Local Dancer in the spotlight

Wyatt Woodbury, of Fairfield (contributed photos)

by Mark Huard

Wyatt Woodbury, 11, of Fairfield, recently traveled to Weymouth, Massachusetts, to appear in a photo shoot for the Turn It Up Dance Challenge. Wyatt is a member of the Stage Presence Dance Team, in Winslow. The team competes locally and throughout the country at various competitions, earning many regional and national awards for their work. In April, he competed with his team at the Turn it Up Dance Challenge in Westbrook. He earned a Platinum award and a High Score Winner award for his solo routine entitled Cruel World, choreographed by Ashley Roberge. He also competed for, and won the title Mr. Junior Turn It Up Dance Challenge. As a title winner he was invited to participate in a photo shoot for the 2021-22 dance season promotional materials and merchandise catalog. Turn It Up Dance Challenge hosts competitions throughout the Midwest and Eastern part of the country.

Up and down the Kennebec Valley: More high schools, part 3

The Lawrence Library, in Fairfield.

by Mary Grow

Fairfield, Palermo, Sidney

In Fairfield, according to the Historical Society’s bicentennial history, town meeting first appropriated money for schools in 1793, five years after the town was incorporated. As in other towns, schools were based in neighborhood school districts. The history says in 1904 there were 25 schools within the town boundaries.

The first high school classes were in 1873, in “part of the already existing grammar-school building…at the corner of Main Street and Western Avenue.” Voters raised $500 for high-school education. This building was presumably the one that was North Grammar School by the middle of the 20th century, and now houses businesses.

In 1881, an article asking voters to build a separate high-school building was on the warrant for the March town meeting. Voters passed over – did not act on – it.

The history says a building for Fairfield High School was built in 1890-91, on Burrill Street (which is at the south end of the business district, running west from Water Street across Main and High streets to West Street). It cost $5,000 and “served the Town until Lawrence High School opened in 1907.”

After 1907 it became South Grammar School, on the north side of Burrill Street between High and West streets. It is now an apartment building.

The 1907 Lawrence High School was a brick building on the west side of High Street, facing Memorial Park. It opened on Sept. 21, with the more than $60,000 construction cost paid by Edward Jones Lawrence.

Lawrence had made a fortune in lumber, street railways, shipbuilding and other ventures. Readers will see more about him in a future article, because Fairfield’s Lawrence Library is also named in his honor.

The Fairfield history says Lawrence’s fortune was drastically reduced in the global financial panic in 1906-1907. He kept his promise to build the high school by “mortgaging his home and borrowing against the schooners” – six-masted schooners built in Bath in which he had invested.

On Feb. 15, 1925, the high school building was “gutted by fire,” the bicentennial history says. It was rebuilt by the spring of 1926.

The Fairfield town report for the year ending Feb. 28, 1926, includes financial information on rebuilding. The town borrowed $50,000, with repayment beginning Jan. 1, 1927, and got more than $57,000 from insurance. The “contract price for construction” of $103,446 covered payments to the architect, contractor, electrician and plumber.

The report from the new Lawrence High School Principal, Edward S. Young, in the same town report said that the school “opened September 14 [1925] in its temporary quarters in the Opera House with an enrollment of 204.”

(The Fairfield Opera House was built in 1888, supported by Amos Gerald [1841-1913], “the Electric Railroad King,” another local boy who made good. It was “demolished in 1961 to make way for the present modest municipal building,” which is at 19 Lawrence Avenue. Lawrence Avenue runs from Main Street at the end of the Kennebec River bridge up hill past the library to High Street.)

Young continued: “Your principal has made a determined effort to make the scanty equipment in the Opera House adequate for a good school and he feels that real work is being done in spite of adverse conditions.”

An innovation was provision of a hot lunch twice a week, at cost, “through the cooperation of the domestic arts department,” for students who did not go home during the noon break.

The 1925 school routine included 10 a.m. daily chapel, with two hymns, the Lord’s Prayer and a Bible reading. Outside speakers were invited every Wednesday. To prepare students for public speaking, “Three times each week a student gives a declamation before the entire school. He is introduced by a fellow student.”

