Members of the Carmel Historical Society have a special treat in store for anyone who has a love of history that connects us to our past, especially when that history is of such epic proportions as the Civil War and area men who fought it.
CHS vice president Connie Graves said the public is invited to attend the CHS meeting at 6 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 8, at the Masonic Hall in Carmel. It is a potluck supper, so be sure to bring a contribution.
But it’s not necessarily the expert cooking of CHS members she hopes will fill the hall: It is the appearance of our colleague Melissa McCrae, who will read excerpts from the book she edited and published, “No Place for Little Boys: Civil War Letters of a Union Soldier.”
McCrae completed the work with Maureen Bradford. It was illustrated by David Priesing, who will accompany McCrae.
Richard Bradford of Orono is an honorary member of the CHS, which has 81 in-state and out-of-state members.
His grandfather Peleg Bradford Jr. was born, raised and is buried in Carmel. The book is mostly a collection of his letters, which Richard Bradford donated to the special collections at the University of Maine at Orono.
Graves and other society members, including her husband, president Marvin Graves, secretary Helen Worcester and treasurer Opal Smith, are excited about the event “because we have several descendants of Peleg Bradford who are members of this society,” Graves said.
One of those descendants is Smith. “It is a very special event for those people,” Graves said. “We hope to get a lot of people interested who will attend.”
The society, which meets regularly the second Thursday of each month, “is always looking for new members,” Graves said. Its major project is “trying to pay off our building, which will house a museum that is right in the village, right beside the library.”
The society is renting the building to decrease the mortgage. “We really need just a little less than $10,000 to pay it off,” Graves said.
“We’re very excited about taking possession of it, and we’d like it to be sooner than later. In fact, we’d like it to be 1998, since that is the bicentennial of the first settlement in Carmel.
“We think that may be a little ambitious, but we keep trying.” The CHS has just completed two major fund-raisers toward that goal, but gladly accepts donations at any time.
“Anyone who wants information on the organization, or wants to help in any way, can call me or my husband at 848-7468,” Graves said.
Donations may also be sent to the Carmel Historical Society, P.O. Box 214, Carmel 04419.
McCrae will bring books to Thursday’s meeting and will sign copies for those who purchase them. She will donate 10 percent of the evening’s sales to the society.
Dick Hammond of Waterville is taking off on emergency relief trip No. 108 Thursday or Friday when he heads for Nashville, Tenn., at the request of Feed the Children president Larry Jones.
“Larry called and told me they are having an awful time in Nashville with the homeless,” said Hammond, who is national director of disaster relief for the 40-8 of the American Legion.
“Apparently there have been tremendous layoffs, with people losing their homes, and there are about 500 kids on the streets. We are going to load a tractor-trailer truck full of food, clothing and supplies, but what we need most are coats and shoes — especially coats — for the kids. He said the kids don’t even have coats.”
The unusual weather this year, with cooler temperatures than normal in the South, have not made things any easier. “The 40-8 decided to send the trailer to help the people in need in Nashville,” Hammond said.
Donations may be brought to the Maine Veterans Center, 25 College Ave., in Waterville. Hammond plans to leave Thursday if he has a trailer full, but could leave Friday afternoon.
Anyone wishing to make a financial donation to help defray fuel costs may do so by writing a check and mailing it to the 40-8 National Disaster Relief Fund, 2308 So. Hampton St., Springfield, Mo., 65807.
If you have questions about any contribution, call Hammond at 873-5555.
We saw Pat Hannan of Bangor at Sugarloaf over New Year’s weekend, and she told us how excited her staff at My Maine Bag at the Bangor Mall was to be the final week’s business recipient of the Bangor Beautiful gold bow award for excellence in holiday decorating.
Bangor Beautiful representative Eda Morrison wrote that “the volunteer judges had a very difficult time choosing from among so many lovely and tastefully done displays.
“It was clear from the number of nominating calls to Bangor Beautiful volunteers that people in the area are very proud of their friends and neighbors who put so much time and effort into creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere that we all could enjoy.”
And that’s what pleased Pat Hannan so much, she said: That someone actually took the time and made the effort to nominate her business for the award. My Maine Bag is very proud of its gold bow and hopes, for the joy it brings during the holiday season, that the program will continue.
Doug and Patricia Bears, who live at 73 Grove St. in Bangor won the final week award for best home decorating, and two areas shared the most festive neighborhood award: Oak Grove Drive in Brewer and Eagle Crest Apartments at 810 State St. in Bangor.
“Bangor Beautiful wishes to thank everyone who called to submit sites of possible winners,” Morrison wrote. “All were very worthy and a delight to see.”
The Standpipe, Bangor Daily News, P.O. Box 1329, Bangor 04402; 990-8288.