Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 26, 27 and 28 at Neil Olson’s, East Bethel – New England Trappers Weekend.
Aug. 28, Sunday River Tough Mountain Challenge –- a 10- stage race (See Sunday River’s website.)
Saturday, Sept. 18 – Harvest Fest on the Common; Bethel Historical Society Barn Tour held in conjunction with the Bethel Area Chamber of Commerce's "Harvest Fest," self-guided tour of a dozen or more local barns runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
School News from Superintendent Murphy:
"Aug. 20, 2010. We are in the process of readying things for the start of the school year next week. At this point, all of our full-time openings have been filled and we are finalizing buildings and grounds projects to ensure that we are all set for day one.
"Our elementary schools recently completed their Kindergarten Bus Safety Day for our newest enrollees! This is a special opportunity for our new K children and their parents to take the bus into school before the start of the year. During the visit, they learn about bus safety under the direction of Mr. Ron Deegan, our Transportation Supervisor, and get a chance to meet their bus drivers. Mr. Deegan and the principal also spend some time with parents discussing transportation issues.
"Our laptop program will continue to be an area of emphasis this year. Students in grades 4-12 now have access to this technology and we will be continuing to focus on staff development training. The state Maine Laptop Initiative (MLTI) has made a compilation of past Webinars* available on line that focus on a wide array of topics and they will continue to add to those in the coming year. We intend to take advantage of those for additional professional training for our staff.
*Webinar is a virtual seminar on line. Depending on the software, facilities and seminar organization, the participants may be able communicate with the seminar presenters by chat rooms or sending email questions and comments."
(Next week I should have a brief report after meeting with Transportation Supervisor Deegan on the various transportation initiatives that are in the offing for SAD 44.)
This season the Outward Bound classes at the Newry Mountain Center expect 220 students. Generally all students arrive and are met at the Portland Jetport, then go to the Newry center to “check in.” (Checking in has been referred to as the Alice stepping through the looking glass experience for students.) Nearly all courses that run out of the Newry Mountain Center include both backpacking and canoeing. Where they begin their expedition just depends on which phase is first. For the canoe phase students go to Cupsuptic Lake/River for that part of their expedition. The expedition -- either backpacking or canoeing -- in a somewhat demanding natural environment defines the Outward Bound classroom.
Caroline Blair-Smith is the Outward Bound Maine Programs director; her office is at the Bean building in Newry. The Newry center plans to be open nine months a year. When the Newry center is closed Ms. Blair-Smith works from her home in Albany. Currently there is no winter program in Maine. A combination of the state of the economy and dwindling interest has cut down enrollment to the point that the Maine winter program was dropped.
Outward Bound’s classes for Iraqi and Afghanistan veterans have proven hugely popular. Whereas, in general, Outward Bound class enrollments are teenage high school and college students, veterans coming for Outward Bound expeditions range in age from their late 20s to their 40s. The appeal of a natural, undisturbed, uninterrupted, non-threatening experience and a chance to talk with contemporaries about their combat zone experiences seem to be the main incentives for vets to come to Outward Bound.
Another maybe less well known feature of Outward Bound classes is time allocated to community service. Besides the days of expedition classes for developing individual and supervisory skills, students are scheduled for community projects to bring these responsibilities to their awareness.
Dave “Fuzzy” Thurston emailed me after reading last week’s Bethel news to bring up a famous name, Rowland Evans, Jr., that is linked to our greater vacation area –- the Richardson Lakes. In maybe the late 1980s Mr. Evans had a camp built on the eastern shore of Upper Lake Richardson, above the Upper Dam. Mr. Evans was one of the dynamic duos in the famous Evans and Novak team of columnists. According to some sources, he was infamously listed in President Nixon’s enemies’ notebook.
When Randy Bennett was preparing Herbert P. Shirrefs' book, “The Richardson Lakes – Jewels in the Rangeley Chain,” for publication, Mr. Evans was one of the sponsoring donors. The book was published by The Bethel Historical Society and printed at Smith and Town Printers, Berlin, N.H., in 1995. Rowland Evans, Jr., died in 2001.
Fuzzy also mentioned Mr. Charles Cutting, an Andover resident, who worked at the U.S. Patent Office as a Patent Examiner and Supervisor -- more about Mr. Cutting next week.
Farm Stand Roundup
Capen Hill Farm: Bud and Joan Howe operate the Capen Hill Farm, Est. 1820, farm stand on Middle Intervale Road. Their stand’s produce includes string beans, green and wax, corn, cukes, tomatoes, potatoes, glads, broccoli, peas and lettuce. Their specialty is jams, jellies and preserves. Of the four places I visited Saturday, the Howes are the only ones to sell preserves. They had for sale sour dill pickles, bread and butter pickles, beans and relish. They have a Maine license to sell “canned” goods and their products undergo state inspections. Their phone number is 824-2716.
