PHOTO: Winslow Majors softball team

The Winslow Majors softball team members, left to right, Bill Cochran, assistant coach, Bella Loubier, Madison Cochran, Kierstyn Glidden, Cassie Chartrand, Allison Turbovsky, Callen Pooler, Emily Daigneault, John Lombard, assistant coach, Adriana Lombardi, Kelty Pooler and Kelly Daignault, head coach. (photo by Missy Brown, Central Maine Photography)

EVENTS: Summer reading program for children & teens coming from Winslow Public Library

Winslow Public Library

Sign-Up Starts June 14

This summer the Winslow Public Library will again proudly offer the Summer Reading Program for children and teens. The theme this summer is Tails and Tales, which young readers will discover through art, stories, STEM, and imagination-themed activities. Due to the pandemic, most aspects of the program will be offered outdoors with mask requirements and social distance protocols, while other aspects will be offered online

“With this year’s online Summer Reading Program, we hope to inspire continued reading over the summer, along with an ongoing love of learning,” said Kathleen Powers, Youth Services/Technology Librarian. “We do this by offering activities for all ages, along with reading incentives.”

Participants will work towards incentives through a challenge-tracker card that will include reading and activity challenges. In this way, youthful participants will be able to earn fun prizes such as free books and comic books throughout the summer.

Social-distance parts of the Summer Reading Program will include outdoor programs for all ages. To kick off the summer program the library will offer special guest Lucky Platt, an illustrator of Imagine a Wolf, for an art-themed program that focuses on animals, including wolves. This program will be held on the library lawn June 17, at 2:30 p.m., with a rain date of June 24. Art presentation will be limited to ten families so please reserve a slot by calling 872-1978. A pre-recorded tie-in program will also be available virtually.

The library’s weekly story times will be held, at 10 a.m., each Tuesday on the library lawn and each Friday, at 10 a.m., at the playground, on Clinton Ave., in Winslow. This will provide an opportunity for a younger audience to interact with fun stories, songs and create a craft featuring the week’s theme.

Starting June 24 and extending for the following nine weeks, the library also will be offering a weekly outdoor Lego Club and outdoor Art Club. Lego Club will be offered to develop engineering concepts and explore creativity. This will be social distanced with individual brick buckets and individual tables. Art club will feature weekly themed projects or individual art exploration time. Open to youth of all ages. Attendance is limited for both programs so please register. Masks are required for all youth outdoor programs.

Sign-up for Winslow Public Library’s Summer Reading Program starts June 14 in person at the library, through calling (207) 872-1978, or by emailing winslowlibrarycirculation@winslow-me.gov. Trackers will be emailed to participants who sign up online.

All parents and young readers interested in the Summer Reading Program from Winslow Public Library should check the library’s website, Instagram, and Facebook pages for the most up-to-date information on programs and events.

For more information, please contact Kathleen Powers, at Winslow Public Library, 207-872-1978.

Up and down the Kennebec Valley: Granges – Part 5

The curtain on the stage of the Windsor Grange. (contributed photo)

North Vassalboro, Cushnoc, Windsor, Winslow

by Mary Grow

In addition to the East Vassalboro Grange discussed last week, Vassalboro had two other Grange organizations. According to Henry Kingsbury’s Kennebec County history, the earliest of the three was Oak Grove Grange #167, organized in North Vassalboro on May 11, 1875.

In 1883, Alma Pierce Robbins wrote, Oak Grove Grange was “reorganized” at Getchell’s Corner, then an important village. Kingsbury located the Getchell’s Corner Grange Hall a little south of the Congregational Chapel.

Oak Grove Grangers opened a store in 1889, Kingsbury wrote; Robbins said Isaiah Gifford was store manager.

It is possible that Oak Grove Grange was discontinued before or about 1900. It is not listed in available on-line state Grange documents from 1902.

