Sunday, November 20, 2016

READFIELD HISTORY WALKS to RESUME in the SPRING 2017

The last Readfield History Walk for the fall of 2016 was done on Friday, November 11th. Stay tuned for times and locations of walks planned for the spring of 2017. Repeats of walks that have already been done will be considered on request. Suggestions for future Readfield History Walks are welcome and can be emailed to Dale at crossings4u@gmail.com.

Dale Potter-Clark will be doing three historical presentations at Maranacook Adult and Community Education in the spring of 2017 as well:
1) Wednesday, March 15, 2017 6:30-8pm
TITLE:  The Day Readfield Corner Burned          NEW!!
Readfield Corner was once a bustling business center where groceries, shoes, clothing, millinery, hardware, carriages and even coffins and gravestones could be purchased. Readfield Telephone Company was also located at Readfield Corner as well as a hotel, tavern and livery. In this presentation you will learn more about this industrious village of long ago and about the day that it all changed forever.


2) Tuesday, April 25, 2017 6:30-8pm   
TITLE:  Was the Underground Railroad REALLY in Readfield?          NEW!!
It has been proven that the Underground Railroad was in Winthrop, Farmington and Jay, so why not Readfield? In this presentation Dale will share some of the clues she has unearthed in researching old homes and 19th century Readfield that lead her to believe if, when and where it passed through town. She welcomes participants to bring and share their own clues and ideas. This promises to be an enlightening and fascinating evening!


3) Wednesday, May 31, 2017  6:30-8pm        
TITLE:  The Founders and Evolution of Summer Resorts & Kids Camps   
Charles L. Day and Dale Potter-Clark are co-authors of The Founders and Evolution of Summer Resorts and Kid’s Camps on Four Lakes in Central Maine.  Four years ago they began the process of gathering information at a Maranacook Community Education class. Fifty or more enthusiastic people gathered that evening to share stories and to learn about the resorts, hotels and kids’ camps that have existed in this immediate area. After more than three years of conducting personal interviews, making site visits and doing exhaustive research Charles and Dale have published a 356 page book packed with 220+ vintage photos and information about more than forty establishments that have existed on the four lakes. Thrown in for good measure is “The Larches” on “Lake Myra” in Readfield. Included is the history of the railroad, steamboats and the trolley in this area as well as the summer hotels, housekeeping cottages, sporting camps and kids’ camps. Dale will first do a presentation about the process of researching and writing the book, followed by a reading. She will be available to sell and sign books after the presentation.  

Monday, November 14, 2016

"SUMMER RESORTS AND KIDS' CAMPS" ~ Book Talks and Signings slated for this fall

Authors Dale Potter-Clark and Charles L. Day are pleased to announce that after three years of exhaustive research, personal interviews with people all over the US, site visits, writing, editing and re-writing "The Founders and Evolution of SUMMER RESORTS AND KIDS' CAMPS on Four Lakes in Central Maine" has been released! This book is 350+ pages and includes 200+ vintage photos. Resorts and kids' camps were located at 39 locations on Lakes Torsey, Echo, Lovejoy, northern Maranacook and "Lake Myra" - several went by different names over the years. Few are still in operation and this book will tell you which ones are. Also included is the coming of the railroad, steamboats, the trolley and sketches about some of the people involved.
The schedule for book talks and signings is below. To buy a copy visit www.readfieldmaine.blogspot.com


Book talks and signings for
Summer Resorts and Kid’s Camps on Four Lakes in Central Maine: 
Sat. August 27st 9am-2pm                  
Vienna Historical Society, U.S. Route 41, Vienna village; book sale & signing
Sat. September 3rd 10am-2pm                        
Maranacook Boat Landing, Winthrop Road, Readfield; book sale & signing
Sat. September 24th 6-8pm                 
Vassalboro Public Library; place TBA; reading, sale and signing
Wed. October 5th 6-8p                   
Readfield Community Library, Main St., Readfield; reading, sale and signing
Mon. October 17th 12-1:30pm           
Cary Memorial Library, 67 Old Winthrop Road, Wayne; reading, sale and signing
Wed. October 19th 7-9pm
Underwood Library, Route 17, Fayette; reading, sale and signing
Tues. November 15th 6:30-8pm (NOTE: date changed from 11/8)                       
Bailey Public Library, 39 Bowdoin St., Winthrop; presentation, sale & signing
Sat. November 19th 9am-2pm            
Fayette Historical Society holiday fair; Fayette Central School; sale & signing
Sat. November 26th
Arts & Crafts Holiday Fair, Mt. Vernon Community Center in Mt. Vernon village; sale & signing
Fri. December 1st 10am-1pm
MaineGeneral Medical Center Auxiliary Gift Shop, Augusta; sale and signing
Wed. May 31st 6:30-8pm
Maranacook Community School; Millard Harrison Drive, Readfield
More will be scheduled for 2017 - stay tuned!

