Corpus Christi Parish announces changes to its Mass schedule


Corpus Christi Roman Catholic Parish, which includes Notre Dame church, in Waterville, and St. John the Baptist church, in Winslow, has announced a change in its Mass schedule.

Beginning Saturday, May 1, 2021, there will be four weekend Masses. On Saturday, there will be only one Mass, at 4 p.m., at Notre Dame church. On Sunday, May 2, Masses will be held at 7:30 a.m. at St. John, 9 a.m. at Notre Dame, and 10:30 a.m. at St. John.

Weekday Masses will occur at Notre Dame on Monday and Wednesday, at 12:15 p.m., and at St. John on Tuesday and Thursday, at 8 a.m. There will be no Mass on Friday.

This is not a short term change, but a permanent one as, going forward, Corpus Christi Parish will be served by one priest, Rev. Daniel Baillargeon.

Erskine Academy second trimester honor roll 2021

(photo credit: Erskine Academy)

Grade 12

High honors: Abbygail Blair, Jane Blanchard, Christopher Bourdon, Nomi Bouwens, Samantha Box, Anthony Chessa, Ashley Clavette, Joleigh Crockett, Cody Devaney, Amelia Evans, Addison Gamage, Margaret Gamage, Avril Goodman, Avery Henningsen, Delaney Ireland, Sierra LaCroix, Haley Laird, Isabela Libby, Colby Lloyd, Emily Lowther, Chiara Mahoney, Jonathan Martinez, Michael Nicholas III, Ian Oliphant, Brian Ouellette Jr, Annaliese Patterson, Aiden Pettengill, Anna Pfleging, Sydni Plummer, Harry Rabideau, Kristin Ray, Aarick Staples, Joshua Tobey, Dylan Wing and Kelby Young.

Honors: Mara Adams, Brooke Allen, Philip Allen, Nicholas Barber, Rylee Bellemare, Everett Blair, Johnathan Blair, David Bourgoin, Trevor Brockway, Eleanor Brown, Ethan Cates, Joshua Cowing, Nolan Cowing, Jacob Devaney, Abigail Dumas, Patrick Hanley, Hailey Haskell, Paeshance-Rae Horan, Emma Hutchinson, Bryan Joslyn Jr, Keith Knowles, Kaylah Kronillis, Joanna Linscott, Hailey Mayo, Gavin Mills, Courtney Paine, Isabella Parlin, Elek Pelletier, Allison Roddy, Colby Rumpf, Acadia Senkbeil, Riley Sullivan and Samuel York.

Grade 11

High honors: Isaac Baker, Maylien Beermann, Jacob Bentley, Jack Blais, Autumn Boody, Lilian Bray, Emily Clark, Liberty Crockett, Colby Cunningham, Michele De Gugliemi, Isabella DeRose, Kaden Doughty, Emma Fortin, Josette Gilman, Samantha Golden, Larissa Haskell, Grace Hodgkin, Rachel Huntoon, Emma Jefferson, Grace Kelso, Tanner Klasson, Mallory Landry, Aidan Larrabee, Lili Lefebvre, Hunter Marr, David Martinez – Gosselin, Malcolm Martinez, Wes McGlew, Rebecca Morton, Adam Ochs, Devon Polley, Lilly Potter, Sarah Praul, Letizia Rasch, Paige Reed, Riley Reitchel, Parker Reynolds, Mackenzie Roderick, Abbey Searles, Andrew Shaw, Hannah Soule, Natalie Spearin, Hannah Strout – Gordon and Lily Vinci. Honors: Julia Barber, Alana Beggs, Evan Butler, Austin Campbellton, Abrial Chamberlain, Jesse Cowing, Blaze Cunningham, Luke Desmond, Alexander Drolet, Abigail Dutton, Chase Folsom, Wyatt French, Jenna Gallant, Ciera Hamar, Trace Harris, Isaac Hayden, Timothy Hinckley Jr, Krystal Ingersoll, Madelyne Koehling, Madison Lully, Isavel Lux Soc, Calvin Mason, Kaden McIntyre, Brady O’Connor, Abigail Peaslee, Julian Reight, Shawn Searles, Hugo Smith, Hannah Torrey, Summer Wasilowski and Samuel Worthley.

