Category Archives: NG History

“In, On, and Around Sabbathday Lake” with Tom Driscoll – Nov. 21 at 7 pm

Photo courtesy of Tom Driscoll

“In, On, and Around Sabbathday Lake” is the title of the November 21, 2019 program of the New Gloucester Historical Society to be presented by local explorer Tom Driscoll at the New Gloucester Meetinghouse, 389 Intervale Rd. beginning at 7 pm.

Tom Driscoll has been in, on, and around Sabbathday Lake seasonally or year-round since 1955.  He has studied the lake and surrounding watershed since childhood — from the underlying bedrock geology, up through the aquifer, surficial glacial geology, soil layers, and forest cover, to the lake’s land use history and current use and development. 

Only 16,000 years ago, Driscoll notes, Maine and New England were covered by a huge glacier which extended all the way offshore to the coastal shelf!  At that time the ice over “Sabbathday Lake” and all of Maine was about one mile thick.  About 12,500 years ago, the glacier receded northwest and the area around Sabbathday Lake was free of ice.

Driscoll’s talk will include the glacial history of the lake as well as a few of the unusual items he has found in the lake and some notable nearby places.

The event is free and open to the public.  Refreshments will be served. 

Photo courtesy of Tom Driscoll

The Interurban in a new book | Author visit Saturday November 2

The historic Portland-Lewiston Interurban trolley plays a key role in a lively new book, Teddy Roosevelt, Millie, and the Elegant Ride, by Maine author Jean Flahive.  Flahive will sign copies of the book on Saturday, November 2, from 9 am to noon at the New Gloucester History Barn, 383 Intervale Rd.  The event coincides with the fall book fair next door at the NG Library. 

Dreaming of leaving farm life, working in the city, and fighting for women’s right to vote, young Millie imagines flying away on a magic carpet.  One day, that flying carpet shows up in the form of an electric trolley that cuts across her farm.  Millie will find herself caught up in events that shake the nation, Maine, and her family.

The book is the latest by Flahive, whose work features Maine settings and stories.  To learn more about Flahive and her books, visit her website:

The November 2 book signing is jointly sponsored by the New Gloucester Historical Society and the Seashore Trolley Museum.  For more information, please contact Leonard L. Brooks at  (207) 926-3188.

Cover art by Amy J. Gagnon/Courtesy of
Jean Flahive

Reading of the Declaration of Independence

Debra Smith

The annual reading of the Declaration of Independence was held at the History Barn on the morning of July 4th. Lenny Brooks welcomed the audience, reading from a 1776 letter from Henry Aline, Jr., a Boston notary and clerk, describing the publication and public reading of the Declaration from the balcony of the Boston Town House, and the removal and burning of the King’s Arms from the courthouse and other places.

The Declaration was read by three readers: Steve Rogers, Amy Fryda and Rev. Linda Gard. Lenny led three cheers at the end.

Amy Fryda reads the Declaration of Independence, July 4, 2019

Happy 4th everyone!

The Original “Ice Out” Before Sabbathday was the Lake

Ice!  Only 16,000 years ago, Maine and New England were covered by a huge glacier which extended all the way offshore to the coastal shelf! Cape Cod and Long Island are the furthest obvious extent in the northeast; think of how a plow pushes snow at the end of your driveway.

At that time the ice over “Sabbathday Lake” and all of Maine was about one mile thick (5000’ +/-). Glaciers grow, and then they retreat.  The climate warmed up and the glacier started melting (retreating).  About 12,500 years ago it had receded to the northwest and the area around Sabbathday Lake was free of ice.

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Hands-on History Field Trip for Memorial’s Second Graders

Memorial School’s second grade classes enjoyed up-close lessons in New Gloucester history at the Blockhouse as well as sites at the Town Hall complex on May 30.  Experts from the New Gloucester Historical Society hosted the station-to-station field trip, carrying on a decades-long tradition begun by Betty and Ed True and carried on through the years by Nancy Wilcox and others.

