a physical and fiscal summary ... shallow drawers of old cabinet .... Jackie’s baby

This Week in Lincolnville: Reaching for the Finish Line

...it’s actually in sight!
Mon, 06/20/2022 - 10:00am

    Hello Neighbor, [goes a recent letter]

    It’s been nearly two years since the Lincolnville Historical Society convened a meeting at the Bandstand to see if we had enough support in town to take on the renovation of the old Beach Schoolhouse with its $325,000 price tag.

    In short, we did.

             As of today, we’ve received $280,000 in donations, –financial and in kind, from local businesses and private grant sources, leaving us $45,000 short of our goal. Volunteer hours in the past months gratifyingly exceeds more than 2,000 hours working on multiple facets of the project. 

             All the structural deficits have been addressed (new roof, steel support beams, rehabbed fire escape, wiring and downstairs lighting, siding, doors and 15 new windows). . . .

             As Andy Young’s crew has worked their way through this renovation list, we know we will fulfill the promise of creating a welcoming space that serves as an educational center in addition to a traditional social gathering place and historical archive, a community resource with options across generations and interests.

             We’re asking you, as a member of the Lincolnville community, to help us reach our goal. Contact us. Whether or not you’re familiar with our 170-year-old building, we’d love to show you what’s been accomplished in the past year.

             Donations can be made online or by mail at P.O. Box 204, Lincolnville 04849/.


    Diane O’Brien, President, Lincolnville Historical Society  789-5987

    Lee and Brian Cronin, Campaign Co-Chairs  236-0028


    MONDAY, June 20

    Town Office and School closed for Juneteenth

    TUESDAY, June 21

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

    8th grade graduation, 5:30 p.m., LCS

    Broadband Committee, 6 p.m., Town Office

    WEDNESDAY, June 22

    Last Day of School! 11:30 .m. dismissal

    Library open, 2-5 p.m., 208 Main Street

    THURSDAY, June 23

    Soup Café, noon, Community Building, 18 Searsmont Road

    LIA potluck and meeting, 5:30 p.m., Tranquiity Grange

    FRIDAY, June 24

    Library open, 9-noon, 208 Main Street

    SATURDAY, June 25

    L’ville Women’s Club Yard and Bake Sale, 8 a.m.-noon, 2460 Atlantic Highway

    Intro to Pickleball, 8:30-9:30 a.m., Town Courts, LCS

    Library open, 9-noon, 208 Main Street


    AA meetings, Tuesdays & Fridays at noon, Community Building

    Lincolnville Community Library, For information call 706-3896.

    Schoolhouse Museum by appointment, 505-5101 or 789-5987

    Bayshore Baptist Church, Sunday School for all ages, 9:30 a.m., Worship Service at 11 a.m., Atlantic Highway

    United Christian Church, Worship Service 9:30 a.m., 18 Searsmont Road or via Zoom


    July 9: Strawberry Festival

    You may not get this letter in the mail as it’s not going out to the whole town. But it’s a neat summary of the progress the Lincolnville Historical Society has made, both physically in the building and fiscally in our bank account.

    Perhaps you recall that the town had received an estimate of $650,000 (at a minimum) to “fix” the old building – a really old building. The original structure was built in 1851 with a major renovation sometime in the 1890s, the addition of a kitchen in 1960, and in 2003 or so, an office on top of the kitchen. So many changes that it’s not eligible for the National Registry of Historic Places.

    The Historic Registry may not want us, but to the growing crew of volunteers who’ve been working inside it this winter, the old schoolhouse and its contents continually pull us back in time. Opening old journals, finding newspaper clippings tucked inside books, frustrated at what are clearly Lincolnville photo albums but with no names! People love seeing the old stuff – the utensils and tools, the woodstove, the farm implements, the toys. They’re getting dusted off, cleaned up and put aside for new displays. 

    We made a pile of things that appear to have no connection to our town or to any person who lived here. This past Saturday we had some of them at the Indoor Flea Market, mostly books and maps which we offered for a donation. We took in $161.50.