Grade 10

High honors: John Allen, Carson Appel, Abigail Beyor, Eve Boatright, Katherine Bourdon, Breckon Davidson, Nicole DeMerchant, Lillian Dorval, Loralei Gilley, Cooper Grondin, Elizabeth Hardy, Grady Hotham, Grace Hutchins, Beck Jorgensen, Kaiden Kelley, Meadow Laflamme, Dale Lapointe, Dinah Lemelin, Malachi Lowery, Lily Matthews, Brooklyn McCue, River Meader, Nabila Meity, Angelina Ochoa, Ethan Ouellette, Timber Parlin, Kayla Peaslee, Jonathan Peil, Gabriel Pelletier, Sophia Pilotte, Kaden Porter, Ingrid Ramberg, Alexis Rancourt, Cadence Rau, Samantha Reynolds, Sarah Robinson, Ally Rodrigue, Noah Rushing, Emmalee Sanborn, Daniel Stillman, Jacob Sullivan, Aidan Tirrell, Mackenzie Toner, Emma Tyler, Lauren Tyler and Damon Wilson.

Honors: Molly Anderson, Andrew Bentley, Angel Bonilla, Zane Boulet, Samuel Boynton, Nicholas Choate, Tianna Cunningham, Grace Ellis, Myra Evans, Hailey Farrar, Lilly Fredette, Alyssa Gagne, Brianna Gardner, Alivia Gower, Kassidy Hopper, Olivia Hutchinson, Acadia Kelley, Brady Kirkpatrick, Matthew Knowles, Emmet Lani-Caputo, Zephyr Lani-Caputo, Joseph Lemelin, Brenden Levesque, Gwen Lockhart, Gage Moody, Ezra Padgett, Maddison Paquet, Hannah Patterson, Michael Perez, Jenna Perkins, Casey Petty, Kathleen Pfleging, Karen Potter, Conner Rowe, Jarell Sandoval, Sophie Steeves, Emma Stred, Paige Sutter and Katherine Williams.

Grade 9

High honors: Isabella Boudreau, Heather Bourgoin, Robin Boynton, Elizabeth Brown, Kaleb Brown, Nolan Burgess, Eva Carlezon, Nathalia Carrasco, Elise Choate, Brielle Crommett, Noah Crummett, Gavin Cunningham, Hailey Estes, Ciara Fickett, Caleb Gay, Nathan Hall, Stephanie Kumnick, Carol Labbe, Sydney Laird, Logan Lanphier, Kiley Lee, Aidan Maguire, Richard Mahoney III, Alexia McDonald, Holden McKenney, Austin Nicholas, Jazel Nichols, Alejandro Ochoa, Jeremy Parker, Nathan Polley, Kinsey Stevens, Lara Stinchfield, Reese Sullivan and Baruch Wilson.

Honors: Abigail Adams, Austin Armstrong, Lyla Bailey, Trinity Brann, Wyatt Bray, Hayden Chase, Timothy Christiansen, Simon Clark, Connor Coull, Thomas Crawford, Keira Deschamps, Hunter Foard, Cole Fortin, Kaylee Fyfe, Brayden Garland, Leah Grant, Natalie Henderson, Hallee Huff, Kameron Kronillis, Mackenzie Kutniewski, Sophie Leclerc, Brody Loiko, Jack Lyons, David McCaig, Carlos Michaud, Abigail Miller, Royce Nelson, Alyssa Ouellette, Remy Pettengill, Keith Radonis, Giacomo Smith, Adam St. Onge, Ryan Tyler, Haley Webb and Brandon Wood.

FOR YOUR HEALTH: Drug-free Ways To Deal With Morning Sickness

Reducing the risk and misery of morning sickness may be easier than many mothers-to-be may realize.

(NAPSI)—The National Center for Health Statistics estimates 4 million babies will be born this year. If you’re having one of them, congratulations. If that one is causing you morning sickness, you’re far from alone—almost 80% of pregnant women suffer morning sickness at some point—and, fortunately, you can do something to ease it.

Take Care, Take Control

Here are hints on how:

Food: Avoid raw or lightly cooked eggs, soft and blue-veined cheeses and pate or liver products.

Beverages: Drink lots of water, milk and juice. It’s best to avoid alcohol and keep coffee and tea to a minimum.

Hygiene: Be scrupulous about cleaning food, particularly if you have pets.

Exercise: Swimming, yoga and walking can help.

Smoking: Give it up as soon as you can for your own and your baby’s health.

Acupressure: Understandably, most women are wary of morning sickness treatments in case it harms their unborn child. Fortunately, there’s an easy, natural way to combat morning sickness without taking drugs. Sea-Band acupressure bands harness the natural effect of acupressure by applying continuous pressure on the P6 point on each wrist using a plastic stud. The bands are available on Amazon in sets of two and in a special “Morning Sickness Kit” including the wristbands, ginger lozenges and aromatherapy oil, all aimed at safely relieving nausea without drugs.

