Lake Living Magazine - Summer 2018

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FREE summer 2018 • vol. 21, no. 2

Destination: Depot Street plus:

equal opportunity experience electrify your ride summer living keepin’ it real in cornish


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editor’s note Plus ca change, plus c’est la meme chose. That saying has always resonated with me, for one because I love the lyricism of it, but mostly for its truth. We tend to look through the lens that reflects our own lifetime and view it as something singularly different (and often better) than what went before. But the reality of life remains in those words: the more things change, the more they stay the same. I was struck by that truth when I wrote about Depot Street for this issue. Flipping through history books with hazy images of the past and people long since passed gave me pause. The built environment may have shifted, but the landscape remains the same. And most likely so do the hopes and aspirations of its inhabitants. Those people waiting for the train in the photo on page 9 could easily be us. Depot Street has obviously changed since the first narrow gauge railroad car left the station in 1893, as has Migis Lodge since it was founded in 1924, and Cornish since it was incorporated in 1794, but remnants of the past that time and our forebearers have preserved for us are still visible in each of them. They provide a kind of patina that enriches our appreciation of the evolving view by connecting our present with our past. Something in the constant and unchanging part of us recognizes that it’s through the lens that illuminates the past that we see the present more clearly. Laurie LaMountain Editor & Publisher Laurie LaMountain Staff Writers Leigh Macmillen Hayes Contributing Photographers Ethan McNerney, Leigh Macmillen Hayes, Mary Deland Strain, Migis Lodge, Kevin Murphy, Bridgton Historical Society, Bridgton Community Band, Mark Silber Graphic Designer Dianne Lewis Proofreader/Copy Editor Leigh Macmillen Hayes Lake Living is published quarterly by Almanac Graphics, Inc., 625 Rocky Knoll Rd, Denmark, ME 04022 207-452-8005. www.lakelivingmaine. com e-mail: ©2018. All rights reserved. Contents of this magazine may not be reproduced in any manner without written consent from the publisher. Annual subscriptions are available by sending check or money order for $20 to the above address.


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summer 2018 • vol. 21, no. 2

8 destination: depot street

18 summer living

12 an equal opportunity

22 keepin’ it real in cornish

by laurie lamountain


by laurie lamountain

14 steal away to rest: a

migis tradition

by leigh macmillen hayes

16 electrify your ride

by laurie lamountain

by leigh macmillen hayes

by laurie lamountain

28 dolls on display

by leigh macmillen hayes

30 summer bookshelf

reviews from bridgton books

cover photo bridgton farmers’ market by ethan mcnerney

The Place to Shop for the Summer Ahead!

Fabulous and fun women’s clothing and accessories—for a walk on the beach, a day at work, or a special evening out. You’ll also find tasteful housewares and decor—books, wine—and gifts for all occasions, a wedding, or that small “thank you.”


main street, bridgton • open seven days • 207.647.5436

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by laurie lamountain


ntil fairly recently, Depot Street in Bridgton was a quiet intown street with a handful of businesses and twice as many empty buildings. It wasn’t always that way, though. From 1883, when the first train of the Bridgton and Saco River Railroad steamed into town, until the narrow gauge railway’s last whistle blew in 1941, the railroad terminal was located at the bottom of Depot Street. During its nearly sixty years of service, the rail provided an important link for the town, transporting both passengers and freight to the standard gauge railway station at Hiram Junction and thus connecting Bridgton to the outside world. Of Maine’s ten narrow gauge railroads, the Bridgton and Saco remained the longest. According to Bridgton, Maine 17681994, published by the Bridgton Historical Society, “The little narrow gauge did bring


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Public investment continues on Depot Street in the downtown, with sidewalks coming there soon and with the town’s adoption of Pondicherry Park. This park, along with a Renys, a farmers’ market, and a movie theater give Bridgton’s downtown a unique presence unmatched by any other in the region. from the 2014 Bridgton Comprehensive Plan some degree of prosperity to Bridgton, but every pound of freight had to be reloaded at Bridgton Junction from one line to another, and every passenger had to change cars with bag and baggage.”

ethan mcnerney

Destination: Depot Street

Without it, however, it would have been extremely difficult and costly for the many mills in town to import materials necessary for manufacturing or to ship their finished products to market. To wit, once the rail was gone, it wasn’t long before the last of Bridgton’s once-busy mills closed and warehouses along Depot Street became as obsolete as the Depot itself. Eight years after the last train left the station, the Bridgton Memorial School stood in its place and for the following fifty years not much else changed. Today, Depot Street is home to a lively collection of shops and eateries that offer everything from extra virgin olive oil on tap to “Italian cuisine without egoistic embellishment” to a classic cocktail. It’s all available on this quaint downtown connector, where you’ll also find the area’s best farmers’ market on Saturday mornings, as well as festivals and events throughout the season.

leigh macmillen hayes

“When I first started here, the community center was the only life blood on the street . . . and it was surrounded by chainlink fences and razor wire!

