Continuing - Sundays at 4 p.m. concert series on the Common
Friday and Saturday, Aug. 13 and 14, Summer Heritage Festival at the Bethel Historical Society.
Sunday, Aug. 15 at 2 p.m., the Middle Intervale Meeting House Society will unveil the National Historic Register Plate that will be mounted inside the meeting house. The ceremony is part of the society’s planned annual meeting.
Monday, Aug. 16 at 7 p.m., at Bingham Hall, Mahoosuc Community Band.
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.)
Selectmen’s Monday Night Meeting
Proposed traffic plan for vehicles traveling over the Route 2 railroad bridge while next spring and summer bridge work goes on was briefed by an MDOT representative. The state’s plan is to close the bridge during the expected mid-April to mid-June work period. Detoured traffic will be routed over the state roads and town/village roads will not be affected. Trying to keep one lane of the bridge open while work goes on is simply not cost effective. The selectmen agreed and voted concurrence for closing the bridge. Traffic safety features will be completed before work begins next spring.
Gabe Perkins, 53 Mason Street, Bethel, was appointed to replace Francis Dumont on the Bethel Planning Board. Also after much discussion about the procedure for contracting with licensed engineers to perform 3rd party inspections of subdivision roads, the vote was to leave the current procedure in place. Rowe Ford of Auburn was awarded the bid for a new Ford F-550 vehicle for the Public Works Department.
Planning Board Activity:
The following Bethel Planning Board cases have been considered during the last three months:
June: Sign for Farwell Mountain Estates – Phase II, Agent Fran Head and Main-Land Development, and further subdivision consideration, located between Swan Hill Road and Intervale Road. First Street of the subdivision intersects with Swan Hill Road. At the North Road within the Douglass Gravel Pit, the Bruce Manzer Co. applied for a permit to place an office trailer in the hot asphalt plant site. Bear Haven Crossing in Mayville applied to add to its site plan with four picnic tables for outdoors eating. Mr. Frongillo applied for a permit to make exterior alterations to the property’s barn at 28 Broad Street – one of the Broad Street Historic District sites. Final approval for the site plan of Sunday River Station – ice cream vending at the same area as the current Puzzle Mountain Pie Stand inside the intersection of Martin’s Lane and Route 2 in North Bethel was given.
July: The start of Bethel Outdoor Adventure’s permit application journey began with plans for the Burma Bridge to connect the mainland with Hastings Island and to eventually replace the tent at the Maine Mineralogy Park with a permanent structure. Both projects are located at the BOA grounds next to Mayville Road and the Androscoggin.
Also in July the Board heard David North re: the Otter Brook subdivision which is north of Goss Pond off the East Bethel Road. Signs for Mill Hill Inn owned by the Hughes were approved. The Sheriff’s office at the former Ranger Station was approved for a new sign there. Locke Summit Estates applied for a new sign at its location off the Sunday River Road. Agent for the request is Dream Realty, Michelle Perejda.
Continuing in July – Mahoosuc Land Trust applied for permits re: Davis Park Trail, Phase II - the trail section from Davis Park to Intervale Road.
The Board’s agenda for August continues to consider the Bethel Outdoor Adventure projects – mainly the bridge project.
Roadside snapshot news
On Skiway Road the Wilderness House sign which covered the Sunday River Inn sign has been removed.
At Swan’s Corner on the Sunday River Road the restaurant building formerly called Liam’s has a message sign saying – “Coming this fall Restaurant Bar where every day is a party”
Middle Intervale Meeting House Society Proposed Officers and Trustees
The annual meeting for the society is scheduled for Sunday Aug. 15 at 1:30 p.m. President Stephen Trent Seames, VP John Carter, Secretary Kathy Davis Autrey, Treasurer Pat Gunther Carter, Assistant treasurer Lucy Nordahl, Trustees, Mary Keniston, Kathy Davis Autrey, and Robin Fiske. The society will conduct other business as required and following a very short business meeting, there will be remarks on the History of the Meeting House by Stan Howe and Music by Dan Johnson, organist of the West Parish Congregational Church. The National Register of Historic Places Plate, purchased in part by funds given by a member in Memory of Arlene Greenleaf Brown (Mrs. Donald) will be unveiled prior to the plaque’s installation in the Meetinghouse. Light Refreshments will be served.
