Week of May 28, 2020

Celebrating 32 years of local news

The Town Line Office Hours:
Monday thru Wednesday, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Erskine Academy announces top 10 seniors Class of 2020

Valedictorian is Sarah Jarosz

Erskine Academy has announced the Class of 2020 Top Ten Seniors. Valedictorian is Sarah Jarosz, daughter of Karen and James Jarosz, of Fairfield. Throughout her four years at Erskine, Sarah has participated in such activities as National Honor Society, LEO Club, Student Council, the HOPE Club (Helping Others Persevere at Erskine), Tennis, Prom Committee, and she has completed nearly 150 hours of community service projects… (Read more about Erskine’s Top Ten Seniors!)

Your Local News

China town manager resigns

CHINA — China Town Manager Dennis Heath submitted his resignation to selectmen at their May 26 meeting, “with a heavy but grateful heart.” He asked that it become effective July 18, after the planned July 14 written-ballot town business meeting…

Planners approve second solar development

CHINA — China Planning Board members have unanimously approved a second solar development by SunRaise Development LLC, this one on land leased from Daniel Ouellette on the south side of Route 3 (Belfast Road), near the China Area Wash and Dry…

School board approves tentative plans for rest of year

VASSALBORO — At their May 19 meeting, Vassalboro School Board members approved plans, some tentative, for the remainder of this school year, the summer and the next school year, on topics from education to lunch prices to a new telephone system…

Vassalboro selectmen cancel May 28 meeting

VASSALBORO — Vassalboro selectmen have cancelled their May 28 meeting for lack of agenda items. Their next meeting is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Thursday, June 11, as an in-person meeting in the town office meeting room…

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

WINSLOW — This summer the Winslow Public Library will again proudly offer the Summer Reading Program for children and teens. The theme this summer is “Imagine Your Story,” which young readers will discover through fantasy, mythology, and imagination-themed activities…

Vassalboro awarded safety enhancement grant

VASSALBORO — Officials for the Town of Vassalboro are pleased to announce that they have been awarded a Safety Enhancement Grant by the Maine Municipal Association Workers Compensation Fund in the amount of $1,512.77…

Scaled back Memorial Day observances in central Maine

CENTRAL ME — Photos from local celebrations of Memorial Day in Vassalboro and Fairfield…

Waterville farmers market open every Thursday

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 (find contact info here!)…

Celebrating Maine history

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

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

CHINA — The Town of China lies north of Windsor and west of Vassalboro. Much of the town is in the watershed of China Lake, a major influence in the town’s history. Two of the town’s four villages, China Village and South China, lie at opposite ends of the lake’s east basin. The other two, Branch Mills and Weeks Mills, are on the West Branch of the Sheepscot River in eastern China, upstream of Windsor…  [1566 words] by Mary Grow

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

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…

LETTERS: Caregivers need care, too

from Frank D. Slason (Somerville) — I must preface this letter with a famous quote: “Caregivers need care, too! And another quote: “I myself will tend my sheep and have them lie down, declares the sovereign Lord – I will bind up the injured and strengthen the weak.” — Ezekiel 34:15-16…

Local Town Meetings Schedule 2020

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


VASSALBORO – Joseph Leroy Gagnon, 63, passed away from natural causes on Tuesday, May 19, 2020. He was born January16, 1957, the son of Joseph and Gloria Gagnon… and remembering 8 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. Hallee | Over last weekend, I prepared my garden bed for planting, at camp. After tilling the soil, adding some manure, and carefully working everything into the soil, I moved a few containers from one location to another, and there it was. A slug!…


by Emily Cates | This time of year is buzzing with possibilities! The last spring frost of the year most likely has passed us by, clearing the way for warm-weather plantings. And although it’s a bit on the late side for trees, shrubs, and peas, we can be sure to plant greens, cole crops, cover crops, carrots, radishes, potatoes, onions, perennials, flowers, and herbs with abandon…


by Dan Beaulieu | There is a show on cable called a Craftsman’s legacy. On this show, host Eric Gorges visits various craftspeople who build everything from guitars to bows to saddles to well, just about anything cool you can produce by hand. It’s a fascinating show to watch because the people who are featured on the show are true craftsmen…


by Peter Cates | Felix Weingartner (1863-1942) was the first conductor to record all nine Beethoven Symphonies, and the four Brahms. He was friends with Liszt, Wagner and Brahms; was music director of the Vienna Philharmonic for over 20 years; composed large amounts of his own music…


by Debbie Walker | In Country Woman magazine, it’s March/April 2003, issue I read such a cute page and decided I would share it with you. We all need things to laugh about these days. Laughing helps to lower stress and aids in weight loss (if that’s the case I should be skinny!) Please enjoy the following…

Marilyn Rogers-Bull & PercySOLON & BEYOND

by Marilyn Rogers-Bull | Now I will continue with the article in last week’s column called, Memories of a Lost Art. I tried to get a picture of the life-sized carving of a river driver done by Rodney Richards, of Rangeley. The carving was placed in a bateau which sits in front of the Dead River Historical Society Museum, in Stratton…


(NAPSI) — For many people, social distancing brings concern about summer plans. In previous years, summertime was when families planned their vacations. The kids would be out of school, the weather could be fantastic, and the days are longer — allowing optimal time to venture to new places, catch some sun and spend more time with friends and families…