This Week in Lincolnville: Fuzzy Memories

Vague Remembrances of Things Past
Sun, 09/10/2023 - 6:15pm

    I am rapidly approaching half a century on this planet, the vast majority spent right here, in this little town on the coast. I blessed with a relatively strong memory, but I notice it comes in little snippets — images and vignettes — as all those memories are condensed down to what the brain can handle.

    I saw Star Wars at the drive in theater in Rockport where Plants Unlimited stands today. That would have been the summer of 1977, and I was two and a half years old, but I swear I remember images on that massive screen, starting a life long love for a galaxy far, far away. I would go on to see 10 more Star Wars movies on the big screen during their original run….

    Babysitters. I remember one early baby sitter; she was a Feener: Carol? I remember walking up the road to Burn’s Buttery, the little shack of a store which stood at the edge of the Johnson Farm on Beach Road. She got my brother and I peanut M&Ms. Funny how so many memories involve food. 

    Dogs always figure into my memories. Our old basset hounds, Freckles and Killdare. Cubby, the wild mutt with timber wolf blood, who only showed her wolfishness when we were sledding- she would nip at us the whole way through the field. My best friend’s pack of golden retrievers up on High Street. Our neurotic black lab mix J.D. and his counterpart, Bajelkie the Samoyed.

    Last weekend, I was hanging out with Don French’s children, who are a few years older than me. They talked about summers at their grandmother’s house, where their dad lives today. Mike French mentioned an arcade at the beach. What?! His sister Jen confirmed her own fuzzy memory of such a place existing. I was a kid who had a deep love for arcade video games, dropping countless quarters into the machines at the arcades attached to LaVerdiere’s drug stores in Camden and Belfast, and the backroom at Bill’s Center General.

    So I reached out to the expert on Lincolnville in the 1970s, Andy Young.

    Andy confirmed that there was, indeed, a take-out next to the ferry pier, with arcade machines and a pool table. He reports that it was owned by Bill Hemingway, who also owned the Beach Inn, which was in the building that last held Chez Michel, across from the Whale’s Tooth. If anyone knows more, or, especially, has any pictures, please reach out!

    A classic kid of the 1980s, I explored the world by bike. The little stores that dotted this town were a common destination. Besides the aforementioned arcade machines, I hit up Bo Ray’s market down toward the beach, Henry Bovine’s store at the intersection of Beach Road and Slab City, the Botley’s store up on Route 52. Goose River Antiques, which was in the building next to Dwight Wass’s antique store. On the second floor they had several boxes of old comics, five for a dollar.

    I love a good tale told with graphics, but I was never much for superheroes. Instead, I devoured war comics from the 1960s, a genre which I believe faded as the Vietnam War made it all a little too real. The sanitized horror comics which had replaced the much more unsettling EC comics of the 1950s. And, yes, Archie. I have always had a soft spot for the Archie comics of the 1960s and early 1970s….

    My friends inland talk about riding their bikes into the Center. Bill’s store, of course, but also getting treats at Dean and Eugley’s garage (where the library stands today) before an afternoon spent swimming at Norton’s pond.

    I wonder about my children’s own memories, what they will remember of their childhoods as they approach their own half century? Memories of growing up in this small place. Hikes in the woods, the dogs of their childhood. Will my middle boy remember riding his bike to the beach for a root beer and fries from McLaughlin’s?

    I remember Monday afternoons when my mom would turn in her town news to the Camden Herald, and I would hit up the library and Candy Harbor. For my kids going to their dad’s office means they are right next to Uncle Willy’s candy store.

    Fuzzy memories. I grew up raised by a woman who’s passion was to record the stories of the community’s elders. Many of these stories are preserved in her books Ducktrap and Staying Put. Sometimes things get forgotten, like the mysterious takeout at the Beach, but can be remembered by talking to each other. And listening.

    Book Launch at the Lincolnville Library

    Wednesday, September 13, at 6:30 p.m., the Library will host author David Florig’s to read from his debut novel The Stones of Ailsa Craig. Set in modern day Belfast, Maine, and 1880s Scotland, the book is historical fiction which explores the ancient Scottish sport of curling. The ice, the stone, and the broom. 

    Lincolnville Historical Society Museum

    The LHS museum is now open Monday, Wednesday, Friday from 1-4 p.m. at 33 Beach Road in the old schoolhouse. Go see what is new and what is old.

    Alright Lincolnville. Get out there and listen to some stories. Meet your neighbors, offer a hand. Do good things for yourself, do no harm. As ever, share your stories, comments, and criticisms at


    Monday, September 11

    Historical Society Museum open 1-4 p.m., 33 Beach Road

    Select Board, 6 p.m., Town Office

    Tuesday, September 12

    Library open 3-6 p.m. 208 Main Street

    AA Meeting 12 p.m., Community Building, 18 Searsmont Road

    Wednesday, September 13

    Historical Society Museum open 1-4 p.m., 33 Beach Road

    Library open 2-5 p.m. 

    Planning Board, 7 p.m., Town Office

    Thursday, September 14

    Conservation Committee, 4 p.m., Town Office

    Athletic Infrastructure Committee, 5 p.m., Town Office

    Friday, September 15

    AA Meeting 12 p.m., Community Building, 18 Searsmont Road

    Library open 9-12, 208 Main Street

    Historical Society Museum open 1-4 p.m., 33 Beach Road

    Saturday, September 16

    Library open 9-12, 208 Main Street

    Sunday, September 17

    United Christian Church, 9:30 a.m. Worship, 18 Searsmont Road

    Bayshore Baptist Church, 9:30 a.m. Sunday School, 11 a.m. worship, 2648 Atlantic Highway