When yet another new Lawrence High School was completed in 1960, the 1907 building became a junior high school. It is now Fairfield Primary School, serving students in pre-kindergarten and kindergarten.

In Palermo, historian Milton Dowe found early settlers had many children – John Cain had 18; Amasa Soule 13; Jacob Worthing 12, five of them born before 1800. Primary schools were in existence before 1811; that year, seven school districts were created.

By 1886, Dowe wrote in his 1954 town history, Palermo had 17 schoolhouses. “At this time several of the elementary schools also held terms for free high school classes,” he added.

Millard Howard’s 2015 history said Palermo’s 17 school districts never operated simultaneously; and he said not all districts hired a teacher for every term. His book includes a paragraph on high schools, in which he wrote that Palermo offered none until after Maine’s 1873 Free High School Act.

By 1888, eight Palermo school districts offered high school courses, Howard wrote, the first established in 1882. He explained, “This meant that these districts were occasionally providing a ten-week high school term. There was no fixed course of study.”

Howard found an 1893 Kennebec Journal reference to a free high school at Carr’s Corner ending a term at the end of April. Carr’s Corner, on North Palermo Road, was the site of the schoolhouse for District 13, which was organized in the 1830s and lasted until Palermo school districts were consolidated in 1953.

Dowe also mentioned the Academy Hall on the China side of Branch Mills Village, described in last week’s account of China high schools as Barzillai Harrington’s high school.

Alice Hammond wrote that the Town of Sidney never provided a town high school. There were primary schools from 1792, when Sidney was separated from Vassalboro.

Hammond did not say what opportunities for higher education were offered in the 1800s. Nor does Henry Kingsbury’s Kennebec County history have any information; in a half paragraph about education in Sidney, Kingsbury wrote that by 1891, the number of school districts was cut from 18 to 14 because there were so few students.

From 1906 on, Hammond wrote, Sidney paid students’ tuition to out-of-town schools. The majority chose the public high school in Augusta, Belgrade or Oakland or Oak Grove Seminary, in Vassalboro.

The elusive Barzillai Harrington

Barzillai Harrington, who built an Academy in Branch Mills Village, in China, in the 1850s, was, according to on-line genealogies, born in Tinmouth, Vermont, June 13, 1819; or in Sherburn, Massachusetts, in 1816.

The genealogies and the Maine Historical Magazine, Vol. 1 (1886) identify him as a son-in-law of Shepard Bean (July 16, 1784-1847, the 12th of 14 children of Joshua and Mary Bean). Shepard Bean was born in Readfield, and his wife Jerusha (Hayward) (d. 1876), was from Easton, Massachusetts. Shepard and Jerusha Bean had five children, born in Readfield.

The three older Bean children all found spouses in Readfield. The younger of the two daughters, Lucy Ann, born May 20, 1828, married Barzillai Harrington on Oct. 12, 1843.

(Lucy’s younger brother, Alvin S. Bean, married Phebe Snow, of China, according to the magazine; or Phebe Worth Jones, of China, and after her death a widow named Lizzie [Erskine] Tyler, according to one genealogy.)

Barzillai and Lucy Harrington had eight children between 1844 and 1860. Their oldest son, Myron Clark Harrington, born Aug. 1, 1844, died Oct. 9, 1862, at Bellow’s Heights, Virginia (almost certainly a victim of the Civil War).

Their second son, born Nov. 30, 1845, was named Barzillai Shepard Harrington after his father and grandfather. The genealogies offer no further information.

The magazine article identifies the senior Barzillai Harrington as “from China” and adds: “He built the Lowell, Me., tannery.”

Milton Dowe offered one more clue to the family when he wrote in his Palermo Maine Things That I Remember, in 1996 that “The Branch Mills Sewing Circle was organized at the home of Mrs. B. Harrington in 1853” and went on to list the officers, including “Mrs. L. Harrington,” secretary.

Lowell is a small Penobscot County town, east of Passadumkeag, south of Lincoln. Ava H. Chadbourne’s book on Maine place names says it was Page’s Mills Plantation in 1819 or soon thereafter; then Deanfield Plantation; and Huntressville when incorporated as a town in 1837. It became Lowell in 1838, reportedly to honor Alpheus Hayden’s son Lowell Hayden, the first male child born in the town.