Sunday, October 23, 2016

READFIELD HISTORY WALK #38 ~ A Special Veterans' Day event ~ Nov. 11, 2016


Veterans, family, friends, one and all are welcome and encouraged to attend a special Readfield History Walk on November 11th. Participants should gather at Readfield Corner Cemetery on Church Road by 10am where walkers will be guided through part of the cemetery to learn about some of the Veterans buried there. Following this, walkers will follow Church Road and Main Street to Gile Hall, 8 Old Kents Hill Road, to join in a tribute to Veterans starting at 11:00 a.m. After the tribute a soup and bread luncheon will be provided by Torsey Church (RUMC), starting at 11:15, upstairs at Gile Hall.
Parking is available at the Old Fairgrounds parking lot on Church Road. Those who do not wish to walk to Gile Hall are welcome to drive there. Drivers will be available to chauffeur walkers back to the Old Fairground’s parking lot from Gile Hall if desired. Veterans and all others are encouraged to attend all or any part of this event.
This Veterans’ Day event is a collaborative effort by members of the Readfield History Walkers, Town of Readfield Select Board, Readfield Heritage Days Committee, Readfield Cemetery Committee and Torsey Memorial Church (RUMC). The objectives of Readfield History Walks are for participants to learn more about the surrounding area - both current and historical - while enjoying the beauty and invigoration of the outdoors. According to where the Walks are held, various organizations, town committees, schools, churches, businesses and homeowners are included in the planning and in leading the tours. In most cases background information and research is provided through written material. FMI email crossings4u@gmail.com.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Readfield History Walk #37 ~ A visit to the Readfield Union Meeting House and with some “Esteemed Residents” at Readfield Corner Cemetery

Saturday, October 15, 2016 (rain date Oct.22nd)
9:30-10:00am
Morning refreshments at Union Meeting House (UMH), 22 Church Road
Thank you to Lakeside Orchards of Manchester for providing refreshments
10am-12noon  Will occur in three phases


Phase I: Begins at UMH where board of directors' president Marius Peladeau will give a tour and discuss the history of UMH, the historical features that led to the building's addition to the National Register of Historic Places; the board of directors ongoing efforts to repair and preserve the integrity of the building; opportunities available to the public for use of the building; current and future needs of the organization.
Next: Participants will walk or drive to the Readfield Corner Cemetery
Phase II: Readfield Historian Dale Potter-Clark will "introduce" walkers to some of the UMH members and founders with a focus on those whose names appear on the stained glass windows at UMH. Printed material will be shared with participants, which indicates who of the founders are also buried in Readfield Corner Cemetery. Questions will be encouraged.
Phase III: Anna Carll, Readfield Cemetery Sexton, will give a demonstration on how to easily clean gravestones using D2. This is a technique that is non-abrasive and inexpensive (compared to previously used power washing methods). It is used at Arlington National Cemetery and the White House as well as other notable cemeteries and valuable historic sites. The technique is endorsed by Maine Old Cemetery Association (MOCA) which has, this year, been offering workshops on how to clean stones with D2 at various locations throughout the State. Anna Carll attended one such session.
If you are unable to attend on Oct. 15th and wish to know more about this technique see photos and captions from History Walk #24. The Readfield Cemetery Committee was first introduced and learned how to use D2 at History Walk #24 two years ago and since then have been gradually cleaning gravestones in town. At History Walk #24 Libby Doak and Sharon Burns of Chelsea demonstrated how to clean stones using D2. Doak and Burns have done the cemeteries, as an all volunteer effort, in Chelsea and freely share what they have learned and experienced there with volunteers and sextons in other communities.
  This History Walk is a cooperative effort between the 
Readfield Cemetery Committee, Readfield Historical Society,
Readfield Trails Committee and Union Meeting House  
NOTE: There will also be a stone cleaning demo at Bean Cemetery, Bean Road, Mt. Vernon 2-4pm on Oct. 15 (rain date Oct 22) done by Bob Grenier, Mt. Vernon Cemetery Sexton. All are welcome to attend Grenier's session as well. 

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

READFIELD HISTORY WALK #36 ~ FRIDAY, SEPT. 23 10AM ~ READFIELD WATER ASSOCIATION AND MORE!!


For those who wish to read an article about History Walk #36, Sept. 23, follow this link to the Readfield Messenger (town newsletter) and see pages 17-18


The first Readfield History Walk of this fall will be held Friday, September 23rd when three aspects of town history, near Readfield Corner, will be included.

Walkers will first learn about the history and visit the original water source for several older homes at Readfield Corner - “the spring in John O. Craig’s pasture”. Craig’s spring fed at least eight homes on the west side of Church Road and on Main Street in the town’s early history. Remnants of the spring are still evident on private land, which participants will have the opportunity to view.

