Sunday, April 25, 2021

SPRING 2021 HISTORY WALKS COMING SOON... #57 and #58

After a 20 months lapse, due to COVID, we are finally planning some History Walks for this spring. We are still working on details but in the meantime, mark your calendars for these dates. We will be announcing details for both as they are confirmed. Please remember to bring a face mask.

MARK YOUR CALENDARS!

JESSE LEE CHURCH and EAST READFIELD CEMETERY MAY (#57)

Friday, May 21st 10 a.m.-12 noon To begin, meet by 10 a.m. at Jesse Lee Church on the corner of Plains Road and Main St. (route 17) in East Readfield. History Walkers will first visit the inside of  the Jesse Lee Church while learning more about its history. From there they will walk across Plains Road to visit the graves of some of those early residents who helped build the church, and to place American flags on the graves of Readfield veterans in observance of Memorial Day. 

Jesse Lee Meeting House was dedicated in 1795 and is named in honor of the Methodist missionary who had traveled from Virginia by horseback into this back country two years prior. As Lee  preached at the cabin of Nathaniel Whittier in 1793, to Whittier and several other early settlers, he suggested they build a meeting house and the settlers immediately set their hands and hearts  to doing so. They built it on the 5 acre "Bowdoin Lot" that had been set aside in the 1791 town plan/survey, for the addition of a house of worship, a school and a militia ground was also located on the Bowdoin Lot. Today, Jesse Lee is the oldest Methodist Church in New England, to have remained in continuous use as a house of worship. 

Meet at Jesse Lee Church on the corner of Plains Road and Main St (route 17) by 10 a.m. Walking is on level ground or slight incline in some places, with stops along the way, for about half a mile. In case of rain, postponement will be announced by 8 a.m. on the Readfield Historical Society Facebook page; on this website; and via email for those who are on our email list. To be added to that list send your request to crossings4u@gmail.com.

THE 1921 FIRE AT READFIELD CORNER (#58) 

Friday, June 11th 10 a.m.-12 noon On June 11, 1921 a devastating fire destroyed nearly every building at Readfield Corner. Dale Potter-Clark and Bill Adams will co-lead this walk, sharing photos and pointing out the locations that were impacted. They will also share some stories about that fateful day including the home and businesses that were lost. The Masonic Block was an important presence in town then as it is today and the Masons began rebuilding two short months after the fire which inspired others to do the same. The Masonic Hall will be open for those who wish to see it, at the culmination of the Walk and a historic site marker will be dedicated in remembrance of that day 100 years ago. Meet in the parking lot behind the Masonic Block (U.S. Post Office) by 10 a.m. We will be walking from there around the center of town - all walking is on level ground or slight incline in some places, with stops along the way, for about half a mile. In case of rain, the postponement of this walk will be made by 8:00 a.m. on this page; on the Readfield Historical Society facebook page and via email for those who are on our email list (to be added to the email list send a request to crossings4u@gmail.com)

Watch for future announcements about these History Walks on this web site, in local media outlets, and on the Readfield Historical Society facebook page. If you wish to be added to the history walks email list send your request to crossings4u@gmail.com.

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

History Walk #54 ~ Readfield Town Farm & Forest and Macdonald Woods ~ Friday, Sept, 13, 2019

This History Walk is co-sponsored by the
Kennebec Land Trust
Mark your calendars for Sept. 13th 10am-12noon
RAIN DATE is Friday, Sept. 20th 10am-12noon 
A notice will be posted on this site by 8:00am on Sept. 13th if this walk is postponed to Sept. 20th due to rain.
A group of twelve showed up for the VERY first History Walk in October, 2012.
That walk was held at the Readfield Town Farm and Forest and we
have done three at that location since then because there has been so much interest.
On Friday, September 13th we will do another by popular demand.
Pictured L to R: Brenda Deojay, Annette Donaghy, Natalie Giles, David Libby, Barbara Gilman, Eileen Lord, Bonnie Gilman, Evelyn Potter, Milt Wright and his guest and Dale Potter-Clark. Photographer was Harvey Boatman.