In the south end of town, 39 charter members organized Cushnoc Grange #204 at Riverside (occasionally called Riverside Grange) on Jan. 13, 1876. Kingsbury wrote there were 115 members in 1892; on-line records show 130 members in 1902, but Robbins said there were 150.

Kingsbury wrote that Cushnoc Grange members built their hall in 1879, naming it Liberty Hall. It burned in May 1885.

In 1886, Robbins wrote, Howard H. Snell and Hartwell Getchell, “Directors of the Cushnoc Grange Corporation,” paid James Robbins $175.74 for the building that had been a broom factory, a multi-family tenement, the post office (until 1856) and Benjamin Brown’s store. The building stood on a half-acre lot on the east side of “the County Road from Augusta to Vassalboro” and the north side of Cross Hill Road.

Robbins wrote that the deed of sale gave the new Grange Hall the “the right to take water from two wells described in the deed of Malina S. Kimball to Nathan Coombs.”

Grangers enlarged the building and, Kingsbury wrote, opened a store on the ground floor in August 1887. Robbins quoted a source describing a store-keeper in business in the Grange Hall from about 1884 until 1905. At some point the former schoolhouse “across the road” was moved beside the Grange Hall for a horse shed.

A Friday, Jan. 19, 1894, Kennebec Journal article found on line describes the Wednesday, Jan. 17, installation of Cushnoc Grange’s new officers (not named), attended by representatives of the state Grange.

After the installation, attendees “repaired to the large dining room connected with the grange hall where a bounteous array of good things had been provided by the ladies of the grange and which received ample justice at the hands of all.”

The writer of the article concluded that in 1894, Cushnoc Grange “has one of the finest grange halls in the State, is prosperous and best of all deserves to be.”

For some years around 1900, Robbins wrote in a 1974 essay republished in the 2017 Anthology of Vassalboro Tales, Cushnoc Grange and Riverside Church each put on a Christmas celebration. In bad weather, she commented, “the long cold drive to the Grange Hall with horse and pung was more hazard than happy,” especially for families with small children. (A pung is a small, box-like sleigh drawn by a single horse.)

Cushnoc Grange hosted fairs with livestock, farm produce and handiwork; oyster stew suppers; and baked bean dinners where neighbors shared “great jars of home made pickles and dozens of apple pies.” The Grange folded in 1967, Robbins wrote. Possessions included “dishes to serve more than one hundred” that were given to Riverside Church. The hall was demolished and a house built on the lot.

The University of Maine’s Raymond H. Fogler Library’s special collections has boxes of Grange documents. According to the on-line catalog, contents include Cushnoc Grange secretary’s records from 1876 to 1914 and from 1926 to 1966.

Moving to another town south and east, Windsor Grange #284 was organized June 2, 1886. Kingsbury lists the first Grange Masters, until he completed his Kennebec County history in 1892, as C. F. Donnell (1886), Frank Colburn (1888), George R. Pierce (1890) and John H. Barton (1891).

Colburn and Barton received individual mention in Kingsbury’s history. Frank Colburn was a “farmer and school teacher”; he started teaching winters when he was 18, and was Windsor’s supervisor of schools in 1888 and 1889.

Barton was the great-grandson of Dr. Stephen Barton, who came to Vassalboro in 1774 and moved to Windsor in 1803 to join one of his sons there. John Barton was another schoolteacher; he married Ellen Goddard, of China. Their daughter was a teacher, and their son, who died in 1890 at the age of 27, had headed the commercial department at Kents Hill School.

Windsor Grange had 105 members in 1902, according to Maine State Grange records. Records at the Fogler Library are dated from 1888 to 1995.

Although Linwood Lowden’s Windsor history refers to agriculture in its title, good Land & fine Contrey but poor Roads, he gives the Grange a single paragraph. The Grange “has always rented space in the town hall,” he wrote, paying $125 for the year in 1923, “when the present hall was new.” Another $30 a year went for “space in the G. A. R. Hall.”