Chadbourne has no Harringtons on her list of early Lowell families. She wrote that Alexander Webb, a New Yorker who had managed tanneries in other Maine towns, “superintended” the building of a large one in Lowell after he moved to town in 1856.

Did, then, the senior Barzillai Harrington literally build the tannery, with Webb overseeing his work? If so, why and how did Harrington switch from running a high school in China to building a tannery in Lowell, a hundred miles away?

Lowell was not his farthest journey. One on-line genealogy says he died May 13, 1885, in Harvard, Nebraska; another says he died in 1881. Lucy survived him, and also died in Nebraska, according to one source.

News from Victor Grange

Here is another update on a prior topic, Victor Grange #49, in Fairfield Center, described in the May 13 issue of The Town Line.

The Grange’s Fall 2021 newsletter reports the successful completion of the effort to raise funds to insulate the building. The money is now in hand, and, the newsletter says, “Northeast Poly Insulation [of Fairfield] will start the job shortly.”

Grangers also obtained the advice they needed on ventilating a well-insulated building. The report says D. H. Pinnette Roofing, of Oakland, “will install six turbine vents, this should do the trick.”

The Grangers expect the insulation will much improve heating in the building and allow more programs. People are invited to suggest programs they would enjoy.

The newsletter lists Grange programs and events. They are open to anyone interested, whether a Grange member or not.

Vaccination clinics are scheduled from 8:30 to 11 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 6, and Thursday, Oct. 28. The Grange Hall will host Northern Light Health personnel administering the Pfizer vaccine against Covid and the quadrivalent flu vaccine, which offers protection against four different strains of the influenza virus.

The annual Grange Fall Fest and Craft Fair is scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 13, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Bridge lessons are offered Mondays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. The newsletter says the original turnout of two tables (eight players) has already doubled some days as more people hear of the chance to learn this card game.

Grange members are looking for help with two more projects, one needing money and the other expertise.

They would like to buy an Automatic External Defibrillator (AED) to provide emergency help to a heart attack victim. The cost is listed as $1,300; donations are welcome. The newsletter requests checks made out to Victor Grange 49 AED Fund and left at the Hall, at 144 Oakland Road in Fairfield Center; or mailed to Victor Grange 49, c/o Roger Shorty, 118 Oakland Road, Fairfield ME 04937.

For the Nov. 13 Fall Fest, Grangers are looking for someone who can sharpen knives and scissors, for a fee. Anyone interested can get in touch through Roger Shorty or by emailing Victorgrange49@gmail.com.

Main sources

Dowe, Milton E. , History Town of Palermo Incorporated 1884 (1954).
Dowe, Milton E., Palermo, Maine Things That I Remember in 1996 (1997).
Hammond, Alice, History of Sidney Maine 1792-1992 (1992).
Howard, Millard, An Introduction to the Early History of Palermo, Maine (second edition, December 2015).
Fairfield Historical Society, Fairfield, Maine 1788-1988 (1988).
Kingsbury, Henry D., ed., Illustrated History of Kennebec County Maine 1625-1892 (1892).

Websites, miscellaneous.

Lawrence High School girls soccer

Lawrence girls soccer team captains, from left to right, Emily Rhoades, Jaylin Woods, Mariah Laury and Kaysa Salisbury. (photo by Missy Brown, Central Maine Photography)

Kneeling, from left to right, Whitney Churchill, Emily Rhoades, Desiree Clement, Zoe Hutchins, Hailey Manzo, Kylie Delile and Mariah Laury. Standing, Assistant Coach Sara Hebert, Zoie Wars, Kaysa Salisbury, Taylor Pellerin, Mya Williams, Hayely Woods, Olivia Cleaves, Natalee Gordon,Taylor Levesque, Kylie Yeomans, Kelsie Smith, Aubrianna Grant, Jaylin Woods and Coach Corrie Kemp. (photo by Missy Brown, Central Maine Photography)

2021-’22 Real Estate Tax Due Dates


Tax year runs Feb. 1 to January 31
Taxes due September 30, 2021


September 30, 2021
March 31, 2022


Four quarters

August 25, 2021
November 10, 2021
February 9, 2022
May 11, 2022


October 31, 2021


September 1, 2021


Four quarters
September 27, 2021
November 22, 2021
February 28, 2022
April 25, 2022


Four quarters
October 8, 2021
December 10, 2021
March 11, 2022
June 10, 2022


September 30, 2021
March 31, 2022


Four quarters
October 8, 2021
December 10, 2021
March 11, 2022
June 10, 2022

To be included in this section, contact The Town Line at townline@townline.org.

