Bella Wallingford named to the dean’s list at Tufts University

Bella Wallingford, of Oakland, class of 2026, was named to the dean’s list at Tufts University, in Medford, Massachusetts, for the fall 2022 semester.

KVCOG schedules household hazardous waste pickup dates

The Kennebec Valley Council of Governments, based in Fairfield, plans to host Household Hazardous Waste Collection Days in October in Kennebec and Somerset counties.

Skowhegan, Anson, Bingham, Canaan and Madison will collect from 9 a.m. to noon, Saturday, Oct. 7, at the Skowhegan Transfer Station, 29 Transfer Station Drive. This is open to residents of those towns, who must call their own town office to schedule a time slot (Skowhegan, 207-474-6902; Anson, 207-696-3979; Bingham, 207-672-5519; Canaan, 207-474-8682; Madison, 207-696-3971).

Winslow, Belgrade, Clinton, Fairfield, Oakland and Waterville will collect from 8 a.m. to noon, Saturday, Oct. 21, at Winslow Public Works, 135 Halifax St. Residents must call their municipal office to schedule a slot (Winslow, 207-872-2776; Belgrade, 207-495-2258; Clinton, 207-426-8322; Fairfield, 207- 453-7911; Oakland, 207-465-7357; Waterville, 207-680-4200).

Those who don’t have an appointment slot made with their town will not be able to drop off that day.

Many chemicals commonly used around the home are hazardous, either alone or when combined with other chemicals, and need to be disposed of by professionals trained to handle hazardous materials, according to a KVCOG news release.

Improper disposal of these materials can disrupt the function of sewage treatment plants or private septic systems, contaminate ground water, and harm animals and residents. Items that are difficult to recycle or dispose of — such as electronic waste, batteries, paint, anti-freeze, chemical cleaners, yard chemicals, old fuels, oils and mercury thermostats — many of which can also become harmful if left unmonitored.

The council will have local law enforcement officials on hand in Winslow and Skowhegan to collect and properly dispose of any pharmaceuticals that residents want to bring in.

Bodhi Littlefield named to Ohio University’s spring 2023 dean’s list

Ohio University Patton College of Education student Bodhi Littlefield, of Oakland, has been named to the Spring 2023 dean’s list, in Athens, Ohio.

Up and down the Kennebec Valley: Music in the Kennebec Valley – Part 3

Typical 19th century brass band.

by Mary Grow

Band music

Another type of music in the central Kennebec Valley from early days of European settlement was band music. It was often, but especially in later years not inevitably, associated with military organizations; and like other forms of music, got limited attention in most local histories.

* * * * * *

James North, in his Augusta history, sometimes mentioned parade music, presumably provided by a band, as in his description of former president George Washington’s funeral procession in Augusta on Feb. 22, 1800.

North wrote that the procession was headed by a military escort. It included an infantry company, followed by musicians with “drums muffled, instruments in mourning,” followed by an artillery company.

By 1805, North wrote, Augusta had two military companies, and a group of young men persuaded the legislature (still in 1805 the Massachusetts General Court) to authorize a light infantry company.

The Augusta Light Infantry, which appears frequently in North’s history, was organized in the spring of 1806. North listed its officers and its musicians: fifer Stephen Jewett (the same Stephen Jewett who played the bass viol in church beginning in 1802? – see the July 27 issue of The Town Line) and drummer Lorain Judkins.

Some of the women connected with infantry members created and presented a company standard, with the motto “Victory or Death.” North described the Sept. 11, 1806, presentation as followed by a parade and a ball (presumably at least the ball and probably the parade included musicians).

By the time the Light Infantry was part of the local Federalist party’s July 4 parade in 1810, there was definitely a band. North wrote that its members politely stopped playing as the parade passed the house where Judge Nathan Weston was addressing the rival Democratic party celebration.

Another association between music and the military is the lists of men who fought in the War of 1812. Kennebec County historian Henry Kingsbury and many local historians listed soldiers (in 1812 and later wars) by name and rank, including musicians.

Most 1812 companies had either two or three musicians, though Kingsbury listed only one apiece for two of Vassalboro’s companies. The majority are described unspecifically as “musicians,” but Kingsbury mentioned a drum major and a fife major from Augusta.