Like many other local Granges, Windsor Grange used a large meeting room with a stage, and the stage had a handsomely decorated curtain. Barbara Bailey, from Fairfield Center’s Victor Grange, said when the Windsor town office took over the Grange quarters, the stage curtain was refurbished and remains in the town office.

Winslow, north and west of Windsor, had a 19th-century Grange organization, Winslow Grange #320, which left almost no records to which this writer has access. According to lists of documents stored at the Fogler Library, the collection includes secretary’s records from 1894 to 1972; the earliest account books that have been preserved there date from 1896.

In 1902 Kennebec County Deputy M. F. Norcross of the state Grange wrote that Winslow Grangers “built the fine hall this year, which shows that they are prosperous and progressive.” At that time the Grange had 221 members.

Readers looking for more information on Winslow Grange might try to reach the Winslow Historical Preservation Committee, the town committee that succeeded Winslow Historical Society. The committee’s website is https://winslowhistory.weebly.com, and it has a Facebook page.

A second Grange in Winslow, Progressive Grange #523, was chartered as a Maine non-profit corporation on Oct, 2, 1914. Clyde G. Berry, at 5 Mar Val Terrace, was listed as the corporation’s registered agent.

MaineCorporations records on line skip from the 1914 filing to July 3, 1979, when a registered agent and address (not given) were filed. In 1981, the organization was sent a notice for failing to file its annual report.

The next record is dated March 22, 1991, when a change of agent and office were submitted. Annual reports were filed in March from 1993 through 2002; after a change of agent in 2002, the filing date moved to April and in 2007 to May.

In March 2009 a report was filed by a new agent and the corporation was reinstated, after having failed to file a 2008 report. In September 2010 it was again dissolved for another failure; a new agent got it reinstated in December 2010.

He (or she) was equally lax, however, because Progressive Grange was administratively dissolved in August 2011, reinstated in 2012, and dissolved for the final time in August 2013.

Clyde G. Berry was also the first agent for Pleiades Grange #355, organized in Augusta on August 28, 1987. Berry’s address was then given as an Augusta post office box.

Pleiades Grange went through a series of suspensions and reinstatements until it was suspended for good in July 1999.

Clyde G. Berry

Clyde “Sonny” G. Berry (Dec. 28, 1946 – May 5, 2018) lived an interesting and varied life, according to his obituary that ran in at least two Maine newspapers.

He was born in Glenburn, attended Bangor High School, graduated from Higgins Classical Institute (a boarding school in Charleston) and attended Husson College and the University of Maine. The obituary says he “worked for several banks before his retirement.”

The Grange was important in Berry’s life. In 1961 he joined Glenburn’s Pleaides Grange, of which he was Master for some years. He later joined and held offices in Mt. Phillip Grange, in Rome. He held offices in three Pomona (county) granges, Penobscot, Sagadahoc and Lincoln.

In the Maine State Grange, Berry was on the Youth Committee, and was Lecturer from 1981 to 1987, Overseer from 1987 to 1989 and Master from 1989 to 1997. Later, he was elected Chaplain in 2011 and Assistant Steward in 2015.

In the national Grange, Berry was a member of the Assembly of Demeter, held the positions of Steward in 1991 and Lecturer in 1997 and worked for the organization as program resource director.

At some time he lived in Vermont, where the obituary says “he was a charter member and Past Master of Upper Valley Community Grange and a charter member and First master of Heart of Vermont Pomona.” He was also a trustee of the village library in Hartford, Vermont, and a “lister” for the town.

In addition to Grange activities, Berry held memberships and offices in historical societies in Hartford, Vermont, and Somerville, Maine; genealogical societies; the Maine Old Cemetery Association; Civil War veterans’ groups; and Sons of the American Revolution.

He served a term on the Glenburn School Board and was for “many years” on the Cemetery Committee; and he co-chaired the 1972 sesquicentennial celebration and co-authored the 1972 sesquicentennial town history.