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On July 7th, a season-long celebration of Bridgton’s 250th anniversary kicks off on Depot Street. Among other things, a time capsule archived in 1968 will be opened at the ceremony and additional items will be added before it is resealed. Dog Daze of Summer, a one-day event to celebrate dogs and the humans who love them, follows on August 4th. Depot Street’s revival didn’t happen all at once. Carmen Lone, who has been executive director of the Bridgton Community Center since 2005, recalls the state of the former Army Reserve armory when she came on board. “When I first started here, the community center was the only life blood on the street . . . and it was surrounded by chainlink fencing and razor wire!” Under her capable direction, the center has lived up to its name by offering space for classes, social services, and community lunches and dinners. A 52-space, raised-bed community garden in the rear of the building is available for private or group use. Things on Depot Street really took a turn for the better when the Magic Lantern Movie Theater reopened in a new building in 2008. The area behind it and stretching down as far as the community center became a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) project, on which surrounding business owners worked with the town to upgrade the public space. The Depot Street Streetscape Project includes a full road reconstruction with sewer work, sidewalks, streetlights and other amenities from Main Street to Stevens Brook. The municipal parking area, the largest in town, provides easy access to the Bob Dunning Bridge (dedicated in 2010) and the 66-acre in-town Pondicherry Park surrounding it.

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The public space also provides a permanent home for the Bridgton Farmer’s Market. There’s even an electric car charging station. The first “green” commercial space was constructed on Depot Street by Main Eco Homes in 2011. In lieu of fossil fuels, the building is heated and cooled by highefficiency electric pumps and is prepped for solar heating. It’s super insulated and contains no off-gassing materials. It is currently home to Tasteful Things, Clearstream Wellness, Dr. Drexel Gordon, D.O., and Loon Echo Land Trust, the non-profit conservation organization that, in collaboration with Lakes Environmental Association, made Pondicherry Park a reality. The GAR Hall is one of the few remaining landmarks of the railway era. Built by the Farragut Memorial Post of the Grand Army of the Republic in just forty-eight days in 1896, it is located next door at 12 Depot Street and serves as the seasonal home to Bridgton Arts & Crafts, a made-in-Maine gift shop. At 16 Depot Street, Vintage Souls operates out of what was Darling’s Sea Food Market in the 1940s. Two of the warehouses that remained from rail yard days were refurbished and

in 2013 Carrye Castleman-Ross opened Depot Street Tap House in one of them. The other was about to open as Vivo Country Italian Kitchen when a fire completely destroyed the building in June of 2015. The owners, Jimmy Burke and Joanie Wilson, immediately rebuilt and opened the doors at Vivo before the year was out. Their very conscious effort to capture the spirit of what stood on the same spot for over a century is evident in the building that takes its place. It’s no surprise that Vivo translates to alive in Italian. Cin cin! R Savor Depot Street

Tasteful Things, photos on page 9, offers gourmet delights, artisanal olive oil and vinegars, Maine-made gifts and so much more. Vintage Souls, photo on page 9, offers a treasure trove of painted furniture, home decor, hand-painted signs, jewelry by Maine artists, and cool things for kids. Vivo Italian Country Kitchen, photo above left, is an Italian eatery at its best, with scratchmade pastas and sauces, wines from the old country and fresh-shucked Maine oysters. Depot Street Tap House, photo above center, is Bridgton’s classic cocktail bar, featuring Maine craft beers on tap, creative infusions and seasonal small plates.

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An Equal Opportunity Experience


o one should be deprived access to healthy food on the basis of income, right? Unfortunately, although we’d all agree that equality is a good thing, there seems to be a widening gap between high- and low-income consumption of fruits and vegetables. Fortunately, farmers’ markets are a proven strategy for breaching that gap by increasing access to healthy foods within low-income households. Farmers’ markets provide a venue for farmers to sell locally-grown produce, meats, eggs, and dairy products directly to consumers. That, too, is a good thing, but perception around farmers’ markets continues to limit access to them. First and foremost, because there’s a predominant perception that these markets cater to affluent, college educated, white people, there’s an attendant presumption that they don’t participate in programs such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). In an effort to dispel this notion, farmers’ markets increasingly operate machines that accept SNAP/EBT transactions. The hardworking farmers who run the markets realize that increasing access to low-income and minority consumers can link people in need with affordable whole foods, while simultaneously supporting the economic stability of their farms.