By July 4, 1832, North again described two separate parades by two political parties, with multiple bands and military units. The National Republicans’ parade included “the Hallowell Artillery and Sidney Rifles, each with a band of music,” and the Hallowell and Augusta band, which he said was “one of the best in the State.” The Democrats’ parade included some of the Augusta Light Infantry and a band from Waterville.

There was an Augusta band in 1854, when Augusta city officials (the town became a city in 1849) decided the annual July 4 celebration should include recognition of the 100th anniversary of the building of Fort Western. Events included an extremely elaborate parade, with the Augusta Band providing the music.

And on April 18, 1861, as the Civil War began, North wrote that “the Augusta Band, playing patriotic airs” (including Yankee Doodle), led Augusta’s Pacific Fire Engine Company as members marched to the homes of leading citizens to ask their reactions to the rebellion.

(Their visits started with Governor Israel Washburn, Jr., and included his predecessor, former Governor Lot M. Morrill. North commented that Republicans and Democrats alike expressed support for the federal government.)

By August 1863, either there was another band or the Augusta Band had a second name. North described the return of two volunteer regiments whose members’ nine-months enlistments were up.

The 24th Regiment got to Augusta at 10:30 p.m. Aug. 6, by train; a large number of dignitaries and ordinary citizens and the Citizens’ Band escorted the soldiers to the State House for a welcome and a banquet (after which they slept on the State House floor, too exhausted to continue to Camp Keyes). The 28th arrived around noon Aug. 18; their welcoming parade included the Citizens’ Band and the Gardiner Brass Band, and their refreshments were served on the lawn south of the State House.

In 1864, according to North, it was the Augusta Band that on June 3 escorted the first trainload of wounded men to the new military hospital at Camp Keyes, in Augusta.

* * * * * *

In the village of Weeks Mills, in the southern part of the town of China, there was in the latter half of the 19th century an all-male brass band that the China history says “was more a marching band than a dance band,” because its concerts were mostly outdoors.

Sometimes there were concerts in “a town public hall” that was the second floor of a building on the east side of the Sheepscot, north of Main Street (which is called Tyler Road on the contemporary Google map). There was also a bandstand, “with a flagpole,” that band members built at the junction of North Road (now Dirigo Road, perhaps?).

Quoting a former resident named Eleon Shuman, some of whose family were in the band, the history adds, “Few of the band members could read music, and the band director transcribed their pieces into a simpler notation called the tonic sol fa method which they could follow.”

Oakland also had a town band by the late 1880s. In her history of Sidney, Alice Hammond wrote that the organizers of the 1890 Sidney fair spent most of their money to hire the Oakland Band.

She explained that in the absence of television and Walkmans (never mind smartphones), “To hear the band playing as you strolled around the fair grounds, or went into the hall and sat down to take a break was a treat.”

There were also dances some afternoons – “Anyone who wished to dance paid for one dance at a time.” In 1890, the fair was not lighted, so there was no evening music or dancing.

Hammond’s history included reproductions of two posters.

One advertised a Feb. 5, 1892, exhibition of “The marvels of the modern phonograph,” which would “Talk, Laugh, Sing, Whistle, Play on all sorts Instruments including Full Brass Band.” After Professor R. B. Capen, of Augusta, finished his demonstration, there would be a Grand Ball, with music by Dennis’ Orchestra, Augusta, for dancing until 2 a.m.

The second poster announced an Aug. 15, 1898, Grand Concert by the Sidney Minstrels. The program included vocal and instrumental (guitar, banjo and tamborine solos); it was followed by a “social dance” with music by Crowell’s Orchestra.

John Philip Sousa’s inaugural playing of The Stars and Stripes Forever, in Augusta

John Philip Sousa

An on-line site called Military Music says John Philip Sousa’s The Stars and Stripes Forever was played for the very first time by Sousa’s Band in the new (opened in 1896) city hall, in Augusta, Maine, on May 1, 1897. Because at that time the march had no title, some historians inaccurately date the first performance to a May 14 concert in Philadelphia.

Contributor Jack Kop­stein wrote that Sousa composed the march as he was returning from Europe late in 1896. His original version called for “Piccolo in D-flat, Two Oboes, Two Bassoons, Clarinet in E-flat, Two Clarinets in B-flat (1-2), Alto saxophone, Tenor Saxophone, Baritone Saxophone, Three Cornets (1-3), 4 Horns in E-flat (1-4), Three Trombones (1-3), Euphonium, Tuba, Percussion.”

