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
Premium Blend on tour
All-female 14-member a cappella group from Ithaca College
appearing at First Congregational Church, New Gloucester for a
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
Monday, January 16
Free; though donations are welcome.
Local student Roz Moisan is a member of this ensemble.
Posted in Events
Tagged arts, history
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
For Patti Mikkelsen’s complete column in the Lakes Region Weekly, go to http://news.keepmecurrent.com/inside-new-gloucester-67/
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/
‘New Gloucester Postcards’
Local history expert Jerry Davis will be presenting a program entitled “New Gloucester Postcards: 300 and Counting” on Thursday, Feb. 18, at 7 p.m., at the New Gloucester Meetinghouse, which is located next to Town Hall on Route 231. Refreshments will be served. The talk is free and open to the public.
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_ab8fc6da-cb61-11e5-85dc-d3ab1ff21115.html
The next meeting of the New Gloucester Historical Society will feature Phil Morse of Maine’s own Seashore Trolley Museum who will speak about the trolley named Narcissus that used to travel right through New Gloucester as part of the Portland-Lewiston Interurban. The meeting will be held on Thursday, Nov. 19, 7 p.m., at the New Gloucester Meetinghouse, next to the Town Hall on Route 231. The talk is free of charge, and complimentary refreshments will be available.
I spent a steamy July day at the Seashore Trolley Museum in Kennebunkport, learning all about the Portland and Lewiston Interurban electric trolleys that used to zip between Portland and Lewiston. They could go almost 90 mph.
You could get from Monument Square in Portland, to Union Station in Lewiston with several stops along the way, including Gray. Teddy Roosevelt even rode on it in 1914, coming south from a political rally. Keep reading
Posted in Other
Tagged history, video
The New Gloucester Fire Rescue would like to extend a huge THANK YOU to the community for attending & supporting our annual EMS Open House! It was a wonderful evening celebrating the past with some of the people who had originally started the rescue 40 years ago, as well as how far we have come today with our present EMS personnel. Door prizes from L.L.Bean & Hodgman’s Frozen Custard, along with a drawing for one lucky child to win a free bike were handed out. A delicious BBQ enjoyed by all & a special cake for dessert rounded out the evening!
At this years EMS open house the department recognized Pat Vampatella, Dr. Harold Bartlett, Barbra Bartlett, Peter Bryant, Avis Ford, Beverly Grenier, Linda Ledger, Roger Levasseur, Lloyd Morrison, Elaine Verrill, Dick Wilde, Joanne Wilde, & Joyce Wotherspoon for starting the New Gloucester Rescue Service forty years ago. A plaque was presented that will be displayed at the station. Please visit & “LIKE” us on Facebook, to see more photos & stories from the open house! https://www.facebook.com/newgloucesterfirerescue
All images copyright of Vicki Lund Photography 2015
Just a reminder the annual New Gloucester Fire Rescue EMS Open House is tonight! 5-7 p.m. Please come & celebrate 40 years of the rescue service with us!