by laurie lamountain

Having previously had the ability to process Electronic Benefit Transaction cards through a non-profit organic farm that withdrew from the market when it closed in 2013, the remaining farmers at the Bridgton Farmers’ Market realized the need to apply for funding that would get them back up and running. Fortuitously, in 2014 the Farmers Market Coalition (FMC) was contracted by the USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) to administer the Free SNAP EBT Equipment Program, which provides funding for new EBT equipment and related service fees to farmers’ markets. The

Bridgton Farmers’ Market applied for and was granted the equipment, along with a three-year data contract that allows them to once again process SNAP/EBT transactions. According to the FMC website, from 2014 when the nationwide program began and when it closed in November of 2017, “over 120,000 individual EBT transactions were processed on equipment provided through the program, totaling over $1.3 million in SNAP benefits.” Like a lot of places, however, the lakes region saw a reduction in SNAP benefits in 2016/2017. And even for those who have them, it’s not easy to get through the month. In 2016, the average monthly benefit per Maine participant was $112.24—that’s less than $4 per day. So when the Bridgton Farmers’ Market farmers saw a way to stretch those supplemental benefits, they went for it. In partnership with the Maine Federation of Farmers’ Markets (MFFM), the Bridgton Farmers’ Market participates in the Maine Harvest Bucks program, which allows SNAP shoppers to double their purchasing power. For the past three years, the program was funded by a USDA Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive (FINI) grant administered by Wholesome Wave. MFFM continues to provide grant funding and support for the program at more than thirty markets. Shop-

pers buying meats, eggs, cheese or bread with SNAP/EBT card receive a 100% match in Maine Harvest Bucks to use toward fresh fruits and vegetables. Not all farmers’ markets participate in the Maine Harvest Bucks program. For one thing, a provision of the grant is that every recipient market has to match the funds with in-kind and monetary donations. In the case of the Bridgton market, there was added incentive to apply because they had received donations from patrons and local businesses that allowed them to meet the match. With regard to in-kind donations (labor and outreach), the market overmatched the funds. BrennaMae Thomas-Googins, assistant manager of the Bridgton market, is very involved with both supplemental programs. She works closely with Jimmy DeBiasi, SNAP Program Coordinator for MFFM, and serves on the board. She explains how the two programs work in tandem at the market. Anyone using a card to pay for their purchases (credit, debit or EBT), checks in at the market information booth and is provided a shopping sheet and clipboard on which individual vendors then record their purchases. When finished, shoppers return to the information booth and swipe their card to complete their shopping. Those using a SNAP card are given Maine Harvest Bucks equivalent to their purchase that can be redeemed directly with the farmers. Because Maine Harvest Bucks can only be used for fresh produce, SNAP cards are typically used for eggs, milk, meat and bread. In all cases, shoppers using credit or debit cards are given the opportunity to add $1 to their purchase to support the program. BrennaMae notes that it’s not uncommon for people to run through their EBT/ SNAP benefits before the month is up. “That’s when Harvest Bucks show up at the market. People save them up to fill the void.” Maine Harvest Bucks have also filled an important void for seniors living on a fixed income. The Senior FarmShare Program provides income-eligible seniors the opportunity to receive fresh local produce during the growing season, but funding for the program runs out quickly. In its absence, Maine Harvest Bucks provide an additional way for seniors to have access to unprocessed Maine-grown vegetables and fruits. BrennaMae points to the individual success stories that make the program worth it. In addition to fresh produce, Maine Harvest Bucks can be used to purchase plants, and she tells how one family of three that loves to gar-

“One of the reasons we started the program was to dispel the notion that food is more expensive at the farmers’ market. We, as farmers, wanted an additional way to show this food was available to everyone.”

den buys their seedlings at the market so they can grow their own food. Another family is no longer eligible for SNAP benefits because the program worked. By being able to eat and stay healthy, they were able to transition from it. They continue to shop at the market. “One of the reasons we started the program was to dispel the notion that food is more expensive at the farmers’ market. We, as farmers, wanted an additional way to show this food was available to everyone. We get to know these people and teach them how to economize.” Beyond the farmers outreach efforts to promote the the Maine Harvest Bucks program, BrennaMae states that the best outreach comes from those who use it. “We try to be consistently present with people to help them promote the program. Word of mouth is so essential to sharing the information. Someone who may not know about it, might be helped by it.” Which leads to an even bigger success story: by supporting the program through user

outreach, the farmers are being supported, which in turn supports the local economy. For every $100 spent locally, $68 will stay in the community. It all comes back to local. As of this writing, the 2018 Farm Bill had been passed by the House Agriculture Committee and was headed to the floor for a full House vote. In addition to mandating new work requirements for SNAP recipients, the draft proposes cuts in mandatory funding for several local and regional food programs, as well as elimination of the Organic Certification Cost Share Program, which helps farmers meet organic certification expenses. This footnote is not intended to rain on the sunny story of the Bridgton Farmers’ Market farmers, but rather to emphasize the essential role they play in our rural life and economy. Their success is our success. To ensure its continuation, you can make a donation at the market, contact your local and state representatives, and learn more about the Maine Harvest Bucks program at R

