Event schedule for VASSALBORO DAYS: September 8 – 10, 2023

September 8 – 10, 2023

Friday, September 8

8 a.m. – 6 p.m. Lemieux’s Orchard – Apple picking, corn maze, baked goods & donuts, 210 Priest Hill Road
10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Book and Bake Sale, Vassalboro Public Library
11 a.m. – 5 p.m. Olde Mill Place Gift Store
7 – 10 p.m. The Root Notes, The Mill

Saturday, September 9

8 a.m. 6 p.m. Lemieux’s Orchard – Apple picking, corn maze, sunflower field, baked goods & donuts, Hay Rides (1 – 5 p.m.) 210 Priest Hill Road
8:30 – 11 a.m. Pancake Breakfast, The Grange
9 a.m. – 3 p.m. Open House at Museum, Blacksmith shop, Harness shop, Vassalboro Historical Society
9 a.m. – 3 p.m. The Mill Craft and Vendor Fair, games and activities, The Mill
9 a.m. – 3 p.m. Indoor yard sale, The Mill
9 a.m. – 2 p.m. Freddie’s 8th Annual Cruise-In, Prizes, Music and Food. Proceeds to benefit VBA Scholarship fund. Town office (rain date Sept. 10)
10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Masonic Lodge Fried Chicken Baskets, Burgers. You may order your baskets by calling 207-441-0378 from 9 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. that day! Proceeds benefit Bikes for Books. The Mill
10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Book and Bake Sale, Vassalboro Public Library
9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Olde Mill Place Gift Store
1:30 p.m. Double Dam Duck Derby, Tickets are $3 each or 5 for $10. Purchase at the Mill on Wed. ( 4 – 7 p.m.), Sundays 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. or Ray Breton (207-877-2005) or Samantha Lessard (207-314-4940). Ticket sales close 30 minutes before race. The Mill

Sunday, September 10

8 a.m. – 6 p.m. Lemieux’s Orchard, Apple picking, corn maze, sunflower field, baked goods and donuts. Hay rides (1 – 5 p.m.). 210 Priest Hill Rd.
9 a.m. – 3 p.m. Open House at Museum, Blacksmith shop, Harness shop. Vassalboro Historical Society
9 a.m. – 3 p.m. The Mill Craft and Vendor Fair, games and activities. The Mill
9 a.m. – 3 p.m., Indoor yard sale. The Mill
9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Olde Mill Place Gift Store
10 a.m. – 3 p.m. Winslow Community Cupboard. The Mill

Abel Jones house returns to his descendants

The Abel Jones House. (photo by Roberta Barnes)

by Roberta Barnes

Old houses/buildings can appear to be of no interest other than to be torn down and replaced with modern structures.

When you take a moment and think of old buildings in need of more than a coat of paint the building can look quite different. These old buildings, such as the Jones house on the Jones Road, in China, Maine, are part of the journey that led to today’s communities, states, and our country.

The craftsmanship put into not just the interior woodwork, but such things as an organ. (photo by Roberta Barnes)

If the owners allow you to look inside of old buildings, you can see the hand-made beauty that is a reminder of our past. The historical appreciation of the craftsmanship that went into the building of these old houses and even the small wood stoves and fireplaces that heated each room are treasures that go beyond monetary value.

This summer on Saturday, August 26, Jen Jones, a China Historical Society member, offered a brief tour of her newly-acquired Rufus Jones homestead. The tour included a few downstairs rooms inside the Jones House built by Abel Jones in 1815. Jen and her younger brother were on site to talk with those on the tour and answer questions about their ancestral home where they, children, and grandchildren will occasionally stay throughout the year.

The tour began inside the new China library still under construction. History of the Jones family was given by speakers’ Quaker historian Joann Austin, South China Library head Jean Dempster, and Jen Jones great-great-granddaughter. Outside in the library’s parking lot on our way to tour inside the Jones house, a side of the house not seen in most photographs, is visible. From this distance it looks as it will once the restoration has been completed.

Many stories were told about the Jones ancestors. One of the stories told was of a horse being attached/hitched to the sleigh and then going across China Lake to visit people on the other side. All those stories showed the long journey that led the Abel Jones homestead to no longer being seen as an old house, but one of historical value.