He died in Bangor at the age of 71, is buried in Glenburn and requested memorial donations to Taconnett Falls Genealogical Society in Winslow.

Main sources

Bernhardt, Esther, and Vicki Schad, compilers/editors, Anthology of Vassalboro Tales (2017).
Kingsbury, Henry D., ed., Illustrated History of Kennebec County Maine 1625-1892 (1892).
Lowden, Linwood H., good Land & fine Contrey but Poor roads a history of Windsor, Maine (1993).
Robbins, Alma Pierce, History of Vassalborough Maine 1771 1971 n.d. (1971).

Websites, miscellaneous.

PHOTOS: Winslow youth baseball, softball gear up for season

Members of the Winslow Youth softball and baseball teams began practice on March 19. (photo by Missy Brown, Central Maine Photography staff)

From left to right, Adyson Lessard and Emma McCaslin practicing for the start of the season. (photo by Missy Brown, Central Maine Photography staff)

From left to right, baseball coordinator Jared Poulin, varsity baseball coach Isaiah Fleming and youth league president Beth LaFountain. (photo by Missy Brown, Central Maine Photography staff)

Soup & Biscuit fundraiser coming to Winslow Congregational Church

photo by Paul Cooper

Get ready to enjoy a “soup-er” flavorful take-out lunch, brimming with your choice of mouth-watering soup, a homemade biscuit, and cookies! On Saturday, April 17, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Winslow Congregational Church (12 Lithgow Street) will be offering these delectable lunchtime meals for drive-through/to-go pick-up. Cost is a donation of $5 per soup lunch, with all proceeds going to the Christian/humanitarian work of the church, and for building improvements and repairs.

Among the wide variety of savory soups available will be turkey, chicken, corn chowder, fish chowder, beef vegetable, beef stew, split pea with ham, and veggie/vegan. Each soup lunch will also feature a wonderful homemade biscuit and chocolate chip or snickerdoodle cookies.

Due to the pandemic, health experts advise that you wear a mask when going through a drive-through.

For more information, please call Winslow Congregational Church at 207-872-2544.

Winslow Public Library re-opening to public April 1, 2021

Winslow Public Library

The Winslow Public Library will reopen to public entry on Thursday, April 1, 2021. Controlled admittance to the library will be allowed on Tuesdays & Thursdays from 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Curbside pick-up services are provided on Mondays, Wednesdays, & Fridays from 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. The library is closed on the weekends.

A capacity limit has been set to five patrons in the building at one time.

Patrons must wear masks to be admitted to the building.

  • Anyone entering the library must be wearing CDC approved Face coverings.
  • No bandanas or half-shields and the nose and mouth must be covered by the mask.
  • Masks must keep it on all times while a patron is in the library.
  • Materials must be returned via the drop-box before entering the building.
  • Patrons are limited to 45-minutes in the library to reduce exposure.
  • Public computers are available for 35-minutes per person.

The below COVID health screening questions will be asked before entry is permitted; an answer of “Yes “to any of the questions will result in denial of entry to the building.

Have you exhibited symptoms of COVID-19 in the last 10 days?

Have you been exposed to a person exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 in the last 10 days?

No entry will be permitted without a CDC approved face covering (bandanas and chin shields are not approved coverings). If the customer does not have a mask one will be provided.

Social distancing measures remain in effect.

All patrons will enter and exit the building using the entrance door on their left. Customers are asked not to allow anyone to enter as they exit, and to make sure the door closes behind them.

For more information, please contact Winslow Public Library at 207-872-1978.

Thomas College student, Winslow resident, modernizes snowmobile trip planning in Maine

Jake Warn, a Thomas College junior, in Waterville, sits on a snowmobile. (contributed photo)

Website removes barriers to identifying routes, finding amenities and enjoying points of interest

A new website launched by a Thomas College student is modernizing snowmobile trip planning for resident and out-of-state riders. SledTRX.com aims to advance the economic impact of a legacy outdoor recreation industry and attract new riders by removing barriers to identifying routes, finding amenities, and enjoying points of interest.