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Steal Away to Rest: A Migis Tradition

by leigh macmillen hayes


hough you may have passed by the sign for Migis Lodge in Casco innumerable times and not given it a second thought, it has served as a family gathering place for over one hundred years. And in all that time, the basics it was founded upon have not changed. Oh, the price may have risen a bit from the original $2/person/day. And any number of renovations may have occurred. Certainly more cottages now stand on the property than did at its inception, but the rate has always included all amenities and three full meals/ person/day, aka the American Plan. Peggy Tanner of New York has vacationed at Migis Lodge with her family for thirty summers minus one, when children under age six were prohibited from the main dining room, a rule which would affect their youngest. In hindsight, they regretted missing that year and returned the following. “On my first date with David [Tanner]” explains Peggy, “he told me how he hated camp and it was the worst time of his life. I adored attending camp as a kid. It was almost a deal breaker, but I figured if one day we married I could convince him to send the kids to camp. Fast forward—we married and when our first son was

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three months old, on the recommendation of a dear family friend, we spent a week at Migis. Migis felt like camp, only with better food, including the relish tray, better accommodations, lots of similar activities, and the most idyllic location.” That idyllic location was the brainstorm of Charles L. Goodridge, owner of the Songo River Line Steamboat Company. Since the area had been a vacation mecca for families wishing to escape city life, Mr. Goodridge commissioned several steamboats to meet them at the train depot and transport them to Sebago, Naples and Harrison. On his repeated Sebago Lake excursions, he recognized the value of the property and realized he could create a fishing camp for well-to-do anglers. And so in 1916, Goodridge acquired the land, built a lodge and added seven small cabins, each named for a different state, and called his retreat National Camps. In 1924, the founders of the adjacent Camp Wohelo, Luther and Charlotte Gulick, purchased the fishing camp from Goodridge. Their daughter, Frances, assumed leadership and promoted it as a place for campers’ parents to stay. She also changed the name to Migis Lodge, “migis” loosely meaning “place to steal away to rest.” The Guilick family eventually sold Migis to Sherman and Mabel Crockett. Along with their son, George, they owned the lodge through 1968. With each family ownership, more cottages were built and activities added, but through the years Migis always remained an American Plan resort—including during the ration years of World War II.

It was in 1968 that the Porta family stepped onto the scene. Gene and Grace Porta had operated resorts on Martha’s Vineyard for many years. When fire consumed one of those properties they considered purchasing a place in Maine, but Gene was certain that it wouldn’t be feasible. Despite that, they asked George Crockett, who had switched careers from hotel proprietor to commercial real estate agent, to show them coastal resorts. Instead, he took them to Migis. So began the Porta family ownership fifty years ago. Three generations of Portas later, it’s still all in the family. Tim Porta’s first job was pushing dishes through the dishwasher at the family’s hotels. After serving in the army, Tim followed in his parents’ footprints and when they were ready to retire in 1978, he and his wife, Joan, borrowed enough to purchase the property at fair market value. Tim and Joan each had two children from previous marriages. With the birth of their son, Jed, they raised five kids while running the resort. Like his father and siblings, Jed followed the family tradition of standing on a milk crate to push dishes through the dishwasher. “By thirteen, I was promoted to raking beaches,” he says with a wry smile. Except for two summers, he has always worked at the resort. After high school, Jed chose to attend Cornell, where he enrolled in the Hotel School, which incidentally was George Crockett’s alma mater. Most recently, Jed took the helm, though his parents are still very much a part of the resort scene. In keeping with tradition, he and his wife, Landace, are raising the next dishwasher, baby Silas. The resort has grown from the original

seven cabins to thirty-five and with it the number of staff has increased. On Migis Lodge’s Facebook page, Martha Milliken Round recalled working there in 1961 when the staff consisted of five young men and nine girls. The Portas now employ over 110 people in the summer to see to their guests’ needs. The business is family-oriented and the Portas have continued to welcome newcomers and repeat customers, many of whom represent multiple generations like the Tanners. Some have made it their tradition to stay in the same cottage the same week each summer. Though the Tanners don’t have that one particular week each summer carved in stone, Peggy notes that Migis has been their “go to” family destination. When they first started coming, the televisions were black and white and there was a phone booth from which to make any outgoing calls. Though many traditions have continued and the old ways have been kept, she says that the Portas have been willing to grow with the times. One can simply curl up in a chair on the porch or at the beach and read all week or participate in a myriad of activities on land or water. Grandparents play shuffleboard with their grandchildren. Kids don orange life jackets and pile onto the Tykona II, a

