Issue for December 22, 2022


The Town Line staff will be taking its annual Christmas, year end vacation. The office will be closed the week of December 26, 2022. It will re-open on Monday, January 2, 2023, at 9 a.m. There will be no issue on Thurs., December 29. The staff and board of directors wish all our supporters a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!


Celebrating 34 years of local news

Northern Light Inland Hospital named a top birthing hospital

Northern Light Inland Hospital has been named as one of America’s Best Hospitals for Obstetrics by the Women’s Choice Award®. The award signifies that Inland Hospital is in the top 7 percent of 4,729 U.S. hospitals offering obstetrics. Inland Hospital is one of only four hospitals in Maine to earn the top obstetrics award. Others include Northern Light Mercy Hospital and Maine Medical Center, in Portland, and Cary Medical Center, in Caribou…


Fairfield Cops Care For Kids program another huge success

The Fairfield Cops Care for Kids Program was created by the late Kingston Paul over 15 years ago. What started as a way to develop a relationship with the youth of Fairfield, grew into something so much more. That first night 15 years ago, three officers and Kingston delivered approximately 35 stuffed animals with a tag attached with all the officers’ names on it, wishing them a Merry Christmas… by Mark Huard


Town News

Select board meeting to begin with public comment session on medical marijuana license applications

VASSALBORO – The Thursday, Dec. 22, Vassalboro select board meeting will begin with a public comment session at 6:30 p.m. in the town office meeting room on medical marijuana business license applications. The list of applicants on the agenda is as follows…

Select board discusses process for dealing with land use violations

CHINA – China select board members spent three-quarters of an hour of their Dec. 19 meeting talking about their process for dealing with accumulated land use violations. They made two decisions, by unanimous votes…

The Remembrance Tree

The Town Line’s memorial Remembrance Tree. Thank you to all who participated!

Merry Christmas from The Town Line!

The Town Line newspaper, Staff and Board of Directors, thank all our advertisers, supporters, donors, readers & volunteers, and wish them a Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

Local happenings

Window Dressers workshop goes off without a hitch…almost!

CHINA – It was never a sure thing, but in the end, they pulled it off and accomplished a tremendous success. The China for a Lifetime Committee, a local town-sponsored group that seeks out projects with the goal of improving the lives of China residents, first planned a Window Dressers workshop for the fall of 2020. Well, we all know how that year went… by Eric W. Austin

Vassalboro Light up the Town contest winners

VASSALBORO – Congratulations to all who participated in the Vassalboro Business Association’s annual “Light Up the Town” contest! The winners are…

LETTERS: Overjoyed to see the Wreaths Across America

from Frank Slason (Somerville) As a veteran, I was overjoyed to see the Wreaths Across America honor the people of America at Arlington National Cemetery, but also the unsung heroes at Hannaford, in China, who graciously and with big hearts received the 50-plus caravan that stopped in China on Sunday morning, December 11, and greeted all of them with coffee, sandwiches and doughnuts, and even a portable toilet. God bless them all!…

The Town Line to benefit from bag sales

CHINA – The Town Line, Inc., a weekly, reader-supported, nonprofit newspaper, has been selected again to receive $1 from every $2.50 reusable Community Bag sold during the month of January 2023 at Hannaford, 33 Hannaford Drive, in South China…

Erskine Academy announces national merit scholarship student

VASSALBORO – Erskine Academy has announced that Malachi Lowery, son of Holly Hilton, of Vassalboro, has been named a Commended Student in the 2023 National Merit Scholarship Program…

Erskine Academy presents Renaissance awards

CHINA – On Friday, December 16, 2022, Erskine Academy held a Renaissance assembly to recognize first trimester award recipients. Recognition awards were presented to Mia Hersom, Brody Worth, Elsa Redmond, Gavyn Paradis, Adrianna Vernesoni, Nolan Burgess, and Jesseca Eastup…

Up and down the Kennebec Valley: Christmas pre-20th century (new)

CENTRAL ME HISTORY – This article is intended to complete the survey of pre-20th-century social activities in the central Kennebec Valley and, given the current date, to report on Christmas observances. An organization omitted last week, but covered earlier in this series, was the Patrons of Husbandry, the farmers’ organization commonly called the Grange… by Mary Grow [1646 words]

Up and down the Kennebec Valley: Social clubs in Kennebec Valley

CENTRAL ME HISTORY – Last week’s article talked mostly about ways early settlers interacted socially as individuals and families. This week’s piece will describe some of the 19th-century organizations that united residents and kept them busy, and related topics… by Mary Grow [1837 words]

Up and down the Kennebec Valley: Social activities

CENTRAL ME HISTORY – This year’s Nov. 6 time change, with darkness falling an hour earlier, led your writer to think about how central Kennebec Valley families passed long winter evenings 200 or 250 years ago – a research challenge, as few historians devoted pen and ink to such mundane events… by Mary Grow [1749 words]

Up and down the Kennebec Valley: Jefferson Medical College grads – Part 2

CENTRAL ME HISTORY – As promised last week, this week’s article will feature random information about three more central Kennebec Valley doctors with degrees from Jefferson Medical College, in Philadelphia. Their names were Cyrus Kendrick, Class of 1850, who practiced in Litchfield; James E. Tuell, Class of 1884, who practiced in Augusta and who started this topic; and Lewis King Austin, Class of 1894, who practiced, at least briefly, in Waterville… by Mary Grow [1513 words]

Webber’s Pond

Webber’s Pond is a comic drawn by an anonymous central Maine resident (click thumbnail to enlarge)…

CALENDAR OF EVENTS: Gaslight Theater announces audition dates for “Love Is Murder”

AUGUSTA — Auditions for Gaslight Theater’s first show of 2023 will be held Saturday and Sunday, December 17 and 18, at 6 p.m., at Hallowell City Hall. Love Is Murder is a comedic spoof of the romance novel industry written by Tim Kelly… and many other local events!


BENTON – James Winfield Bowman, 79, of Benton, died at home Thursday, December 8, 2022, following a recent hospitalization. He was born January 5, 1943, and, after a stay at the Maine’s Children’s Home for Little Wanderers, in Waterville, was raised by his mother Ethel Phyllis (McKenney) Pillsbury and step-father Ralph Benton “Barney” Pillsbury, in Benton, in their home on the River Road… and remembering 8 others.

Town Line Original Columnists


by Roland D. Hallee | As we enter into the Christmas season, I notice a lot of Christmas cards and greetings with the picture of a dove as a symbol of peace on earth and goodwill to men. Where did that all start? Why is the dove a symbol of peace?…


by Jayne Winters | When visiting Don Cote at the Wildlife Care Center last week, I was curious about his “growing up years” and if he’d always had an interest in animals. As “they” say, it is indeed a small world: it turns out Don grew up on the same street in Augusta that I did, about 15 years earlier and his neighbor was Ken Barden, who owned and operated a local grocery store for many years…


by Peter Cates | John Wick is a 2014 film noir starring Keanu Reeves as a former, very skilled hitman for the Russian Mafia’s New York City kingpin. After one massive contract for his boss, he is allowed to retire to civilian life, since he had fallen in love (Blue Bloods actress Bridget Moynahan did good work here as his wife) and gotten married…


by Roland D. Hallee | Christmas was a time for family gatherings on The Plains in the 1950s and ‘60s. Of course, growing up, once you became aware of your surroundings, Santa Claus was always the big hit of the season. Our father, who worked at Hollingsworth & Whitney, later Scott Paper Co., would take us to the Community Building, on College Ave…