LIFE ON THE PLAINS: Pictorial stroll along the east side of Water St., Part 5

by Roland D. Hallee
Photos courtesy of E. Roger Hallee

Part of a row of tenement buildings (top and below) between 30 – 44 Water St., which sat on the east side of Water St., overlooking the Kennebec River.

All of these apartment buildings, and many others, were torn down in the 1960s. These (below) were located on the side where a guardrail now exists, and the lots overgrown with vegetation. You can see parts of the buildings that extended down to the river.

Up and down the Kennebec Valley: Waterville historic district – Part 8

North Grammar School, that was located on the corner of Pleasant and North streets, which later was the site of the YMCA, and now is an apartment complex.

by Mary Grow

Haines Redington Whittemore

This concluding article on prominent Waterville residents features William Thomas Haines, mentioned briefly in several August and September articles and last week; Frank Redington, mentioned almost weekly; and a minister, none other than Rev. Edwin Carey Whittemore, chief editor of the 1902 Waterville centennial history. All were born in the 1850s and lived into the 20th century.

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William Thomas Haines

William Thomas Haines (Aug. 7, 1854 – June 4, 1919) is mentioned frequently in Whittemore’s chapters, and more information is available on line. Born in Levant, he graduated from the University of Maine as valedictorian, class of 1876, and earned an LL.B (bachelor of law) from Albany Law School in 1878. After less than two years in Oakland, he moved his law practice to Waterville in 1880.

Haines was mentioned last week as an incorporator of the Oakland Water Company in 1889. He was associated with several Waterville financial institutions.

Various sources list him as a long-time trustee for the institution that became the University of Maine; on the building committee for Waterville’s “beautiful” 1888 North Grammar School; one of the first trustees of Coburn Classical Institute in 1901; a principal donor of “both time and money” to the public library, located in the Haines building from 1898 or 1899 until after 1902; and one of the 1899 incorporators of the group that supported Waterville’s R. B. Hall Band.

He was Kennebec County Attorney from 1882 to 1887; state senator from 1888 to 1892; state representative in 1895; state attorney general from 1896 to 1901; member of the Governor’s Council from 1901 to 1905; and governor of Maine from 1913 to 1915.

An on-line site quotes from Haines’ Jan. 2, 1913, inaugural speech: “The introduction of the automobile, or the carriage moved by the power of gasoline, has made the question of highways of still more importance to the people of the State.” Wikipedia says during his two-year term the Maine legislature approved a bond issue for road improvements.

Haines and his wife, Edith S. Hemenway (Nov. 9, 1858 – Nov. 17, 1935) are buried in Waterville’s Pine Grove Cemetery.

Hains building

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Frank Redington

Frank Redington (Dec. 11 or Dec. 19, 1858 – Feb. 4, 1923) has been mentioned repeatedly in this series as author of the chapter on businesses in Whittemore’s history. His wife, Carrie Mae Foster, and in-laws were featured in the Sept. 15 issue of The Town Line. Both Whittemore and Henry Kingsbury, in his Kennebec County history, considered him worthy of attention.

Kingsbury started with Frank’s great-grandfather, Asa Redington (Dec. 22, 1761 — March 31, 1845). Aaron Appleton Plaisted, in his chapter on Waterville’s early settlers, profiled Asa Redington; he and Kingsbury disagreed on several points.

Both said Asa Redington was a Revolutionary soldier – he joined a New Hampshire regiment in 1778, wintered at Valley Forge and was at Yorktown, Plaisted added. He came to Maine in 1784 with his brother Thomas (according to Plaisted) or Samuel (Kingsbury). Kingsbury wrote that Samuel settled in Vassalboro and Asa in Waterville; Plaisted put both Redingtons in Vassalboro until Asa moved to Winslow in 1792.

Plaisted had Redington married on Sept. 2, 1787, to Mary Getchell, daughter of his Vassalboro landlord, Captain Nehemiah Getchell, with whom he partnered in a company that helped build a 1787 dam close to the later Lockwood dam and “a large double saw mill” on the dam. After the partnership dissolved in 1799, Redington stayed in the lumber and sawmill business until 1830.

In Kingsbury’s version, in Waterville “a Miss Getchell” became Redington’s second wife.

Kingsbury, writing in 1892, listed five sons and three daughters. Plaisted, in 1902, listed six sons and three daughters, with the order differing.

Both historians said the two oldest sons were Asa Jr., and Samuel. Kingsbury listed Emily first of the three daughters, implying she was the oldest; Plaisted listed her last of all the children.

Emily, Plaisted added, married Solymon Heath, the banker, and one of their daughters was Mrs. A. A. Plaisted. (The daughter’s name was also Emily; see last week’s article on Aaron Appleton Plaisted.)

Asa Redington’s second son, Samuel, was also “in the lumber business until about 1850,” Kingsbury wrote. He married Nancy Parker; their only son, Charles Harris Redington, was born in 1838 (Kingsbury) or Jan. 21 or 24, 1830 (Plaisted, on-line sources) and died in 1906.

Charles Harris Redington married Saphronia (Kingsbury) or Sophronia (Plaisted, on-line genealogy) Day in December 1854. She was born Sept. 1, 1831, and died Oct. 8, 1912.

Plaisted wrote that Charles Harris Redington’s businesses included groceries, furniture and undertaking, with various partners. He served in local government before and after Waterville became a city in 1888, including being mayor for a year around 1897.

The second (or third) of Charles and Sophronia’s six (or seven) children was Frank Redington, who was born in 1858, attended Waterville Academy (by 1902 Coburn Institute) and married M. C. Foster’s daughter Carrie Mae (1862 – 1953) in 1890.

In 1875, Frank started clerking in Charles Redington’s furniture store. In 1880 he and a partner bought the business; a year later he bought out the partner, and by 1902, Plaisted wrote, Redington and Company was “one of the largest in its line in the State.”

The business was in a “fine block” Redington built in 1893 on Silver Street, and by 1902 had “overflowed into an adjoining block.”

Redington home on Silver St., now the Redington Museum.

Like his father, Frank Redington was active in civic affairs. Plaisted wrote that he headed the Waterville Board of Trade from 1895 to 1901; on-line sources say he was mayor of Waterville in 1909.

William Abbott Smith described the centennial celebration for Whittemore’s history, including the June 23, 1902, dedication of the new city hall, at which Redington presided. He wrote: “Probably no man in Waterville has been more industrious and influential in arousing the citizens to the need and advantages of a new City Hall than Mr. Frank Redington, ex-president of the Waterville Board of Trade, and every one recognized the appropriateness of the selection of him as presiding officer at the dedication of the building which he had labored so faithfully to procure.”

Plaisted credited Redington with a role in the “building of the Waterville, Wiscasset and Farmington Railroad” (in 1895; or its extension northwest to Winslow in 1898 or 1899?) He was the WW&F’s president for two years, Plaisted wrote.

(See the Sept. 17, 2020, issue of The Town Line and the WW&F museum’s website,, for more information on the railroad, though not on Redington’s alleged connection with it.)

Wikipedia says Redington was instrumental in construction of two other major buildings, the federal post office at Main and Elm streets in 1911 and Gilman Street high school in 1912.

He was also a public library trustee; vice-president of the corporation organized in 1899 to support the R. B. Hall Band; and, Plaisted wrote, after 1885 on the committee that managed Pine Grove Cemetery. He is buried there with his parents, his widow and her parents and other Redington family members.

According to Wikipedia, Frank Redington was in poor health for a long time before he was found dead in his Silver Street furniture store on Feb. 14, 1923, “by a gun wound to his head, reported as self-inflicted.”

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And finally a few words about Rev. Edwin Carey Whittemore (April 29, 1858 – Nov. 1, 1932), chairman of the editorial board of the Waterville history. Rev. George Dana Boardman Pepper’s chapter on “The pulpit of Waterville” – a chapter Whittemore must surely have proofread and approved – says he was born in Dexter, son of Isaac and Elizabeth (Hatch) Whittemore.

Pepper wrote that Whittemore went from Dexter High School to Coburn Classical Institute, in Waterville, graduating in 1875; to Colby College, class of 1879; and to Newton Theological Institution in Massachusetts, graduating in 1882. He served in Baptist churches in New Boston, New Hampshire, and Auburn and Damariscotta, Maine, before coming to Waterville’s First Baptist Church in 1899.

On July 25, 1879, Whittemore and Ida Macomber, born May 14, 1856, in Abbott, Maine, were married.

