By Penny Hilton
A Several Part Series on the evolution of the New Gloucester Fire Department from the early 20th century to the present. Part One, 1899 – 1939, is history as interpreted through annual town reports of New Gloucester, Gray, and Auburn; New Gloucester Town Meeting Minutes; books on the history of these towns, plus Pownal; a number of articles and data from the State of Maine and other reputable on-line resources. Corrections and additions are welcomed. While not a source for the information below, Acadia Transformed: New Gloucester, Maine and the Rise of the City, 1740 to 1930 by Geoffrey Rosanno, was extremely helpful in confirming some of my conclusions, and a fascinating examination of New Gloucester.
The town of New Gloucester at the turn of the last century was a well-established rural community which had evolved from agrarian self-sufficiency to being part of the complex network of rural towns supplying the metropolitan centers of Portland and Lewiston Auburn with dairy and farm products, workers, and new customers. With many farms, more well-acred “homesteads”, some mills, a blacksmith, three churches and several one-room schoolhouses, New Gloucester spread over 47 square miles, with a sparse network of dirt roads connecting everyone. The town was governed by a board of three selectmen who were elected at the annual town meeting, when all the town’s most important decisions were made. As revealed in town reports down through the years, these voters were not a hasty bunch. They were inclined to put new ideas on hold at town meeting for several years before finally discarding an unpopular notion, or, in some cases, voting yes. One of the ideas that took years to become accepted as a routine town matter was municipal fire protection. Continue reading
Historic sign to be unveiled
Welcome, Neighbor volunteers Kathleen Potter, front left, Penny Hilton, Beth Blakeman-Pohl and Beth Birch finish assembling packets of materials last year to be given out to new residents of New Gloucester. The Welcome, Neighbor group is in the process of assembling new packets.
Pisgah Hill Full Moon Trek
Join members and supporters of the Royal River Conservation Trust on Friday, Feb. 10, from 5-8 p.m., for the free, sixth annual full moon snowshoe evening at Pisgah Hill Preserve south trailhead, 74 Dougherty Road, near the New Gloucester-Pownal town line. Climb to the summit of Pisgah Hill Preserve through the setting sun to witness the rising of the full snow moon. Enjoy a warming campfire and mingle with your friends, old and new.
The trail is well marked and typically lighted with luminaries for the return. Organizers recommend bringing snowshoes, poles, a flashlight or headlamp, blanket, water and lots of good cheer. The trailhead has a small parking lot which fills quickly. Most vehicles are asked to line the shoulder of Dougherty Road. For more details, see www.rrct.org.
For Patti Mikkelsen’s complete column in the Lakes Region Weekly, go to http://news.keepmecurrent.com/inside-new-gloucester-81/
Sharon Vandermay, left, and Ellie Fellers, both of New Gloucester, stand against a backdrop of one of Fellers’ quilts and Vandermay’s prayer flags, which are on display at Norumbega Yurts, 380 Woodman Road.
Prayer flag workshop
Sharon Vandermay, president of the Maine Modern Quilt Guild, will lead a prayer flag workshop, from 10 a.m.-noon, Saturday, Nov. 19, at Norumbega Yurts, 380 Woodman Road. Prayer flags are created with simple designs and hung outside – preferable in a high location. It is said that the positive energy of the flags, coupled with the natural energy of the wind, quietly harmonizes the environment, impartially increasing happiness and good fortune among all living things.
Workshop participants will make their own squares for a prayer flag. The cost is $20, and materials will be provided. To register, contact Julie Fralich at 653-4823 or email@example.com.
For Patti Mikkelsen’s complete column in the Lakes Region Weekly, go to http://news.keepmecurrent.com/inside-new-gloucester-67/
Shaker Village Harvest Festival
Join the fun at Shaker Village for the end-of-season Fall Harvest Festival, from 10 a.m.-3:30 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 8. Freshly picked apples from the historic Shaker orchards will be offered for sale along with free cider pressing, homemade Shaker apple fritters and much more.
