Albion gold cane presented to Donna Bessey

Donna Bessey

On May 31, 2024, Donna Bessey received the Town of Albion’s Boston Post Cane, recognizing her as its oldest citizen at age 95. Albion Selectman Paul Flynn gave a brief history of the Boston Post Cane before presenting her with the cane and a plaque. Also representing the town were Selectmen Michael Gardner and Jason Dow, as well as State Senator Scott Cyrway and Town Clerk Jeannie Doore. Many friends were also present to celebrate the occasion.

Donna moved to Albion in 1949 when she married Leland Bessey. They met while attending Thomas College, in Waterville. Together, they had a successful dairy farm in Albion for many years. In addition to helping on the farm, Donna also worked in various secretarial/bookkeeping capacities in the area – for example, at North Wayne Tool Company, in Oakland, and for the District #3 Superintendent of Schools.

After selling the farm, Leland worked for the U .S. Postal Service, in Albion, and Donna continued to work in the school department. She eventually retired from H.L. Keay’s store, in Albion, in 1992. Donna and Leland enjoyed a wonderful retirement together, celebrating 74 years of marriage, until Leland’s passing in March 2024. As an avid animal lover with a great sense of humor, Donna expressed her secret to longevity as simply “Wag more, bark less”.

Nathan Choate earns rank of Eagle Scout

Stephanie Drake Choate, left, pins the Eagle Scout medal onto her son Nathan’s uniform. “It was so special to have it at Mount Merici Academy. We are so proud of you, Nathan,” she said. (photo by Chuck Mahaleris)

by Chuck Mahaleris

Nathan Choate

Nathan Choate, of Albion, received the Eagle Scout medal during a ceremony conducted by China Troop #479 in his honor on Friday, May 10, at Waterville’s Mount Merici Academy.

The town of Albion in March presented Nathan with its 2023 Spirit of America Foundation Award in “recognition of his outstanding and commendable community service to the Town of Albion.” His Eagle Scout Service Project revitalized the Elijah Parish Lovejoy Monument.

Nathan is the son of Michael and Stephanie Drake Choate, and lives in Albion. He attends Erskine Academy, in South China. This project required more than 200 hours of labor shared by scouts and scouters as well as Albion residents. Colby College Lovejoy land grant provided the funding needed for the effort. Hilton Drake and Stephanie Drake Choate’s ancestors and the Lovejoys were two of the five founding families in the town of Albion, formerly known as Freetown Plantation, in 1790.

Elijah Parish Lovejoy attended Waterville College (now Colby) and is well known as one of the first martyrs to freedom of the press and the abolitionist movement, killed in 1837 in Alton, Illinois. Colby’s language arts building bears his name. The Elijah Parish Lovejoy Award of Colby, established in 1952, is awarded to a journalist who continues the Lovejoy heritage of fearlessness and commitment to American freedom of the press.

During the ceremony, Lee Pettengill, who serves as the Chartered Organization representative for Troop #479, in China, and was the Master of Ceremonies for the event, led Nathan in the Eagle Scout Charge. “I charge you to be among those who dedicate their skills and ability to the common good. Build America on the solid foundation of clean living, honest work, unselfish citizenship, and reverence for God; and, whatever others may do, you will leave behind a record of which every other Scout may be justly proud,” Pettengill said.

Natha had completed all of his requirements and passed his Eagle Scout Board of Review last October.

Flynn announces legislative candidacy

Paul Flynn

Paul Flynn, of Albion, has announced his candidacy to represent Winslow, Albion, Unity Plantation and Freedom in the Maine Legislature. He has been an Albion resident for 33 years. Upon graduating St. Joseph’s College, in Standish, he and his wife Kate have made Maine their home.

“I have been an entrepreneur, owned and operated Freedom General Store, in Waldo County, am a Licensed Maine Real Estate Agent, currently operate Freedom Coin Company, in Albion. I also serve as the Pastor of The Freedom Congregational Church in Freedom.”

Service to the community is a big part of his life. “I have coached baseball at every level of Fairfield PAL, was the Lawrence Jr. High seventh grade baseball coach, and assistant coach at Lawrence Sr. High School.

“I have served on the boards of The Mid-Maine Chamber of Commerce, Big Brothers-Big Sisters, St. John Church Finance Commission, served as a Eucharistic Minister, and am currently a selectman in the Town of Albion.”