Studies Show

A recent study in Italy found that morning sickness was reduced in 70% of women who used Sea-Bands and a study conducted by an American midwife showed that women wearing Sea-Bands also reported less anxiety, depression and hostility.

Learn More

For more facts and tips, visit

LEGAL NOTICES for Thursday, April 22, 2021

Court St., Skowhegan, ME
Somerset, SS
Location of Court
18-C M.R.S.A. §3-804

The following Personal Representatives have been appointed in the estates noted. The first publication date of this notice April 22, 2021. If you are a creditor of an estate listed below, you must present your claim within four months of the first publication date of this Notice to Creditors by filing a written statement of your claim on a proper form with the Register of Probate of this Court or by delivering or mailing to the Personal Representative listed below at the address published by his name, a written statement of the claim indicating the basis therefore, the name and address of the claimant and the amount claimed or in such other manner as the law may provide. See 18-C M.R.S.A. §3-80

2021-067 – Estate of ANNETTE R. POUND, late of North Port, Fl deceased. Jonathan M. Pound, PO Box 103, Phillips, Me 04966 appointed Personal Representative.

2021-070 – Estate of WILLIAM D. SAVOY, late of Skowhegan, Me deceased. Joseph Savoy, 87 Park Street, Madison, Me 04950 appointed Personal Representative.

2021-074 – Estate of STEPHEN W. WALKER, late of Skowhegan, Me deceased. Renee L. Walker, 94 Palmer Road, Skowhegan, Me 04976 appointed Personal Representative.

2019-282 – Estate of MARGOT COOPER, late of Pittsfield, Me deceased. Patricia J. Koenig, 4208 Sodwequist Road, Mancelona, Michigan 49659 appointed Personal Representative.

2021-075 -Estate of ROBERT L. JONES, late of Smithfield, Me deceased. Diane Jones, 80 Lune Lane, Smithfield, Me 04978 appointed Personal Representative.

2021-076 – Estate of DONALD F. THERIAULT, SR., late of Rockwood, Me deceased. Linda K. Theriault, PO 97, Rockwood, Me 04478 appointed Personal Representative.

2021-078 – Estate of WILBUR A. KNOWLES, late of Pittsfield, Me deceased. Alisa D. Knowles, 1009 Morrill Pond Road, Hartland, Me 04943 appointed Personal Representative.

2021-079 – Estate of DEANNA R. TILTON, late of Pittsfield, Me deceased. Patricia J. Richardson, PO Box 70, Palmyra, Me 04965 appointed Personal Representative.

2021-083 – Estate of BARRY M. TIBBETTS, late of Bingham, Me deceased. Violet M. Tibbetts, PO Box 55, Bingham, Me 04920 appointed Personal Representative.

2021-084 – Estate of JULIUS LAWRENCE, late of Bingham, Me deceased. James Lawrence, 13 DJ Lane, Benton, Me 04901 appointed Personal Representative.

2021-090 – Estate of STEVEN A. SMALL, late of Bingham, Me deceased. Allen M. Small, 11 Peters Cove Lane, Westport Island, Me 04578 appointed Personal Representative.

2021-092 – Estate of LINDA A. C. MOODY, late of Madison, Me deceased. Stephanie Gaboury, 53 Moody Road, Industry, Me 04938 appointed Personal Representative.

2021-094 – Estate of ANITA A. PRINCE, late of Moose River, Me deceased. Francis H. Lacasse, 17 Eagle Cove Lane, Long Pond Township, Me 04945 appointed Personal Representative.

2021-095 – Estate of JOYCE B. WILLIAMS, late of Pittsfield, Me deceased. Susan W. Ouellette, PO Box 116, Pittsfield, ME 04967 appointed Personal Representative.

2021-096 – Estate of RAYMOND K. FERRIS, JR., late of Detroit, Me deceased. Raymond D. Ferry, 77 William Street, Portland, Me 04107 appointed Personal Representative.

2021-097 – Estate of DUANE G. LEWIS, JR., late of Starks, Me deceased. Betty Lynn Lewis, 271 Anson Road, Starks, Me 04911 appointed Personal Representative.

2021-044 – Estate of BERTRAND M. DYER, SR., late of North New Portland, Me deceased. Bertrand M. Dyer, Jr., PO Box 173, Monmouth, ME 04259 appointed Personal Representative.