On an on-line list of Waterville Baptist pastors, Whittemore is the only one between 1829 and 1920 for whom the list does not give the date he left the pulpit. His predecessor, Isaac B. LeClaire, served from 1887 to 1892, leaving a seven-year gap (with no permanent pastor?) before Whittemore took over in 1899; his successor, Frank Sherman Hartley, served from 1909 to 1912.

In addition to editing the Waterville bicentennial history, Whittemore wrote books on the history of Maine Baptists (at both state and local levels), Coburn Classical Institute and Colby College. From 1905 through 1909, he was on the executive committee of the Interdenominational Commission of Maine (created in 1890 and made a permanent organization in 1892).

The 1919 American Baptist Year-Book lists E. C. Whittemore, of Waterville, as the education secretary for the United Baptist Convention of Maine. For his ability in the pulpit and his activities at the state level, Pepper called him “among the foremost Baptist ministers of Maine.”

A 1929 newspaper clipping describes Skowhegan Baptist pastor Dr. George Merriam being honored for 25 years of service at Bethany Baptist Church. One of the speakers paying tribute was Dr. E. C. Whittemore of Waterville, identified as “a college class-mate at Colby and a friend of more than 50 years standing.”

An on-line family history says Edwin Whittemore died Nov. 1, 1932, probably in Waterville, and Ida died Sept. 14, 1946, also probably in Waterville.

Their daughter, Bertha Carey Whittemore, born in April 1882 in Newton Center, Massachusetts, graduated from Colby with the class of 1904. She married New Sharon native Earle Ovando Whittier, born about 1891, on Aug. 25, 1913, in Dexter. She died in 1963, and he died in Boston Sept. 30, 1970; both are buried in Farmington.

Main sources

Kingsbury, Henry D., ed., Illustrated History of Kennebec County Maine 1625-1892 (1892).
Whittemore, Rev. Edwin Carey, Centennial History of Waterville 1802-1902 (1902).

Websites, miscellaneous.

Up and down the Kennebec Valley: Waterville historic district – Part 7

Postcard of “new” Thayer Hospital, circa 1950.

by Mary Grow

The subseries on 19th-century Waterville businessmen continues in this article, beginning with Aaron Plaisted, born in 1831, and his family, and ending with Luther Soper, born in 1852. For variety, your writer added a medical professional (who was also a businessman).

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Aaron Appleton Plaisted (March 25, 1831 – Nov. 27, 1908) was a third-generation Watervillian. His mother’s father was Dr. Moses Appleton (1783 – 1849), who moved to Waterville (then Winslow) in 1796, where he practiced medicine for years and opened the first drug store. Dr. Appleton’s daughter, Mary Jane, married Dr. Samuel Plaisted. Aaron was the older of their two sons; they had one daughter.

Aaron Plaisted was educated at Waterville Academy and Waterville College (Class of 1851, member of Phi Beta Kappa). He taught for a couple years, then went to Harvard Law School and practiced briefly in Portland and from 1856 to 1858 in Dubuque, Iowa.

On Sept. 23, 1856, he married Emily Carlton (or Carleton) Heath (Nov. 15, 1835 – June 19, 1916), daughter of Waterville banker Solymon Heath. The first of their three sons and two daughters, Appleton Heath Plaisted, was born Oct. 10, 1857.

Returning to Waterville, Aaron Plaisted served as cashier of Ticonic Bank and its successor, Ticonic National Bank, for 38 years, from 1858 to June 1896. During most of that time, according to Bates’ chapter in Edwin Carey Whittemore’s 1902 Waterville history, “he performed all the duties of cashier without help and had no vacations.” His successor until the end of 1900 was his oldest son, Appleton Heath Plaisted (who did have an assistant from early 1898, Hascall S. Hall).

Plaisted’s grandfather, the physician Moses Appleton, was among the Ticonic Bank’s founders in 1831. His father-in-law, Solymon Heath, became its president in 1865, after the bank converted from a state to a national bank, and served until 1875.

In addition to his banking career, Plaisted was involved, with Dennis Milliken (profiled last week) and others, in early water-power development in Waterville. He was an assistant internal revenue collector during part of the Civil War and served on various Waterville/Colby College boards.

Whittemore identified him as one of the two men – the other was Baptist pastor Henry S. Burrage – who “organized the Waterville Public Library Association” and opened the library in 1873. Estelle Foster Eaton wrote in her chapter on the library in Whittemore’s book that Solymon Heath was the first president, and the Ticonic Bank housed the library for 26 years, “during which time Mr. A. A. Plaisted acted as librarian and secretary.” Daughters Helen and Emily were among his assistants. (See the Dec. 23, 2021, issue of The Town Line for more on the Waterville Library Association).

Plaisted was on the Committee of One Hundred that planned the 1902 centennial celebration, and also on its invitation subcommittee. He wrote the chapter on early settlers in Whittemore’s history; Whittemore said his long acquaintance with Waterville’s old families made him a source of “very valuable aid to the editors of this volume.”

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Dr. Frederick Charles Thayer (Sept. 30, 1844 – Sept. 26, 1926) headed the Committee of One Hundred. Whittemore credited much of the success of the centennial celebration “to his faithful attention and to his efficient generalship.”

Thayer was a Waterville native, the third generation of his family in the area. His parents were Charles Hamilton Thayer and Susan E. (Tobey) Thayer, both from Fairfield. Charles Thayer was a businessman; his father, Stephen (1783 -1852), and his older brother, Albert (1808 -1833), Frederick’s grandfather and uncle, respectively, were doctors.

Frederick Thayer’s educational background was varied, according to Whittemore and to Henry Kingsbury’s Kennebec County history. (Thayer wrote the chapter on Waterville medical people in Whittemore’s history, but a footnote says Whittemore wrote the “sketch of Dr. Thayer.”)

Thayer attended Waterville Academy and “Franklin Family School,” a boys’ school in Topsham, and Waterville (aka Colby) College for two years. An on-line list of Waterville families says he graduated from Colby in 1865; Kingsbury wrote that he was a member of Colby’s class of 1865 “but did not graduate.”

After 18 months at Union College, in Schenectady, New York, in 1865 and 1866, Thayer studied medicine with a doctor in Albany, New York, and went to lectures at Albany Medical College. In 1867 he graduated from the Medical School of Maine, established in 1820 on the Bowdoin College campus.

Colby gave him an honorary master’s degree in 1884. In 1884-85 he was a trustee of the Bowdoin-based medical school.

On-line sources say Thayer practiced medicine and ran a hospital at his 214 Main Street home from 1867 until his death in 1926. After he died, the house continued to be Thayer Hospital for another two decades. The present Thayer, at 149 North Street, opened in 1951.

Kingsbury, writing in 1892, said since 1867 Thayer had “risen to a celebrity unconfined by local bounds.” He continued: “He has been a pioneer in this community in difficult surgical operations, calling for cool, conservative judgment, and requiring at the same time the most delicate touch; yet has for the most part been content to follow cautiously where the world’s most eminent surgeons have successfully led, and in consequence his consultation practice has grown to extensive proportions.”

Whittemore, 20 years later, agreed, writing: “By his skill and success in capital surgical cases Dr. Thayer early gained an eminent position in his profession, which position he has ever since maintained.”

On Dec. 2, 1871, Thayer married Leonora L. Snell (1852 – July 27, 1930), of Washington, D.C., in Waterville. She was the daughter of William Bradford Snell, a distinguished jurist born in Winthrop, Maine, and in 1870 appointed by President Ulysses Grant as the District of Columbia’s first police court judge.

Thayer held many offices in local and state medical groups. In addition, Whittemore wrote, he was in the Maine militia, starting as assistant surgeon and later surgeon in the second regiment. He became “medical director of the 1st Brigade” and then Maine’s surgeon-general under Governor Henry Bradstreet Cleaves (whose term ran from January 1893 to January 1897).

Thayer “has been prominently identified with all movements of the development and progress of the city for many years,” Whittemore said. He represented Waterville in the Maine legislature in 1885-86 and was a Waterville alderman in 1889.

Whittemore wrote that he was the first president of Waterville Trust Company. In 1902 he was a director of that bank, “president of the Sawyer Publishing Company and the Riverview Worsted Mills and a director” of the Wiscasset, Waterville and Farmington Railroad.

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The important men in the Gallert family were brothers Mark and David. David (mentioned in the Sept. 22 article on the Main Street Historic District) came to Waterville first; Mark (born Oct. 27, 1847) came from Prussia in 1862. Kingsbury’s history says he was David’s partner until 1870, and after the “business was divided” ran a shoe business. Whittemore’s history says Mark “entered” his brother’s store in 1872.