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A Window on 18th-Century New Gloucester: Theriault Discusses Rare 1798 “Glass Tax” Find

Megan Theriault displays rare 18th century New Gloucester “Glass Tax” records – Photo courtesy of Tom Blake, NG Historical Society

In New Gloucester’s documents vault, Megan Theriault, an archeologist-historian with the Maine Historic Preservation Commission, discovered rare tax records that offer a picture of life—and wealth and privation—in New Gloucester at the end of the 18th century.  Calling them “Google Maps for our town in 1798,” Theriault shared the documents and their significance in a May 16 talk sponsored by the New Gloucester Historical Society at the meetinghouse.  

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Patti’s March 15 “Inside New Gloucester” Column

Frank Matzke of St. Augustine, Florida, uses adaptive ski equipment to compete in the VAST Fifth Annual Nordic Biathlon Camp at Pineland Farms on March 3.

VAST biathlon camp

The VAST Fifth Annual Nordic Biathlon Camp at Pineland Farms Feb. 28-March 4 attracted 16 competitors from California, Oregon, Florida and throughout New England. According to organizer Kristina Sabasteanski, one entrant was nearly 100 percent visually impaired, four have undergone amputations, several deal with traumatic brain injuries, some have PTSD and others received injuries from improvised explosive device blasts in Middle Eastern war zones. A few of the participants had never skied before the event but managed to hone their skills enough to compete in relay races testing their cross-country ski and target shooting abilities.

For Patti Mikkelsen’s complete column in the Lakes Region Weekly, go to


Patti’s Feb. 15 “Inside New Gloucester” Column

A horse-drawn sleigh owned by Stillbrook Acres delights passengers with a jaunt over the undulating, snow-covered terrain at Pineland Farms. All rides are sold out this year for this popular event.

Full Moon Trek

Join RRCT members, neighbors, trustees, toddlers, grandparents and friends to hike the loop trail during the eighth annual Pisgah Hill Full Moon Trek from 5-8 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 19. The highlight is a bonfire at the summit where hikers can sip hot cocoa, toast marshmallows and hoot or howl at the big orange rising moon.

All the fun happens at Pisgah Hill Preserve, 74 Dougherty Road, near the Pownal town line. Plan to start your approximately 30-minute hike between 5 and 6:30 p.m. on a 1.5-mile lollipop-style loop trail. The path is well-marked and typically lighted with luminaries for the return. Gentle elevation rise and a rickety bridge on the trail require some effort; assistance for the elderly or toddlers may be required for one or two steep ledge steps.

Bring snowshoes or sturdy boots with grippers, poles, a flashlight or headlamp, a blanket, water and lots of good cheer. Marshmallows and more are provided at this free event. The trailhead has a small parking lot which fills quickly. Most vehicles line the shoulder of Dougherty Road.

For Patti Mikkelsen’s complete column in the Lakes Region Weekly, go to


Patti’s Jan. 4 “Inside New Gloucester” Column

The New Gloucester Santa holds Belle Lemay, 2, of Lewiston, at Thompson’s Orchard, the first stop during his Christmas Eve rounds distributing goodie bags to excited children.

Blood Drive

The Red Cross is sponsoring a blood drive at Pineland Farms from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 9, in the Mount Washington Room, 59 Pineland Drive. Each donor will receive a coupon toward Pineland Farms cheese. Call 1-800-733-2767 or visit and enter Pineland Farms to schedule an appointment.

For Patti Mikkelsen’s complete column in the Lakes Region Weekly, go to


Patti’s Nov. 23 “Inside New Gloucester” Column

Decorated balsam wreaths and many other Christmas seasonal decorations will be for sale at the annual Shaker Christmas Fair on Saturday, Dec. 1.

Shaker Christmas Fair

The annual Shaker Christmas Fair at Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village, 707 Shaker Road, will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1.

Specialties include Shaker baked goods – wheat bread, beer batter bread, cinnamon-raisin bread, Sister Frances’ famous fruitcakes, fresh-baked herbal biscuits, cookies and more. A wide selection of gifts and holiday items will be available, including Shaker cooking herbs, herbal teas, pickles, jellies, old-fashioned candy, maple syrup, pickles, cheese, woodenware, furniture, antiques, baskets, knit goods, toys, ornaments, decorated balsam wreaths, hot cider and  homemade doughnuts.

Proceeds from the popular White Elephant Room rummage sale benefit local food pantries.

A 50/50 raffle will be held and lunch plates will be available while supplies last.

For Patti Mikkelsen’s complete column in the Lakes Region Weekly, go to