Up and down the Kennebec Valley: Churches – Part 6

Asa Bates Memorial Chapel

by Mary Grow

The Asa Bates Memorial Chapel, also called the Ten Lots Chapel, in the southwestern part of Fairfield, was built between 1916 and 1918 and added to the National Register of Historic Places on Oct. 31, 2002.


Ten Lots is the name given to an area in northern Oakland and southwestern Fairfield that was settled in 1774 by families from Massachusetts, including Sturtevants (spelled Sturdifent in the 1790 federal census, according to Jack Davidson’s 2007 history of the Asa Bates Memorial Chapel) and Bateses.

An on-line Oakland history says Quaker Elihu Bowerman, one of the first settlers in North Fairfield (see The Town Line, April 16, 2020, p. 11), was “agent” for the Ten Lots settlers. The New Plymouth Colony had granted 8,000 acres that Bowerman “surveyed, charted and explored” for them. Later, the history says, the grant was expanded by 2,000 acres simultaneously with the arrival of another 10 families who each got a 200-acre lot – thus the name.

Kay Marsh, a trustee of the Asa Bates Memorial Chapel and unofficial historian, has a map superimposing the boundaries of the ten lots on an area map. The long, narrow lots run from north-northwest to south-southeast, with number one on the north and number ten on the south.

The Ten Lots area was initially part of Winslow. Waterville separated from Winslow in 1802; Oakland, originally West Waterville, separated from Waterville in 1873.

Waterville and Oakland are in Kennebec County. Fairfield, incorporated on June 17, 1788, is in Somerset County. The present dividing line between Fairfield on the north and Oakland on the south, and their respective counties, runs through lot number five of Ten Lots.

Early settlers included Revolutionary War veteran Lot Sturtevant; his descendants included two Reward Sturtevants. The first Bates family members also arrived early in the area’s history; they included Thomas, Samuel and Seth, and there were at least three Bates named Asa. The families intermarried, and both names remained common in Ten Lots for generations.

Despite the Bowerman connection, which has misled some historians, the early Ten Lots families were not Quakers, but Baptists. Ernest Cummings Marriner wrote in his history of Waterville’s Colby College that the first college president, Baptist Jeremiah Chaplin (who served from 1818 to 1833; see last week’s issue of The Town Line), used to “take walks with his students along the bank of the Kennebec or out to the thriving new settlement of Ten Lots in the western part of the town.”
(Marsh says the walk would have been about five miles one way.)

The intersection of Ten Lots and what is now Gagnon roads seems to have been the center of a distinctive 19th-century community. One source described area residents as very musical, with an instrument in almost every home and frequent song-fests.


Davidson wrote that Ten Lots residents were at first members of Waterville’s First Baptist Church that Chaplin organized in 1818. Services were held part of the time in the village and part of the time in a schoolhouse in or near Ten Lots.

In 1830, Davidson wrote, one of several revivals that started in Ten Lots brought in ten new church members, including seven surnamed Bates. Another revival in 1838, he wrote, included Rev. Samuel Francis Smith baptizing 17 “young people” from Ten Lots in Messalonskee Stream – in December.

In 1836, the Oakland history says, the Ten Lots community built a Union Church where the present chapel is. The site is on the east side of Ten Lots Road, which runs north-south, on the south side of the intersection with Gagnon Road. It is about as close to the middle of Ten Lots as possible.

The 1836 date does not match information Davidson had from two sources, who said 44 people left the Waterville Baptist Church in 1844 (on Jan. 15, one source said) and established a congregation in West Waterville. Another source said services were held in a Ten Lots schoolhouse, which was later moved to Reward Sturtevant’s property.