He continues, “I decided to run for this office because I feel like our communities have lost their voice in Augusta. Every business has a ‘Help Wanted’ sign in the window. Families and small businesses are struggling to pay the light bill. Bureaucrats are pushing to replace families with government. I’ve had enough, and I didn’t want to sit on the sidelines saying, ‘someone should do something.’ I’m at a point in my life where I’m ready to be the “Someone,” so I’m asking for your support as I start this journey.”

In conclusion, “I’m not interested in partisan politics, but I am interested in being a voice for the people. I’ll look forward to meeting you on the campaign trail over the next six months.”

EVENTS: ShineOnCass animal baby shower set for May 5 in Albion

Photo of Cassidy Charette, who was a long-time volunteer at Hart-to-Hart Farm, in Albion.

Haddie Bickford pets one of the new baby calves at last year’s ShineOnCass Animal Baby Shower & PJ Party at Hart-to-Hart Farm in Albion.

Children dressed in their pajamas will welcome baby lambs, goats, calves and other newborn animals also wearing pajamas, on Sunday, May 5, at the ShineOnCass Animal Baby Shower & PJ Party, at Hart-to-Hart Farm & Education Center, in Albion. The annual event for children features educational stations that include learning how to milk a cow, fetching eggs from the chicken coop, spinning lamb’s wool, and participating in goat yoga. Children will be able to hold, and have photos taken with, the newborn baby animals.

Hart-to-Hart Farm & Education Center is a family-owned and operated organic dairy farm that offers spring and summer day camp educational programs for children. The ShineOnCass Animal Baby Shower is held each year in honor of Cassidy Charette, an Oakland teen who died in a hayride accident in 2014, who was a longtime summer camper at Hart-to-Hart Farm.

Families attending the free event are asked to bring food and pet items to donate to Humane Society Waterville Area in memory of Cassidy, who was also a shelter volunteer.

Sierra Veilleux snuggles a newborn goat at last year’s ShineOnCass Animal Baby Shower & PJ Party at Hart-to-Hart Farm, in Albion.

There will be two sessions offered: 10 to 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 to 2 p.m., with limited capacity of 80 children per session. Pre-registration is required at or For more information, email








ShineOnCass announces scholarship

Cassidy Charette, a longtime summer camper at Hart-to-Hart Farm. (photo by Monica Charette)

The ShineOnCass Foundation announces a new $1,000 ShineOnCass Community Ser­vice Scholarship to be awarded annually to one area high school senior who makes service and kindness part of their everyday life. The scholarship is created in honor and memory of Cassidy Charette, a longtime volunteer in the central Maine community and former Messalonskee High School student, in Oakland, who died in a hayride accident in 2014.

Qualified applicants for the scholarship must live in the school district of Lawrence, Messalonskee (RSU #18), Waterville, or Winslow high schools; be accepted into a 2-year associate degree program, or 4-year college/university; and demonstrate their commitment to service in their community. Deadline to apply for the ShineOnCass Community Service Scholarship is April 22, 2024.

The newly-created ShineOn­Cass scholarship is in addition to the foundation’s annual $4,000 ShineOnCass Memorial Scholarship in Memory of Cassidy Jean Charette, originally established by Cassidy’s Messalonskee High School Class of 2016.

To apply for the ShineOnCass Community Service Award, or to learn more about other scholarship opportunities offered by the ShineOnCass Foundation, visit

Up and down the Kennebec Valley: People for whom ponds are named, Part 3

by Mary Grow

Dutton Pond

A small pond shared between Albion and its southern neighbor, China, has been known as Dutton Pond for as long as your writer has lived in China. But the map of China in the 1856 and 1879 atlases of Kennebec County names it Pickerel Pond.

Pickerel/Dutton Pond is on the north side of Dutton Road. Dutton Road branches off from Pleasant View Ridge Road, which goes east from Route 202 at the four corners southeast of China Village, on the northeast corner of China Lake’s east basin. At the top of a hill, Pleasant View Ridge Road turns sharp right (south); Dutton Road plunges down the other side of the hill, still heading east, passes the south end of Dutton Pond and crosses into southern Albion, where it becomes Libby Hill Road.