David is described in a sentence as “for many years…a prominent and much respected merchant of this city.”

Colby’s 2011 Jewish history project, in an on-line document, provides an excerpt from the 1890 census. It said David Gallert was 49 years old and living on Pleasant Street, with “Mrs. Rosalia,” age 46, and Solomon, 22; Sigismond, 20; Fannie, 18; Benno, 16; Minnie, 13; Ernest, 10; and Daisy, 7.

Mark Gallert was 42 and living on Silver Street, in the “fine residence” Whittemore’s contributors said he built in 1883. His family consisted of Rebecca (Jacob Peavey’s daughter, whom Mark married on his 25th birthday), age 35; Jacob, 17; Sigbert, 15; Miriam, 13; and Aimee, 10. Kingsbury’s 1892 history named the children “Jacie D., Sidney, Miriam, Amy and Gordon.” Whittemore’s chapter listed the children in 1902 as “D. J., Sidney M., Miriam F., Aimer P., and Gordon.”

In the census, a marginal note beside each Gallert says there is “no independent evidence” they were Jewish.

Whittemore’s contributors wrote of Mark that he had been in the “boot and shoe business” since 1872, successfully “as in other business ventures.” He was a Waterville selectman in 1877, and in 1902″ has large holdings in city real estate.”

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The Soper Building, on Main St., with current ground floor occupant Carbon Copy.

Luther H. Soper, also mentioned in the Sept. 22 article, was born May 25, 1852, in Old Town. A cemetery record found on line might indicate that he lost his father early: Luther H. Soper, born in 1823, died in 1854 at the age of 31 and is buried in Forest Hill Cemetery, in Old Town.

Waterville’s Luther H. Soper attended an unnamed “commercial college”; married Carrie Ellen Wiggin (born in Milton, New Hampshire, in 1858) on Sept. 26, 1887, and as of 1902 was the father of four daughters.

Kingsbury wrote that he clerked in a dry goods store from the age of 16 until he moved to Waterville in 1877. Waterville was lucky to have enterprising merchants whose stocks were larger and more varied than in other municipalities, Kingsbury commented; and “in the various departments of a dry goods store L. H. Soper & Co. enjoy the distinction of having the largest and most complete establishment in the city.”

Soper built the 1890 Soper Block because his business urgently needed more space, Kingsbury said. It cost $26,000, of which $12,000 was for the lot on Main Street. Between 1890 and 1902, according to Whittemore’s history, the business “has steadily increased to its present large proportions.” Soper also had “a large branch house” in Madison.

Soper’s other business interests included lumbering and banking. He was on the board of directors and vice-president of Merchants’ Bank. A Feb. 10, 1889, legislative act found on line incorporated the Oakland Water Company, listing its corporate members as “George H. Bryant, Frank E. Dustin, W. T. Haines and Luther H. Soper, their associates, successors and assigns.”

The company’s purpose was to supply Oakland with water “for industrial, manufacturing, domestic, sanitary and municipal purposes, including the extinguishment of fires and the sprinkling of streets.”

In the lead-up to Waterville’s 1902 centennial observance, Soper was a member of the Committee of One Hundred and the trades display committee.

Luther Soper died in 1914; Carrie died in 1939.

Main sources

Kingsbury, Henry D., ed. Illustrated History of Kennebec County Maine 1625-1892 (1892).
Whittemore, Rev. Edwin Carey, Centennial History of Waterville 1802-1902 (1902).

Websites, miscellaneous.

LIFE ON THE PLAINS: Pictorial stroll on east side of Water St. – Part 4

A Lockwood-Duchess warehouse which ran along Water St., about where the entrance to the Hathaway Center parking lot is now.

Roland D. Halleeby Roland D. Hallee

This week we will begin our stroll on the east side of Water St.

Photos courtesy of E. Roger Hallee

A Gulf gas station, which was located where Prsicilla’s Shop is today.

The first of a long row of tenement buildings which ran along the east side of Water St., many hanging over the banking. We will take a look at more of them next week.

This miniscule storefront was the original location of Scotty’s Pizza, which was established in 1962. This building was right across from where Scotty’s Pizza now sits on the corner of Water and Sherwin streets.

Up and down the Kennebec Valley: Waterville historic district – Part 6

Reuben B. Dunn, center, and family.

by Mary Grow

Subpart one
– biographies one –

Dunns, Milliken

This article is planned as the first of a three-part subseries in which your writer introduces readers to some of the businessmen (and other people) mentioned in the previous weeks’ descriptions of Waterville’s Main Street Historic District, and sometimes to members of their families.

The arbitrarily-chosen subjects are arranged by birth order, oldest first. This week, please meet two men born early in the 1800s: Reuben B. Dunn, and several family members; and Dennis Milliken, with a bit about his son-in-law.

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Reuben Barnes Dunn (Dec 23, 1802 – Sept 9, 1889) was the man after whom the R. B. Dunn Block at the south end of the east side of Main Street, mentioned in the Aug. 25 article, was named. Two sons, Willard Morse Dunn and Reuben Wesley Dunn, were also well-known Waterville residents.

Reuben B. was born in Poland, Maine, and married his successive wives there: Emeline Davis in 1827; after her death in 1833, her sister, Eliza, in 1834; and after Eliza’s death in 1837, in December 1838 Lydia Richardson Ayer (Aug. 11, 1815 – April 5, 1900). Lydia was the mother of Willard and Reuben W.

Edwin Carey Whittemore’s Waterville history says Reuben B. was a country schoolteacher in 1820; a country storekeeper in 1821; a buyer and seller of timberland, lumber, clocks, threshing machines, hardware; a manufacturer of “scythes, axes and other agricultural tools” from 1841 until his death; railroad promoter in the 1840s and Maine Central Railroad president until he retired in 1870.

Reuben B. and Lydia moved from Poland to Readfield in 1841 and to Waterville in August 1850. Willard M. and Reuben W. were born in Fayette, the history says.

An on-line site says R. B. Dunn founded the Dunn Edge Tool Company in January 1840. It produced “scythe blades and edge tools.” Incorporated in 1856, it was sold in 1921 to Seymour Manufacturing Company; Seymour sold it two years later to North Wayne Tool Company. It closed in 1967.

By 1892, according to Reuben W. Dunn’s (perhaps self-interested?) chapter on Waterville manufacturing in Whittemore’s history, the Dunn Edge Tool Company’s scythe plant “is said to be the best and most conveniently arranged in America,” and the “axe shop is not excelled in convenience or efficiency by any of its size.” The company could produce annually 15,000 dozen scythes (180,000) and 6,000 dozen (72,000) axes, sold all over the United States and Canada. Reuben W. was the company’s “treasurer and manager”; his brother Willard was president.

The Dunn company was one of many early manufactories in the western part of Waterville, which became the separate town of West Waterville in February 1873 and was renamed Oakland in 1883. Manufacturers used water power from Messalonskee Stream, a smaller, more manageable source than the Kennebec River.

Whittemore suggested that Reuben B. Dunn and/or his sons were involved in other West Waterville businesses; and multiple sources credited them with bringing Amos Lockwood to Waterville to build the Lockwood Mill complex (see the Aug. 25 issue of The Town Line). Henry Kingsbury’s Kennebec County history identifies Dunn as the financier behind Mill Number 1 and the first president of the Lockwood Company.

In 1869, Whittemore wrote, Dunn donated $15,000 of the $18,000 needed to build the Methodist Church. Kingsbury says Dunn’s gift was $14,000 of $16,000.

Reuben B.’s older son, Willard Morse Dunn (May 11, 1845 – March 23, 1917), went to Maine Wesleyan Seminary, in Kents Hill, and started his business career in 1866 as a salesman in a Boston “cloth store.” In 1869 he moved to Auburn and joined a shoe manufacturing company. From 1873 he was active in organizing the Lockwood Company; he was still a company director in 1902, and was “interested in” other mills as well as president of Dunn Edge Tool Company.

Willard Dunn served as Waterville postmaster from 1879 to 1885 under Republican President Rutherford B. Hayes; he was replaced during Democrat Grover Cleveland’s first term and reappointed in 1889 by Republican Benjamin Harrison (this position was mentioned in the Sept. 29 history article).

Dunn was still postmaster in 1902. Redington called him “one of the most efficient postmasters the city has ever had,” and wrote that both he and assistant postmaster J. F. Larrabee were highly regarded by the residents they served.