Swain Farm: The Swain Family Farm on Route 2 on the west side of Skillingston-Steam Mill has a just-about-everything array of Maine vegetables. Saturday their farm stand included: Swain special sweet corn, beets, beet greens, broccoli, yellow, red and green tomatoes, onions, peppers, cukes, and pickling cukes, potatoes, summer squash, egg plant, zucchini, cabbage and string beans. They also had apples, camp wood by the bundle and mulch hay by the bale. The Swain Farm phone number is 357-9504.
Farmers Market – Saturday Morning: This year the Farmers Market is open Saturday mornings next to the Norway Savings Bank. Last Saturday there were three vendors – Carter’s Middle Intervale Farm, Vegetable Dance at the Carter Farm, and Maine Lobster Boys from Cape Elizabeth. John Carter’s stand had corn and hamburger combo specials. His hamburger is made from Angus beef. He also had red potatoes. The next setup was Vegetable Dance run by Cynthia Flores; she offers a large variety of vegetables and herbs: slicing and pickling cukes, blue potatoes, egg plant, herbs (basil, parsley, lime, lemon, and Thai basil), tomatillos, onions (sweet, red and cipollini), hot peppers (Serrano, cayenne, and banana), kale, scallions, garlic (metechi, sue’s, and german red), bell peppers, chard, cabbage and garlic bulbs.
Maine Lobster Boys: The Maine Lobster Boys stand was selling live one-pound and pound-and-one-half lobsters. Customers could have their lobsters cooked while they waited. Maine Lobster Boys also have a haddock and steamer deal –- customers who e-mail an order in by Wednesday, MLB will bring the order to Bethel for the next Saturday market. Their e-mail address is email@example.com. Telephone is 799-7743. The MLB’s website says “Call us and order your lobsters to be delivered to your doorstep. We will ship your lobsters overnight through UPS.
Carters Middle Intervale Farm Store: The farm store at the Carter farm on the Middle Intervale Road has basically the same products for sale as listed in the Farmers Market vendor stands above. One of the main attractions at the Carter farm and across the road from the store is a large, beautifully laid-out flower garden that is open to “Cut your own” flowers. The flower garden’s backdrop is a row of happy sunflowers.
The store has a fridge which stores eggs and cheeses for sale. Carter’s also market their own beef and pork. Saturday there was a mouth-watering tomato table with a number of varieties and notes on how to best use them. Right now the most plentiful item is corn, corn, corn.
A most distinguished son of Bethel:
Sort of buried in the school section of Sunday River history online is a brief career note about Charles Hastings who may hold the title of least known, most accomplished son of Bethel. Mr. Hastings created the Library of Congress card catalog system that with refinements is used today as the Library’s online catalog search system of its holdings.
Mr. Hastings was born in 1867 almost literally on the banks of Sunday River –- his parents were St. John and Elizabeth Atherton Hastings. The Hastings farm covered the intervale land between Mayville (the Thurston’s farm) and Sunday River. John and Bonnie Marshall’s house stands about where the Hastings' homestead once stood. Charles Hastings was a brother of Henry Hastings (1) and uncle of Henry Hastings (2). He graduated from Gould Academy in 1887 and from Bowdoin College in 1891. He attended college at the University of Chicago studying sociology but was more interested in library work and bibliography where he became a lifelong expert and first president of the Bibliographical Society of Chicago. Shortly before the turn of the century he joined the Library of Congress. Within the catalog division he conceived of, organized and guided the printing of catalog cards that could be sold to libraries worldwide forming a distribution of holdings channel that is today done via Internet. When Mr. Hastings retired in 1938, the stock of cards exceeded 100 million and 15 million cards were sold yearly. Sale of cards was adding income to the Treasury of $300,000 a year (1938 money).
Norm Ferguson, who passed away last winter, told me about the years in the ‘30s and ‘40s when he was living at the Hastings homestead and about Charles’s position in the Library of Congress. As Norm recalled Mr. Hastings spent most of his summer vacations at the farm in North Bethel. From this information I first found out about his remarkable career. Recently Barbara Hastings Honkala prompted me to write more about Charles Hastings. Master researcher Steve Seames has joined the project, already contributing photos and more details of this man’s accomplishments.
This Old House – This New House:
A year ago Allen and Mame Connors started turning a house that had seen better days into a more modern dwelling resting on a new foundation. Their house at 59 Broad Street is now ready to last another century. Andre Bernier installed the new foundation and David Berry handled the carpentry work to basically create a new house. Its outer image now compares very well with the rest of the neighborhood –- a touch of class.
The first ground breaking here (this “old” house) was commissioned by William Frye in the late 1820s. Mr. Frye was Bethel’s first lawyer and a grandson of the town of Fryeburg’s founder. He had joined a number of other early Bethel residents in making the trip here from Fryeburg. Many early settlers considered Fryeburg their jumping-off point for the trek to Bethel (then Sudbury Canada). Heck, it was only 30 miles away and if you walked quickly you could make it in a day. In some ways Fryeburg was the mother hen of our early settlement. The town sent a 30-man quick-reaction force to guard our forefathers after Indians hit the settlement here in 1781.