On the 1856 and 1879 maps, C. E. Dutton owned the house on the north side of the corner where Dutton and Pleasant View Ridge roads diverge. Diagonally across Dutton Road, in the southeast corner of the T intersection, was a schoolhouse.

Charles E. Dutton was neither an early settler in China nor a native of the town; he probably arrived in 1851 as a teenager (see below).

According to the Find a Grave website, Dutton was born Dec. 8, 1839. Henry Kingsbury, in his Kennebec County history, wrote that Charles was the son of Coffran Dutton and grandson of Jonathan Dutton, “who moved from Montville to Vassalboro, and in 1839 lived where Melvin Applegate now resides.” If Jonathan brought his family, Charles was born in Vassalboro.

Kingsbury continued, “In 1851 they [three generations again?] moved to China.” He next wrote that Charles Dutton married Annis W. Barlow, who was born in Freedom, Maine, Sept. 6, 1846 (or 1847, according to an on-line genealogy).

The China bicentennial history portrays Dutton as an educator first and foremost. Kingsbury listed him as a China selectman, elected in 1873 and serving seven terms, four of them as board chairman.

School District 7, in northern China, was named the Dutton district. The 1856 and 1879 maps each show a schoolhouse (the history says there were three consecutively), and apparently another was built for the 1886 school year. The Dutton district school was closed in 1902.

Each China school district had a school agent, usually elected by town meeting voters, whose responsibilities included allocating funds and recommending how many school terms to have for how long each year and what teacher(s) to hire. School agents were responsible to the town’s school committee (until 1857 and from 1863 to 1870) or to the school supervisor.

(China had a maximum of 22 school districts, rearranged repeatedly. School was usually held two terms a year, a shorter one [between a month and three months] in summer and a longer [two to four months] winter term. Dates were not standardized; and a district might skip or shorten a term, especially if money were tight.)

The China history includes Charles Dutton on a list of people who taught many terms, “usually with favorable comments.” Kingsbury wrote that he taught 27 terms, “nearly all in the town of China.” One term mentioned in the history was in the winter of 1872-1873: Dutton taught algebra in the China Village school, close to his home.

Dutton must have been China’s supervisor of schools in 1878, because he reported in 1879 that there were too many different textbooks in use – 20 geography texts, for example, some “so old that they listed only the first thirty-three states in the United States.” (The 34th state, Kansas, was admitted Jan. 29, 1861; it was followed by West Virginia in 1863, Nevada in 1864, Nebraska in 1867 and Colorado in 1876, for a total of 38 states by the end of 1878.)

At the March 1879 town meeting, voters accepted Dutton’s recommendation to appoint a five-man committee to look into consolidating school districts and standardizing textbooks. He and four other distinguished residents reported to a special meeting held May 5, 1879.

The history says nothing about districts, but it says voters approved the committee’s recommended textbooks and voted “to sustain” Dutton as he introduced them and disallowed all others. Dutton bought the books and, the history says, donated his commission to the students, who had to buy them in turn.

(Alas, by 1886 a new supervisor was again deploring the variety of texts; he recommended the town start buying and owning books for students. In August 1890, a state law “requiring towns to provide free textbooks” became effective. China spent $862 for textbooks in 1891and by the beginning of 1893 owned 1,730.)

In 1879-1880, Dutton was again supervisor of schools. The history related his dealings with a Colby College student whom he hired without examination, assuming him qualified, for another northern China district.

There were soon complaints that the young man “could not do arithmetic and was generally incompetent.” Dutton found the complaints valid and fired the teacher; district parents “relented and petitioned that he be reinstated.”

He came back, “but remained incompetent, and Mr. Dutton felt that the students’ time had been wasted.”

In the fall of 1879, supervisor Dutton visited the District 16 school in western China, where he found three students. The China history says he “promptly went to see some of the district parents, who told him they simply were not ready to have their children gone for five or six hours a day.” (Whether the children were too young, or were old enough so they were needed to help with fall work, the history does not say.)

Dutton unsympathetically ordered the school to stay open. The parents’ money therefore continued to be spent; and, the history says, “the students soon appeared.”

Dutton was a Mason. Kingsbury listed him as master of Central Lodge in China Village in 1864 and 1869, and of the village’s second Masonic organization, Dunlap Chapter, in 1875 and 1886.