To be published on April 22 & April 29, 2021.
Dated: April 16, 2021. /s/Victoria Hatch,
Register of Probate



Notice is hereby given by the respective petitioners that they have filed petitions for appointment of personal representatives in the following estates or change of name. These matters will be heard at 1 p.m. or as soon thereafter as they may be on May 5, 2021. The requested appointments or name changes may be made on or after the hearing date if no sufficient objection be heard. This notice complies with the requirements of 18-C MRSA §3-403 and Probate Rule 4.

2021-054 – Estate of JOZEFF ERNEST ELLIOTT, minor of Fairfield, Me. Petition for Change of Name (Minor) filed by petitioner Jennifer Lee Bennett, 212 Main Street, Apt. 2, Fairfield, Me 04937 requesting that minor’s name be changed to Jozeff Jacob Bennett for reasons set forth therein.

2021-080 – Estate of CONNOR MICHAEL POTVIN, Petition for Change of Name (Minor) filed by Ericka Potvin and Garret St. Peter, 92 Fahi Pond Road, North Anson, Me 04948 requesting minor’s name be changed to Connor Michael St. Peter for reasons set forth therein.

2021-081 – Estate of MATTHEW CHARLES POTVIN-St. Peter. Petition for Change of Name (Minor) filed by Ericka Potvin and Garret St. Peter, 92 Fahi Pond Road, North Anson, Me 04958 requesting minor’s name be changed to Matthew Charles St. Peter for reasons set forth therein.

Dated: April 16, 2021
/s/ Victoria Hatch,
Register of Probate

How to take the bite out of dog-related injuries

Maine’s ranking worsens in number of incidents

With an estimated 90 million dogs living in U.S. households, accidents are bound to happen. Most dogs will never bite, but it is important to remember that any dog CAN bite regardless of breed or type. In 2020, State Farm paid $157 million as a result of 3,186 dog bite and injury claims. Over the past decade, State Farm paid more than $1.1 billion for dog-related injury claims.

Maine was ranked #39 in 2020 in number of State Farm dog bite claims, with an average pay out of $24,000 per claim. This is a decline from the state’s #45 ranking for 2019. The top three states for 2020 dog bite claims are California, Illinois and Ohio, respectively.

The highest month for number of claims and amount paid for those claims was at the start of the COVID-19 lockdown. In March 2020, State Farm paid over $19 million for 320 injury claims. Dogs were picking up on their owners’ stress and increased activity in the home, such as children being home from school and adults working from home, resulting in negative behavior because of anxiety.

“Children make up more than 50% of all dog bite victims and the highest risk group in children are ages 5-9 years old,” says Augusta State Farm Agent Dennis Keller. “The elderly and home service people, like mail carriers, are also high on the list of frequent dog bite victims. Being bitten or attacked by a dog can leave physical and emotional scars. For the dog, it can be a death sentence.”

State Farm claim numbers include dog bites, as well as dog-related injuries. This can involve injuries resulting from a dog jumping on a person, and knocking a person down or off a bicycle. A person can also be injured because they were afraid of the possibility of a dog attacking, such as falling down stairs while backing away from a dog.

State Farm is one of the few insurance companies in the country that does not refuse insurance based on the breed of dog someone owns. “We recognize that, under the right circumstances, any dog might bite,” says Dennis. “That is why we encourage people to be responsible pet owners and educate the public, especially children, on how to safely approach a dog.”

Dennis offers these tips to help prevent dog bites:

NEVER leave a baby or small child alone with a dog, even if it is a family pet. Children are often bitten by dogs in their own household.

Make sure your pet is socialized so he feels at ease around people and other animals.

Walk and exercise your dog on a leash to keep him healthy and provide mental stimulation.

Regular veterinary visits are essential to regulating the health of your dog. A sick or injured dog is more likely to bite.

Be alert. If someone approaches you and your dog, caution them to wait before petting the dog. Give your pet time to be comfortable with the stranger.

Art society exhibition and scholarship opportunity

The Waterville Area Art Society (WAAS) is celebrating 35 years with an art show that includes 150 pieces of art featuring 24 WAAS members. The majority of the show is exhibited at The Framemakers, in Waterville. Some work is also available to view at Selah Tea. To see the show, at The Framemakers, one can make an appointment (872-8927) or come to the store and be admitted as space allows (regarding quarantine restrictions). All pieces of art are for sale and can be virtually viewed and purchased online: This show runs through May 7.