    We’ve been working Friday mornings until noon, as many as ten and some days only three of us, sorting through dozens of archival boxes, the shallow drawers of old wooden cabinets salvaged years ago from a UMO department, the attic’s clutter, and two four-drawer file cabinets in the little front room so packed with folders one volunteer dashed into the office in disbelief.

    “Do you realize what’s in those drawers?” she demanded of me.

    Historical societies are often left to a handful, maybe only one or two, dedicated workers. In our case, the LHS was Jackie Watts’ baby. She gathered together a small group in her living room one day in 1975 and proposed starting the Lincolnville Historical Society.

    As the youngest daughter of Ivan and Bernice Young, and with four older siblings living in town, Jackie knew all the old timers, knew the stories or where to find them, who to ask. She borrowed their albums and copied the photos.

    And began publishing books.

    There are three of them – Scrapbook Histories she called them – the white, the red and the blue book. Have you seen them? They’re wonderful collections of Lincolnville lore, and even include the ads she sold to finance them. Over the next several years, the 80s and 90s, she worked with her cousin, Isabel Morse Maresh, to produce several volumes; Births-Deaths-Marriages, the Young family workbook, compilation of Camden Herald articles pertaining to Lincolnville, and much more.

    Sometime in the early 90s I got involved. I think Jackie always had her eye on me as I’d been invited to the founding meeting in 1975, but it would be nearly 20 years before I actually stepped up. By then the LHS’ archive consisted of several cardboard boxes full of random stuff, but no home.  Rummaging through them one day, I found a type-written memoir by Horace Carver, a boy growing up at Ducktrap in 1870, writing his childhood story in 1940 at the urging of an uncle.

    That memoir, along with Connie Wade Gregg’s Ducktrap photos taken by her father in the early 1900s, was the heart of the book Peggy Bochkay and I published in 1994 – Ducktrap: Chronicles of a Maine Village.  Around the same time Peggy and I got permission from the Lincolnville Improvement Association, caretakers of the town-owned Beach Schoolhouse, to rent the upstairs classroom for the Historical Society.

    The LHS had a home. We got busy making a museum, a lot like little girls playing house. A lot of fun!

    After Peggy and her husband, Rich, moved away Connie Parker and Joan Ratliff became involved. Helped out by a grant from MBNA we were able to add the office, and over a couple of winters Connie and I cataloged hundreds of items into PastPerfect, a museum database.

    Just this past year we bid PastPerfect good-bye and moved all that data to web-based Catalogit. Take a look at what we have squirreled away in the second-floor of that old building. If we’ve done our job right, we ought to be able to find each item if you ask to see it!

    Today’s Friday morning volunteers include Jane Bernier, Kim Clark, Jane Hardy, Deanna Hartel, Roberta Heald, Diane O’Brien, Pat Shannon, Cyrene Slegona, Cheryl Wienges and one or two others occasionally.  We spend a lot of time figuring out how to move ahead, to become more than just a repository for the record of the early families.

    An Indigenous Peoples committee – Cyrene, Chris Beach and Chris Osgood – has plans to broaden our history to include the first people. How about a study of the latest people, the ones who’ve made Lincolnville their home in the past half century?

    A one-woman explorer of Lincolnville’s economic and land use  history is making new discoveries every day. That would be Corelyn Senn, familiar to the L’ville Bulletin Board for her wildlife photos. But you may see her occasional queries for anyone with information about this or that wharf or quarry or lime kiln. Her twin passion, along with the animals that show up in front of her cameras, is figuring out the meaning of the rocks.

    The rocks and pilings that make up the cellar holes and wells, the wharves and kilns, the remnants those early settlers left behind. She follows up with hours in the Registry of Deeds in Belfast, finding out who built what and when. She reads those deeds, that often reveal business deals, partnerships, even maps.

    Corelyn’s writing up her findings, much as she did years ago when she explored the early settlement of North Cobbtown Road and the history of each of our 20 some cemeteries. It will be archived at the LHS and become part of our story.

    If you too love this little town, and find its complicated history fascinating, please help us raise the last $45,000 to reach our goal. At $325,000, that’s half of what the town expected to have to spend. If you’ve already donated, then thank you! Every little bit (and big bit too) helps.

