, attending all of Professor Brancaccio’s film classes offered through the Goldfarb Center, and the campy fun at the Broadway Musical Reviews, which she often introduced to friends. As a proud alumna, Alleen followed every accomplishment, accolade, and innovation of the college with great interest.

She enjoyed shows and events at the Waterville Opera House, and was a member of the Waterville Historical Society, and the Central Maine Garden Club. Alleen supported the many animals at Waterville Humane Society even donating “Poppy’s Room” out of her love of cats. She was an active supporter of her favorite charities, many including causes for all animals and the environment as well as the Waterville branch of the Salvation Army.

Alleen was a traditionalist by nature, preferring to be addressed as Miss Thompson unless she knew you on a more personal basis. She loved wearing stylish skirts and dresses rather than slacks complimented by the perfect hairstyle and handbag. She enjoyed eating out and did not mind travelling for good meals, most notably with her group of friends who made their yearly outing to The Lost Kitchen.

Out of respect for her wishes, there will be no services.

Arrangements are under the care of Veilleux & Redington Funeral Home, 8 Elm Street, Waterville, ME. http://www.veilleuxfuneralhome.com

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Alleen’s name to Colby College, Division of College Advancement, 173 Main St., Suite 201, Waterville, ME 04901, or Humane Society Waterville Area, 100 Webb Rd., Waterville, ME 04901. Donations to Colby College will be directed to the Gordon Center for Creative and Performing Arts under construction on the Mayflower Hill campus


WATERVILLE – Raymond William Lachance Jr., 74, of Waterville, passed away on Saturday November 14, 2020. He was born October 29, 1946, to Raymond Lachance Sr. and Geneva Lachance.

Raymond graduated from Winslow High School. He then enrolled in the Navy and went to Vietnam from which he received many medals of honor.

Raymond was a skilled mechanic and carpenter. Through the years he has had his own businesses with close family friends, Renald Cloutier and Eric Dickey.

Before Dale Earnhardt’s passing he was an avid NASCAR fan. He was Matt’s biggest fan and never missed a football game which was usually followed by McDonald’s.

He was always there through thick and thin. He was the strongest most reliable kind caring giving soul. There was nothing Raymond wouldn’t do for his family and he will be so very greatly missed.

He is survived by his children, Alison Thomas and her life long partner Chad Gilley, Michael Thomas and Mistylynn; his grandchildren, Michael (Matthew whom he raised like he was his own son), Kalianah, Sage, Tayanah, Taten, Keanah; his great-grandfather children; his brothers, Kenneth and Brian.

In honor of Raymond’s wishes there will be no funeral service. There will be a celebration of Ray’s life at 2 p.m. on Sunday, November 29, at Grass Eaters, on College Ave., in Waterville.


WATERVILLE – Chester G. Eames, Jr., 75, of Waterville, known fondly as “Chet” to family and friends, died peacefully on Tuesday, November 17, 2020, at Marshwood Center, in Lewiston. He was born in Bangor on November 9, 1945, the son of Chester G. Eames, Sr. and Clara Eames.

Chet graduated from Bangor High School in 1963 and earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Accounting in 1967 from Husson College, in Bangor. He enlisted in the U.S. Army and served in the Vietnam War.

When Chet met his future wife, Florence Eastman, he managed the W.T. Grant Department Store, in Bangor. They married in 1972, and they have loved and cared for one another for the past 48 years. They moved to Greenville, South Carolina, where they owned and operated a laundromat called “Soap and Suds”. Chet also worked at a textile mill while he studied theology at Bob Jones University.

His Christian faith remained strong and central throughout his life. Eventually, to be nearer to family, they moved back to Maine and settled in Waterville where Chet became a security guard for Thayer and Seton hospitals, later to be named MaineGeneral Medical Center. He also worked part time as a seasonal L.L. Bean Service Representative at the call center in Waterville.

He was predeceased by his parents, Chester and Clara Eames, his mother-in-law, Ella Eastman; his brother-in-law, Theron Micue, Jr. and his sister-in-law, Wilma Eastman.

He is survived by his wife, Florence, of Waterville; his sisters-in-law, Rose Micue, of Norridgewock, Phyllis Corey and her husband George, of Sidney, and Roberta Brown and her husband Fremont, of Terryville, Connecticut; nieces, nephews, and cousins. Chet will be remembered by his family for his tall stature, his sense of humor and his gentle manner.

At Chet’s request there will be no services.

Memories and condolences may be shared at directcremationofmaine.com.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made In Chet’s memory, payable to Amedisys Foundation Beacon Hosplice, 245 Center St., Suite 10A, Auburn, ME 04210.


WINSLOW – Ervin Herman Tyler, 99, passed away on Tuesday, November 17, 2020, following a long battle with COPD. He was born on June 7, 1921, in Benton.

He was the beloved husband of Audrey (Witham) Tyler for 75 years. Theirs was the strongest of love, and a marriage to emulate. His home was always full of joy and laughter. He teased Audrey endlessly which was a true display of his affection. How he loved his family, it was the “core” of his existence.

As a young boy he moved to Freedom. During those early years he loved “Gram” Tyler’s cooking, sliding, working on the farm and playing with the family dogs and cats. He went to grammar school in Freedom and graduated from Freedom Academy in 1940. He played on the baseball and track teams. In his adult years, he liked to hunt, fish, garden, mow lawns, go to country fairs, going for rides with the family to see relatives and friends, grocery shopping for and taking family and friends to appointments.