On Dec. 31, 1873, Willard Dunn married Alma Burbank Lowell (Oct. 4, 1851 – March 25, 1936) in Waterville. Willard and Alma had one daughter, Mabel Esther (Nov. 24, 1882 – March 4, 1980), Reuben B.’s granddaughter.

Mabel Dunn married Burnham native Herbert Carlyle Libby (1878 – 1965), who graduated from Colby, Class of 1902, and wrote Colby Stories As Told by Colby Men of the Classes, 1832 to 1902 (1900) and Yarns for Boys (1908).

Reuben B.’s younger son (Mabel Libby’s uncle), Reuben Wesley Dunn (Feb. 8, 1847 – Nov. 11, 1927), attended Maine Wesleyan Seminary (and became a trustee in 1877) and graduated from Colby University (as it was briefly titled) in 1868. He was teacher/principal at Corinth Academy for two years before going into business.

Like his father’s, Reuben W.’s business career was varied. An on-line site and Whittemore’s collaborators list: cotton mill agent in 1880; “visomess agent” (any reader who know what this title means, please contact The Town Line), 1870-1886; “in the department store business” with Lorin A. Presby, 1884-1891; “connected with the Lockwood Company” and other mills, including president of Madison Woolen Company from 1894 to1898; president of the Somerset Railroad, 1897-1907; treasurer and manager of Dunn Edge Tool Company after 1897.

Reuben W. married Martha S. “Mattie” Baker (Jan. 21, 1848 – July 22, 1915) on Aug. 19 or Sept. 2, 1873 (sources differ).

Martha Baker Dunn was a novelist and a contributor to “leading literary magazines.” Her two novels are Memory Street: A Story of Life (1900) and ‘Lias’s Wife: An Island Story (1901); an on-line site adds a book titled Cicero in Maine: And Other Essays (1905).

Whoever described her in Whittemore’s book praised her “depth of insight, clearness in portraiture and true feeling, sometimes veiled in humor,” and wrote that readings of her unpublished stories were “a delightful feature” of the Women’s Association and Women’s Literary Club programs.

As mentioned above, Reuben W. wrote the chapter on manufacturing in Whittemore’s history. Martha wrote the chapter on social life.

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The Milliken Building, at the corner of Main and Silver streets, now occupied by the Silver Street Tavern.

Dennis Libby Milliken (Feb. 1 or 4, 1804 – Oct. 28 or Nov. 2, 1879) was identified in the Sept. 15 article in this series as the prominent banker in whose honor the 1877 Milliken Block on the south corner of Silver and Main streets was named. A Scarborough native, he married Jane Larrabee (born about 1804, and died after her husband) in that town on May 7, 1829. The couple had two sons and two daughters.

In 1830, at the age of 26, Milliken joined Jacob Southwick, of Vassalboro, in the lumber business. When the family moved to Waterville is unclear.

Whittemore’s history says Milliken served in the Maine House of Representatives and the Maine Senate, but does not say when, nor what town he represented. That information precedes the information that he was a member of the Governor’s Council under Democratic Governors John Fairfield (who served non-consecutive partial terms, 1839-1841 and 1842-March 1843) and Edward Kavanagh (Fairfield’s successor for the rest of 1843) and Republican Governor Lot M. Morrill (1858-1861).

In 1856, Milliken became president of Waterville National Bank, chartered in 1850 and first located in the second story of the north end of the Ticonic Block (Ticonic Row), described Sept. 15. He remained in charge, overseeing the building of the new brick bank that became the Milliken Block, until the bank closed in 1879.

Horatio Bates, who wrote the chapter on banking in Whittemore’s history, said Waterville National Bank “was well managed and paid good dividends.” When it closed, stockholders got the full value of their stock and a 20% dividend.

By the 1860s Milliken was prominent in Waterville affairs. Whittemore listed him among those chosen to address an April 20, 1861, public meeting called “to take action concerning the rebellion” in the southern states. He was a non-combatant in the Civil War; General Isaac Bangs listed him (and R. B. Dunn) among Waterville’s “prominent older men” who supported the Union cause whole-heartedly.

Bangs (March 17, 1831 – May 30, 1903) was a Civil War veteran and businessman who wrote the military chapter in Whittemore’s history. He married Dennis and Jane Milliken’s older daughter, Hadassah Jane, on Oct. 20, 1857.

(Why the name Hadassah? No explanation. Her brothers were George and Edward; her sister was Mary; and her father is listed among organizers of Waterville’s first Unitarian Society in 1863.)

Bangs became Waterville National Bank’s cashier in 1861 and resigned in 1862 to join the army; he was on the bank’s board in 1879. In addition to banking, he was in the granite business and had interests in mills.

After the war, Milliken invested in building the first dam across the Kennebec and developing water-powered mills. His 1868 grist mill was one of the first two industries using the Lockwood Dam. His business career included an undated stint as president of the Androscoggin and Kennebec Railroad.

He served as a trustee of Waterville, later Colby, College from 1859 until his death.

Main sources

Kingsbury, Henry D., ed., Illustrated History of Kennebec County Maine 1625-1892 (1892).
Whittemore, Rev. Edwin Carey, Centennial History of Waterville 1802-1902. (1902).

Websites, miscellaneous.

Up and down the Kennebec Valley: Waterville historic district – Part 5

Old Waterville Post Office located at the junction of Main and Elm streets, and College Avenue.

by Mary Grow

Final two Main Street Historic District buildings Old Post Office & Seton Hospital

Returning to the 2016 enlargement of Waterville’s Main Street Historic District, the final two buildings included are the four-story Cyr Building/Professional Building, on the northeast corner of Main and Appleton streets at 177-179 Main Street (see its photo in the Sept. 15 issue of The Town Line); and the Elks Club, on the north side of Appleton Street.

The Professional Building, built in 1923, was designed in Art Deco style by the Portland firm of William Miller and Raymond Mayo. (The Aug. 25 The Town Line article described Main Street’s other Art Deco building, the 1936 Federal Trust Company Bank.) It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on Feb. 19, 1982.

The application, prepared in July 1981 by Frank A. Beard and Robert L. Bradley of the Maine Historic Preservation Commission, said “the local press” of 1923 called the building “the finest of the Waterville office buildings.” Beard and Bradley did not disagree, writing that both in 1923 and in 1981 it was “an outstanding structure in the downtown area.”

They called the Professional Building “a comparatively rare example for Maine of a very early Art Deco impulse in architecture with some features of the earlier Chicago commercial styles.” With 42 “office suites” in 30,875 square feet of floor space, it was “by far the largest such structure in the city” in 1923.

Beard and Bradley wrote that the building’s two facades, on Main and on Appleton streets, each had a street-level entrance “surmounted by low arches with elaborate low reliefs and shields.” There were five bays of large windows on the Main Street side and six on the Appleton Street side; the end bays thrust outward, “creating the effect of corner towers.”

In their 2016 application for the expanded Main Street district, Scott Hanson and Kendal Anderson described the steel and concrete frame of the building and the exterior “cast stone first story with buff tapestry brick on the upper stories of the south and west elevations, red brick on the south elevation, and modern metal cladding on the north elevation.”

The northeasternmost building in the expanded historic district is the Colonial Revival style Elks Club, at 13 Appleton Street, another Miller and Mayo design. Built in 1913/1914, the two-and-a-half story brick building sits on a raised basement concrete foundation, with stairs leading up to a projecting entrance.

The Elks Club has cast stone decorations and at the attic level, “four historic diamond paned windows.” Each window has “four panes of colored glass forming a larger diamond at the center,” and is set in “a projecting brick surround with a cast stone square at each corner.”

* * * * * *

Two other historic buildings in Waterville are outside the Main Street district, but since each gained historic recognition as a public building, your writer thinks it appropriate to describe them now.

* * * * * *

The older of the two is the former Waterville post office in the south angle of the five-way intersection of Main Street, Elm Street, Center Street, Upper Main Street and College Avenue. Mainely Brews now occupies its former basement, with a Main Street entrance.

Kingsbury wrote that Waterville’s first post office was established Oct. 3, 1796, with Asa Redington the first postmaster. He went on to list the successive postmasters, ending with Willard M. Dunn, appointed in 1889 for the second time (his first term was 1879 to 1885).

Kingsbury did not talk about post office buildings. Whittemore’s contributors suggested that the office moved from one rented space to another during the 19th century.