In the small dining room, hanging over the mantle of the fireplace, is a painting of the husband and wife of the early owners. (photo by Roberta Barnes)

Once at the Jones house, walking through the small rooms transformed an old rundown house into treasures of the past. The craftsmanship put into not just the interior woodwork, but such things as an organ, cast iron wood stove, sofa and highly-polished pumpkin pine wide floorboards made the outside peeling paint and slanted floors unimportant.

Entering through the back door of what looked to be part of the barn attached to the house, many old tools were visible. From there a small kitchen was dominated by a multifunction red brick wood stove; an old model electrical stove suggested that it had not been used for years. Cupboards seen in today’s kitchens were absent. However, a large cupboard door covering multiple shelves and a butler’s pantry, common in the past, erased the need for today’s cupboards.

In the small dining room, hanging over the mantle of the fireplace, is a painting of the husband and wife of the early owners. To the right is a framed hand-drawn map that is another reminder of past treasures.

While the peeling paint and slanting floors might not rate high on a realtor’s appraisal value, the historical value of the Jones house is another story. The two ladder-back chairs stopping visitors from going upstairs because of unsafe floors were examples of furniture beginning in the mid-17th century.

Outside on the side of the house facing the street is the metal plaque designating the Jones house as the birthplace of Rufus M. Jones. Many people associate the house with the important Quaker writer and historian Rufus Matthew Jones 1, as this was his birthplace and childhood home. His history and accomplishments are extensive.

This Jones house on the side of China Rd., built in 1815 by Abel Jones, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1983 by Gregory K. Clancey Ar­chi­tectural Historian of the Me His­toric Pre­ser­vation Comm.

Clancey writes that at that time in 1983 the Jones House is still owned by members of the Jones family. In The Town Line article written by Mary Grow in July 2021, she states that “The South China Library Association is the present owner.” Nevertheless, today the Jones house owners are members of the Jones family, ancestors of Abel Jones the original owner.

In Clancey’s application to have the Jones house put on the national registry he described some of the house in this way. “The Jones homestead is a typical Maine Federal farmhouse – two-and-one-half stories with pitched roof, five bays long, two bays deep, with a long one-and-one-half story ell projecting from the rear wall. The main section is perpendicular to the road. Sometime in the late 19th century the house was re-oriented toward the dooryard and road. The new door was given a simple Queen Anne canopy. All rooms are very simply decorated, with wallpaper applied over plaster. A few rooms retain simple Federal mantlepieces. One of the mantels is an exact copy of the original, which was somehow destroyed. A large barn and small shed of late 19th – early 20th century construction stand behind and to one side of the ell.”

If you were not able to attend the tour, you can find some of the Jones family history in books and copies of old newspapers at those places of recorded stored knowledge we call libraries. Some history can also be found online. Jen Jones suggested such resources as Wikipedia – the Abel Jones House, china.goveoffice.com, The Town Line articles such the 1997 South China Inn Community, and books such as Friend of Life – Biography of Rufus M. Jones and A Small Town Boy, by Rufus M. Jones.

EVENTS: China Historical to offer Jones house tours

Old Rufus Jones homestead in South China.

China Historical Society member Jen Jones will be offering a brief tour of her newly-acquired Rufus Jones homestead on Saturday afternoon, August 26. The get-together at the historic location on the Jones Road will begin at around 4:30 p.m. Jen will provide some family history and reflection on her ideas for the property. The inside look will likely be limited to a few rooms but will certainly foster a sense of the age and heritage of the house. Quaker historian Joann Austin and South China Library head Jean Dempster will also be available to provide some more history and information regarding the site’s transition. While weather issues may impact this event, they hope to see any China residents, and neighbors, who are interested in this dynamic piece of our local heritage.

Inland Hospital welcomes Dr. Brian Abbott

Dr. Brian Abbott

Inland Hospital, in Waterville, welcomes Brian Abbott, DO, to Northern Light Orthopedics, located in the Medical Arts Building attached to Northern Light Inland Hospital.

Dr. Abbott provides non-surgical orthopedic/sports medicine care, including evaluation and treatment of sprains and strains, non-surgical fracture management, osteopathic manipulation, diagnostic and interventional musculoskeletal ultrasound, and more.

Dr. Abbott has been practicing for 18 years, most recently in Helena, Montana. He is board-certified in Family Medicine and Neuromusculoskeletal Medicine/Osteopathic Manipulation. In addition, he holds a certificate of additional qualification in Primary Care Sports Medicine and is a Registered Musculoskeletal Sonographer.