Since we did the very first history walk at the Readfield Town Farm and Forest in October 2012 three more have been done at that same location because there has been so much interest. We will start at the North Wayne entrance at 10am and plan to wrap up by noon. In addition to Readfield Town Farm and Forest we will stop at the Huntoon Cemetery - years ago referred to as the "Poor Farm Cemetery". Howard Lake from the Kennebec Land Trust will join us to "show and tell" about the adjoining Mcdonald Woods that includes an ancient mill site, ways you can "read the woods" that have evolved from farmland to forest, and more. Members of the Readfield Conservation Commission will join us to share plans for the next timber harvest and other aspects of their management plans of the Town Forest. Dale Potter-Clark will share what she has learned about the Poor Farm in writing her latest book about Readfield's poor farms and paupers of long ago including some of the photos she unearthed in the process; and Bill Adams will have morsels to share about other farms in the area that he has been researching. No doubt there will also be some bird call identifications along the way as we will have a couple of avid "birders" with us. All in all you will learn a lot on this history walk so be sure so mark your calendars!
DIRECTIONS: To the trail head for this history walk: From North Wayne village drive due east on Kents Hill Road until you come to a large while Colonial house at the trail head. You cannot miss it. OR - from route 17 on Kents Hill in Readfield take P Ridge Road; right onto Lane Road (Elvin's farm is on that road); at the end of Lane Road turn left onto Innes Ridge Road (also called North Wayne Road - Camp Kirkwold is on that road); at the end of Innes Ridge Road turn left onto Kents Hill Road in North Wayne and drive until you see that large white Colonial house.

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Readfield History Walk #55 ~ Esker Trail along Quimby Bog ~ Oct. 11, 2019

This walk has been rescheduled from May 10th, when we were rained out. The makeup date of Oct. 11th has been chosen so we can enjoy the beautiful fall foliage in Quimby Bog at its peak!  This is the newest trail developed in Readfield, among several that have been added over the past several years. Quimby Bog, once named "Dudley Bog", extends from Readfield Depot Village to Rat Mill Hill Road in East Mt. Vernon (near Dunn's Corner). It was named after Dr. Samuel Quimby of Mt. Vernon who once owned a mill on the stream at the north end of the bog, Essentially, North Road in Readfield runs parallel to the bog although never within sight of it. Near the southern end there used to be a gravel pit not so long ago (makes sense, since an esker is made of gravel). Also, about 1930 the Readfield dump was established near the SW side of the bog, over an aquifer. In later years the Readfield Transfer Station took its place.
Co-leaders of this walk will be Dale Potter Clark, Readfield historian and author, and Andy Tolman, a retired hydrogeologist who has worked for the Maine CDC Drinking Water Program and previously by the Maine Geological Survey, conducting aquifer mapping throughout the State of Maine. Both are also members of the RHS board of directors. 

Walkers should meet by 10am at 73 North Road, in the parking lot at the RSU #38 School Bus Transportation Service, which is adjacent to the road leading into the Readfield Transfer Station. The trailhead is located there. All ages are welcome. FMI contact crossings4u@gmail.com. No fee or registration necessary. Donations to RHS are welcome.


Monday, September 9, 2019

Readfield History Walk #56 ~ Veterans' Day on Monday, November 11, 2019, 10-12 noon

Gather by 10am at Readfield Corner Cemetery


The 3rd Maine Civil War re-enactors will be leading the march from Readfield Corner Cemetery on Church Road to Asa Gile Hall, 8 Old Kents Hill Road. All are welcome to march along. If your group would like to join us please be in touch with Dale at crossings4u@gmail.com. Scouts, National Guard, Military Veterans, school kids, Masons are encouraged to come and join in. If you have an antique auto or truck you would like to enter into the procession we also welcome that. Do plan to participate in any or all of the following.




10:00-11:00 am A special commemoration of
some Veterans who are buried in Readfield Corner Cemetery followed by a march to Asa Gile Hall with the 3rd Maine in the lead.


11:00 - 11:30 am A special ceremony in honor of all Veterans will be held at Asa Gile Hall at the culmination of the march.


12:00 noon The Readfield United Methodist Church on Kents Hill will provide a soup and desert lunch at their fellowship hall. No charge.

Stay tuned for more details, in the meantime mark your calendars!