Davidson dated the Union Church, probably erroneously, to 1846. He suggested two reasons for the split: the differences between the in-town residents, including college students and professors, and the mostly farmers from Ten Lots; and the travel distance from West Waterville to the village.

A picture of the Union Church, a plain rectangular wooden building, hangs in the entry of the Asa Bates Memorial Chapel.

After Milton LaForest Williams (see box) offered to fund a new chapel, the Union Church building had to get out of the way. Davidson wrote that it was disassembled, loaded onto oxcarts, and taken as a gift to Rome, where men from Ten Lots put it back together and added a steeple.

He summarized a Dec. 12, 1915, letter from Rome’s Baptist Church members thanking Ten Lots residents for the building and their help. The church was still standing when he finished his paper in May 2007.

Until completion of the new chapel, a nearby schoolhouse again did temporary duty for Ten Lots church services. This schoolhouse later became a summer kitchen at Asa Bates’ house, according to the Oakland history.


The Asa Bates Memorial Chapel is so close to the town and county lines that although the building is in Fairfield, part of the driveway is in Oakland.

Christi A. Mitchell, the Maine Historic Preservation Commission historian who wrote the application for National Register listing, called the chapel “an extraordinary example of small scale Classical Revival Architecture in a rural setting.”

(Readers might remember Mitchell’s name from earlier articles that used material from her thoroughly-researched applications; see The Town Line, March 11, March 18 and April 15, 2021).

The story-and-a-half building set on a brick foundation, with four Doric columns across its front, is “similar to a Roman temple in form,” Mitchell wrote. She further commented on its “crisp Roman lines” and compared it with Thomas Jefferson’s 20 Pavilions at the University of Virginia.

The chapel sits among mostly well-maintained mid to late 20th-century residences (a few older farms and 19th-cenury houses are interspersed). Mitchell wrote that “no other structure in the neighborhood commands such a presence.”

The chapel’s architect is unknown, Mitchell wrote. In George Bryant’s speech at the Aug. 13, 1918, chapel dedication, Bryant said the late E. T. Burrows (husband of a cousin of Williams) managed “the planning and erection of the building.”

Marsh speculates that Williams had a say in its appearance, perhaps, for example, in the choice of a ceramic-tile roof, which seems more California than local. She also says that his wife’s brother was an architect.

(This writer’s on-line search found three architects surnamed Andrews active in the early 1900s, but none was born in New York City, none had a father associated with stagecoaches and only one practiced, briefly, in any part of New York.)

Above the Doric columns, the triangle under the roof has a half-circle window – Christie called it a fan window. Behind each column is what Christie called a gray marble pilaster.

Cement steps – now covered by wooden steps – lead to the center of a cement porch and the double front door, with marble panels on the sides and a rectangular window with a “diamond pattern grill” above.

On each side of the front, visible between the columns, is a marble plaque with a square window, similarly patterned, above it. Each plaque has an incised inscription.

The north plaque donates the chapel “to the religious literary and social purposes of this Ten Lots community,” and says that Rev. Samuel Francis Smith preached in the building between 1838 and 1842. The south plaque says Williams gave the chapel and library in 1916 “in grateful memory of his grandfather and benefactor Asa Bates born 1794 died 1878.”

The front doors open into a small vestibule and then the main room, high-ceilinged, with tall sliding doors, wood on the bottom with glass above, that allow it to be divided. Christie wrote that the doors are custom-made of mahogany.

At the far (east) end of the room is a stage. The stage is under a flat arch decorated, Christie pointed out, with triglyphs and metopes. It has a trapdoor in the floor, but no wings.

(Wikipedia says: “Triglyph is an architectural term for the vertically channeled tablets of the Doric frieze in classical architecture, so called because of the angular channels in them. The rectangular recessed spaces between the triglyphs on a Doric frieze are called metopes.”)

The north and south walls each have three tall nine-over-nine windows. Pastor Gene McDaniel recently repaired the windows, along with his father, Gary McDaniel, who did the reglazing. Chapel trustee Kay Marsh did the painting, and Howard Hardy offered encouragement.