The Society also offers a $500 scholarship for graduating seniors planning to major or minor in visual arts, performing arts or music. This scholarship is offered to eight local schools. Applications are due May 1. For more information about scholarships or about membership, you can email: or call Mary Morrison at (207) 872-5843.

The art society was started in 1986 to promote visual arts in Maine, encourage local artists and to foster public awareness of Maine artists. Although currently not meeting in person, the group generally meets monthly and provides members with educational programs, art demonstrations, exhibit opportunities, and a place to share information with other artists. The newsletter also provides artists with upcoming exhibitions, juried shows and opportunities.

I’M JUST CURIOUS: Let’s chat

by Debbie Walker

Grab your coffee, wine, etc., and let’s chat. Let’s start with electric fryers. Do you have one? Please write and tell me how you got used to it. I could use all the help I can get. I killed the hamburgers tonight. It’s not fair to the meat. It already died once. I am certainly glad I wasn’t cooking for a guest tonight.

I am only guessing but I am hoping the size of the fryer makes a difference. My friends all have the larger fryers, they are all cooking for families and gatherings. Mine is much smaller and I am not much of a cook in any form.

No, I am not much of a cook. Oh, I got by over the years, no one in my family died of starvation, nor did they die from anything I fixed for a meal.

I was more interested in baking but, even then, there was nothing fancy. Cookies, cakes, and occasionally I would try my hand at making a pie. I especially liked the “Impossible” pie made with Bisquick. That pie made its own crust!! I don’t know how long it’s been since I have made one of those.

There may come a day when I will try my hand at another bread pudding. I just can’t find one down here that I like. I bought one a couple of weeks ago and I know what kind of bread they used but it was nasty! Another one I looked at had that sugary glaze stuff on top.

Is it really necessary to glaze everything? I love chocolate donuts, but it is hard enough to find a chocolate one and if you do it almost always been covered in glaze or chocolate frosting. Yuck.

Frosting, that’s another ‘yuck’! Have you noticed how thick the frosting is on cakes and cupcakes? “Designer” cupcakes. Oh, please. That ranks right up there with “Designer” dogs. Mutts.

Have you seen or can you imagine the size of a stove and oven in a recreational vehicle, that is, except for the campers the size of a house? Let me assure you my camper is not one of those. Oh yeah, and my oven hasn’t worked since I moved into it in July. That’s no hardship here.

If I really needed an oven my daughter gave me her toaster oven that takes up half of my counterspace (the air fryer takes up the rest of the counter). If I get time someday, I may try something. I may have to make my own bread pudding or maybe a meatloaf. Who knows. They say miracles do happen.

That’s enough for one week. I am just curious if you would send me some of your own “kitchen” stories. Please send them to along with any questions or comments. Thank you for reading and have a great week!


Arthur Fiedler

Peter Catesby Peter Cates

The Boston Pops

John Williams

A very good 1982 Philips cassette, Pops Around the World, features the Boston Pops under its former Music Director John Williams (1932-) playing seven Overtures – two from the U.S. and from Russia, and one each from France, Italy and Austria.

The American Overtures are Leonard Bernstein’s for his musical Candide and one Williams himself composed for the 1972 movie, The Cowboys. Bernstein (1918-1990) created a rambunctious romp testing the technique of every player with its rapid-fire tempos and cross-rhythms.

The Cowboys Overture, composed before Williams achieved greater fame and fortune with his soundtracks for Star Wars, Superman, Jurassic Park and many etcs., has an appealing ambiance and evokes the sights and sounds of the Old West in an manner similar to the Brooklyn-born composer Aaron Copland through his own Rodeo and Billy the Kid ballets and soundtrack for The Red Pony.

The Russian Overtures are those of Mikhail Glinka (1804-1857) for Ruslan and Ludmilla and Dimitry Kabalevsky (1904-1987) to his 1938 opera Colas Breugnon, which became a smash hit at its premiere in Leningrad with the Soviet authorities and boosted Kabalevsky’s own standing with them, most likely enabling him to avoid being purged by Stalin as an ‘enemy of the people’; while Glinka became the first Russian composer to win acclaim in his own country.

France is represented by the Bronze Horse Overture of Daniel-Franois Auber (1782-1871), Italy by the Overture to An Italian in Algiers of Gioacchino Rossini (1792-1868) and Austria by the Boccaccio Overture of Franz von Suppe (1819-1895). All three of these composers frequently conveyed roller coaster wit and high spirits in their music, one of several reasons their melodies were often heard in the old cartoons.

