We lost our power at 4:34 p.m., Sunday, as the thunderstorm’s front swept into Mayville. A CMP crew from Portland arrived about 10:15 a.m., Monday, and had us lighted up again by 10:30. One result of our blackout – we used our outdoor solar lights, held up in old milk bottles, to give us light until bedtime. They are out recharging in the sun today (Monday).
International Geologist Group Visits Bethel
Friday morning, one-hundred international leaders in geology and advanced geology students gathered at the Maine Mineral and Gem Museum. The visitors were recent participants in the 6th International Symposium on Granite Pegmatites. It was the first time such a meeting had been held in the United States. Their program consisted of two parts: a symposium held at the Attitash Grand Summit Hotel in Bartlett, N.H., and a field trip to five Oxford County sites, the new museum and four mines – Mount Mica in Paris, Havey in Poland, Bennett and Orchard mines in Buckfield, and the Emmons mine in Greenwood.
Museum Director Barbra Barrett and MMGM Trustee Stephen Seames had been with the group all week. The symposium covered lectures, workshops, presentation of scholarly papers on chemicals present in pegmatites and new research. One topic, for example, covered the issue of how does pegmatology interface with the mineral industry, society and market forces?
Director Barrett briefed the group on museum progress and near term goals. Then she led them on a partial tour of the museum’s layout and collection exhibits. Museum founders, Dr. Lawrence Stifler and Mary McFadden, were also on hand to give the delegates an overview of plans for the museum’s role in the broader realm of worldwide mineral and gem interests.
I had a chance to talk briefly with people from Brazil, Canada, the Czech Republic, and South Africa. A woman from South Africa was carrying a red “tourist” bag with “Istanbul” printed all over it. So I asked her if she was from Istanbul. She laughed and said “No, I’m from South Africa, but my husband is an aeronautical engineer who travels a lot and, knowing I like these bags, always brings one home from places he visits. She asked, “Does Bethel have a bag like this? “ – Not that I know of.
Two delegates from Montreal were interested in the Civil War soldier monument and their question was, “Who were the Loyal Sons?” So we talked about the “Loyalists” versus the Unionists and the Confederates. They knew that some Loyalists had fled the U.S. to Canada.
Jan Filip, who was from the Faculty of Science at Palacky University at Olomouc, Czech Republic, is a researcher in water treatment technologies. So we talked very briefly about Bethel’s water treatment system. I had started by telling him that for two years I had been a border patrol officer along the German-Czech border in the 1950s. He was familiar with the main legal crossing points in my area.
Read more about the international geologist visit to Attitash and Bethel – Recent News www.thebetheljournals.info.
At the SAD 44 Meeting
The relatively few voters who attended the May 28 SAD 44 budget meeting approved all articles by a vote of 49 to 7. Many of the questions which were asked had been answered in the school district’s report titled “MSAD #44 Annual Reports 2011-2012.” These are some examples from the report: Pages 2 and 3 report the District Wide staff and a breakdown of staff per school, student numbers that year, and principals; page 5 reports the academic grade distribution by school grade for that year; page 6 reports the number of students meeting growth targets; beginning on page 17, a series of charts plot grades by school (CPS, Woodstock, etc.) compared to each other and compared to all Maine student numbers; back to page 3 for a table of personnel assigned to central office, bus garage, special education and food service.
This report is part of the SAD 44 webpage assembly of reports and school information – similar to town reports; it is listed under General Information in the main menu.
Polly Davis Retires from Citizen
The Citizen held a hail-and-farewell on Friday morning at the Citizen office for Polly Davis. She retired at the end of May. Contributors to the weekly paper were invited to attend for coffee and refreshments to Polly’s farewell party. Those attending included Rocky Graham, Nancy Wight, Danna Nickerson, Betsey Foster, Becky Kendall, Rosabelle Tifft, plus the Citizen staff, who hosted the event. Even the Citizen’s publisher, Edward Snook, was there; first time probably many of us had ever seen him.
Tatum Brown is taking over Polly’s job as a Production Assistant. She will work from home as the online age has eliminated another desk in the office. She has certifiable Bethel roots as a granddaughter of Donald and Eleanor Brooks.
Top Notch Tent & Event Rentals is a new Mayville, Bethel, and Sunday River valley business. Adam Knapik is the proprietor. Top Notch Tents has five tent configurations to rent: 15 x 15, 30 x 30, 30 x 45, and 30 x 60. Sidewalls can be added to any tent size. Additional party rentals include a 6-foot round table, a 12 x 15-foot dance floor, white padded cushion chairs, and globe tent lights. Mr. Knapik’s rental program includes no-hassle-to-you setup and takedown.
Contact Mr. Knapik at 320 Mayville Rd (Bear Haven Crossing), telephone at 207-595-6617 or by e-mail at email@example.com. Adam lives at Powder Ridge and he has been employed at Sunday River Ski Resort and in South Paris.
Free Fishing Day
At noontime on Free Fishing Day at Angevine Park, Fran Head reported that 67 children had signed in at the desk and were off fishing at the pond. In the parking lot, there were 26 vehicles, one motorcycle, and two mopeds. Saturday was a beautiful day for fishing – parents and kids seemed to be fully enjoying themselves. I shot a video of two young boys who were grappling with a big frog that was doing its best to get away. For photos of the event see www.thebetheljournals.info and Bethel News for June 4, 2013.
And Bethel Selectmen Met Monday Night
On their agenda: Approve Annual Town Meeting Warrant ; Authorize FY13 Audit ; Countersign SAD#44 Budget Warrant ; and vote on a resolution calling on SAD 44 Board of Directors to return Ethel Bisbee (property).
The History Club
Is There a Recycled Schoolhouse on the Bull Branch Road?
Loretta Powers passed on a question she had received to wit: was one of the buildings in the Maine State Reserve area along Bull Branch Road possibly at one time a school house?
In the late 1800s, Riley voters had contributed to building a school house and one was put up on Stillman Littlehale’s farm. Later, it was turned into a blacksmith shop. When the Littlehales moved to Bethel, the farm and homestead buildings were transferred to the Brown Company; they later burned down. It’s possible that the blacksmith shop did not burn and was later moved. I photographed the buildings standing near the Twin Bridges last Saturday – none seem to stand out as old school houses. Does anyone know more about the background of these buildings or of an old school house tucked away in the woods along the road?
In 1893, Ernest Perkins wrote about the Mason Street houses for the Bethel Historical Society. He identified the house on Mason Street near Sanding Brook on the south side of Mason Street to be the one built by Stillman Littlehale after 1900 but who sold it 1911. The Donahues lived there in the late 1940s – early 1950s, I believe. Stillman Littlehale had been town clerk of Riley Plantation from 1868 until his death in 1916.