Migis Lodge changing hands in 1968, from (r-l) Sherm, Mabel and George Crockett to Grace and Gene Porta

Jed, Tim, Joan, and Landace Porta

1947 Chris Craft, for a visit to the Candy Store at a nearby marina. Adults enjoy a massage after a round of golf. And every Wednesday, anyone who would like may hop aboard the boat and enjoy a Steak Roast, complete with petite filets, corn on the cob and salads, on a nearby private island. At the end of each day, parents can choose to eat dinner at their leisure while their children enjoy the “Zoo” program, where they are supervised and entertained for several hours or join their children in the family dining room. Dinner requires a whole other tradition— a dress code. For the gentlemen, it means donning a collared shirt, dress pants and a blazer, while the ladies may wear skirts and blouses, dresses, or dress pants and sweaters. The Tanners’ three twenty-something sons never baulked at the dress code. They did attend summer camp and are still willing to vacation with their parents in Maine, now with a couple of girlfriends in tow. “It’s the one summer plan they are willing to commit to months ahead of time,” says Peggy. The family has always joked that Migis is the only resort where you have to be on your best behavior or you won’t be invited

back. “The Portas have always been warm and gracious,” says Peggy, “and Jed is a gem. We’ve known him since he was a toddler. He was an imp as a kid, but now he runs a tight ship, while always smiling and taking an interest in our lives.” But remember the relish tray? What is so special about it? While in many restaurants relish trays have fallen out of fashion, such is not the case at Migis where cottage cheese, olives, gherkins, crudités, red pepper relish, and watermelon rind pickles overflow the compartmental tray hand delivered to the dinner table by the Roll and Relish Girl. David Tanner thinks the cottage cheese is the best he’s ever tasted, despite repeated taunts from his sons. For Peggy, it’s all about the olives. It turns out that the relish tray is part of the overall Migis mystique. One immediately senses that mystique when turning off of Route 302 and onto the lane that meanders beneath towering pines toward the main lodge and Sebago Lake. Tim Porta says, “People come to stay and many put their car keys into a drawer for the rest of the week.” They return year after year—stealing away to rest in the Migis tradition. R

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Electrify Your Ride by laurie lamountain


lectric bicycles are not a new phenomenon. Patents dating as far back as the late 19th century prove it. Granted, they weren’t as technologically advanced as today’s e-bikes, but the basic concept was the same: a bicycle with an integrated electric motor that can be used for propulsion. And while hardcore cyclist might thumb their noses at e-bikes, they should consider the utilitarian aspect of a vehicle that allows you to get things done and get your exercise at the same time. E-bikes provide the perfect way to scoot over to the local farmers’ market on a Saturday or zip over to the dentist—all without leaving a carbon footprint behind. A lot of commuters prefer them because they make for a less strenuous, i.e., sweaty ride to work—perfect for western Maine’s hillier terrain. Steve Richard saw their usefulness and decided to add them to the interesting mix of products he sells at Frost and Flame. “What I saw was affordable fun riding through city streets as well as off road. I also saw that electric bikes were for people on any level: for young or old, active athlete, semi-couch potato and anyone in between.” So now, in addition to stoves, fireplaces and swimming pools, Richard offers e-bikes

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through Electric Bikes of Maine, a division of his stove store. It’s not the first time Jøtuls and bikes have shared space at his Gorhambased business. In the mid-1970s, Frost & Flame was one of the largest bike dealers in southern Maine, but with the subsequent acquisition and demands of a pool business, the bike business fell off. That is until about a year ago, when Richard began researching electric bikes and saw what he considered an interesting way to expand his businesses. After extensive research, he landed on two of the premier names in the industry—Haro Del Sol and Surface 604—both of which produce electric bikes that are comparable to their high-end competitors but at a more affordable price. It’s important to point out that more affordable does not mean inexpensive. You can buy an e-bike on Amazon for about a quarter of the price of a Del Sol and a third of the Surface 604, but it’s a good idea to do your research—or take advantage of retailers who have done it for you. If your intention is to own a product that you’ll enjoy for years, you’ll likely conclude that the “bargain” bike has its limitations, starting with a limited one-year warranty. There’s also the fact that you’ll almost certainly have to assemble your online purchase yourself—