In August 1965 the Town of Bethel Superintending School Committee dissolved. Bethel’s Superintendent of Schools, Horace Maxcy, also saw his position closed. After Aug. 16 the newly-formed School Administrative District 44 assumed responsibility for the member town’s educational program. Bethel’s outgoing superintendent noted in his report that with a new high school the new organization’s educational program will be superior to one the towns would be able to operate alone. Members of Bethel’s last superintending committee were: Dexter Stowell, Eugene Buswell, Theodore Chadbourne, Harold Rolfe and John Tebbets.
Viewing Fences: At Bethel’s second Town Meeting in 1797, five men were appointed to the duties of fence viewers. As proof that it is difficult to eliminate government positions, in 1965 Bethel had Fence Viewing duties on its books. That year Stanley Carter, Maurice Kendall, and Hugh Thurston got the jobs of Fence Viewers. It wasn’t until 1971 that these duties were scrubbed.
Dutch Elm disease: Fighting the spread of Dutch Elm disease was a very serious concern in ’65. Bethel had a Tree Committee consisting of Sumner Burgess, chairman, Richard Waldron, Stephen Jacobs and Harlan Hutchins. Town Manager Michael Houlihan’s annual report stated that the Dutch Elm Program was expanded to a large degree that year. Five thousand dollars was appropriated for it and state aid added another $1,100. These funds were spent on spraying the elm beetle and in tree removal of 60 diseased trees. Unfortunately, the epilogue reads – all the elms are gone.
Newry honors Steve Wight’s service
Sunday afternoon Kathy and I joined a large group of well wishers for a barbecue lunch and reception gathered to thank Steve Wight for his 30 years as First Selectman. James Largess who was elected to follow Mr. Wight MC’d the informal thank-you ceremony at the Peak’s Restaurant outdoor picnic area at Sunday River Resort. The attendees got a free Chondola ride to the restaurant and the resort’s food and beverage crew did an excellent job cooking and serving. Steve was presented with a beautiful new wooden canoe paddle autographed by many of his long-time friends and associates.
The western region of the Maine Crafts Association gathered at Victoria Woollen-Danner's house on Paradise Road on Saturday, Aug. 6. The group discussed possibilities for marketing their work locally and generating new memberships. They also shared new examples of their craft.
Republican Candidate for Congress Levesque Visits Bethel
Tuesday morning Jason Levesque of Auburn visited Bethel as a Republican candidate for Congress in this fall’s election. His first stop was at Stan Howe’s home where he joined a coffee gathering of twenty residents and visitors, including Sawin Millett, who is running for the Maine Senate, and Wayne Hakala of Greenwood. Our Representative Jarrod Crockett guided the candidate on his tour. After visiting on Broad Street for an hour visits to Chadbourne Tree Farms, Western Maine Supply and Brooks Bros were on his agenda.
Mr. Levesque, 36, founded the Argo Marketing Group based in Auburn with offices on Hotel Road near its junction with Minot Avenue. He has served in the Army with the First Infantry Division and has had further Army Reserve service of six years.
In talking to his audience he stressed his use of establishing goals and then sticking to strong follow-up to achieve them. One of his chief aims is to see Maine manufacturing increase its competitiveness vis-à-vis other states and he emphasized his interest in our state’s paper industry.
The candidate’s website is www.LevesqueForCongress.com. Open it to read more about the candidate’s goals in Congress if elected this fall.
Fritz Tyler Week
Names from history’s news provide great insights into Bethel’s not-too-distant past. So, to briefly shine a ray of light on one person who built Bethel to the shape it is now, this week’s focus is Fritz Tyler. There is undoubtedly much more news about him in old copies of The Citizen waiting to be discovered. Others in Bethel now may have stories to tell about Mr. Tyler. Please speak up if you do.
Fritz Tyler lived to the age of 90 and accomplished much in his lifetime. At least Tyler Street keeps his name up there for notice. Born in Albany, he finished school at age 13. When he was 16 he was first a lumber cutter, and then learned blacksmithing, becoming a skilled blacksmith and carriage maker. At 25 he purchased an existing carriage manufacture and repair business. Later he operated Bethel’s corn canning factory and sold canned corn under his own White Mountain label. Adding to the Bethel operation he organized and ran a similar business in Fryeburg. He closed his canning business and went into a box and novelty wood product business. After buying, selling and building in what we know as the Tyler Street neighborhood, in 1944 he succeeded in having the town construct an extension of Tyler Street (which was already identified as Tyler Street before 1944) to connect Chapman and Vernon streets. The town approved $250 to construct the extension. Mr. Tyler was appointed to the Bethel Budget Committee in 1944. Prior to 1944 he had served as deputy sheriff and tax collector. He was never reluctant about voicing his position at town meetings. My thanks to those who have contributed information about Mr. Tyler already.