From there Walkers will venture to the Readfield Corner Water Association on Bill Bourret Drive to hear from Ed Dodge, current president of the association and Bill Bourret of Augusta, one of the founders and the association’s first president. The seed for the association was a 1986 petition to the State of Maine by several Readfield Corner residents after their wells were rendered unusable by gasoline contamination. Networking with neighbors had led them to knowing the source - an old underground fuel tank in the center of town that was seeping gasoline. Through research the petitioners learned they could draw upon legislation designed to combat ocean spills as a vehicle to present their case, which they did to the Maine Department of Environmental Protection. Bourret, who was the first one living at Readfield Corner to discover the problem in his own home, and a neighbor, Marie Brown, testified before the Maine State Legislature Finance Committee and also encouraged members of the Committee to visit the site and see the damage first hand, which they did. The end result was funding for the acquisition of land for a town well, site preparation, well drilling and casing, pressurized holding tanks and pumps, water lines, meters and the building to house the equipment. It was all paid for by the State of Maine from the “Coastal Oil Surveyance Super Fund”.  Dodge and Bourret will be on hand to share more, about when damage from the gas leak was first discovered and the remarkable process that ensued to correct the problem. This is a rare chance to hear this particular piece of Readfield history firsthand!

From the Water Association walkers will cross Church Road onto the site of the old Kennebec County Agricultural Fair to see recent improvements and additions made there by the Readfield Trails and Conservation Committees; and to hear about the days when the largest fair in Maine was held right here in Readfield! Participants should park in the parking lot at the Readfield Fairgrounds on Church Road by 10am. Bring a sandwich if you wish to share lunch at the home of Bill and Flo Drake immediately after the walk.

Readfield History Walks were started in October 2012 as a cooperative effort by members of the Readfield Historical Society and the Readfield Trails Committee. The objectives of the walks are for participants to learn more about the surrounding area - both current and historical - while enjoying the beauty and invigoration of the outdoors. According to where they are held various organizations, town committees, schools, churches, businesses and homeowners are included in the planning and in leading the tours. In most cases background information and research is provided through written material. FMI  email Dale Potter-Clark at crossings4u@gmail.com. Historical photos as well as some from the walk itself will be posted - see the right hand column, look for History Walk #36.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Saturday, September 3rd at Maranacook Boat Landing, Readfield

"The Founders and Evolution of SUMMER RESORTS AND KIDS CAMPS on Four Lakes in Central Maine" by Dale Potter-Clark and Charles L. Day, Jr.

Book Sale and Signing this Saturday, Sept. 3rd, at Maranacook Boat Landing, Readfield (1/2 mile south of Readfield Corner on route 41) 10am-2pm. The site for this appearance was chosen because of its proximity to Harvey Island Camp and also to Bill Morgan's Camp Maranacook for boys. Also nearby was the Harvey homestead on "Thunder Mountain", which has an infamous history on several levels. This is also near the location where the fable about the Indian Chief's son Haukeemah and the settler's daughter "Mary-no-cook" originated. Dale will point out and share stories about those locations to people who have interest. All of these stories and more are included in our book "Summer Resorts and Kids' Camps"!!
So, throw on your kyacks or canoes or tow your motor boats to the Maranacook Boat Landing, spend a little time with us learning about the history of the resorts and kids' camps on northern Maranacook, buy your copy of the book - chock full of pictures - and set out on your own history trek on the waters of northern Maranacook Lake!! It will be a great day of learning and fun in the sun!!
If you are unable to make this signing, follow this link to see what future opportunities are available!!

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Readfield History Walks for FALL 2016 Will Begin Soon...

Plans are underway for three History Walks this fall

Friday, September 23rd 10am-12noon
Readfield History Walk #36
 with
Readfield Historical Society, Readfield Trails Committee
and Readfield Corner Water Association
Learn about the history and visit Readfield Corner’s original drinking water source - “the spring in John O. Craig’s pasture”; from there walkers will venture to the Readfield Corner Water Association on Bill Bourret Drive and hear the history of that from Ed Dodge, president of the association and Bill Bourret, one of the founders. The Water Association is perhaps one of Readfield's "best kept secrets". From there we will cross Church Road onto the site of the old Kennebec County Agricultural Fair to see recent improvements and additions made by the Readfield Trails and Conservation Committees; and to hear about the days when the largest fair in Maine was held right there in Readfield! Park at Readfield Fairgrounds on Church Road by 10am. Bring a sandwich if you wish to share lunch at the home of Bill and Flo Drake immediately after the walk.
Saturday, October 15 (rain date Oct.22nd) 10am-12noon
Readfield History Walk #37  
 with
Readfield Cemetery Committee, Readfield Historical Society,
Readfield Trails Committee and Union Meeting House  
A visit to the Readfield Union Meeting House and with some “Esteemed Residents” at Readfield Corner Cemetery  More details will be coming soon!
Friday, November 11th
Readfield History Walk #38
A special Veterans' Day event is in the making. Stay tuned!