Dr. Abbott earned his medical degree at the University of Pikeville Kentucky College of Osteopathic Medicine and his undergraduate degree at Shepherd University in Shepherdstown, West Virginia. He has completed fellowships in Neuromusculoskeletal Medicine/Osteopathic Manipulation and Primary Care Sports Medicine.

“The tenets of osteopathic medicine really appealed to me – that is the body is a functional unit, it has the propensity to heal itself, structure and function are interrelated and treating a patient is based on these tenets. I have been happy practicing non-surgical orthopedic care with this holistic approach.”

Outside of medicine, Dr. Abbott enjoys trail running, mountain biking, and camping and hiking with his wife and two sons.

For more information about Dr. Abbott and his services, please contact Northern Light Orthopedics in Waterville at 207.861.7862.

Waterville rotary volunteers assemble backpacks

Volunteers from the Waterville Rotary Club recently participated in the Waterville Elks Lodge #905 “Tools to Thrive” Backpack Giveaway program. There were 600 backpacks packed with school supplies which are distributed to students in grades K-12. Hygiene bags for the students were also packed. From left to right, Hannah and Josie Bard, Peter Garrett, McKayla Palmer, Jeff Melanson, John Palmer, Cathy Langlais, Suzanne Uhl-Melanson, Michele Prince and John Dalton.

Windsor’s Elwin Hussey reaches the century mark

Elwin Hussey with his great-granddaughter, Olivia, amongst his record collections.

by Norman Kalloch, in collaboration with Kristen Ballantyne

Elwin Frank Hussey turns 100 years old on August 25, 2023. A lifelong resident of Windsor, Elwin is often associated with Hussey’s General Store, which opened in 1923, the same year Elwin was born.

Elwin Hussey in his military uniform.

Elwin graduated from Erskine Academy, in South China, in 1940 and went to Colby College, in Waterville, majoring in Chemistry. He completed his degree in three years and still holds the record of being the youngest graduate of Colby College.

Upon graduation in 1943, he entered the military, serving two and one-half years in the U.S. Navy. During the World War II, Elwin worked on radio maintenance and radar which included testing advanced communication systems. Armed with a degree in chemistry, Elwin had numerous opportunities to work for large corporations. Instead, he returned to Windsor and set up shop across from the store, repairing radios until 1956. He also served two sessions in the Maine Legislature representing the towns of China, Windsor, Pittston and Randolph.

As he became more involved in the family business, the store sold several lines of appliances. Elwin first went to Hawaii with his now late wife, Shirley, through promotional trips sponsored by several appliance companies. Soon after, he bought his first home on The Big Island and continues to spend time in Windsor and Hawaii. It’s not unusual for Elwin to fly back to Maine to work at the store and then return to his Hawaiian home.

Elwin is a man with broad interests. He oversees a collection of old and rare books at Hussey’s Store. He also has a massive record collection, including titles from Hoagie Carmichael to Joan Baez and about every other artist. This summer, his great-granddaughter, Oliva, is assisting him in cataloging the record collection. Elwin has maintained a sharp eye for making a deal at nearly 100 years old.

Elwin Hussey turns 100 years old on August 25, 2023.

Elwin is also a historian, especially about the town of Windsor’s history. He has kept up years of genealogies and put together books about Windsor. He edits and adds to them to this day still, has copies made up and sells them at the store, and shares them with the historical society.

Elwin and the Hussey family have also been generous with donations over the years to the church, schools, and other organizations in the community and he has received a lot of satisfaction from helping his hometown over his lifetime.

Elwin leaves the day-to-day running of Hussey’s Store to his son Jay and granddaughter Kristen. However, managing the old book department remains his responsibility. Hussey’s Store has been a family endeavor for three generations, and Elwin hopes its legacy for a long time. Elwin says for a family business to survive for a hundred years is nothing short of amazing. The Hussey family knows the work it takes to survive in the big box store culture of modern today.

When asked what words of wisdom he’d like to pass on, Elwin replied, “Don’t let others make decisions for you.”

Elwin plans to celebrate his hundredth birthday at home, in Windsor, with his immediate family and dear friends.

(See also: Hussey’s: The History of a humble country business)

Hussey’s General Store was opened in 1923, the year Elwin Hussey was born.