He was active in the China Cemetery Association, organized in 1865 to manage the large China Village cemetery at the head of the lake (and since the 1940s the extension cemetery on Neck Road). The bicentennial history says he was president of the organization in the 19th century (citing Kingsbury, so before 1892) and from 1911 to 1921.

A list of members of Maine’s 17th legislature, in 1911, includes Charles E. Dutton from China.

Charles and Annis Dutton had four children. Find a Grave lists a daughter, Idella, born in 1869; twins, Arthur J. and Fannie A., born July 18, 1874; and a younger son, Everett E., born Jan. 26, 1887. All lived past 1950.

Idella married Fred H. Lewis (1860-1933), of China, and is buried with him in the China Village cemetery.

Charles Dutton died in China Sept. 5, 1922; Annis died in China April 5, 1926. Both are buried in the China Village cemetery; the same gravestone names them and their other three children.

Dutton Pond, shared between China and Albion, has an area of 57 acres and a maximum depth of 33 feet, according to the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife and to Lake Stewards of Maine.

* * * * * *

Evans Pond

China’s Evans Pond is south of Dutton Pond and entirely within the town. It lies on the east side of Hanson Road; Hanson Road runs roughly north-south east of China Lake, approximately half-way between Lakeview Drive along the lake and Pleasant View Ridge Road farther east.

The pond was named for an early settler – before the Revolution, Kingsbury wrote, and “contemporary with the pioneers” (the Clark brothers, who came in 1774) – named Joseph Evans.

An on-line source calls him Joseph Evans, Sr., born Nov. 23, 1740, in Dorchester, Massa­chusetts, to Richard and Zipporah (Blake) Evans. On April 28, 1766, he married Ame (also Ama, Amey, Ann or Anna) Payson, in Sharon, Massachusetts. She was born before July 22, 1750.

This source says Joseph “registered for military service” in 1777, but does not say from where – if Kingsbury is correct, from what is now China (which was Jones Plantation until 1796 and Harlem until 1818).

Kingsbury said he left his wife and children in the wilderness by Evans Pond while he served in the Revolution. (The first four of the Evans’ four sons and three daughters were born before 1775, this source says; another on-line site lists only one son.)

The seven-child on-line source says the Evans’ youngest daughter, Zipporah, was born in Vassalboro in 1781; married in China in 1802; and died in Houlton in 1854. Their youngest son, Nathaniel, Jr., was born in 1788 in China and died there in 1861.

This source puts Evans in Lincoln, Maine, in 1790. If so, he was back in China by 1797; the bicentennial history names Joseph and Nathaniel Evans among founding members of the First Baptist Church of Harlem, organized that year.

Nathaniel Evans could have been Joseph’s younger brother, born in Dorchester April 5, 1745; married in Vassalboro in November 1772; “registered for military service in 1777 [with his brother?]”; and died June 14, 1819, in Searsmont.

The China history says Joseph Evans was in Harlem in 1801 and 1802, and in 1801 a comparatively well-off resident: town meeting voters entrusted a pauper named Jack to his care. Evans was to receive “thirty dollars and the use of a cow” in return, prorated if Jack stayed less than a year with him.

In 1802, town meeting voters were asked to accept as a town road “the road between Joseph Evans’ dwelling and the lake [China Lake, presumably].”

The on-line source says Joseph died in mid-April 1826 and Ame sometime after 1830, both in China.

Kingsbury gave a paragraph to one of Joseph and Ame’s grandsons, Cyrenus Kelley Evans (May 13, 1816-Dec. 4, 1891). Find a Grave’s website has a photo of his gravestone in the South China Village cemetery that says his name was Cyrenius.

This Evans married Ephraim Clark’s granddaughter Asenath Clark (May 24, 1820-Oct. 9, 1911), thereby uniting two of China’s early families.

Kingsbury wrote that Evans “filled important positions in China and was twenty-one years justice of the peace.” The Find a Grave website says, “Mr. Evans filled important positions in China, and was twenty-one years of age when justice of the peace.”

A June 1870 on-line list of Maine magistrates says Evans was appointed a justice of the peace March 4, 1868, but does not specify whether that was his first appointment.

Evans Pond has an area of 19 acres and a maximum depth of only 14 feet, according to the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (as of 2000). Lake Stewards of Maine gives the size as 29 acres and agrees on the depth.