To the right of the entrance is Williams’ library, a small room with bookcases on east and west walls. The books there now are a mixture of non-fiction – histories of the United States and of England and an enormous dictionary, for example – and fiction, including novels by Winston Churchill (the American writer, not the British statesman), Zane Grey, Gene Stratton Porter and Kate Douglas Wiggin.

The basement provides space for community meals, served from a generous-sized kitchen that shares the east end with the furnace room. There are three large windows on each side, below the corresponding windows on the main floor.

Building and furnishing the chapel cost $6,000 (Bryant) or $8,000 (Davidson). In addition, Williams gave $5,000 (Bryant) to be used to benefit the neighborhood and/or $10,000 to help maintain the chapel (Davidson).

When the chapel was finished, Williams donated it to the Ten Lots Union Young People’s Society of Christian Endeavor, which on July 22, 1918, gave it in trust to the United Baptist Convention of Maine.

When the Christian Endeavor Society became inactive in the 1930s or 1940s, Davidson wrote, the United Baptist Convention became responsible for choosing three chapel trustees. Marsh says she and Hardy are currently the only two.

After years as a community center and chapel, hosting suppers, parties, plays, wedding and funerals, the chapel is now seldom used. Since the late 1960s it has been rented, mostly to religious groups who use it one or two days a week.

Marsh says the remainder of Williams’ trust fund pays for insurance on the building, and rental fees cover heat and lights. The current tenants have repainted the interior.

Asa Bates

Asa Bates

Ten Lots resident Asa Bates (1794-1878) married Fannie Stillman in 1818. One of their daughters, the Oakland history says, was Frances Diana, who married Henry Williams.

The Williams couple lived in what was then Petersburg (or Petersburgh), New York (near Plattsburg) where Fannie had been born in 1801. Asa Bates’ grandson Milton LaForest Williams (known as LaForest to his friends) was born there Aug. 20, 1851. In 1857, Marsh says, he, his mother (who died in 1864) and his two-years-younger sister came to Ten Lots to live with Asa Bates (his father’s fate is unknown).

Among documents Marsh has assembled is the text of a speech at the dedication of the Asa Bates Memorial Chapel by George Bryant, who had known Williams since the latter was 16 years old.

Bryant wrote that Williams worked on Ten Lots farms, where “with his bright and happy disposition, he was a general favorite.” He had jobs in at least two Oakland stores, one when he was 13 years old and later one Bryant established. His formal education ended after one term of high school.

After a brief time in Pennsylvania, Bryant wrote, homesickness brought Williams back to Maine in 1869. He learned telegraphy and began working for the Boston and Maine Railroad, in Portland, and points south, becoming head of the Union Station ticket office in 1888 and also treasurer of the Old Orchard Beach Railroad Company.
In 1893, Bryant wrote, Williams married Alice Maria Andrews, in New York City. He did not say, and Marsh does not know, how they met. Marsh found that Williams’ father-in-law had become rich in the stagecoach business.

Williams’ wife was not well, Marsh says. The couple had no children, and they moved to Pasadena (for her health?). Bryant wrote that she died there on Nov. 10, 1907.

After his wife died, Williams became a philanthropist. Bryant wrote that he had “honestly gained considerable wealth” “with no material assistance from any one” through his “natural ability and successful business management.” Marsh believes his wealthy father-in-law contributed.

Bryant’s dedication speech said Williams decided to have the chapel built to do something for the Ten Lots neighbors he remembered affectionately and to honor “the memory of his grandfather, The Grand Old Man, as he called him, who in kindheartedness, had been more than father and mother to him in his orphanhood.”

In addition to building the Asa Bates Memorial Chapel, the Oakland history says Williams helped pay for a fence and fountain at Lakeview Cemetery, and left $25,000 for education that was used to build Oakland’s Williams High School (1925 – 1969; now the oldest section of Milton LaForest Williams Elementary School, according to an on-line source).