John Williams’s grandparents ran a department store in Bangor. His father Johnny Williams was a well-known percussionist during the Big Band Era.

Williams and his predecessor Arthur Fiedler (1894-1979) never met in person but did speak by phone.

This album was also released as an LP and compact disc. Some overtures may even be on YouTube; I checked and saw the Bronze Horse available.

Robert T. Tristram Coffin (continued)

Continuing with paragraphs 4 and 5 of Robert P. Tristram Coffin’s essay, Kennebec Crystals:

“Then next day the January thaw came. Teachers went all to pieces as early as Wednesday in the week. Doctors used the whip on their horses as they clattered over the steaming ruts. Shopkeepers did not throw in the extra pilot bread but tied up the bags and bit off the twine. The big bugs behind the Ionian porticoes put aside the Annals of Tacitus and took down the Magnalia Christi Americana of Cotton Mather and Jonathan Edwards’s Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God. Small boys lost their tempers and kicked the jackstraws their bachelor uncles had whittled out in the shape of oars and eelspears all over the floor. Farmers sat down to Indian pudding without any salt hake to season it off.

“Young Timothy Toothtaker decided not to ask Susannah Orr a certain question until mayflower time or later. And he stopped spooling new rungs for her future bed.”

Up and down the Kennebec Valley: Granges – Part 3

Sidney Grange #194. (photo by Roland D. Hallee)

by Mary Grow

Palermo & Sidney

Palermo had two Granges for which multiple records exist, and Milton Dowe found an earlier third one in his research for his 1954 History Town of Palermo.

Dowe gives one paragraph to “Recreation Grange” – the quotation marks are his, and he did not add a number – in North Palermo, organized in 1875 and therefore among Maine’s first Granges. Dowe wrote that Leander Bowler owned the building where the Grange met, and that, “This grange did not exist many years.”

This writer has searched unsuccessfully on line for another reference to Recreation Grange.

Branch Mills Grange #336 started Jan. 1, 1897, and is included in the China bicentennial history (among other sources), though it has been headquartered in the Palermo side of Branch Mills Village most of its life. Sheepscot Lake Grange #445 was organized in 1905, in East Palermo.

The China history says Branch Mills Grange started with 20 charter members. Virginia Dowe, in a 1948 summary history included in Milton Dowe’s 1997 reminiscence, Palermo, Maine Things That I Remember in 1996, said there were 29 and named them. John Henry Barton, of Windsor, started the organization, at what the China history called the Good Templars Hall and Dowe called the “old Academy Hall.”

(Milton Edwin Dowe [Feb. 19, 1912 – Aug. 7, 2001] and Virginia Wescott Dowe [March 12, 1916 – Nov. 20, 2012] married April 29, 1939. They ran the Real Maine Country Store at the intersection of Branch Mills and North Palermo roads from the mid-1940s until 1981 or 1982. Among their many roles in the town, Milton Dowe helped organize the volunteer fire department and was its chief for 18 years, and Virginia Dowe was Palermo Town Clerk for 47 years.)

Kingsbury’s history says the first Good Templars group organized in Branch Mills lasted from December 1865 to sometime in 1869. In April 1874 it was succeeded by Lodge #349, which was still active in 1892. The Good Templars owned the building that Barzillai (or Brazillai) Harrington built for an academy in the mid-1800s.

Branch Mills Grange #336. (photo courtesy of the Kennebec Journal)

Early 20th century records included two references to J. H. Barton, resident of West Windsor: he was a Windsor selectman in 1902, and he commented on the condition of orchards in a 1903 State Pomological Society publication.

The China history says that during its first year, Branch Mills Grange gained only 17 members, so in 1898 they organized a contest (unspecified) that brought 90 more people to join them. The larger group began planning to buy or build a Grange Hall.

By 1900, the China history says, they owned a former shoe shop in Branch Mills, on the west (China) side of the Sheepscot River. They enlarged and remodeled the building and held a dedication on March 13, 1902. That year, state Grange records say, there were 108 members.

The Grange Hall burned in the June 26, 1908, fire that destroyed almost every building in the village. The China history describes what happened next, under the auspices of Eleon Shuman, at 18 “probably the youngest Grange Master in Maine,” and in 1975 a source of information for the history.

The Grangers sold their lot for $100, and for $300 bought a two-acre lot on the east (Palermo) side of the river from the Shuman family. They borrowed $4,000 and hired Fred Jordan as contractor.