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Readfield Heritage Days Aug. 9-11, 2019


Readfield Heritage Days will be a busy weekend, with events of all kinds happening all over town! The kick off tomorrow evening will take place at the Readfield Historical Society (RHS). Read on FMI about that and other events being hosted by RHS on Friday and Saturday. To learn more about other Readfield Heritage events scheduled for this weekend follow this link.  
v  Aug. 9, Friday, 5-7pm 16th annual Wine & Cheese at the Readfield Historical Society, sponsored by the Winthrop Federal Credit Union. Come and enjoy the camaraderie of others who have similar interests, browse the museum and gift shop, and enjoy the variety of delectable foods, wine and non-alcoholic beverages.  At 6pm help celebrate the dedication of the new RHS Military Room, in honor of Bill & Flo Drake.
v  Aug. 10, Saturday, 10am -12noon Dale Potter-Clark and Bill Adams will co-lead Readfield History Walk #53, titled “Readfield Corner Before 1827”. This starts inside the Union Meeting House (UMH), 22 Church Road where UMH historian Marius Peladeau will talk about the building; then Dale and Bill will transport you back in time with a walk n talk, when you will discover some of the people, businesses and homes that existed at Readfield Corner before the Union Meeting House was built in 1827. Twenty-page companion booklets will be available for a suggested donation of $5.00 each. Marius, Dale and Bill all have some surprises in store for you. This walk n talk will culminate at the Old Fairgrounds at noon, just in time to eat lunch from one of the food vendors that will be set up for Heritage Days.
v  Aug. 10, Saturday, 10-2pm The Readfield Historical Society building will be open, with RHS president Bob Harris on duty. Stop by to see the new displays that have been set up this summer, including the Military Room. There will also be a 16 min. revolving slide show on view throughout these hours, of vintage photos depicting Readfield Corner as it was before the devastating fire of 1921.
v  Aug. 10, Saturday, 1-2pm Dale and Bill will be at the Readfield Historical Society to answer questions about Readfield Corner relative to their History Walk that morning and can also answer questions about the slide show on display. Dale will also be available to sign books she has authored, that are on sale in the RHS gift shop.

One more thing… Mark your calendars for History Walk #54, Friday, Sept. 13th 10am-12noon of the Readfield Poor Farm on Town Farm Road. Co-sponsored by Kennebec Land Trust and co-led by Howard Lake from the Kennebec Land Trust and Tim Sniffin from the Readfield Conservation Commission.


Sunday, June 9, 2019

History Walk #53 ~ "Readfield Corner Before 1827" ~ Sat. Aug. 10, 2019

Saturday, August 10, 2019 10am-12noon for Readfield Heritage Days
Bill Adams speaking to a group in 2015, on a History Walk of Readfield Corner.
Dale Potter Clark and Bill Adams will co-lead this History Walk to include the historic Readfield Union Meeting house, lower Church Road to Main Street, and west from the intersection at Readfield Corner to Old Kents Hill Road. Walkers will learn about some of the old homes, businesses, families and other points of historical interest along the way. We will wrap up at the Old Fairgrounds on Church Road by noon so those who wish to can purchase lunch from one of the vendors who will be set up there.
Live music will be performed at the Readfield Beach on Lake Maranacook starting at 1pm. Those who wish to can walk on to the beach along part of the Old Fairgrounds trail.
FMI about this and other Readfield History Walks contact Dale at crossings4u@gmail.com

Friday, March 29, 2019

Readfield History Walk # 51 ~ Walker (Hawes) Road ~ Fri. April 26, 2019

Readfield's first poor farm (of three) was established on Walker Road in 1859. Four family farms had been built in this neighborhood years before that. Included among them was this poor farm built by Stephen Bean in 1823 and sold to the town of Readfield in 1859.
This area was originally settled by Joshua & Elizabeth (Longfellow) Johnson (circa 1790), who sold their homestead to their daughter and husband Elias & Nancy (Johnson) Gove in 1800. One of their nine children was Elias Gove Jr, "Immanuel Prince of Peace".
The second family to settle on Walker Road was Thaddeus & Mary (Sanborn) Richardson in 1802. In 1815 they sold 45 of their 100 acres to their son Asa & wife Sarah (Cottle). They built a farm adjacent to his parents and raised 13 children there - one was Mary Jane Richardson.
None of those original farm buildings remain in this neighborhood. When road names were changed or made permanent, during the development of the E911 system, this road was renamed Walker Road. Previously it had been known as the Hawes and the Lewis Road.
This walk will last from 10a.m. - 12:00noon. We will walk and talk along the road and not on rough ground, although part of the road is on a slight upgrade.
DIRECTIONS: From Main St. Readfield Corner (blinking traffic light) take Church Road north to Fogg Road. Walker Road is off Fogg Road. There will be someone there to show you where to park a short ways up Walker Road. More historic background, photos and old maps will be available for viewing, as well as some history of the poor farm, on the day of the walk. Hope to see you then. No fee or registration necessary. Donations to Readfield Historical Society are welcome. FMI crossings4u@gmail.com.