Main sources

Grow, Mary M., China Maine Bicentennial History including 1984 revisions (1984)
Kingsbury, Henry D., ed., Illustrated History of Kennebec County Maine 1625-1892 (1892)

Websites, miscellaneous.

UNE announces dean’s list (2023)

The University of New England, in Biddeford, has announced the following local students who achieved the dean’s list for the fall semester 2023:

Parker Higgins, Albion; Jessica Guerrette, Molly Mercier, Daraun White and Julie White, all of Fairfield; Alonna Battis and Caitlyn Mayo, both of Fairfield; Mallory Audette, of Jefferson; Mckenzie Kunesh, of Liberty; Katrina Barney, of Madison; Mackenzie Bertone, of Norridgewock; Brady Doucette, of Sidney; Wylie Bedard, Elizabeth Connelly, Catherine Kelso, Zoe Lambke, Ashley Mason and Dawson Turcotte, all of Skowhegan; Alexis Rancourt and Richard Winn, both of South China; Adam Ochs, Vassalboro; Asher Grazulis, Nabila Harrington, Emma Michaud, Elias Nawfel, Grace Petley, Lauren Pinnette, and Emilee Richards, all of Waterville; and Willa Dolley, Juliann Lapierre, and Justice Picard, all of Winslow.

Up and down the Kennebec Valley: People for whom ponds are named – Part 2

An 1837 engraving of the assault on Elijah Lovejoy’s printing company, in Alton, Illinois, where he was murdered for his anti-slavery beliefs.

by Mary Grow

Moving east from Winslow to Albion, that town has Lovejoy Pond, named after an early family who settled beside it.

Which family member came first is debated. Henry Kingsbury, in his Kennebec County history, named Rev. Daniel Lovejoy. Ruby Crosby Wiggin, in her history of Albion, said no, Daniel’s father, Francis Lovejoy, came first.

Francis Lovejoy was born in Andover, Massachusetts, in 1734. Wiggin wrote that he, his wife Mary (Bancroft), born in 1742, and their children came to Maine in 1790.

Lovejoy Pond

Francis left some of the family with his brother Abiel “on the Kennebec,” Wiggin said, while he cleared land for a cabin on the west shore of Fifteen-Mile Pond (Lovejoy Pond’s first name, reportedly because it was 15 miles from Fort Western).

Kingsbury included in his history an undated sketch map of the town of Fairfax (later Albion) showing “Rev D Lovejoy” – Francis and Mary’s son (see below) — owner of a rectangular lot on the west shore of the pond, near the south end.

(Your writer is sure the brother “on the Kennebec” was Captain Abiel Lovejoy, born Dec. 16, 1731, in Andover, and died July 4, 1811, in Sidney, Maine, according to Find a Grave. Alice Hammond’s 1992 history of Sidney includes an interesting summary of his life written by a descendant.)

Albion did not become Albion until February 1824. It started as Freetown Plantation in 1802, was renamed Fairfax in March 1804 and Lagonia (or Lygonia or other spellings) in March 1821.

Daniel Lovejoy was born March 31, 1776, in Amherst, New Hampshire, and died Aug. 11, or possibly Oct. 11, 1833. Wiggin said he was the youngest son of Francis and Mary’s four boys and three girls.

Daniel Lovejoy was a farmer and a Congregational minister. Wiggin listed him as one of three founders of the Congregational church in Albion in 1803.

When the Maine Missionary Society was founded in Hallowell in June 1807, Lovejoy was elected as one of its 52 new members, Wiggin said. He was also part of the Massachusetts Society for Propagating the Gospel.

Wiggin summarized a January 1808 trip for one – or both – of these groups that took him to Freedom, Unity, Burnham, Palmyra, Pittsfield and Vassalboro, among other places. She found that he was “licensed to preach” and later “ordained an evangelist” (no dates given).

From at least 1813, Lovejoy was clerk of the Albion church. In June 1829, Wiggin wrote, he “was installed as pastor” of four area churches, in Albion, Unity, Washington and Windsor. The Albion congregation built its first church in 1831-1832, meeting there for the first time Nov. 12, 1832. That meeting, Wiggin commented, was the last one that Lovejoy reported as clerk before he died.