Davidson recounts another example of Williams’ generosity to old friends. After the Civil War, he wrote, Lot Sturtevant’s grandson Reward Sturtevant learned that Williams owed $13 for groceries and wanted to clear the debt before he went away (perhaps to Pennsylvania?). Reward Sturtevant bought Williams’ 13 sheep for a dollar each.

Williams died May 5, 1919. In his will, he left $13,000 to Reward Sturtevant.

Main sources

Davidson, Jack, The Complete History of the Asa Bates Memorial Chapel (May 2007)
Marsh, Kay conversation and loan of documents.

Websites, miscellaneous.

CORRECTION: This story has been updated to reflect that the people responsible for repairing the large windows were Pastor Gene McDaniel and his father, Gary McDaniel, who did the reglazing. Kay Marsh did the painting, and Howard Hardy offered encouragement.

Fairfield Historical Society quilt show tradition resumes

Example of a friendship quilt that was created by the 1986-1987 second grade class of Fairfield’s South Grammar School with the assistance of their art teacher.

by Marion Foster

The Fairfield Historical Society announces the resumption of the FHS Quilt Show which they have hosted every other year, until the Covid Pandemic interfered. On Saturday and Sunday, July 10 and 11, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., more than 50 quilts will be displayed at the Victor Grange, in Fairfield Center. These quilts belong to either the FHS or local residents. Others who have quilts of local interest that they would like to show are invited to call the FHS at 453-2998.

Although both antique and contemporary quilts will be included, all are relatively new when viewed through the history of quilting. There is evidence that quilting was done in 3400BCE when layers of fabric and padding were stitched together. Initially such quilts were of totally practical purposes of warmth and insulation. By the 12th century, quilted clothing was introduced to Europe by the Crusaders who wore it beneath their armor. In the late 17th and early 18th centuries, quilt making came to America.

In Colonial America quilting was often a leisure time activity for those of wealth. The quilts of this time were very decorative and displayed the exquisite stitchery, needlework, and creativity which did their makers proud. Many Baltimore Album quilts still exist as examples of these fine quilts. After 1840, less grand but often time consuming, pieced or patchwork quilts of printed fabrics became more common. During the Civil War Era of the 1860s many quilts were fashioned and sold to raise money for the Abolitionist cause. Many more were made and donated to the troops on both sides to honor their cause and keep them warm. Very few of these beautiful tributes have survived. Most commonly, simple but practical quilts were made from leftover fabric scraps or worn out clothing and tied together for everyday bed covers.

During the Victorian Era, Crazy Quilts became very popular. These quilts were comprised of irregular shapes of fancy fabric, luxuriously decorated with fine stitchery and elaborate embellishments. Due to this popular 19th century fad, many examples of these lovely quilts have survived.

Many, many other variations and styles of quilt have endured or evolved through the ages: some of these are Wholecloth, Amish, Feed Sack, Medallion, Block, Album, Sampler, Applique, Patchwork and Friendship quilts. Quilting Guilds continue to flourish in Maine and many are eager to see what has been created during the isolation imposed by the Covid pandemic. On display this year will be an antique “postage stamp” patchwork quilt made of tiny squares pieced together. Also of interest is an example of a friendship quilt that was created by the 1986-1987 second grade class of Fairfield’s South Grammar School with the assistance of their art teacher. This quilt was gifted to their teacher, Mrs. Duplessis, and remains a treasured possession.

In an effort to foster post-pandemic community spirit, the Victor Grange will provide seating and sell food during the two-day event. This event is open to the public and all donations are very much appreciated.

2021 District 5 champions

Messalonskee U-10 All-Stars defeat Skowhegan Riverrats, 16-10, for the District 5 championship
Advance to state tournament

Members ofthe Messalonskee 10U All-Star team, in Oakland, include, front row, from left to right, Brandon Frowery and Scout Engleright. Middle row, Anthony Parisi, Owen Laplant, Bennett Pottle, Kolby Pelletier and Hunter Poulin. Back row, Kolby Bernier, Preston Ponitz, Kyle Cummings, Caven Gooding and Chase Dempsey. (contributed photo)

June 2021 Local election results for Vassalboro, China and Fairfield

Town meeting photo from 2017. Photo courtesy of Dan L’Heureux


by Mary Grow

In Vassalboro’s written-ballot elections June 8, Christopher French was elected to succeed John Melrose on the board of selectmen, with 128 votes; and Jolene Clark-Gamage was re-elected to the school board, with 134 votes. Neither had an opponent on the ballot.