which can be tricky—and replacing parts that have failed can also be an issue. The bigger issue for Richard, though, is that you really need to get on the bike and test it for size, comfort and stability. “I would never buy one of these bikes without trying them. I tried out several and was stunned by the difference in stability” says Richard. “Safety is a big factor when you’re on a vehicle that can go 20+ mph.” Assembly is another. If the controls are not properly assembled, you can really get hurt. Buying a bike that has been assembled by trained techs can save you in more ways than one. He points out that the frame for the Surface 604 is extremely strong and the lower battery mount provides better stability. There are also different frame sizes to choose from and it’s only by test driving them that you can know which one is best for you. It’s also important to know that not all pedal-assist bikes are equal. There are three generations of pedal-assist: throttle is the simplest and has been around the longest; cadence sensor is like a throttle but operated by your feet; and torque sensor is something of a hybrid that senses how hard you’re pressing on the pedals. Surface 604 bikes combine torque sensors with throttle

control. The Del Sol cruiser uses a Shimano STePS system with torque sensor that knows when you’re working harder and tells the motor to chip in. It also makes a difference whether you want something to get around town or a sport bike for off-road recreation. The Del Sol LX I/0 from Haro and the Rook and Colt from Surface 604 are commuter/cruisers that are built for ease of maneuverability and longer rides, while the Boar Camo Fat Bike from Surface 604 is ideal for getting off road and into nature. According to Richard, two-thirds of the market is made up of people in the 45 to 60-year-old demographic who are more likely to buy a cruiser, while the remaining third belongs to a younger demographic looking for an off-road recreational thrill. He also notes that a lot more women are buying e-bikes these days. Down the road a piece, The Local Gear in Cornish carries the Electra Townie Go!, a cruiser/commuter made by Trek that features a sophisticated Bosch drive system with four levels of power support: Eco, Tour, Sport and Turbo. Multi-gear functionality lets you control output and battery life. Trek launched the Electra brand twentyfive years ago with its iconic beach cruiser. Ten years later, they introduced the Townie. Through an innovation they refer to as Flat Foot Technology® (basically moving the pedals forward and the seat back) the seated rider is able to firmly plant both feet flat on the ground when stationary but still have full leg extension while pedaling. The result is a safer and more comfortable, upright ride. A lower center of gravity and 26” puncture-resistant balloon tires add to the comfort. You also have a choice of step-thru or step-over frame that captures the cool looking swoopy lines of the original beach cruiser. Local Gear owner Dave Newman says that the philosophy behind the Electra Townie Go! is all about inclusivity and fitting your family lifestyle, which makes it the perfect fit for his family-owned business. Take a spin at either shop. You’ll see what the buzz is all about and discover how an e-bike can electrify your ride. R

“What I saw was affordable fun riding through city streets as well as off road. I also saw that electric bikes were for people on any level: for young or old, active athlete, semi-couch potato and anyone in between.”

Electric Bikes of Maine, located at 621 Main Street in Gorham, offers sales, service, parts and accessories. 207-702-2453 or The Local Gear, located at 74 Maple Street in Cornish, offers sales, service and accessories. 207625-9400 or

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summer living

Brick Church for the Performing Arts An historic and acoustically perfect setting in Lovell; enjoy music events on Thursday evenings at 7:30pm. There will also be a children’s theatrical performance. FMI:, 207.925.1500 Celebration Barn This restored horse barn in the woods of South Paris provides an inspiring natural setting for Saturday night performances from June through October. FMI: celebrationbarn. com, 207.743.8452 Deertrees Theatre Take part in celebrating music, drama and art during the summer months at this enchanting Adirondack-style, 300-seat theater nestled in the pines of Harrison. FMI:, 207.583.6747 Denmark Arts Center Located on Main Street in the hamlet of Denmark, the DAC offers an impressive array of music, dance, art and workshops. Friday nights feature Family Friendly Fun with Celebration Barn at the DAC. FMI:, 207.452.2412 Lakes Region Community Theatre Providing opportunities for education, participation, and appreciation in the performing arts since 1996, LRCT will present Into the Woods at Lake Region High School on August 3, 4, 10 and 11 at 7:30pm, August 5 and 12 at 2:00pm. FMI: Ossipee Valley Music Festival A roots music festival featuring an omnivorous blend of genredefying music in South Hiram on July 26-29. No dogs allowed. FMI:, 207.625.8656 Oxford Hills Music and Performing Arts Association Staging productions highlighting local talent since 1990, OHMPAA will present several shows at Norway Grange in June, July, and November. FMI: Schoolhouse Arts Center Appealing to audiences of all ages, a variety of shows will be performed in the revamped theater throughout the summer months at SAC in Standish. FMI:, 207.642.3743