Jordan in turn hired Shuman, who had been working as a painter for a man in China, and asked Shuman to do carpentry until it was time to paint. So Shuman “bought a saw and hammer and became a carpenter.”

Two jobs he remembered: nailing the rafters to the ridgepole, because “no one else wanted to climb that high”; and making the wooden figures 1909 and nailing them on the building’s face.

As in other towns, the Grange Hall served as a community center. For instance, Milton Dowe wrote in his 1954 history that when electricity reached Branch Mills in the summer of 1928, the lights were turned on on Aug. 8, and the Aug. 10 celebration was held in the Grange Hall.

The hall served as a meeting place for other town organizations. It hosted town meetings and other official public events. It was available for public entertainment, like dances, movies and plays; and for residents’ celebrations of weddings and the like.

Virginia Dowe wrote that during World War II Branch Mills Grange spent more than $500 helping and honoring soldiers. The Grange paid soldiers’ dues and sent Christmas gifts; and as veterans came home, Grange members gave each $25 and an honorary banquet.

In January 1947, Virginia Dowe continued, Grange members celebrated the organization’s 50th anniversary with “a tea, oyster stew supper and an old-fashioned dance,” with older members telling stories.

In the 1940s, she wrote, weekly dances in the winter provided funds for a furnace, installed in 1948.

Also in 1948, Milton Dowe wrote, Branch Mills Juvenile Grange #162 was established.

Grange-sponsored dances, “dramas” and other events benefited the volunteer fire department; Grangers donated $50 and let firefighters use the Grange Hall basement as a firehouse. The Grange Hall’s west wall was on the China-Palermo line and the basement door was on the west, so the fire trucks crossed into China as they left the building.

In 1949, Virginia Dowe wrote, Branch Mills Grange had 131 members and “a substantial fund in the treasury.” In 1975, according to the China history, the firefighters still occupied the basement and the Palermo town office was on the ground floor, leaving the second-floor meeting room for town meetings and Grange and other events.

Since 1975, a new town office and a new fire station have been built on North Palermo Road.

Branch Mills Grange was active in 2015 and is still listed as active by the Maine State Grange. The person listed on the state Grange website for information did not return a telephone call.

Sheepscot Lake Grange #445, in East Palermo, was organized Oct. 10, 1905, according to Milton Dowe’s history. Dowe wrote that its initial meetings were in the East Palermo schoolhouse, built by Paul Ames (who was related to novelist Ben Ames Williams).

Later, meetings moved to the second floor of Carroll Turner’s store. In 1907, Grange members bought a piece of land; in July 1907 the Grange was incorporated; and in the fall of 1908, members built a stable for their horses, presumably on the land they owned.

In 1907, Violet Lenfest reported to the state Department of Agriculture on behalf of Sheepscot Lake Grange. It was a bad year for insect pests. There were only a few “red-humped and yellow-necked apple worms,” fall webworms and grasshoppers; but cutworms, tent caterpillars, potato beetles, rose chafer beetles, “codling moths, cabbage worms, currant worms, railroad worms, horn flies and mosquitoes” were numerous.

Construction of the Sheepscot Lake Grange Hall started in the spring of 1910, and the building was finished in October. The first Sheepscot Lake Grange fair was held in the hall in September 1913; the fairs were still annual events when Dowe wrote in 1954.

Sheepscot Lake Juvenile Grange #106 “was chartered Feb. 15, 1941,” Dowe wrote.

In 1982, Sheepscot Lake Grange honored Walter Banton (Feb. 4, 1918 – Sept. 19, 2007), a World War II veteran active in town affairs, with its outstanding citizen award.

On the west side of the Kennebec, Sidney Grange #194 was organized Nov. 24, 1875, with 25 charter members. One of the members’ first actions, Alice Hammond wrote in her Sidney history, was to borrow $200 “to buy groceries to be sold to members at cost.” In 1876, they got a license to sell tobacco.

In 1885 Sidney Grange members started the Sidney Agricultural Fair, and from 1887 they invited non-members to bring entries. The fair was held annually at the town house on Middle Road. Kingsbury wrote that the Fair’s best displays were fruit and working cattle: “seventy-five yoke of the latter, driven in one continuous line, were shown one year.”

Brothers George and Frank Bowman had the largest tree nursery in Kennebec County, Kingsbury wrote. George Bowman was president of the Fair from 1887 until at least 1892 and was one of the early Grange Masters.

Hammond wrote that Grange members held their early meetings on the second floor of a store building on River Road. When they started considering building or buying a permanent home, enough Middle Road farmers were members that the group asked to share the town house for a year.