Three referendum questions were approved. Town Clerk Cathy Coyne said the votes were as follows:

To approve a new “Town of Vassalboro Marijuana Business Ordinance,” 123 votes in favor and 32 opposed.
To reaffirm the $8.3 million school budget approved the previous evening, 137 votes in favor and 18 opposed.
To continue the school budget referendum for another three years, 93 votes in favor and 55 opposed.

The total number of votes cast was 156, Coyne reported.


by Mary Grow

China voters, acting by written ballot, approved all but one of the 26 articles presented at their June 8 annual town business meeting, Town Clerk Angela Nelson reported.

They thereby funded town departments and services and grants to other entities for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2021; and gave selectmen authority to act on their behalf in various ways, including selling a 1982 grader and a 40-acre lot on the east side of Lakeview Drive opposite the Cottages at China Lake.

On a separate ballot, they approved the Regional School Unit #18 budget for 2021-22.

The defeated article would have appropriated $26,471 for FirstPark, the regional business park in Oakland. The vote was 135 in favor and 138 opposed, with five blank ballots.

The final warrant article, which was approved on a 198 to 65 vote, said that if any other article did not pass, “the amounts appropriated in FY 2020/2021 for the subject article shall be deemed adopted for FY 2021/2022.”

At the 2020 town meeting, voters appropriated $39,000 for FirstPark for 2020-21.


Unofficial returns from the town of Fairfield, according to town clerk Christine Keller included the following results:

For MSAD #49 school board: Joel Bouchard, 91; Danielle Boutin, 85; and Marlisa Golder, 73.

Also, questions on the MSAD #49 school budget referendum, the district nutrition program and the adult education program all passed.

In regard to the town annual budget referendum, all articles, 2 through 31, passed overwhelmingly, which included all outside agencies that petitioned for funding.

New Dimension FCU announces scholarship program winners

Jack Begin, left, accepted his scholarship certificate presented on Tuesday, April 27, 2021. Alyssa Bourque went to the Silver Street location to get her scholarship certificate on Monday, May 3, 2021. (contributed photos)

New Dimensions FCU awarded a Cony High School student and a Lawrence High School student each with a $2,500 scholarship for their first year in college.

Each year, New Dimensions FCU awards scholarships to deserving high school seniors that demonstrate strong character, community involvement, and academic success.

This year we received many applications from students; therefore, making it a difficult task to determine which of the students would walk away with a scholarship. After much deliberation, the New Dimensions Scholarship Committee selected two students who stood out so profoundly because of their dedication and perseverance during the pandemic while maintaining academic success and forward-moving achievements. New Dimensions has announced that Jack Begin, from Cony High School, in Augusta, and Alyssa Bourque, from Lawrence High School, in Fairfield, have been selected as the 2021 New Dimensions Federal Credit Union College $2,500 Scholarship winners.

Jack Begin tells us that he is to report to the United States Naval Academy on June 30, 2021, where he begins his first year in his engineering degree. Alyssa Bourque will be attending the University of Vermont, where she will study biomedical engineering.

Ryan Poulin, chief executive officer, states, “At New Dimensions, we understand the power of education, and we promote the financial success and aspirations of our younger generations. We encourage all students who graduate high school and plan on attending school in the fall to participate in our scholarship program. Making this one of the many ways we contribute to the communities we serve.”

For more information, contact NDFCU at (800) 326-6190 or visit www.newdimensionsfcu.com.

Victor Grange to host drive-thru supper

Victor Grange in Fairfield (photo: facebook.com/victorgrangefairfield)

Victor Grange #56, in Fairfield Center, hosts a drive-through supper from 4:30 to 6 p.m., Saturday, April 24. The meal includes baked beans and hot dogs, macaroni and cheese, coleslaw, rolls or biscuits, desserts and (non-alcoholic) drinks. Cost is $10 per meal, with proceedings to be used for work on the Grange Hall.