He served in several town offices. Wiggin and Kingsbury said he was elected town clerk and town treasurer at Freetown Plantation’s first town meeting, held Saturday, Oct. 30, 1802, beginning at 10 a.m. They disagreed on how long he held each office – two or three terms as clerk and one or two as treasurer.

At a Monday, March 28, 1803, meeting, voters approved petitioning the Massachusetts General Court to incorporate “this plantation” with its current boundaries. They appointed Lovejoy to act as their agent in sending the petition.

In 1804, he was one of the three men on Fairfax’s first school board.

In January 1823 a Lagonia special town meeting appointed a five-man committee to petition the legislature – by then the Maine legislature in Portland – to rename the town Richmond. Daniel Lovejoy was on this committee, as was Joseph Cammet (see below), who, like Lovejoy, had been active in town affairs for years.

(The Town of Richmond, on the west bank of the Kennebec River south of Gardiner, was incorporated Feb. 10, 1823, and was named for Fort Richmond, built in 1719. Was Lagonia’s petition too late?)

On Sept. 20, 1801, in Albion, Daniel Lovejoy married Elizabeth Gordon Pattee, born Feb. 8, 1772, in Georgetown. This Elizabeth Pattee was not Ezekiel’s daughter Elizabeth, mentioned last week, who was born in 1777 and married Edmund Freeman. This one was a cousin of the younger one, daughter of Ezekiel’s youngest brother, Ebenezer (1739 or 1740-1825).

Daniel and Elizabeth Lovejoy had two daughters – they named the one born in 1815 Elizabeth Gordon – and either five or, probably, seven sons (sources disagree). Wiggin wrote that one son “died soon after birth,” one when three years old and one “as a very young man.”

Kingsbury wrote that Rev. Daniel Lovejoy “caused the greatest sensation the quiet community had ever known by hanging himself in his barn” in June 1833. Wiggin did not repeat this story.

Elijah Lovejoy

Daniel and Elizabeth’s most famous son was anti-slavery activist Elijah Parish Lovejoy (1802-1837). He was profiled in this series in the Aug. 13, 2020, issue of The Town Line.

Joseph Cam­mett Lovejoy (1805-1871; did Daniel choose the name to honor his local colleague? The revised spelling, Cammett instead of Cammet, is from Wikipedia) is summarized on Wikipedia as “clergyman, activist, and author.” Wiggin called him Reverend.

Wiggin wrote that Joseph graduated from Bowdoin College, Class of 1829. On Oct. 6, 1830, he married Sarah Elizabeth Moody (1806-1887 or 1888; sources differ), of Hallowell, at her family home in Hallowell.

An on-line source lists their 10 children, born between 1831 and 1852. The first four were born in Bangor and Orono, where an on-line report says Lovejoy was working with the Penobscots on Indian Island and may have started a school for them.

Wiggin found records of his service as a military chaplain for two months in the spring of 1839, during the 1838-1839 Aroostook War (see the March 17, 2022, issue of The Town Line).

His activism included abolitionism. He was a contributor to The Emanci­pator, started in 1833 by the American Anti-Slavery Society; and on-line sources list him as publisher of or contributor to the Hallowell-based anti-slavery paper Liberty Standard (1841-1848).

One of Joseph and Elizabeth’s sons was born in 1841 in Hallowell. Their last five children were born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where Wiggin said Lovejoy was a pastor from 1843 to 1853. He was later a civil servant in Boston.

After the family moved to Massachusetts, Lovejoy became what Kingsbury called “an anti-prohibitionist,” as the temperance movement changed from moderation to prohibition (Maine’s prohibition law passed in 1851). Two of his pamphlets, found on line, are titled Prohibition Ground to Powder! (1869) and The Errors and Crimes of Prohibition (1871).

Lovejoy introduced the first pamphlet by saying that he had predicted the fiery debates over prohibition in a sermon 17 years earlier. Now, he wrote, he had “stood in that fire for seventeen years,…a long time to endure privation and abuse.”

He remained steadfast, he wrote, because “I told the truth in vindication of God’s word and Christ’s example; and in defence of the personal rights of every human being.”

Lovejoy began the 1871 pamphlet with a history of drinking, from the Assyrians (who, Lovejoy said, welcomed guests and honored their gods with wine) to Christ’s endorsement of wine. From this background, Lovejoy argued that the prohibitionists’ claim that alcohol was poison “is a broad and palpable falsehood.”