As the arrangement continued, the Grangers added a second story to the town house. The town office, a kitchen and a meeting room/dining room were on the first floor; the Grange used the upper floor for meetings and social events.

An old photo in Hammond’s history shows the front of the “town and grange hall,” an unadorned wooden rectangle with a generous front entrance and a ground-floor window on at least one side of the entrance (the photo is unclear). There are three windows on the second floor and two more above them under the sloping roof.

When Kings­bury’s history was published in 1892, Sidney Grange had 160 members and owned a “capacious hall.” In 1894, Grangers reached agreement with the congregation of the neighboring Uni­ver­salist Church to build a horse shed on the church’s land, to be owned by the church and used by both groups.

State Grange records show 310 members in 1902 and 282 in 1906. The state records include a report from the Grange’s Deputy of West Kennebec County on his Oct. 30, 1902, inspection of Sidney Grange. He recorded 307 members with more applications coming in while he was there.

He commented: “Books well kept and dues well paid up. Young Master well qualified for his work.

Hammond wrote that Grange meetings were held every Thursday evening until 1946, when they decreased to two Thursdays a month.

The Grange was a source of information for farmers and a community center for everyone, Hammond wrote. Grange gatherings often featured meals; she wrote of “bills for eight gallons of oysters for a stew” and coffee brewed in a “copper wash boiler with a spigot soldered near the bottom.”

On May 6, 1937, after a Grange meeting, the building caught fire. Because of fog, the fire wasn’t spotted promptly; and the Oakland fire truck got stuck in Middle Road mud. The hall, the horse shed and the church all burned; firefighters were able to pour enough water on the safe to keep town records from being destroyed.

Voters at a special town meeting agreed to rebuild their town hall at about the same place and again with the Grangers, Hammond said. Waterville Savings Bank donated land southwest of the former building site; town and Grange committees worked together to assemble a building crew; and money was accumulated from insurance and multiple other sources to provide the $9,533.15 needed “without an appropriation from the town.”

Hammond wrote that Grange members and town voters approved in 1937 and 1938 an agreement for the “use, care and renting” of the building that was still in effect when her history was published in 1992. By then, Sidney Grange had fewer than 50 members.

The 2003 town comprehensive plan says Sidney owned its separate town office building and had a half interest in the Grange Hall, splitting expenses with the Grange.

Currently the Grange Hall and the single-story town office building just north of it share a lot at 2986 Middle Road. The Grange Hall is a wood-shingled building atop a basement that rises above ground level. Across the center of the front, tall pillars support a pediment the height of the peaked roof, with a single window on each side on the basement and upper levels.

The Sidney Historical Society headquarters are in the basement. When this writer visited the hall recently, a sign on Middle Road advertised Young Americans Dance Center. A lady arriving with several young (elementary-school age) Americans said she believed dance classes were offered several days a week. YADC websites say the organization is based at Waterville’s Alfond Youth Center with a “secondary campus” in Sidney.

Main sources

Dowe, Milton E., History Town of Palermo Incorporated 1884 (1954).
Dowe, Milton E., Palermo, Maine Things That I Remember in 1996 (1997).
Grow, Mary M., China Maine Bicentennial History including 1984 revisions (1984).
Hammond, Alice, History of Sidney Maine 1792-1992 (1992).
Kingsbury, Henry D., ed., Illustrated History of Kennebec County Maine 1625-1892 (1892).

Websites, miscellaneous.

Last chance to order Vidalia onions!

By ryan griffis – originally posted to Flickr as Vidalia Onions, CC BY-SA 2.0, Link

The April 25 deadline is approaching quickly to order and send your check in for Vidalia onions. These big beauties will arrive at the Palermo Community Center, on Turner Ridge Road, right around Mothers Day. There isn’t a firm shipping date yet because the onions are still soaking up sunshine and rain down in Georgia, and the farmers have not yet determined the precise day to pick them. You will get the news as soon as we do!

To order, either email or call Connie at 993-2294. Please make your check out to “LCF ” and send it to Living Communities Foundation, P.O. Box 151, Palermo, ME 04354. Each box costs $27.00 for 25 pounds. Shipping costs have gone up, so this is the last year that we can offer these gourmet onions at this price.

Proceeds from this sale benefit the Palermo Community Center, which hosts the Palermo Food Pantry and sponsors the Great ThunderChicken Drum. Your support of these programs and more is highly appreciated. We are doing all we can to make the Community Center and Community Garden a place for everybody to learn and enjoy.