He enjoyed watching sports on television, especially the Boston Red Sox, wrestling and various news channels. He liked discussing current events as well as reminiscing about “the good old days”. His memory was remarkable even at age 99.

For years, he attended the University of Maine’s girls’ basketball games, even at the age of 88. He loved going to his grandson’s swim meets and his great-grand children’s soccer games.

In the 80’s, he enjoyed going to breakfast with his “breakfast group” seeing the folks at Wendy’s and Dunkin’ Donuts. Ervin met friends at McDonald’s in Winslow every Wednesday night for 15 years and they became his “McDonald’s family”. He was very fond of his neighbors who became true friends and so enjoyed visits from them.

Ervin was an active member of the Benton Falls Congregational Church. For years, he was an usher and worked on church suppers. He loved serving people and telling them about his church. He was very fond of his ministers, Jack Quigg and Pastor Kim Shrader and looked forward to their visits.

In 1940, Ervin worked in the woods cutting cord wood for $2.00 a day and got a cord a day. In 1941, he worked at the Bryant Mill (Freedom Novely Mill) now known as the Mill at Freedom Falls. He ran a lathe making wooden screwdriver handles for 32 cents an hour. He was the only person who ever worked there that attended the mill open house on June 5, 2013. Two of the handles he made are on display in the mall showcase. Ervin was in a documentary film about the mill which was part of the Camden Film Festival and was shown at the Strand Theater, in Rockland, on September 29, 2013. At this premier, Tony Grassi, project manager, showed the audience two of the screwdriver handles he made, even at age 92, Ervin was able to attend this premier and was recognized by the audience of over 200 people. In March 2014, the Freedom Mill documentary was shown at the Environmental Film Festival, in Washington, DC.

Ervin had an extremely strong work ethic. He worked for Hollingworth and Whitney and Scott Paper Company, in Winslow, for 41-1/2 years, retiring in 1983 as a back-tender on #4 paper machine. He only missed a few days of work due to surgery. When the roads were impassable, he would snowshoe or walk the 10 miles to work. After retiring, he worked part time at Poor Bob’s Store, in Benton.

Ervin was a World War ll Army veteran entering the service in 1944 and discharged in 1946. He served in the European Theatre and the 15th District Mechanized Constabulary. He took his basic training at camp Joseph T. Robinson, in Little Rock, Arkansas. He had to be a skilled hunter to survive back home in Freedom, and this skill served his well in the Army. Ervin went overseas when the Battle of the Bulge was nearly over. It took eleven days on a liberty ship to arrive in France. From France, he went to Belgium, Holland and finally Germany. He was the oldest charter member of the Winslow VFW Post #8835, and one of the oldest members of the Fairfield American Legion Post #14. Yearly, he attended the ceremonies in the Veterans Memorial Park in Winslow, standing for hours, even in the coldest of weather. He was in many Winslow Fourth of July parades. He loved his country and in a show of patriotism only purchased American made products.

At age 97, Ervin needed help with the activities of everyday living and his primary caregiver, from Helping Hands, was Mike Levesque. When Ervin was asked how Mike cared for him, Ervin had one word to describe Mike’s care, “Perfect”. They became good friends and they shared many laughs and stories. He was also very pleased with the work of his part time caregiver, Angela Marie Tracy.

Ervin was a handsome man with a “boyish grin” and loved to tell stories and jokes. He had the “unique” quality of making others feel special.

He is survived by his daughter, Bonnie Tyler; his grandsons, Mark McCutcheon and his wife Laurie, Michael and his wife Deanna McCutcheon; three great-grandchildren, Justin McCutcheon, Kristi McCutcheon Francey and her husband Dana, and Ian McCutcheon; his great-great grand children, Madeline and Liam Francey, and Penelope McCutcheon; a brother, Clarence Tyler Jr.; son-in-law, Harold McCutcheon and his partner Sharon Lamb; and several nieces, nephews and cousins.

He was predeceased by his wife, Audrey Witham Tyler; his parents, Clarence and Mattie (Godale) Tyler; his daughter, Nancy Tyler McCutcheon; his brothers, Archie Tyler, Ernest Tyler Jr. and Carroll Tyler, his sister Maxine Gurney, his sister-in- law, Barbara Martin; and special cousin, Alice Alexander.

An online guestbook may be signed, and memories shared at http://www.familyfirstfuneralhomes.com

Arrangements are by Lawry Brothers Funeral & Cremation Care, 107 Main St., Fairfield.

There will be a private burial. A public celebration of Ervin’s life will be held on either June 6, or June 7, 2021, providing the Covid virus is under control.

Memorial donations may be made to the Benton Falls Congregational Church, Atten.: Dawnela Sheehan, 274 Bellsqueeze Rd., Benton, ME 04901.

Vassalboro JMG selling wreaths

The Vassalboro Community School Jobs for Maine Graduates (JMG) program will be doing their annual Christmas wreath sale, starting right now until the week after Thanksgiving. They will still be taking orders when they get back from Thanksgiving break.

These are locally-grown and assembled wreaths out of Skowhegan, and a company they have worked with for the past six years. They are fresh and very reasonable. The money goes to the JMG program which in turn the students decide on different nonprofits that could use help during the year.

Students research and vote on where they will spend the money

The prices are as follows: Classic- $25; Blue Royal- $28; and Plaid Bow- $28.