May 30, 2020

Yesterday …

(As reported in the Bangor Daily News)

10 years ago – Aug. 24, 1996

BANGOR – Just about everybody who has evaluated or studied Bangor’s downtown in the past decade has put the Freese’s building at the top of their to-do list.

They can scratch at least part of the building off the list in the next week or so when Realty Resources Chartered completes its purchase – for $250,000 – of the rear one-third of the former department store at 74-96 Main St.

Putting the pieces together to develop 34 units of senior citizen housing in part of the building “took us a long time,” acknowledged Joseph Cloutier, head of Realty Resources, the Rockport company that has built other affordable housing projects around New England.


GLENBURN – When repairman Don Dube enters the Shawley household, he’s expecting only to nip a possible oil-furnace problem in the bud.

The Dead River Co. employee’s interests, however, soon take root in the back yard of the home.

The Glenburn man is in awe of a colorful sea of flowers, trees, fruits and vegetables that stretches across about an acre behind the Falvey Street house.

Red, orange, pink and purple petals flourish on the property and strawberries, raspberries and tomatoes have a mouth-watering appeal. Four yellow finches nest in a honeysuckle hedge and several unique lawn ornaments peek through other vegetation.

Dube is greeted by John Shawley, the good-natured gardener who has grown accustomed to welcoming visitors to his property.


25 years ago – Aug. 24, 1981

CASTINE – Dr. Robert F. Russell is retiring from his position as physician at the Maine Maritime Academy, but he says, “I’m sort of starting my fourth career.”

The gray-haired, smiling doctor sits at his desk in a basement office at the academy.

“I’ve really had a very interesting life,” he admits. “When I got to medical school [Boston University], the war was on. I went into the Navy, and I interned at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. I went to the Navy’s deep sea diving school and became one of its first class divers. From there I went to submarine school.”

In 1949, Russell completed a general residency at Eastern Maine General Hospital. Then he and his family moved to Castine, and he started a general practice. “I ran the hospital here in town,” he said. “For many of those years, I was the only one here.”

50 years ago – Aug. 24, 1956

BANGOR – A skunk dropped in on the Grant family at 439 Essex St. and prepared to spend the night.

The Richard Grants, who just bought the house, hadn’t quite made themselves “to home” yet. In fact, they were in the process of papering and plastering and moving in and getting the kids settled when the visitor was discovered.

Mr. Grant had gone to the basement to get a board when he met the polecat.

Mr. Grant told Mrs. Grant that Mr. Skunk was in the basement. Mrs. Grant rushed to her children and then rushed to the phone. She called the police. She called the firemen and she called the Bangor Humane Society. But none of them would heed her plea “to get the skunk out of here.”

Two NEWS copy boys, armed with flashlights, flashbulbs and camera and raincoats arrived to take the skunk’s picture.

But Mrs. Grant told Carroll Pinkham and Grant Dearborn, the intrepid newsmen, that she wanted no flashbulbs exploding in her basement as she wasn’t sure just how her house guest felt about publicity.

A consultation with a Maine guide, who prefers to remain anonymous, because he is now in the service of his country and wears the Air Force uniform, told the animal editor of the NEWS the proper way to capture a skunk is to lift him off the ground by his tail – but the guide did not volunteer to perform the deed.


BREWER – The promotion of Patrolman Edmund E. Archer to the rank of sergeant in the Brewer Police Department was announced by Chief Ralph Willoughby. The advance in rank was the result of a competitive examination by all patrolmen. The newly created office gives the department an organizational lineup of the chief, sergeant and six patrolmen.


100 years ago – Aug. 24, 1906

BANGOR – One of the novel features to interest and instruct people at Bangor’s big fair will be found near the main entrance of the auditorium. This is a loom of new pattern, invented and patented by a Pittsfield machinist named Smith, who will be here to exhibit the mechanism in full operation.

Upon the new loom, which will be operated by electrical power, woolen cloth will be woven “while you wait,” and as the workings of textile machinery are understood by very few people in this vicinity, the exhibit is certain to be of great interest.


HAMPDEN – Wooden shoe dancers are not plentiful these days, partly because it is very hard work, and performers prefer to do something that will not take so much effort. A good artist in this line has little trouble in securing a good salary and in desirable theaters. There is an act of this style appearing at Riverside Park. They are billed as the McLane Sisters.


BANGOR – Miss Olive Swan, the famous New York equestrienne, who will appear in a thrilling act at the Eastern Maine State Fair, has arrived in Bangor from Montreal.

Miss Fisher, the high wire performer, also has arrived.


BANGOR – Hancock Street, from the Union Iron Works to and across Exchange Street, was the course of a spectacular runaway involving four frightened horses, a two-ton boiler and a nervy and extremely fortunate teamster.

Daniel Hayes hooked two pair of heavy team horses, owned by Coulter and Grant of Brewer, to a two-ton boiler slung between heavy wheels at the Union Iron Works. He started down the slight grade on Hancock Street toward Exchange Street.

There was no brake or any arrangement to hold the load and it crowded the wheel horses. They lost their footing and then, being somewhat green, lost their heads and this started the leaders.

The driver tried to turn his leaders, but the speed was too great and the horses couldn’t get any footing on the slippery pavement.


BUCKSPORT – It was the last day of the season at Verona Park. Large numbers of Grangers were present and the field day was a success in every particular. The clams were done to a turn and everyone had all they could take care of, and still there were plenty left.

The lawn party followed, all the booths were well-patronized. The ice cream and cake booth, presided over by Mrs. Alice Sanborn, was a busy place all evening. Miss Goldie Dunbar, as Rebecca of the Well, served all with lemonade.

The fortune telling and palmistry booths were crowded with those eager to learn what the future has in store for them. The fancy table where homemade candy was sold was among points which attracted many.

The dance at pavilion in the evening was largely attended and greatly enjoyed. The music was furnished by Joseph Kimball on piano and Mr. Davis on violin.

The receipts were very satisfactory to the ladies of the auxiliary who organized the event. The funds will be expended in making improvements to the grounds.

Compiled by Ardeana Hamlin

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