Chipman’s Farm, neighbors to the Shakers since the 1790s, will have a bounty available for sale. Seasonal mums, other late-season bloomers and houseplants will be featured in a booth hosted by Donna’s Greenhouses of New Gloucester.
Free, traditional craft demonstrations will include Shaker-style broom making by Kent Ruesswick; wool carding, spinning, knitting and weaving by R&R Spinners; rug hooking by Parris House Wool Works; blacksmithing by Tim Greene; weaving by Marjie Thompson, wood-turning by Peter Asselyn and wood-carving by the Poland Woodcarvers. Books will be signed by authors Don Perkins, “Barns of Maine,” and Chris Becksvoort, “The Shaker Legacy.”
Free wagon rides will be offered throughout the day. Kids will be treated to free face painting and free gourd decorating.
All activities will take place on the grounds of Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village and inside the Shakers’ historic 1830 barns. The village is located at 707 Shaker Road, off Route 26, New Gloucester. The festival will be held rain or shine.
For Patti Mikkelsen’s complete column in the Lakes Region Weekly, go to http://news.keepmecurrent.com/inside-new-gloucester-50/
Posted in Events, New Gloucester Fire Rescue, News, NG History, Other
Tagged animals, Harvest Festival, History Barn, local organizations, Pineland Farms, Shaker Village, Village Coffeehouse
Hike for Ike
New Gloucester resident Isaac Blake, 16, lives with type 1 diabetes (T1D), and he is taking steps to fight this disease. He invites people to donate to his “Hike for Ike” team and/or join the team in the JDRF Walk to Cure Diabetes on Sunday, Sept. 18, at Thornton Academy, 438 Main St., Saco. Registration opens at 10 a.m., and the 5K walk starts at 11 a.m.
His mother Shelley Blake reports, “Technology has advanced and helped with managing T1D. I’ve gone from checking Isaac’s blood sugar (he can sleep right through it) 2-3 times a night, to looking at my phone, which displays his blood sugar, and going back to sleep if it is ‘in target.’ It’s not perfect and life will never be as seemingly carefree as it was before age 12, but technology, like the Dexcom (continuous glucose monitor) help ease the burden of daily life with T1D.”
To donate or join the team, go to walk.jdrf.org, enter your zip code, click on Saco, ME, and search for the Hike for Ike team.
For Patti Mikkelsen’s complete column in the Lakes Region Weekly, go to http://news.keepmecurrent.com/inside-new-gloucester-44/
Two public events will take place at the New Gloucester History Barn, 383 Intervale Road, during Independence Day weekend. On Saturday, July 2, the New Gloucester History Barn Open House will take place from 9 a.m. to noon. On Monday, July 4, a reading of the Declaration of Independence will begin at 9 a.m. Both events are sponsored by the New Gloucester Historical Society.
Special exhibits and programs
“Did You Know?” is the title of special exhibits and programs to be held on Saturday, May 7, from 9 a.m.-noon at the History Barn, 383 Intervale Road, New Gloucester. The history and life of New Gloucester and the local area will be featured along with special guests, music and displays, including the town’s first fire truck.
Admission is free to this event that is open to the public. It’s sponsored by the New Gloucester Historical Society, New Gloucester Public Library, Congregational Church Choir and New Gloucester Fire Department.
For Patti Mikkelsen’s complete column in the Lakes Region Weekly, go to http://news.keepmecurrent.com/inside-new-gloucester-18/
Grab your hats and mittens and prepare to explore an outdoor winter wonderland at a Pineland Farms’ family education program held from 10-11:30 a.m., Wednesday, Jan. 20. Buy tickets at The Market and Welcome Center, 15 Farm View Drive, New Gloucester, for $5 per person. For more information, contact the education department at 650-3031 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
For Patti Mikkelsen’s complete column in the Lakes Region Weekly, go to http://www.keepmecurrent.com/lakes_region_weekly/news/inside-new-gloucester/article_dee0d75e-b577-11e5-a154-d3d18fa1ab7f.html