A $600 million industry in Maine, snowmobiling still relies on traditional mail distribution of paper maps to interested riders. Each of Maine’s approximately 280 volunteer-based clubs maintain their own trails, requiring riders to contact multiple clubs to plan a trip. Trail maps may be uploaded to a club’s website, available via mail for a small fee, or simply posted at the trailhead. The inconsistent, time-consuming process can deter even veteran resident riders like Jake Warn, of Winslow, who saw an opportunity to simplify trip-planning and make Maine’s snowmobile trails more attractive to resident and non-resident riders.

“I’d spend six hours planning a trip to a new region. It’s really important to support snowmobile clubs all over Maine, and I wanted to make it easier for veteran and first-time riders to explore new areas across our state,” explains Jake Warn, founder of SledTRX.com. “Plus, an online presence helps snowmobile clubs expand their membership and seasonal businesses can connect directly with a large customer base.”

A junior at Thomas College, in Waterville, Warn was inspired by fellow student entrepreneur Dylan Veilleux, who built Tree Free Heat. With a passion for snowmobiling but little technical expertise, Warn connected with Mike Duguay, executive director of the Harold Alfond Institute for Business Innovation, at Thomas College, who encouraged him to enroll in a free Tortoise Labs course to learn how to turn his idea into a business. Warn enrolled in July 2020, and launched SledTRX.com in December. As part of the course, Warn conducted consumer research; he found that industry experts and longtime riders shared his challenge of gathering accurate trail information, and that snowmobile clubs and related businesses would derive significant value from one statewide consolidated online trail map.

“The snowmobile community is in need of an innovative change,” explains John Raymond, president of the Northern Timber Cruisers Snowmobile & Crosscountry Ski Club in Millinocket. “Snowmobiling has such a big impact on our communities, and it has needed something like this to help preserve this seasonal pastime.”

According to the Maine Snowmobile Association, nearly 30 percent of Maine’s 85,000 registered snowmobiles belong to non-resident riders, who contribute a significant portion of the $210 million in direct spending that supports over 3,000 jobs in Maine. By combining 10,000 miles of trails with amenities and points of interest in an easy-to-use website, SledTRX.com positions the industry to attract additional out-of-state riders and expand their economic impact across Maine as they explore new regions.

Rep. Cathy Nadeau announces local projects in Maine DOT work plan

Rep. Cathy Nadeau (photo from legislature.maine.gov)

State Representative Cathy Nadeau (R-Winslow) has announced that the Maine Department of Transportation (MDOT) Work Plan for Calendar Years 2021, 2022 and 2023 is available. The estimated value of work in the plan totals more than 2,180 individual work items with a total value of $2.71 billion.

The MDOT Work Plan for House District 78 includes projects totaling $3,250,000 for the towns of Winslow and Benton.

The work includes two large, local projects, a Municipal Partnership Initiative on Benton Avenue ($1.1 million) and replacement of the bridge just before the Benton town line on Garland Road ($1.9 million). The Work Plan also includes improvements to Route 137 and Route 100A in Winslow, Northbound and Southbound bridges on Interstate 95 in Benton and other state roads in the area.

“Everyone recognizes the importance of properly maintained roads and how important they are to everyday life,” said Rep. Nadeau. “I am pleased to see several scheduled MDOT projects in our area, including replacement of a bridge that is over 100 years old. These and other projects to be undertaken during the next three years, will make our roads safer and benefit our local economy.”

The full work plan, searchable by municipality, is available at the Maine Department of Transportation’s website: https://www.maine.gov/mdot/projects/workplan/search/.