In his chapter on the early settlers, Aaron Plaisted mentioned the “little postoffice on the west edge of the Common,” where Abijah Smith was postmaster from 1832 (Kingsbury said 1833) to 1841. In 1902, according to Redington, the post office was in the ground floor of the W. T. Haines block, on the south side of Common Street (briefly mentioned in the Aug. 25 issue of The Town Line).

At that time, Redington wrote, the postmaster and his assistant supervised “seven clerks, five carriers and one substitute. The post office did $40,000 worth of business annually, and Redington predicted it would soon “be numbered among the first-class offices.”

The historic Old Post Office was built in 1911 – a Waterville timeline found on line says it opened in 1913 – and was added to the National Register of Historic Places April 18, 1977.

When Maine Historic Preservation Commission historian Frank A. Beard and graduate assistant Stephen Kaplan prepared the application for historic listing in October 1976, they wrote that the building was owned by the U. S. Postal Service and was unoccupied. Waterville’s College Avenue post office and federal building opened in 1976, according to the on-line timeline.

U.S. Treasury Department Architect James Knox Taylor designed the 1911 building. Taylor (October 11, 1857 – August 27, 1929) was the Treasury Department’s Supervising Architect from 1897 to 1912, and is credited with a long list of federal buildings.

Beard and Kaplan wrote that Waterville’s post office typified the early 20th century use of Greek Revival style for government buildings “and survives as perhaps the best of only a few such examples in Maine.”

They described the combination of a square block and a circular front that made the single-story stone building impressive, with on its front a “Corinthian colonnade of refined proportions and handsome detail. Similarly designed pilasters appear at the front corners of the block structure, symbolically unifying the block to the curve.”

The structure atop the flat roof is described as “a tall Corinthian cylindrical lantern, based in shape and character on the Choragic Monument of Lysicrates in Athens.” (Wikipedia has an illustrated article on this monument, built in 335/334 BCE in Athens and “reproduced widely in modern monuments and building elements.”)

* * * * * *

The former Elizabeth Ann Seton Hospital, on Chase Ave., now being converted into housing.

The Elizabeth Ann Seton Hospital at 30 Chase Avenue, on the west side of Waterville, was designed in 1963; its construction was finished in mid-1965. On July 11, 2016, it was approved for listing on the National Register of Historic Places.

The application for national listing was prepared by Matthew Corbett, Scott Hanson and Kendal Anderson, of Sutherland Conservation and Consulting, of Augusta, (all three had previously worked on parts of the applications for Waterville’s Main Street Historic District). They listed the building’s significance as architectural and its period of significance as 1965.

The architectural firm was James H. Ritchie and Associates, of Boston. The Sutherland group found that different members of the firm had initialed different parts of the 1963 plan, and that Ritchie had died in 1964.

The application explains that the building was “a good example of the Miesian school of Modernist architecture, applied to a health care facility in Maine.”

The “general characteristics of the Miesian style” that Ritchie and Associates used included “a recessed ground floor, use of concrete panels to express the building’s framing on the exterior, and the use of aluminum windows and a flat roof,” the application says.

The Miesian architectural style was a variant within the Modernist school that characterized skyscrapers and other large public buildings after World War II. It is named after Ludwig Mies van der Rohe (1886-1969), a German architect who began his career in Germany and emigrated to the United States after Hitler rose to power.

After the war, a source cited in the application says, the United States government financed a large number of new hospitals. Hospital designers adopted the Modernist style because they found it functional and affordable.

When Seton Hospital opened, the Sutherland team wrote, it offered “over 150 beds…and the latest in medical technologies.” They quoted from a July 27, 1965, Waterville Morning Sentinel article that began, “All patients’ rooms are quiet, comfortable, pleasing to the eye, and designed to give an excellent view of the surrounding landscape.”

The article went on to talk about air conditioning in some areas (not the patients’ rooms); four modern elevators with telephones; the “spacious lobby” with a “modern coffee shop” and a “gift and stationery shop” nearby; and the “soft-lighted and beautifully designed” chapel, with seats for over 80 people. The laboratory was “ultra-modern,” the X-ray department had “the most modern equipment.”

The old Sisters Hospital, on College Ave., now Mount St. Joseph nursing home.

The second floor was for obstetrics, and was partly air-conditioned. Other patients had the third, fourth and fifth floors. The sixth floor at first provided living space for members of the Sisters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul, the organization that ran Seton Hospital, and later became additional patient space.

The Sisters’ quarters included 15 bedrooms; a kitchen and a laundry room; “a sewing room, guest room and parlor”; a dining room and community room separated by a folding panel, so they could be combined for a large group; “an office for the superior”; and the Sisters’ private chapel.

The Sisters of Charity came to Waterville in 1913, the Sutherland team explained, and in April took over the I. C. Libby Memorial Hospital, changing its name to Sisters Hospital. In 1923, they built a larger Sisters Hospital, on College Avenue. By 1963, that hospital had “an 86 percent occupancy on a year-round basis, and 107 percent occupancy at the height of occupancy,” necessitating the larger Chase Avenue building.

Dr. Frederick Charles Thayer served on the Sisters Hospital board until 1931, when he set up Thayer Hospital, first in his house on Main Street and later on North Main Street. Thayer and Seton merged in 1975 to become Mid-Maine Medical Center; in 1997 the Mid-Maine and Kennebec Valley health systems merged to form MaineGeneral.

The 2016 application describes the Seton Hospital building as “vacant.” Articles in the Central Maine Morning Sentinel in August 2022 described plans to convert most of the building to apartments, with leased storage space in the basement. Reporter Amy Calder wrote that because the former hospital is on the National Register of Historic Places, “construction must preserve the historic nature of the building.”

Main sources

Beard, Frank A., and Robert L. Bradley, National Register of Historic Places.
Inventory—Nomination Form Professional Building July 1981.
Beard, Frank A., and Stephen Kaplan, National Register of Historic Places Inventory – Nomination Form Waterville Post Office, October 1976.
Corbett, Matthew, Scott Hanson and Kendal Anderson, National Register of Historic Places Registration Form, Elizabeth Ann Seton Hospital, Jan. 18, 2016.
Hanson, Scott, and Kendal Anderson National Register of Historic Places Registration Form, Waterville Main Street Historic District (Boundary Increase), June 3, 2016.
Kingsbury, Henry D., ed., Illustrated History of Kennebec County Maine 1625-1892 (1892).
Whittemore, Rev. Edwin Carey, Centennial History of Waterville 1802-1902 (1902).

Websites, miscellaneous.

Up and down the Kennebec Valley: Waterville historic district – Part 4

The Clukey Building, located on the corner of Main and Silver streets, location of the Paragon Shop today.

by Mary Grow

Main Street west side and 2016 expansion

This article continues the description of Waterville’s Main Street Historic District, going northward on the west side of Main Street between Silver and Temple streets, and adds most of the buildings in the 2016 expansion of the district.

Your writer hopes she has already inspired people to park their cars and stroll along Main Street, heads high as they admire the storefronts above street level (taking care to avoid colliding with other pedestrians with their heads down as they admire their cellphones).

* * * * * *

On the north side of Silver Street, at 40-44 Main Street, is what Matthew Corbett and Scott Hanson, of Sutherland Conservation and Consulting, in Augusta, called in their 2012 application for inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places the Rancourt Building. This building dated from 1936 and had been so altered between 1992 and 2005 that it no longer counted as historic.

Frank Redington, in his chapter on businesses in Edwin Carey Whittemore’s Waterville history, described an earlier building on the same corner. Writing in 1902, Redington called the brick building with granite trim “a splendid block, three stories, and modern in all respects.” F. L. Thayer built it, on the lot that had housed a wooden building where David Gallert had a dry goods store and another building that Joseph Nudd rented out as a saloon.

By 1902, Charles J. Clukey owned the brick building. Clukey was one of the 100 residents who formed the committee to plan the 1902 bicentennial celebration. He was a partner with Luther H. Soper in the dry goods business for some time before starting the Clukey & Libby Company in 1901.

The Maine Memory Network on line says Clukey & Libby “ran a large department store on Main Street.” The Waterville history includes William Abbott Smith’s partial description of the company’s contributions to the tremendous parade that marked the end of Waterville’s centennial celebration on Tuesday, June 24, 1902.

One of Clukey & Libby’s entries featured “twenty-four boys in gray dusters with red advertising umbrellas.” Another was “a float with twelve young ladies in white with white and rose sunshades, the team being decorated with 500 poppies and drawn by four gray horses with white harnesses.”

