Week of May 21, 2020

Celebrating 32 years of local news

The Town Line office will re-open to the public on Monday, June 1, 2020, at 9 a.m. Please limit your visit to only if necessary. We can only have two people in the office at one time.

Donations sought for Windsor’s Bob Brann following surgery

Receives heart pump implant following years of battling heart disease

When you think of people who have made a difference in our community, Bob Brann is someone who always comes to mind. He has been an active member of the Windsor Historical Society for many years and the driving force behind the structural and historical preservation of many beautiful buildings and landmarks that we all marvel at the Windsor Fair Grounds year after year… [1167 words] by Kristen Ballantyne, Organizer

Your Local News

Local municipal offices set to re-open

CENTRAL ME — Municipal offices in Albion, China, Benton, Fairfield, Palermo, Vassalboro and Waterville are re-opening…

Open town meeting planned for June 22

VASSALBORO — Vassalboro officials plan to hold an open town meeting at 6:30 p.m. Monday, June 22, at Vassalboro Community School (VCS), believing they can do so safely and within state guidelines…

Waterville farmers market open every Thursday…rain or shine!

WATERVILLE — The Waterville Farmers Market is now open every Thursday, from 2 – 6 p.m., at the Head of Falls, off Front Street. You must order ahead…

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Memorial Day parade canceled; other activities still planned

MADISON — The Memorial Day parade, in Madison, sponsored by Tardiff-Belanger American Legion Post #39, scheduled for Monday, May 25, has been canceled. However, the following Memorial Day services will be held for participants only…

Memorial Day parade canceled

So. CHINA — The Memorial Day parade, sponsored by Boynton-Webber American Legion Post #179, scheduled for Monday, May 25, has been canceled due to the coronavirus Covid-19 pandamec…

Walk-a-thon becomes Exercise-a-thon at St. Michael School

AUGUSTA — For five years, the St. Michael School and Travis Mills Foundation Walk-A-Thon has steadily grown into a heart-warming fundraiser that annually displays the importance placed on service and kindness at the Augusta school…

Maine-Japan printmaking exchange celebrates 5 years

WATERVILLE — Common Street Arts, in Waterville, will host a collection of prints by artists from Maine and Aomori, Japan, beginning May 18 through July 18, at the Hathaway Creative Center, in downtown Waterville…

Unity College receives grant

UNITY — As the Unity College Wood Turtle Project approaches its five-year mark, Dr. Matthew Chatfield, Unity College Assistant Professor of Conservation Biology, his students, and Co-Principal Investigator Dr. Cheryl Frederick can rest assured their research to help protect the species will continue…

Fairfield launches new funding round for facade improvement

FAIRFIELD — After the successful Spring 2019 launch of Fairfield’s Facade Improvement & Marketing Assistance Program to enhance the economic vitality and character of the town’s commercial districts, the grant program enters the 2020 grant cycle with new funding available for Fairfield-based businesses and entrepreneurs…

Free invasive plant management plans available

CENTRAL ME — Farm and woodland owners and operators in five Maine counties may be eligible to receive a free invasive plant survey and management plan, prepared by a natural resource professional from the local Soil and Water Conservation District…

Mid-Maine Chamber leads the way during downtown reconstruction

WATERVILLE — Waterville Works is a construction update and comprehensive marketing plan for downtown Waterville, developed by Mid-Maine Chamber of Commerce…

Camp Tracy to open June 8

OAKLAND — Camp Tracy, sponsored by the Alfond Youth and Community Center, in Waterville, will open on June 8, and run through August 14. All campers will be dropped off and picked up at the Camp Tracy Lodge/NO BUSES…

The moose is loose

VASSALBORO — Katie Esancy, of Vassalboro, sent in this photo of a moose crossing the pavement on the Hannaford Hill Road, in Vassalboro…

Celebrating Maine history

All of our recent stories about the local history of Maine!

Up and down the Kennebec Valley: Windsor (New!)

WINDSOR — Unlike the Kennebec River towns, towns like Windsor were not always surveyed and settled from the coast or river inland. In his comprehensively researched good Land & fine Contrey but Poor roads a history of Windsor, Maine (1993)…  [1690 words] by Mary Grow

A history of Hussey’s General Store (New!)

WINDSOR — Hussey’s General Store, at 510 Ridge Road (Route 32) just south of the Route 105 intersection, has a website and its own Wikipedia entry, both quoting the store’s slogan, “If we ain’t got it, you don’t need it.” The business has operated for 97 years and is now owned and managed by the third and fourth generations of the Hussey family…

Up and down the Kennebec River: Log drives and harvesting “frozen gold”

CENTRAL ME — In addition to the mills and factories described in the previous article in this series, two other uses for the Kennebec (and other Maine rivers) were transporting wood – long logs and four-foot pulpwood, for building and for pulp mills – and chopping cakes of ice for export all over the world…  [1447 words] by Mary Grow

Remembering ice houses

CENTRAL ME — As a young lad growing up in the early 1950s, I can still remember my parents having an ice box* in the kitchen of our home in Waterville. That predated us getting a “new fangled” electric refrigerator later in that decade… by Roland D. Hallee