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mark silber

performing arts

Sebago-Long Lake Music Festival For more

than forty-five years, the SebagoLong Lake Music Festival has performed chamber music in western Maine. From mid-July to mid-August, the SLLMF presents a variety of instrumental music from various periods of time. This summer, the chamber music repertoire will include Brahms Piano Quintet and Horn Trio, Schumann Piano Quartet, Mozart Clarinet Quintet, and Dvorak Piano Quintet – combined with many superb but lesser known works by Hummel, Arensky, Saint-Saens, Poulenc, Rachmaninoff, Kodaly, Villa-Lobos, and Rorem.

In addition, the SLLMF offers Healing through Music, which is designed to bring beautiful music to patients, staff and volunteers in nearby medical facilities including Bridgton, South Paris, and Norway. And the Discover the Joy of Classical Music, an hourlong free concert for families, will continue with a performance in Bridgton. Finally, the SLLMF hopes to be part of Bridgton’s 250th anniversary celebration. Join SLLMF for a five-week series of world class chamber music concerts on Tuesday evenings from July to mid-August at Deertrees Theatre in Harrison. FMI: Stone Mountain Arts Center Nestled in the foothills of the White Mountains, the Stone Mountain Arts Center is a beautiful timber-frame music hall that hosts national acts. FMI:, 207.935.7292.

the outdoors Greater Lovell Land Trust This year marks the

centennial of the Migratory Bird Treat Act. In the late 1800s and early 1900s, many bird species were in crisis due to overhunting for fashionable plumes to decorate ladies’ hats and as food sources. In response, the United States joined other countries in signing the most important bird-protection law known as the Migratory Bird Treaty Act in 1918, which was intended to save countless birds’ lives from human threats. In honor of this milestone law, the Greater Lovell Land Trust has joined forces with National Geographic, Audubon, BirdLife International, The Cornell Lab of Ornithology, and more than 100 like-minded organizations to celebrate the “Year of the Bird.” Over the course of the year, the GLLT

will host a variety of bird-related events, including a Chewonki Foundation visit with live owls. Additionally, children in the GLLT/Lovell Rec summer nature programs will also participate in bird-related activities prior to or during each weekly hike. Join the GLLT for a series of guided walks and hikes. Amphibians, stonewalls, mushrooms, goshawks and loons are some of the themes supported by complimentary Natural History Evening Programs at Charlotte Hobbs Memorial Library in Lovell. FMI:, 207.925.1056 Lakes Environmental Association Besides conducting valuable research on Maine lakes, LEA offers an extensive summer program that includes guided walks and family outings at Holt Pond, Highland Lake Reserve, the Stevens Brook Trail and Pondicherry Park. Back by popular demand this summer will be the 2nd Annual Paddle Battle fundraiser on July 7. FMI:, 207.647.8580. Loon Echo Land Trust LELT provides a variety of outdoor experiences including walks, bird migration watches, and acoustic music on Hacker’s Hill. The 2018 Norway Savings Bank Loon Echo Trek has been reformatted to feature a hike on Pleasant Mountain and The Mountain Challenge Race, an 8.4-mile hike and trail run event, on Saturday, September 15. FMI:, 207.647.4352 Mahoosuc Land Trust From the Androscoggin River to mountain summits, the MLT offers plenty of guided paddles and hikes for out-

door enthusiasts. To obtain a map of access points to the Androscoggin River, contact the office. FMI:, 207.824.3806 Upper Saco Valley Land Trust Once a month USVLT hosts a themed visit to a preserve or easement through the Easement Exploration Series designed to connect community members with the protected lands that surround them. FMI:, 603.356.9683 Western Foothills Land Trust The WFLT offers hikes, walks, races, and paddles that explore the natural history of the Oxford Hills Region, and especially the land trust’s properties and easements. FMI:, 207.739.2124

museums & history

Bridgton Historical Society and Narramissic

In 1768, the land formerly known as Pondicherry was granted

by the Massachusetts General Court to Moody Bridges and a group of proprietors. By 1779, the small settlement was named Bridgetown Plantation in commemoration of Mr. Bridges, the first settler. On February 7, 1794, the town was incorporated as Bridgton.