PHOTO: Four event winner

Abigail Dudley

Abigail Dudley, 14, of Winslow participated in the “Krane Virtual Valentine’s Day Tournament virtually on Valentine’s weekend. She is a student at Huard’s Martial Arts, in Winslow. She is also a valued member of Team IPPONE and Huard’s Sport Karate Team. In this tournament that she competed in her divisions are ages 14 to 17 male/female.

She competed in Traditional Forms, Creative Forms, Traditional Weapons, and Creative Weapons. Abigail placed first in each one of those categories. She enjoys the competition, while showing what a dedicated mind and spirit can achieve. She wants everyone to know and realize they can achieve anything towards which they set their minds. She also wants to make the point that it doesn’t matter if you’re a girl or a boy, you have the ability to achieve success.

Temple Academy Outreach Team doing great things within our community

From left to right, Grace Paradis, Katelyn Rose, Kaylan Haber, Billy Dumond, and Shivon Larsen, serving at the Winslow Community Cupboard. (contributed photo)

by Mark Huard

The Temple Academy Outreach Team is a community serviced-oriented group of 7th through 12th grade students led by junior high and high school science teacher Rachel Baker. Kevin Wood, Superintendent of the pre-K-12, non-denominational Christian school shared his vision with Ms. Baker for a service-based team at the start of the 2020/2021 school year. Within a short period of time the team was formed, organized, and committed. They enthusiastically hit the ground running throughout the community.

From left to right, Isaac Smith, Elena Hassele, Dylan Shortil, Zack Wiles, Chloe Riportella, Gavin MacDonald, Dave Louis, Thomas Fortin, Marko Ajvaz, Hunter Doyle, Evan Lafountain, and Mary Jo Wadsworth serve at the Winslow Community Cupboard. (contributed photo)

They have worked on several different community projects in the area. In the Fall the team performed yard clean up chores for several local residents in different neighborhoods. They participated in the “Crusin’ Country” 93.5’s “Put a Sock in It” Sock Drive in December, collecting 238 pairs of new socks, which the students decided to donate to the Mid-Maine Homeless Shelter. The team has developed an ongoing relationship with the Winslow Community Cupboard, whose food pantry is open every other Thursday. The entire student body from seventh through 12th grade gets involved in this program. Ms. Baker takes multiple grade levels once a month, in shifts, to the Cupboard to volunteer.

Adalia Harrington, a 12th grade student at Temple Academy and Outreach Team president shares her feelings about being a member of this team, “After the devastating year our world has faced, I am privileged to be part of a group that restores the hope in our community and spreads the message that we are in this together!”

Ms. Baker states, “The heart of our mission is to promote a culture that regularly engages the student body in meeting needs in our community through acts of service. We want our students to experience the value of serving others. When you humble yourself to do something kind for someone else, it does something inside of you. It can deeply touch both the person serving and the one being served. With Temple Academy being a small school, I was immediately impressed with the level of interest at our very first meeting. The students are a committed and hard-working group and I am truly fortunate to have the privilege of working alongside of them. It is amazing for me to see these students shine during our events; they work so hard! And the best part of it is, I can tell the students are really enjoying themselves because of how happy they are while volunteering. This is truly an enlightening experience for every student that participates.”

She continues: “We were fortunate to make a connection early on with Bruce Bottigliere at the Winslow Community Cupboard. We have been able to plug our student volunteers into the various programs they have there. Together in March, we are working on scheduling a USDA Farmers to Families Food Box distribution site at our school. This will allow us to give every student in our entire school the opportunity to participate and experience the feeling of serving. I am thankful for our students, our parents, and our entire faculty who are so incredibly supportive in the efforts in making our vision a reality. We are Temple!”

(Plans are currently in the works for an opportunity this month at the First Choice Pregnancy Center.) This Spring the team is working on solidifying partnerships with the Alfond Youth & Community Center and with the city of Waterville to create some annual community projects. If you have any ideas on how their team may be able to get involved in your community or in your event, you are encouraged to contact MS. Baker at her contact information stated above.