Up and down the Kennebec River: Water power and industry on the river

CENTRAL ME — Another use for the Kennebec, and for its tributary streams, was to provide water and water power for a variety of mills and other industries, beginning in the 1790s and continuing well into the 20th century. Kingsbury, in his History of Kennebec County, says sawmills came first, with lumber used locally and exported down the river…  [1843 words] by Mary Grow

Up and down the Kennebec Valley: Shipping on the Kennebec River

CENTRAL ME — The Kennebec River that has been an important feature of the towns and cities so far discussed in this series runs from Moosehead Lake to the Atlantic Ocean, a distance of about 170 miles. It served as the first route to the interior for Europeans, and as a known landmark in a largely unknown area…  [1315 words] by Mary Grow

Benedict Arnold’s Québec Campaign came up the Kennebec River

CENTRAL ME — The Second Continental Congress authorized an invasion of Québec, in part on the urging of Arnold—but he was passed over for command of the expedition. He then went to Cambridge, Massachusetts, and suggested to George Washington a second expedition to attack Québec City…

Up and down the Kennebec Valley: Crossing the Kennebec River

CENTRAL ME — The Kennebec River was a highway into the interior of Maine, but it was also a barrier to travel. The Native Americans found safe places to cross; European settlers did the same, learning either from the Natives or by trial and error…  [1465 words] by Mary Grow

Up and down the Kennebec Valley: Fairfield

CENTRAL ME — Fairfield, the southernmost town in Somerset County, differs from Augusta, Vassalboro/Sidney, and Winslow/Waterville in being surveyed and settled only on the west bank of the Kennebec…  [1442 words] by Mary Grow

Up and down the Kennebec Valley: Waterville – Sidney

CENTRAL ME — As previously described, what is now the Town of Sidney, on the west bank of the Kennebec River north of Augusta, began as the western half of Vassalborough, now a separate town on the east bank of the river…  [1553 words] by Mary Grow

Up and down the Kennebec Valley: Winslow, Benton, Clinton

CENTRAL ME — Winslow is the next town north of Vassalboro along the east shore of the Kennebec River. According to Henry Kingsbury’s History of Kennebec County, its location was determined by the junction of the Kennebec with the smaller Sebasticook River…  [1385 words] by Mary Grow

Up and down the Kennebec Valley: Augusta & Vassalboro

CENTRAL ME — What is now, and has been for 200 years, the State of Maine, was first explored and settled by Europeans by way of the Atlantic Ocean, and ocean transportation has been important in its history and economy ever since… [1288 words] by Mary Grow

Webber’s Pond

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

Local Town Meetings Schedule 2020

Local town meetings schedule for 2020 for Albion, China, Fairfield, Vassalboro and Solon. To add your town to this list, email us at townline@townline.org

Please help support your local restaurants!

During these unusual times, local restaurants are closed for dine-in services. However, many of them are open, offering take-out, drive-up or delivery services. PURCHASING ONE MEAL A WEEK FROM YOUR FAVORITE RESTAURANT WILL HELP IN THEIR BEING ABLE TO SURVIVE DURING THIS CRISIS!


SOUTH CHINA – Barbara C. Dowe, 88, of South China, passed away on Tuesday, May 5, 2020, at the Alzheimers’s Care Center, in Gardiner. She was born the only child to Ralph and Madeline Cushman, in Boston, Massachusetts, on June 15,1931… and remembering 6 others.

Common Ground – Round 17: Win a $10 gift certificate!

DEADLINE: Friday, June 5, 2020

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

Previous winner: Keith Richardson, So. China

Town Line Original Columnists


by Roland D. Halle | Did you know there are no native earthworms in Maine? Here in the Northeast where glaciers scrubbed our bedrock bare a few years back we have no native earthworms. Non-native earthworms from Europe (such as nightcrawlers) have become well established here through early colonial trading…


by Peter Cates | Licia Albanese (1909-2014) had one of the most magnificently beautiful soprano voices ever to be heard on record and I say this as a big fan of Maria Callas, Angela Gheorghiu, Mirella Freni, Victoria de los Angeles yada yada…


by Debbie Walker | I do enjoy discovering the different uses for ordinary things, some I cannot imagine how people discover these uses. Seems a lot of the uses come up just by accident such as using Preparation H for the bags under our eyes. That one I just do not think I want to know…

Marilyn Rogers-Bull & PercySOLON & BEYOND

by Marilyn Rogers-Bull | I am so excited and happy to tell you about a wonderful, new shop that has opened in Solon. It is named Simply Rustic, at 1654 River Road, on Thursday and Friday from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., and Saturday from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. The phone number is 431-0028…


by Dan Beaulieu | Dangerous times do make great times. Perilous times tend to force people to find the greatness in themselves. And then there is this quote from Churchill, “Continuous effort – not strength or intelligence – is the key to unlocking our potential”…


by Jayne Winters | As we try to adjust to social distancing, I wondered about what warrants quarantining at wildlife rehab centers. Indoor and outdoor caging is required to separate incoming injured, and perhaps sick, wild animals from people as well as other wild or domestic animals on site…


(NAPSI) — Whether you’re among the 50 million Americans over 65 (90 percent of whom hope to continue to age at home), the 60 percent of families with children at home, have other ability issues or safety concerns or think you could someday…