CORRECTIONS: In the August 24, 2023, issue of The Town Line, the cover story (Windsor’s Elwin Hussey reaches the century mark), the author of the story is Norman Kalloch, in collaboration with Kristen Ballantyne. He wrote the core of the article after having interviewed Elwin Hussey. Ballantyne edited and made additions. It was an editing error.

EVENTS: Coronation Mass to be presented

A favorite of audiences and performers alike, the Coronation Mass will be performed with professional soloists and an orchestra on Friday, August 18 and Sunday, August 20, at 7:30 p.m., at the Congregational Church, of Boothbay Harbor. For more information, contact Lincoln Arts Festival at 207-633-3913 or lincolnartsfestivalbbh@gmail.com.

The Mass in C Major Coronation Mass, composed in 1779, is one of the most popular of Mozart’s 17 settings of the Latin Mass texts. It most likely premiered on Easter Sunday in 1779 in Salzburg Cathedral. The soloists for this marvelous work will be soprano Mary Sullivan, mezzo-soprano Jenna Guiggey, tenor David Myers-Wakeman, and bass-baritone John David Adams.

As a special treat, David Myers-Wakeman will sing two arrangements of hits from The Platters, including Smoke Gets In Your Eyes and The Great Pretender. Several shorter pieces will also be featured on the program, including arrangements of Blue Skies, In The Still Of The Night, It Don’t Mean A Thing, Mister Sandman, Over the Rainbow, and more.

Tickets are $25 and are available online at lincolnartsfestival.org or at Sherman’s Maine Coast Book Shop in Boothbay Harbor. They may also be purchased at the door starting 30 minutes prior to each performance.

Waterville voted Maine’s best ‘hidden’ live music scene, according to poll

The U.S. is celebrated for its iconic music cities like Nashville, the heartland of country music, New Orleans, the cradle of Jazz, and Austin, Texas, fittingly known as ‘The Live Music Capital of the World’. Yet, there’s a trove of less-known, hidden gems across the country that pulse with riveting live music experiences that many have yet to discover.

To shine a light on these hidden musical retreats, CheapoTicketing.com surveyed 3,000 live music lovers to create a ranking of the best under-the-radar live music destinations across the nation. The results were as follows:

#1 Modesto (California); #2 Fernandina Beach (Florida); #3 St. Pete Beach (Florida); #4 Franklin (Tennessee); #5 Branson (Missouri); #6 St. Augustine (Florida) #7 Athens (Georgia); #8 Carrboro (North Carolina); #9 Bakersfield (California); #10 Marfa (Texas)

Moving down the list: #97 Waterville, the only Maine community in the top 100, has a lively and growing live music scene that offers a mix of local talent and occasional touring artists. The city’s music venues, such as the Waterville Opera House, the Colby College Museum of Art, and Mainely Brews, provide spaces for various genres, including folk, indie, and rock, creating an enjoyable and engaging experience for music lovers in the community.

HealthReach welcomes podiatrist, Dr. Daniel J. Keane

This September, HealthReach staff in Albion, Belgrade, Coopers Mills, and Richmond welcome Dr. Daniel J. Keane, Podiatrist, to their team.

Dr. Keane earned his doctorate degree in Podiatric Medicine from the William Scholl College of Podiatric Surgery, in North Chicago, Illinois. He has a wealth of experience in the field of podiatry, including experience in rearfoot, forefoot, and ankle surgery; podiatric medicine; and wound treatment.

Dr. Keane shares, “In my many years of practice, I have always strived to treat patients as if they were family: providing the highest level of care with both respect and dignity. As a member of the HealthReach Community Health Centers family, I will continue to provide the best care possible. Patient relationships have always been a cornerstone of my practice, and I provide individualized patient care based on each patient’s needs. It is a rewarding and meaningful experience to join the team at HealthReach and to contribute to this community-based system of affordable and high-quality healthcare.”

Dr. Keane joins the existing mission-driven, values-focused care teams at the Belgrade Regional Health Center, Lovejoy Health Center (of Albion), Sheepscot Valley Health Center (of Coopers Mills/Whitefield), and Richmond Area Health Center. Clinicians offer medical and behavioral health services for patients of all ages and from all walks of life.

PHOTO: Vassalboro Business Association announces scholarship winner

Vassalboro Business Association announced the 2023 scholarship winner as Morgan Fortin, of Vassalboro. Morgan is a graduate of Winslow High School in 2023, and will be pursuing higher education in contemporary and popular music with a concentration in audio engineering.