Prohibition was “founded on falsehood” and impossible to enforce, he continued. He called prohibitionists “guilty of great immorality”; and he said the execution of prohibition laws was “immoral and criminal.”

Wikipedia lists two biographies Lovejoy wrote. He and his younger brother Owen co-wrote and published in 1838 their Memoir of the Rev. Elijah P. Lovejoy; Who Was Murdered in Defense of the Liberty of the Press, at Alton, Illinois, Nov. 7, 1837.

Joseph’s second book, Wikipedia says, was titled Memoir of Rev. Charles T. Torrey, Who Died in the Penitentiary of Maryland, Where He Was Confined for Showing Mercy to the Poor, published in Boston in 1847. Other sources say Torrey wrote it and call Lovejoy the editor or a contributor.

Joseph Lovejoy died in Cambridge in 1871; Sarah died in Boston in 1887 or 1888; both are buried in Cambridge.

Owen Lovejoy (1811-1864) worked on the family’s farm until he was 18 and then, with the family’s encouragement, spent three years (1830-1833) at Bowdoin College, though Wiggin said he did not graduate. He joined older brother Elijah, in Alton, Illinois, and was present when a pro-slavery mob killed Elijah and destroyed his printing press the night of Nov. 7, 1837.

Wiggin wrote that Owen Lovejoy studied theology in Alton and was a pastor in Princeton, Illinois, from 1838 to 1854. (Princeton is about 175 miles north of Alton and about 100 miles southwest of Chicago.)

Owen was an abolitionist and an Underground Railroad conductor in Illinois. He was elected a state legislator in 1854, and worked with his friend, Abraham Lincoln, to form the Illinois Republican Party. Elected to the U.S. Congress in the fall of 1856, he continued to represent Illinois from 1857 until his death.

Elijah’s youngest brother, John Ellingwood Lovejoy (1817-1891), was appointed by President Lincoln as U.S. consul in Peru; Wiggin said he served three and a half years. He moved to Iowa before 1843, if Find a Grave is correct in saying his four children were born there. Wiggin wrote that he “retired as a farmer.”

Find a Grave lists four family members buried in Albion’s Lovejoy cemetery; there are also unmarked fieldstones, the Town of Albion on-line site says. Marked graves are of Rev. Francis Lovejoy (Oct. 30, 1734-Oct. 12, 1818); his wife, Mary Bancroft Lovejoy (Aug. 2, 1742-May 8, 1792); Francis and Mary’s son, Rev. Daniel Lovejoy (March 31, 1776-Aug. 11, 1833); and Daniel and Elizabeth’s son, the first Owen Lovejoy (July 9, 1807-1810).

Several sources say this cemetery is on the west shore of Lovejoy Pond overlooking the water. A photograph on Find a Grave’s list of a dozen cemeteries in Albion confirms this information, showing a sign, gravestones and a pond; and your writer has driven past the cemetery sign on Pond Road.

The Town of Albion information on Lovejoy cemetery adds the cemetery is on South Vigue Shore Road. The map accompanying the information shows no cemetery near Lovejoy Pond.

By the time Wiggin finished her history in 1964, Albion had put up a monument marking Elijah Lovejoy’s birthplace. Colby College, from which he graduated in 1826, had established the annual Elijah Parish Lovejoy Award (in 1952) and named a new building in his honor (in 1959). The college also maintains Albion’s Lovejoy cemetery.

(The June 11, 2020, issue of The Town Line has more information on this family and other early Albion residents, and – returning to a recent theme – a partial list of early dams and mills on Albion’s principal stream.)

Lovejoy Pond, in Albion, the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife says, covers 324 acres and has a maximum depth of 32 feet (as of 1997). The Lake Stewards of Maine site agrees on the depth and, as with Pattee Pond, reduces the size, to 279 acres.

Main sources

Kingsbury, Henry D., ed., Illustrated History of Kennebec County Maine 1625-1892 (1892).
Wiggin, Ruby Crosby, Albion on the Narrow Gauge (1964).

Websites, miscellaneous.