The Plaisted Block, 46-50 Main Street (according to Kingsbury the second building of that name on the same site), was built in two parts, a double building on the south in 1883 and a third, wider section in 1890. Portland architects Francis Fassett and John Calvin Stevens designed the Romanesque Revival style brick structure.

Each of the three sections housed a different business in 2012, Corbett and Hanson wrote. They described brick and grey sandstone trim, arches above second-story windows and the building’s name and date “carved into the sandstone lintels flanking the central [brick] pier between the original southern two sections.”

Next north is the 1890 Soper Block, another Romanesque Revival building designed by Fassett and colleague Frederick Thompson. The three-story brick building had “a slightly projecting narrow bay at the south end” that Corbett and Hanson surmised might have covered an entrance to the upper floors.

The application describes decorative elements of brick, “rock-faced brownstone” and terra cotta. Third-floor windows have a continuous band of brownstone sills above a terra cotta band, with “a half-round arched top with a fanlight pattern above each window.”

The building date is on a brownstone plaque on the projecting bay. The name is on another brownstone plaque on the five-bay section, in a terra cotta frame and set “within a taller portion of the parapet that is framed by terra cotta scrolled brackets.”

In the business chapter in Whittemore’s history, Redington wrote that in April 1901 Luther Soper installed the first motorized passenger elevator in Waterville, running from the basement to the top floor.

Smith described Soper’s “charming” contribution to the 1902 centennial parade as a yellow and white float with “open oval panels” on sides and ends and nine girls riding on top.

The next two buildings north of the Soper Block dated from the 20th century and had been modernized on the street level, but nonetheless counted as historic. Corbett and Hanson listed them as the Robinson-Davison Company building and the Jackson Company building.

The Robinson-Davison building at 58 Main Street, put up about 1911, is described as three stories tall, Commercial Style, with a brick and metal front.

Next north, at 62 Main Street, the two-story Jackson Company building was constructed about a year later. Its façade features brick, metal and concrete elements.

The Kennebec Savings Bank building, 64-70 Main Street, had undergone several changes; as of 2012, it was dated from 1974 and was thus too new to count as a historic building. Corbett and Hanson wrote that it “was originally two late 19th century buildings” that were remodeled in 1974, 1985 and 2011-12.

“The current façade is more in keeping with the historic character of the district, and thus has a lesser impact on the district’s integrity than the previous designs,” they added.

The Barrell Block at 72-76 Main Street was built in two pieces 25 years apart, Corbett and Hanson found. The Greek Revival style north end came first, in 1850; in 1875 the Italianate south building designed by Francis Fassett was added. By 2012, a modern storefront at street level and an Italianate wooden cornice on top (replacing the earlier gable roof on the north part) united the two sections.

Next north was the Emery Department Store building at 80-86 Main Street, built in 1912 and expanded north in 1920. The 1912 Renaissance Revival style section was designed by Lewiston architects William Miller and Raymond Mayo. There were five openings onto the street; the center one held “the primary entrance in a deep recess”; the northern one provided access to the two upper floors.

The upper part of the earlier section “is divided into three sections by large two story pilasters with elaborate bases and Ionic capitals of white molded limestone.” More “molded limestone ornament” decorates a band between the second and third floors. Corbett and Hanson described a double cornice, below and above an attic section, with “EMERY MCMXII” inscribed.

The last building before the Temple Street intersection was the two-story McLellan’s Department Store building at 90-100 Main Street, dated 1920 and described as Commercial Style. It was of buff brick, with cast stone windowsills on the second floor and brick trim. The “compatible” single-story addition on the north was built after 1944.

* * * * * *

In 2016, the Waterville Main Street Historic District was expanded to add the connected buildings on the east side of the street north from Temple Street to Appleton Street, plus two others (to be described next week).

The June 3, 2016, application was prepared by Scott Hanson, again, and Kendal Anderson, of Sutherland Conservation and Consulting.

They explained that the additional area did not qualify in 2012 because of “the number of facades that had been covered after the period of significance [1860-1931]. The removal of these false facades from two significant buildings, exposing largely intact historic facades, extends the integrity of the existing district sufficiently to include these ten additional resources.”

129 Main St.

Four buildings were too much changed to count as part of the expanded historic district.

  • The two-story building at 129 Main Street, the corner of Main and Temple, is identified as the last surviving wood-framed building on the street; but it was covered by unhistoric aluminum siding.
  • 131 and 137 Main Street are flat-roofed two-story buildings sharing a false façade added in the 1920s to buildings originally constructed before 1884.
  • The 1913 Waterville Steam Laundry Building at 145-147 Main Street also has a false façade, metal.

The southernmost of the historic buildings is the three-story brick Moor Block at 139-141 Main Street, built in 1905. Its style is Renaissance Revival; the street side has granite windowsills and decorative brick trim.

Skipping the non-contributing laundry building, the Eaton Block (153-155 Main Street), designed by architects Bunker and Savage, of Augusta, and built in 1923, is described as Colonial Revival style. A two-story brick building with a two-story addition on the east (back) side, it has a recessed storefront “set within the historic cast concrete surround of the original storefront. Two steel columns support the structure above.”

The Eaton Block is one of the buildings where the 1960s façade was removed in 2016, “revealing the historic buff tapestry brick façade.” The second floor is little changed, with brick and stone details, fancy windows and stone panels with the name and date.

Hanson and Anderson added, “The [brick] pilasters on the façade were originally topped with cast stone urns that stood on the parapet above the cornice line.”

Next north is the Edith Block; one granite inset on the front says “EDITH BLOCK 1906” and another says “W. T. HAINES OFFICE.” Three stories high, brick with granite windowsills and brick trim, the Edith Block was designed in Early 20th Century Commercial style by Waterville architect A. G. Bowie.

This building, too, acquired a false front in the 1960s; as of 1916 only the ground floor covering remained, and Hanson and Anderson wrote that it was scheduled for removal.

The Waterville Savings Bank Building, on the south corner of Main and Appleton streets, dates from 1903 and was designed in Renaissance Revival style by architect William M. Butterfield, from Manchester, New Hampshire. The building has “reinforced concrete floor construction” and “a façade of tan Roman brick with limestone trim,” Hanson and Anderson wrote.

The central entrance on Main Street is recessed inside an arch supported by Doric columns; on each side “are piers with limestone details and granite bases.” On the floors above, eight windows are separated into three bays, with three windows in each side bay and two in the middle one. Some of the windows are set in arches. On the Appleton Street side, the windows above the ground floor are arranged in five sections of two or three windows.

Waterville Savings Bank was organized in 1869, according to Whittemore’s history, and in 1902 was the city’s largest bank, with more than $1.25 million on its books. The 1903 building as used until 1939, when, an on-line source says, the bank “moved across the street to a larger block” (which your writer guesses is the present home of Waterville’s branch of TD Bank, successor to Waterville Savings Bank).

The on-line source says Butterfield was born in Sidney and lived briefly in Waterville. He established his architectural business in Manchester in 1881. Because of his central Maine connection, he designed “at least ten major buildings” in Waterville between 1900 and 1910.

By 2012, the Savings Bank Building had been vacant for 15 years and was on Maine’s list of most endangered historic buildings. Area residents seeking its preservation gained their goal with the 2016 expansion of the Main Street Historic District.

Main sources

Corbett, Matthew, and Scott Hanson, National Register of Historic Places Registration Form, Waterville Main Street Historic District, Aug. 28, 2012, supplied by the Maine Historic Preservation Commission.
Hanson, Scott, and Kendal Anderson, National Register of Historic Places Registration Form, Waterville Main Street Historic District (Boundary Increase) June 3, 2016.
Kingsbury, Henry D., ed., Illustrated History of Kennebec County Maine 1625-1892 (1892).
Whittemore, Rev. Edwin Carey, Centennial History of Waterville 1802-1902 (1902).

Websites, miscellaneous.

LIFE ON THE PLAINS: Pictorial walk down Water St., and buildings that are no longer there

by Roland D. Hallee

Over the next few weeks, we will go down Water St., from north to south, and take a look at some of the buildings that played a major role in the self-contained community of The Plains, that have long since been demolished.

(Read part 2 here.)

All photos courtesy of E. Roger Hallee

The old barn that stood across the street from the Lockwood-Duchess Textile Mill, and out buildings. The former KFC building now occupies the site.

Rodrigue’s Market, and below, Ma Roy’s Tavern. In the approximate area of where Sunrise Bagel now stands.