Augusta’s Museum in the Streets (on line) says by May 1, 1897, Sousa’s Band was “the most famous in the land,” and Sousa was “America’s ‘March King.'” The afternoon concert presented some of his earlier compositions; “Sousa’s band enthralled the Augusta audience with spirited music, and his first encore was a new untitled march” – the one that became The Stars and Stripes Forever.

On-line sites give different versions of the words for the march. The one attributed to Sousa begins, “Let martial note in triumph float / And liberty extend its mighty hand….”

Your writer’s personal favorite begins “Be kind to your web-footed friends / For a duck may be somebody’s mother.” (The web attributes these words to radio comedian Fred Allen [1894-1956].)

Augusta’s 1896 city hall was designed by John Calvin Spofford (Nov. 25, 1854 – Aug. 19, 1936), a Maine-born, Boston-based architect well-known for designing public buildings in New England. In addition to municipal offices, the building included a city auditorium.

Kopstein, writing in 2011, said the building served its municipal function until 1987; it then became an assisted living facility. An on-line description of the Inn at City Hall says it now has “31 apartments with its historic decor preserved throughout the complex.”

Main sources

Grow, Mary M., China Maine Bicentennial History including 1984 revisions (1984)
Hammond, Alice, History of Sidney Maine 1792-1992 (1992)
Kingsbury, Henry D., ed., Illustrated History of Kennebec County Maine 1625-1892 (1892)
North, James W., The History of Augusta (1870)

Websites, miscellaneous.

Matthew Parent named to Clarkson University’s dean’s list

Matthew G. Parent, of Oakland, a sophomore majoring in software engineering, was named to the dean’s list for the Spring 2023 semester, at Clarkson University, in Potsdam, New York. .

Katelyn Robertson earns a spot on the dean’s list at Coastal Carolina University

Katelyn Robertson, from Oakland, was one of more than 2,400 undergraduate students at Coastal Carolina University, in Conway, South Carolina, who were named to the dean’s list for the Spring 2023 semester.

Parent named to Clarkson University’s dean’s list

Matthew G. Parent, of Oakland, a sophomore majoring in software engineering, was named to the dean’s list for the Spring 2023 semester at Clarkson University, in Potsdam, New York.

Oakland creates new TIF district to support downtown revitalization

Garvan Donegan

Encompassing 37.27 acres, the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development has approved a newly designated Downtown Tax Increment Finance (TIF) district within the Town of Oakland. The new district will allow the municipality to stimulate investment, encourage business expansion and retention, attract new businesses, and boost beautification initiatives while supporting the Town’s growing vibrancy.

“This newly-created TIF district will make a lasting impact in the Town of Oakland by making the downtown more investable, safer, more pedestrian-friendly, and directly aligns with the town’s vision of supporting business development and retention,” said Oakland Town Manager Ella Bowman. “I want to thank the municipal staff and town council who have worked to help advance this initiative, the Oakland Downtown Redevelopment committee for their dedication to this initiative, who was a key driver behind the project, and all the residents and community groups who voiced their support.”

Plans for TIF funding realized from the district will be utilized to support infrastructure, business growth, facade improvements, marketing the downtown, expanding and improving area trail connections, and more. Funding will also be leveraged to secure additional investment and incentivize business recruitment and retention in the district.

“Oakland is driving impact and support for residents, businesses, and remote rural workers through this project, incentivizing investment, cultivating new business attraction, and ultimately contributing to the overall economic well-being of the town and region,” said Central Maine Growth Council Director of Planning, Innovation, and Economic Development Garvan Donegan. “This newly-approved TIF district will create the necessary conditions to support economic development along Main Street and downtown revitalization in the Town of Oakland as a whole.”

Elmira College recognizes annual Key Award recipients

Elmira College, in Elmira, New York, recently announced this year’s recipients of its annual Key Award. This year’s award was given to 761 students across 14 states and Puerto Rico. A tradition that goes back to 1935, the Key Award is presented to outstanding students in their junior year of high school or preparatory school. Those receiving the award included Emma Fortie and Jonathan Eccher Mullally, both of Oakland.

Matthew Parent named a Presidential Scholar at Clarkson University

Matthew G. Parent, of Oakland, a sophomore majoring in electrical engineering, was named a Presidential Scholar for the Fall 2022 semester at Clarkson University, in Potsdam, New York.