    And if you’d like to get your hands in, come by on a Friday morning. Each person has a project to work on. Send me a note if you want more information. By the way, my old Midcoast.com email address goes away as of July 1, so please change it in your contacts to: obrienragrugs@gmail.com.


    Tomorrow, June 21 at 5:30 p.m. 35 rising 9th graders (don’t you love that term?) will be graduating from LCS. This has always been the largest class throughout their LCS career, and now they’re moving on to Camden Hills Regional High School. Congratulations to all of them! Wednesday is the last day of school, Field Day with dismissal at 11:30 a.m.

    And special thanks to the teachers and staff at LCS, negotiating so many more issues these past several years than just teaching. Keeping our kids (and community) safe from all kinds of threats, from a virus to a bad guy.

    Just stopping by the school to drop off the clarinet a kid forgot that morning brings the realization of all that the school copes with. No longer can you just breeze through the door, pop your head into the office to say “here’s so and so’s instrument” and run out. Thankfully, doors are locked and you have to knock, to be recognized.

    LIA and Heart and Soul

    Jane Hardy writes:

    “This Thursday, June 23 at 5:30 p.m., the Lincolnville Improvement Association (LIA) will host its June meeting at the Tranquility Grange on Route 52. Come enjoy this historic building, a delicious potluck supper, and an important presentation you will definitely want to hear. 

    Susan Silverio, chair of the town's Comprehensive Plan Review Committee, will be the speaker at this month’s meeting. She will talk about the Community Heart and Soul process the Committee is sponsoring. Community Heart and Soul is a process that's been used during the past decade in over 100 small cities and towns around the country for engaging residents in shaping their town's future. It will involve participants in discussions about what we love about Lincolnville and why we choose to live here, what future we want for the town, and how to achieve it. The results will be used, among other things, to revise the town's comprehensive plan. 

    “Come learn more about creating Lincolnville's future and enjoy meeting up with friends, neighbors and Lincolnville visitors. Everyone is welcome! Please bring something to share for the potluck. Drinks will be provided. Tranquility Grange is located on the South side of Route 52 on the way toward Belfast. It is a historic Grange Hall, built in 1908 and has been a social and civic center for the community since its construction. The LIA is delighted to be able to use this building for our 2022 meetings while the Beach Schoolhouse is being restored, and to continue the long-time spirit of community fostered at the Tranquility Grange. We hope to see you on Thursday!”

    LWC Yard and Bake Sale

    The Women’s Club annual yard and bake sale, which was scheduled for last week, will be held this Saturday 8 a.m. to noon at 2460 Atlantic Highway, across from Dot’s. Proceeds go to scholarships for Lincolnville students.

    Soup Café

    Another reminder that “soup’s on” every Thursday (except for the first one in the month) at noon at the Community Building, 18 Searsmont Road. Good food, good company; it’s fun to sit down and eat with folks.

    One of the side effects of Covid and its restrictions has been the loss of face-to-face socializing. With low transmission at the moment, masks are optional; it’s good to see people again!


    Greta Gulezian writes:

    “After a long hiatus due to SARS-CoVid-2, Lincolnville Community Pickleball Introduction to Pickleball and Beginners Open Play resumes, weather permitting, this Saturday, 25 June, at the school’s town courts from 8:30-9:30 a.m.

    “Pickleball is a paddle sport played on a badminton-sized court with a whiffle-type ball by four players.  Pickleball is easy to learn, readily adaptable to varying levels of mobility and fitness, great moderate exercise, enjoyed by many from 6 to 80+ years of age. It is a great family game and a fun way to meet new people.  

    “Lincolnville Community Pickleball is an all-volunteer organization.  We have 2 portable net systems, 4 paddles for public use and balls.  Come join in the fun.

    “If you plan to attend this Saturday or for more infornation, please reply to Greta  so we know how many players to expect. All are welcome!

    “If weather conditions Saturday morning are unsuitable for play, I will post an email to the Lincolnville Bulletin Board by 7:30 a.m. cancelling the session.

    “Open Play for experienced players of all levels follows on Saturday, weather permitting, from 9:30-11:30 a.m.”