Ma Roy’s tavern

Pete’s Market, three doors down from where Ma Roy’s Tavern was located.


The story behind the creation of M*A*S*H

by Mary Grow

An article in the latest issue of The Saturday Evening Post says the television show M*A*S*H pioneered Sept. 17, 1972, 50 years ago this month.

The show was based on the movie of the same name, which came out in 1970; and the movie was based on the novel MASH, written by Richard Hooker and published in 1968 by William Morrow & Company.

Richard Hornberger Jr.

“Richard Hooker” was the pen name of Waterville surgeon H. Richard Hornberger, Jr. (Feb. 1, 1924 – Nov. 4, 1997). The H. stands for Hiester.

A United Press International obituary dated Nov. 5, 1997, says Hornberger chose the pen name as “a reference to his golf swing.”

Hornberger was a New Jersey native who graduated from Bowdoin College and Cornell University Medical School. Drafted for service in the Korean War, he served in a Mobile Army Surgical Hospital, or MASH unit, whose doctors worked close to the front lines, usually in tents, to treat – often to save – wounded soldiers.

The UPI obituary said Hornberger’s family had summered in Maine and had roots here that went “back several generations.” After the war, Hornberger moved to Bremen.

His post-war career included a stint with the Veterans’ Administration at Togus and surgical practice in Waterville, from which he retired in 1988. He began writing drafts of his first novel in the late 1950s; it was followed by M*A*S*H Goes to Maine and M*A*S*H Mania, neither as successful as the original.

His Nov. 7, 1997, obituary in the New York Times said survivors included his widow, Priscilla Storer Hornberger, two sons, two daughters and three grandchildren.

Dr. Hornberger’s circle included two other Waterville doctors, both with national reputations. Fairfield resident Loring Withee Pratt was an otolaryngologist (a specialist in ear, nose and throat problems); Skowhegan’s George E. Young was a radiologist and surgeon.

A long obituary of Dr. Pratt (May 26, 1918 – March 13, 2012), published in the Waterville Morning Sentinel on March 16, 2012, said he was born in Farmington, graduated from Middlebury College in Vermont in 1940 and studied medicine at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore.

The obituary says Pratt spent two years in Air Force flight surgeon training in Texas. After his June 1948 discharge, he and his wife Jennie (Jeanette Burque) came to central Maine, where he ran a Waterville ear, nose and throat medical practice until he retired in 1985.

Additional responsibilities included “assistant director of the F.T. Hill Seminar at Colby College in Waterville; chief of staff at Thayer Hospital in Waterville 1979-1981; and chief of department of otolaryngology — head and neck surgery 1977-1979 at Thayer Hospital.” He worked with tuber­culosis pa­tients at Fairfield’s Central Maine Sanato­rium and was “on the consulting staff of Waterville Osteopathic Hospital; Kennebec Valley Medical Center, Augusta; Franklin Memorial Hospital, Farmington; PenBay Medical Center, Rockland; Redington Fairview General Hospital, Skowhegan; Veterans Administration Hospital (Togus), Augusta; and the Charles Dean Memorial Hospital, Greenville.”

After he retired, the obituary says he continued his connections with the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Arizona, and at Johns Hopkins.

The writer of the obituary said of Pratt, “For a doctor from a small Maine city, he had accomplishments on a national level in the field of medicine.”

Pratt was a fellow of numerous American medical associations; the writer listed as three “of his most prized” the American Medical Association (since 1948), the American College of Surgeons (since 1952) and the Triological Society (aka The American Laryngological, Rhinological and Otological Society, Inc.) (since 1954).

Other contributions the writer mentioned were “publishing papers in medical journals and presenting at professional conferences. One of his specialties was chainsaw injuries to the head and neck. He was recognized nationally for this work.”

In his spare time, Pratt was active in community organizations, including the Masons and the Fairfield Historical Society, and pursued interests in plant and animal life, gardening, geology and photography.

Pratt was survived by his wife, their nine children and numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren. The large Pratt house on Lawrence Avenue in Fairfield remains a private residence.

Dr. Hornberger’s other nationally known colleague, about whom little information is available from on-line sources, was Dr. George E. Young (Nov. 15, 1888 – Aug. 7, 1960), an early radiologist and a surgeon. He and his wife Clara (1894 – 1978) lived in a large house on Madison Avenue in Skowhegan; like Dr. Pratt, Young worked extensively with tuberculosis patients at Central Maine Sanatorium.

George and Clara Young are buried in Skowhegan’s Southside Cemetery.

The newest building at the former Central Maine Sanatorium, which closed June 30, 1970, is the Young Surgical Building at 50 Mountain Avenue, on the east side of the campus. Built in 1955 and named in honor of George E. Young, it was added to the National Register of Historic Places on June 28, 2021.

The application for National Register status was prepared in March 2021 by Preservation Consultant Christine Beard, of Essex Preservation Consulting, in Amesbury, Massachusetts.

The application says the building has historic value “for its association with the treatment of tuberculosis in Maine” between 1955 and 1970. Maine’s most seriously ill tuberculosis patients were sent to Central Maine Sanatorium because it was there that “surgery could be performed if necessary.”

The explanation continues: “The [Young] Surgical Building is the only building constructed by the state solely for use as a surgical center for tuberculosis patients. At the time it was constructed, the Surgical Building was considered state-of-the-art and greatly expanded the ability to treat advanced cases of tuberculosis.”

The physical description of the building calls it “a three-story brick Modern style institutional building with masonry bearing walls and steel framing. The building has a T-shaped plan, with a rectangular three-story main block and a two-story rectangular rear ell.”

The building’s architect was Stanley S. Merrill, of Auburn, the application says.

Also on the lot, and part of the historic listing, is a 1935 brick boiler house just north of the main building. It is described as one and a half stories high with a single-story wooden addition built around 1950.

At its height, Central Maine Sanatorium consisted of 12 buildings, the application says; five remained when the application was prepared, standing on separate lots since a 1984 division of the property. The demolition of most of the buildings and changes to the surviving ones “preclude the formation of a cohesive historic district.”

The Young Surgical Building was a nursing home for some years. It is currently undergoing major renovations, with the goal of making it Mountain View apartments.

Maine’s other two tuberculosis sanatoria were Northern Maine in Presque Isle, built in the 1920s and improved in 1938 and 1939 with federal funds, and Western Maine in Hebron, started in 1904 as a private hospital and taken over by the state in 1915. Both closed in 1959; 18 of Hebron’s 30 patients came to Fairfield, and the other dozen were discharged.

The Fairfield hospital also began as a private venture about 1909, in Waterville, run by the Central Maine Association for the Relief and Control of Tuberculosis. The temporary housing –- patients spent the day at the facility and went home at night, according to the historic district application – was moved to Fairfield in 1910.

After Frank Chase’s widow, Valora Chase, donated money for the first building, the institution became Chase Memorial Sanatorium in 1914. It too became a state institution in 1915. The additional buildings were built between 1938 and 1955. In 1933 and 1934, Mountain Avenue was rebuilt with federal money.

Up and down the Kennebec Valley: Waterville historic district – Part 3

Original Hathaway Shirt Factory, on Hathaway, St., in Waterville.

by Mary Grow

After two weeksdigressions, your writer returns to Waterville history, beginning with the C. F. Hathaway Shirt Company, described in Roger Reed and Christie Mitchell’s Lockwood Mill Historic District application as “an internationally known firm that originated in Waterville.” The application adds that Mill Number 2 “is the only intact industrial facility in Waterville associated with the important shirt maker.”

The company was founded by Charles Foster Hathaway, born July 2, 1816, in Plymouth, Massachusetts. In May 1840 he married Temperance Blackwell, of Waterville, in Waterville. Temperance died Jan. 19, 1888; Charles died Dec. 15, 1893. Both are buried in Waterville’s Pine Grove Cemetery.

Wikipedia says Hathaway quit school when he was 11 to work in a nail factory. When he was 15 he switched to printing, and later to his uncle Benjamin’s shirt factory in Plymouth.

The Hathaways moved to Waterville in 1843 or 1844, and Hathaway worked for different printers. In 1847 he bought out one of them for $571.47 and in April started publishing the Waterville Mail, described as “a weekly paper of four pages filled with sermons, religious homilies, and moral stories.” On July 19, 1847, he sold the business, for $475.

Ernest Marriner, who devoted a chapter in his Remembered Maine to Hathaway, explained that Waterville readers were not interested in “the religious homilies and the stern puritanical advice with which Hathaway filled his paper.”

