Issue for May 23, 2024

Celebrating 36 years of local news

East Kennebec Trail renamed in honor of Peter Garrett

The board of directors of the Mid-Maine Chamber of Commerce, decided to rename the East Kennebec Trail, on Benton Avenue, in Benton, the Peter Garrett Trail, on May 16, 2024. They had a ribbon cutting ceremony at 3 p.m., to honor Peter Garrett and to officially rename the trail. This was a great honor for the Kennebec Messalonskee Trails and the community.

Town News

Select board holds hearing on town meeting warrant

CHINA – The ice cream social that preceded the May 6 China Select Board’s public hearing and meeting was enjoyed by board members and 10 people who attended the hearing. The hearing topic was the warrant for the June 11 annual town business meeting, which will be by written ballot in the former portable classroom behind the town office. Voting begins with election of a moderator at 6:55 a.m.; polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m…

Recycling main topic during transfer station committee meeting

CHINA – Recycling dominated discussion at the China Transfer Station Committee’s May 14 meeting, thanks mostly to committee member James Hsiang’s proposal for a contest to reward people who minimize their trash…

Planners unanimously approve two projects

CHINA – The two projects on the China Planning Board’s May 14 agenda got praise as well as unanimous approval. Carrol White’s application to convert the former Silver Lake Grange Hall in China Village to four apartments was the subject of a short public hearing. Everyone who spoke at the hearing endorsed the change, including Main Street resident Ann Sylvester, whose daughter and son-in-law live in the house north of the Grange Hall, and Jennifer Clair, owner of the post office south of the Grange Hall…

China select board holds ice cream social, presents Spirit of America award

CHINA – China select board members began their May 20 meeting with their second ice cream social in two weeks, as an introduction to the presentation of 2024 Spirit of America awards…

Local happenings

EVENTS: Waterville Memorial Day ceremony planned

WATERVILLE – American Legion Post #5 invites community members and families to the St Francis de Sales Cemetery wreath laying ceremony to honor deceased members of Canadian Legion Post #67, Forest J. Pare VFW Post 1285, Waterville Fire Department, Knights of Columbus #13486, Waterville Elks Lodge #905, McCrillis-Rousseau VFW Post 8835, and Law Enforcement Officers. The ceremony will be held at St Francis Cemetery on Grove St on May 27, 2024 and begin at 9:00 a.m…

EVENTS: Memorial Day ceremonies in Oakland

OAKLAND – Memorial Day activities in Oakland will include the following: A ceremony will be held at Lakeview Cemetery at 11 a.m., before the parade, and at Memorial Hall during the parade. The parade will begin at noon, traveling down Pleasant Street, right onto Main St., continuing to Memorial Hall for the ceremony on Water St. and ending at the Post Office…

EVENTS: South China library fundraiser

So.CHINA – The South China Public Library, the oldest continuously operating library in Maine, began in a private home in 1830 and moved to Village Street in 1900. In 2018, having outgrown its space, the library launched a project to build a new facility, at 27 Jones Road. Despite pandemic and supply chain delays, the new library opened in January 2024. Funding is still needed to finish and furnish the children’s room and community activity room…

CALENDAR OF EVENTS: Memorial Day ceremonies

SOUTH CHINA – Boynton-Webber American Legion Post #179 will have a Memorial Day ceremony at the South China Village memorial monument, on Monday, May 27, at 11 a.m. Help us pay respect to our fallen veterans… and many other local events!

Webber’s Pond

Webber’s Pond is a comic drawn by an anonymous central Maine resident…

Name that film!

Identify the film in which this famous line originated and qualify to win FREE passes to The Maine Film Center, in Waterville: “Worm’s gotta eat, too!” Email us at with subject “Name that film!” Deadline for submission is June 6, 2024…


CHINA – Jacqueline Caron Gamache, RN, 98, passed away peacefully on Sunday, May 5, 2024 at her home, in China. She was born in Waterville, the daughter of Paul J. Caron and Beatrice Darveau Caron… and remembering 11 others.

Up and down the Kennebec Valley: Towns and cities’ names – Part 1 (new)

CENTRAL ME HISTORY — This series has been geographically grounded, mostly, in specific places: 12 municipalities in the central Kennebec Valley. Your writer’s next topic is how each of these got its name. As usual, there will be preliminaries, the first of which have taken up this entire introductory essay. They are a short detour along the coast and a summary of British settlement… by Mary Grow

Up and down the Kennebec Valley: Holman Francis Day

VASSALBORO HISTORY — Vassalboro native Holman Francis Day (1865 – 1935) was a well-known and prolific Maine writer. Starting as a newspaperman, he went on to write poetry and novels in verse, novels in prose, a play, non-fiction pieces and movie scripts… by Mary Grow

Up and down the Kennebec Valley: Eli & Sybil Jones, Mary Hoxie Jones

CHINA HISTORY — From Rufus Matthew Jones, your writer goes backward and then forward in the Jones family. Rufus Jones was the nephew of Eli Jones and his wife Sybil (Jones) Jones, well-known Quaker missionaries. Rufus and Elizabeth (Cadbury) Jones’ daughter, Mary Hoxie Jones, born almost a century later than Eli Jones, was a historian and poet… by Mary Grow

Up and down the Kennebec Valley: Rufus Matthew Jones — Part 2

CHINA HISTORY — Part of Rufus Matthew Jones’ story of his early life, in his 1921 book titled A Small-Town Boy, was summarized last week. This week’s article continues his story, starting with his primary schooling in one-room schoolhouses in South China and Weeks Mills… by Mary Grow

Common Ground: Win a $10 gift certificate!

DEADLINE: Wednesday, June 13, 2024

Identify the people in these three photos, and tell us what they have in common. You could win a $10 gift certificate to Hannaford Supermarket! Email your answer to or through our Contact page. Include your name and address with your answer. Use “Common Ground” in the subject!

Previous winner: Brian Plato, China

Town Line Original Columnists


by Roland D. Hallee | Like an idiot, I decided to stop into the office on my way to camp on Sunday. However, every chore has its rewards. On our way to camp afterwards, I noticed a small vernal pool in its customary spot on the Cross Hill Road, in Vassalboro, It’s always there. Vernal pools are a very important occurrence in our ecosystem. Let’s take a look at what actually happens there…


by Peter Cates | Native Texan Smith Ballew (1902-1984) had a dance orchestra with which he recorded batches of 78s back during the 1930s. One was a 1935 ten inch shellac (Con­queror 8441) containing a very expressive performance of a Great American Songbook standard, Isle of Capri, in which he also sang as lead vocalist…


by Gary Kennedy | Originally this date in time was named Decoration Day. A day of remembrance of those who died in service to our country. It was originally commemorated on May 30, 1868…


HEALTH | When it comes to mental health, many people across the U.S. have experienced their share of challenges–but help may be at hand. The issue is especially concerning in rural America, where more than 60 percent of people report having a mental health condition – such as anxiety or depression – yet less than half of them get the help or treatment they need…