Albion scout earns Eagle rank

Choate Information Kiosk for China Four Season Club (photo by Chuck Mahaleris)

by Chuck Mahaleris

Nicholas Choate and Scoutmaster Hunter (photo by Chuck Mahaleris)

Nicholas Donald Choate, of Albion and China, member of China Troop #479, accomplished something less than four percent of all Scouts achieve. On Sunday, November 19, 2023, Nick received the Eagle Scout rank during a ceremony at the China Masonic Lodge and also the Bronze Palm for earning five additional merit badges beyond those required. The ceremony focused on how Eagle Scouts are encouraged to live with honor so as to reflect the very best of Scouting in their interactions with others.

Julie Bradstreet, Nick’s mom, pinned the Eagle Scout medal on her son’s uniform marking his attainment of the high honor. Afterwards she said, “Nicholas joined Scouts as a Tiger Cub in first grade. Today we celebrated him at his Eagle Court of Honor. To say we are proud of his accomplishments is a huge understatement. Thank you so much to everyone that helped and attended.” Parents and step-parents, Rick and Stephanie Bryant, of China, and Rick and Julie Bradstreet, of Albion, were instrumental in his success.

Lee Pettengill, who is a leader in Troop #479 and a member of the Masonic Lodge, served as Master of Ceremonies. “The pathway to Eagle can be described as a steep trail leading up to three peaks. Officially, the trail starts with the Tenderfoot rank and continues through Second and First Class ranks. Then, the mountain climbing begins. The path is marked with merit badges, leadership responsibilities, service projects, and the practice of Scouting skills and ideals. The first peak reached is that of Star Scout, the second is Life Scout, and, finally, Eagle Scout.”

Kaiden Sawyer Kelley, who received his Eagle badge in June 2022, took part in the ceremony and said, “The first responsibility of an Eagle Scout is to live with honor. Honor is the foundation of character: it is what a person really is, down inside, not what someone may think they are.” He encouraged Nick to always live with honor and later added, ” The final responsibility of an Eagle Scout is service. The motto of “Do a Good Turn Daily” must take on a new meaning. They uphold the rights of others while defending their own. Their code of honor is based upon the belief that leadership is founded upon real service.”

For his Eagle Scout service project, Nick led others last December in building and installing three new information kiosks around China for the China Four Seasons Club.

Troop #479 presented Nick with a copy of the book Running Toward Danger, by Michael Malone, and a check for $100 for remaining active in the Troop through his 18th birthday. Nick graduated from Erskine Academy, in South China, in the spring and is working in construction for Kirk Sherman Builders, in Palermo. He completed all requirements prior to turning 18 last March but remained active as a leader of the other Scouts.

Choate Troop 479 (photo by Chuck Mahaleris)

Lawrence High School student wins Red Cross scholarship

Nash Corson

Nash Corson, of Albion, helped save lives by hosting an American Red Cross blood drive and earned a $1,000 scholarship as a result of his lifesaving efforts.

As part of the Red Cross Leaders Save Lives program, the Lawrence High School junior hosted a blood drive at the Fairfield Church of the Nazarene which collected 25 pints of lifesaving blood. As a result, Corson was eligible to be entered into a drawing for a scholarship and was chosen as a winner.

Corson, 17, is an Eagle Scout who plans to pursue a career in welding. He credits his scout leader for inspiring him to host a blood drive in his own community.

“It is not easy saving lives, but it is worth it. In the end, it’s rewarding and satisfying. And I donated blood for the first time too,” Corson said.

The Leaders Save Lives program encourages community-minded high school and college students to host blood drives to help maintain the blood supply for patients in need of lifesaving transfusions.

Students can sign up to host Leaders Save Lives blood drives during seasonal timeframes throughout the year. For more information, visit

The Red Cross experienced a significant blood and platelet donation shortfall in August, contributing to the current national blood and platelet shortage. To ensure the blood supply recovers, the Red Cross must collect 10,000 additional blood products each week over the next month to meet hospital and patient needs. By making an appointment to give this fall, donors can help ensure patients across the country keep receiving vital treatment.

Simply download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or enable the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device to make an appointment or for more information. All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age in most states (16 with parental consent where allowed by state law), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.

Blood and platelet donors can save time at their next donation by using RapidPass® to complete their pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of their donation, before arriving at the blood drive. To get started, follow the instructions at or use the Blood Donor App.