Saturday, Oct. 9: at Dream Realty, Newry Post Office Plaza – exhibition of Sunday River Artisans work.
Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 9 and 10: 27th Annual Blue Mountain Arts and Crafts Festival at Sunday River South Ridge Base Lodge. Hours both days: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. This is also Sunday River’s Fall Festival Weekend with free band concerts on the South Ridge slopes.
Monday, Oct. 11 (Columbus Day observed): the Bethel Selectmen are scheduled to meet for a regular meeting at the Town Office at 7 p.m.
White Maples can be dangerous
For many years the large field behind and below the River View Resort has been a part of John Carter’s farming domain. Its use is divided between grassland and corn which he grows for his dairy herd. Along the field’s Androscoggin River bank there is a line of white (silver) maple trees dating back to a bygone era. A pre-1900 photo of the Thurston farm shows much younger, smaller maples lining the river bank.
The trees have grown to be giants. For the last few years these intimidating beasts also have been stretching sideways to get out from under the older canopy and reach sunlight. Unfortunately for crops growing beneath this row of trees, they are getting smothered when old, weak trunks suddenly fracture –- sometimes half the tree falls into the corn and the remainder into the river. Last week, talking with Ken White from Andover who was harvesting the Carter corn he told me that the white maple are like Popple (Aspen, Poplar, etc.) trees –- grow fast and large but are weak. This summer two large ones crashed into the corn field. With branches and all, each tree crash wiped out an area of corn that was from 200 to maybe 400 square feet in size. So the moral of this story is do not grow White Maples near your house or park your Mercedes under them.
The lost corn resulting from a tree crash is not a big deal but the nuisance factor of cutting up the tree and getting it out of the path of harvesting machinery is.
It’s Tuesday morning. The corn is all cut. Hays has galloped the full length of the field. One-hundred-plus stretched black necks watched him. Eventually his gallop swung in their direction. The stretched black necks said “Time to go!” And the huge flock of overnighters took off down the river.
Summit Financial Solutions LLC
The office of Summit Financial Solutions LLC is located in the Newry Post Office Plaza next to Dream Realty. It is one of the area’s newest businesses and probably the first financial service and consultancy in Newry.
Peter Phelps, C.P.A., founded the service to help groups in the Bethel area that are looking to either “start up” or “expand” their business and need CFO-type expertise to prepare business plans, financial models and to raise debt or equity financing. His website, www.summitfinancial.me has a complete listing of services as well as his personal background.
Peter is also a sales agent with Dream Realty. Summit Financial, in conjunction with Dream Realty, is able to assist real estate entrepreneurs in creating, executing, and financing real estate strategies.
Mr. Phelps has a BS degree in accounting from the University of Maryland and an MBA from George Washington University. He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Massachusetts Society of Certified Public Accountants. Overall he has more than 25 years experience working with start-ups, raising venture capital and providing business turnaround assistance.
One of his major achievements was being CFO of Andover.Net, a start-up company that grew from scratch and then went public in 1999. At his new company, Mr. Phelps also offers to serve as interim CFO for a local company while it is starting, expanding or raising capital.
Sunday River Artisans
This coming Saturday a variety of work by the collaborative group known as the Sunday River Artisans will be on display in front of and in the reception area of Dream Realty at Newry Post Office Plaza. Some of the artists’ work on display will be: Anne Pernic – jewelry, beads and gemstones; Romeo Baker – print of the Newry covered bridge; Jo Baker – “Autumn Ecstasy” color print of Sunday River; April Frost – custom tile work, mosaic tile mirrors, hand-painted owner plaques; Julie Daye – pine needle baskets; Joe Finn – custom note cards oil paintings of the area; Doug Barker, ski instructor at Sunday River – photography “Inversion on Barker Chair”; Mike Kelly – custom work – table and furnishings; Cheryl Pica – landscape artist. Cheryl’s Sunday River mural will be the cover painting for the 2011 Mahoosuc Arts Guide.
Monday afternoon must have been “shutter bug day” at the covered bridge. Nearly two dozen photographers/sightseers were enjoying and snapping the fall views of and around the bridge. One of the vehicles was a passenger van with Maine plates that seemed to have been transport for part of the group. And there were other cars from all New England states plus Virginia and New Jersey. There were tripods and telescoping camera poles, shooting spots amongst the trees, scenes from the bridge and into the bridge, scenes from the rocks and scenes with rocks as foreground for their bridge shots. It was a busy place.
1944 – What you always wanted to know about 1944 but were afraid to ask
After a very dry summer with forests closed to the public, October 1944 held some unwelcome surprises. Two of the three really large fires of that year occurred in October when on the 18th the largest mill in Bethel, the Thurston dowel mill, the former Bethel Chair Factory, caught fire and was destroyed. It stood between the railroad tracks and Davis Car Wash. This mill fire may have been one of the most photographed fires in Bethel fire history up to that time. Lawrence Lord, who ran an auto repair service from a garage located about where the Home Slice pizza restaurant is today, captured each stage of the fire on film. The main building was 40x125 feet with the boiler room building attached to it. Its loss erased a landmark structure which had been, forty years earlier, a symbol of Bethel’s most advanced use of manufacturing technology – from raw lumber to finished furniture ready for retail sale.
A week later on the 25th, Paul Thurston’s barn in Mayville, 32 head of cattle and the connecting carriage house were destroyed by a fire that was fought all night. Firefighters were able to save the house. Today the house is part of the River View Resort.
The summer had not started well. In May 1944 a fire at the Leslie Davis planer mill on the Middle Intervale Road spread out of control getting into the woods and destroying the Davis home and personal belongings, all of the Davis lumber and the lumber of Ernest Blake and Charles Merrill. Today’s Davis Park is only a little over one-half mile from the center of 1944’s conflagration.
At Gould Academy, 1944
Another landmark building was razed in 1944. The Bethel Citizen’s headline read “Razing Gould Academy’s First Dormitory Holden Hall 1909-1939.” Leslie E. Davis had purchased the building from the Gould trustees. After the new Holden Hall was completed in 1939, the former home of Goodwin Wiley had stood vacant. Mr. Wiley was owner of the drug store on Main Street known as the Wiley Block. He was also the pharmacist and had been post master. However, his more important position in Bethel was secretary of the Gould Academy Trustees. His house stood on the same block of Church Street property as the academy building. You could accurately say he and his home were part of the Gould campus. He was in fact superintendent of the Academy and Grounds.
In 1892 at the Bethel Town Meeting Mr. Wiley had made a motion from the floor to have the town pay for its students to attend the academy at town expense ($800 a year to cover tuition). The motion passed. Then when Bethel’s conservative faction heard what happened they forced a special Town Meeting which repealed the article. Seeing the anti-education mood of Bethel, the academy’s principal, Professor Arthur Hall, did not seek to renew his contract. Professor Hall had been from all indications a progressive, well-acclaimed principal who worked with Bethel’s school superintendent to provide normal school courses at the academy for Bethel’s district school teachers. Had the town voted differently and Prof. Hall had stayed, the academy’s future might never had seen Frank Hanscom come to Gould as a long-time principal.
The razing of the former Wiley home in 1944 represented more than just the loss of a landmark structure; it represented loss of a memorial to a culturally spirited citizen as well.
For photographs accompanying this week’s Bethel news go online to: http://www.thebetheljournals.info/Bethel_News.pdf