By 1850, perhaps earlier, Hathaway was back in Massachusetts, opening the Hathaway and (Josiah) Tillson shirt factory, in Watertown. He sold out on March 31, 1853, and on April 1, according to his diary quoted on Wikipedia, agreed to start C. F. Hathaway and Company, in Waterville, in partnership with his brother George.

The first Hathaway Shirt Factory site was a one-acre lot on Appleton Street, bought for $900; the ground-breaking was June 1, 1853. Over the summer, Hathaway and two others made shirts in Hathaway’s house. By the end of October, Marriner wrote, quoting Hathaway, the factory was operating: “the working hours were 7 A.M. to 6 P.M., six days a week, with an hour off at noon” – a sixty-hour work week.

Cyr/Professional Building, corner of Appleton and Main streets, in Waterville.

Appleton Street runs from Elm Street across Main Street to Water Street, the intersection north of Temple Street. Your writer has been unable to locate the Hathaway factory on the street (Editor’s note: It is now an apartment building on Hathaway St.). She believes the building was wooden, because Marriner described Hathaway’s 1856 negotiations over lumber for an addition.

The Hathaway Company manufactured only men’s shirts until 1874, when a line of ladies’ underwear was added. Henry Kingsbury, writing in 1892, said that since 1853, the business “has grown with the steadiness of an oak tree.” By 1902, Reuben Dunn wrote in Edwin Whittemore’s Waterville history, Clarence A. Leighton, “associated with” Charles Hathaway since 1879, was sole proprietor. (Dunn disagreed with other sources on the dates of the company’s founding and of Hathaway’s death.)

Marriner wrote that the Appleton Street factory ran for more than a century, information that matches Reed and Mitchell’s saying that Mill Number 2 in the Lockwood complex “served as the principal manufacturing plant” for Hathaway shirts from 1957 to 2002, when the business closed.

Kingsbury called Hathaway “a man of strong, original character” who valued “thorough, honest work,” held “unusually earnest religious convictions” and had “friendly and honorable” relations with his employees.

Whittemore showed Hathaway the patriot. When the first two Waterville companies mustered for Civil War service in May 1861, the 183 men and their officers marched to the Hathaway factory, “where each man was presented with a pair of French flannel shirts by Mr. Hathaway.”

Marriner called Hathaway “Poor tortured soul!” He described a man overdriven by his religious belief, seeking to be a saint but constantly bemoaning his own “depravity and deceit” and the “wickedness of…[his] natural heart.”

Hathaway wanted to convert his employees; Marriner said he required prayer at the start of each work day – “Charles Hathaway’s special brand of prayer” – until rebellion and ridicule made him lift the requirement. He felt a duty to preach to everyone he met, including those who found his “starvation wages and other business practices” not very Christian.

He was hard to do business with, being frequently sure he was cheated. Marriner described his feud with Waterville Baptist Church pastor Henry S. Burrage; and joined Whittemore’s contributors and Kingsbury in praising Hathaway’s role in establishing the Second Baptist Church in the South End.

Marriner expressed sympathy for Temperance, writing that in 1840, she could not have foreseen “the ostracism, the loneliness, the ridicule she must encounter as the wife of this man.”

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Before the interjection of the Lockwood Mill Complex and Hathaway’s shirts, readers had followed Matthew Corbett and Scott Hanson’s 2012 application for Historic Preservation listing southward on the east side of Waterville’s Main Street. Crossing to the south end of the west side of the street, Corbett and Hanson listed three buildings south of the intersection where Silver Street joins Main Street from the west. Ticonic Row was at 8-22 Main Street, separated by an alley from the newer Parent Block at 26 Main Street; next was the Milliken Block, bordered on the north by Silver Street.

Ticonic Row is described as showing Greek Revival architectural elements. Brick, four stories high, flat-roofed, it is divided into four sections with name plates from periods of separate ownership: from south to north, Gabrielli Pomerleau, Abraham Joseph, Tozier-Dow and Sarah Levine. Built in 1836, it is the district’s oldest building. Originally three stories with a gable roof, the fourth floor was added, the uppermost windows lengthened and the roof flattened in 1924.

The Parent Block, a four-story brick building with decorative brick trim, dates from 1909. The style is described as “early 20th century commercial.” Corbett and Hanson found a mid-20th-century photograph of “the original storefront with a deeply recessed central entrance between tall display windows on low wood bulkheads…. The floor of the recess was one step up from the sidewalk and appears to be a granite slab.”

The building on the south corner of Silver and Main streets, which now has Silver Street Tavern on the street floor, was in 2012 the Milliken Block, dating from 1877.

An on-line Maine Preservation website gives more history than Corbett and Hanson had space for. The site says in 1866, Waterville National Bank directors hired architect Moses C. Foster (see box) to design a bank building on the site of an earlier wooden building.

Foster’s three-story brick Italianate style building went up in 1877. Waterville National Bank failed two years later, and the building was renamed to honor banker Dennis L. Milliken.

An undated photograph on the website shows a small carriage drawn by a white horse standing on Silver Street and eight men loitering on Main Street, two leaning on hitching posts and one holding a dog on a leash. The photo shows business signs above three street doors on Main Street; the legible ones read “Mitchell Clocks & Jewelry” and “Waterville National Bank.” Smaller signs mark second-floor businesses, and on the building’s northeast corner is a large third-floor shield identifying the Odd-Fellows Hall.

This photo shows the elegant brick and stone trim and the elaborate ornaments on the protruding cornice that Corbett and Hanson described. The Milliken Block is flanked by story-and-a-half wooden buildings south on Main Steet and west on Silver Street.

Early in the 20th century, the Maine Preservation site continues, O. J. Giguere bought the building. He combined three street-level stores into one, Giguere’s Clothing Store, and “installed the “G” lead glass windows.” He also put “a name plaque on the Maine [sic] Street elevation, a common trend in Waterville as Franco-Americans started purchasing commercial blocks on the south end of Maine [sic] Street.”

The plate on the building in the photograph described above is between the second and third floors. It appears to have a name and a date.

Moses Coburn Foster

Moses Coburn Foster was born in Newry, Maine, July 29, 1827. He married Francina Smith (born in 1830), of Bethel, in 1849; they had five daughters and one son.

According to the chapter on businessmen in Whittemore’s Waterville history, Foster was educated at Rumford High School and Gould and Bethel academies. He began his career as a builder and contractor in 1846; during the Civil War he was a master builder in the Union Army’s quartermaster’s department.

The family moved to Waterville in 1874, and in 1880 he incorporated M. C. Foster and Son with his son Herbert (born in 1860, died Aug. 31, 1899).

Foster is credited with many public buildings in New England and adjacent Canadian provinces, including post offices, churches, hotels and the Maine Central Railroad Station, in Brunswick.

Francina Foster died in 1890; Moses died Sept. 21, 1906. They are buried in Pine Grove Cemetery.

Their daughter, Carrie Mae (July 18, 1862 – Dec. 24, 1953), married businessman Frank Redington in 1890. From about 1892 until Moses Foster died, the couple lived with him in the Queen Anne style house that he built, described in a 2014 Central Maine newspaper article as “the first example of this architectural style in Waterville.” The two-story wooden house is an elaborate multi-gabled structure, with a square turret and a small front porch, its fancy shingles and decorative moldings painted contrasting colors. Wikipedia says parts of the interior are original, including “the entrance hallway with formal fireplace and ‘mahogany woodwork’ and stairs.”

The Redingtons remodeled in the early 1900s, probably adding the “tin ceilings, chandeliers, and fluted Doric columns in the opening between the parlor and library.” After Frank Redington’s death in February 1923, Carrie continued to live in the house until her death.

The Foster-Redington House was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on April 11, 2014. Located in a secluded area near downtown Waterville, it is privately owned; anyone visiting is urged to respect the owner’s rights.

Main sources

Corbett, Matthew, and Scott Hanson, National Register of Historic Places Registration Form, Waterville Main Street Historic District, Aug. 28, 2012, supplied by the Maine Historic Preservation Commission.
Kingsbury, Henry D., ed., Illustrated History of Kennebec County Maine 1625-1892 (1892).
Marriner, Ernest, Remembered Maine (1957).
Reed, Roger G., and Christi A. Mitchell, National Register of Historic Places Registration Form, Lockwood Mill Historic District, Jan. 11, 2007.
Whittemore, Rev. Edwin Carey, Centennial History of Waterville 1802-1902 (1902).

Websites, miscellaneous