This summer, Bridgton will celebrate the 250th anniversary of the town’s founding. To mark the occasion, the historical society will host several events including burying a 2018 Commemorative Time Capsule. Other summer events include a walking tour, historical home tour, traditional arts, and a speaker series. Some events take place at the 1797 PeabodyFitch Farm in South Bridgton, known as Narramissic. Plan a visit to the BHS Museum on Gibbs Avenue, housed in the old firehouse, where town artifacts are on display. And be

sure to also spend some time at Narramissic for a glimpse of New England on the eve of the Civil War. The property includes a Temperance Barn, blacksmith shop, and short hike to a quarry. Check out the BHS’s free “Historic Bridgton Apps” for a history of Pondicherry Park and other Bridgton sites. FMI:,207.647.3699

Clarence Mulford Room The Fryeburg Public Library is home to a room dedicated to Mulford’s fictional character, Hopalong Cassidy, and includes a collection of books, research notes and other memorabilia. FMI: fryeburgmaine. org/town-departments/library or 207.935.2731 Denmark Historical Society Formed in 1989, the Denmark Historical Society’s mission is to collect and preserve the history of the town and its citizens. The historical society’s archives are stored at the Denmark Public Library. Recently restored Centennial Hall on Main Street, Denmark, features a museum dedicated to the area’s agricultural and industrial past. FMI: denmarkhistoricalsociety. com Fryeburg Historical Society and Research Center The former Ethel “Red” Smith House, an 1832 cape at 83 Portland Street in Fryeburg, houses both the FHS museum artifacts and paintings, plus the genealogical research library. FMI:, 207.256.3001 Hazel and Owen Currier Doll Museum Located in the 1847 Fryeburg Town House at 103 Lovell Road (Route 5), and sponsored by the Fryeburg Historical Society, the museum features the Curriers’ extensive doll collection. Tours are available Wednesdays and Thursdays from May through October, or by appointment. FMI:, Kimball-Stanford House The first floor of the main house owned by the Lovell Historical Society serves as a museum (with free admission) and the first floor of the ell (which connects the house with the barn) serves as the Research Center. The LHS hosts a summer fair on July 22 and a barn tour on August 12. FMI:, 207.925.3234

Maine Mineral & Gem Museum Though the grand opening won’t occur until the fall, the Rock Garden features 22 geological specimens. including one of the largest meteorites on display in North America. The museum store is also open. FMI:, 207.824.3036 Museums of the Bethel Historical Society The Bethel Historical Society’s exhibit galleries and period rooms are displayed in both the 1813 Dr, Moses Mason House and 1821 O’Neil Robinson House. Tours and other events, including a weekly children’s program in July, called Mornings at the Museum, are offered. FMI:, 207.824.2908 Naples Causeway Classic Boat and Car Show Sponsored by the Mountainview Woodies Classics Boat Club, the 25th annual event begins with a boat parade on Long Lake on Friday, August 10, at 7:30 pm and continues with the show on Saturday, August 11, at the Naples Town Dock. FMI: Raymond-Casco Historical Museum Three buildings comprise the RCHM in Casco. The main building features many artifacts of yesteryear, while larger items are located in the restored barn and a third building houses an antique automobile collection. FMI: raymondmaine. org, 207.655.4646 Rufus Porter Museum The Rufus Porter Museum offers an opportunity to learn more about the 19th century artist, inventor and founder of Scientific American magazine. Museum and gift shop open Thursday-Saturday from June 6 to October 6. FMI:, 207.647.2828 Scribners Mill The historic 19th century sawmill and homestead in Harrison offers educational tours on the 1st and 3rd Saturday of the month from Memorial Day through Labor . FMI: scribnersmill. org, 207.583.6544

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fairs & festivals Dog Daze of Summer

August 4, 1:00 - 4:00pm, at the Community Center on Depot Street in Bridgton. A celebration of dogs and the people who love them. Maine was listed as the #1 dog-friendly state in 2017. Join us for an afternoon of fun and games, educational seminars, vendors, and a dog parade finale. All dogs must be leashed. Doggie waste bags provided. FMI: 207.577-0782

Short Folks for Hope Folk Fair June 23, 9:00am - 4:00pm, Music, raffles, demonstrations, arts and crafts to benefit the following cancer support organizations: Short Folks for Hope Foundation, Cancer Resource Center of Western Maine, and the Dempsey Challenge, Longley Square, Main Street, Norway. FMI: shortfolks. org, 888.522.6987 Windham SummerFest June 23, 10:00am - 10:00pm, Celebrate the beginning of summer with a parade, craft booths, food and games, a business expo, car show, entertainment and fireworks, Windham High School Complex, 406 Gray Road, Windham. FMI:, 207.892.1905 Cornish Strawberry Festival June 30, 9:00am - 3:00pm, Strawberry shortcake and fresh strawberries, vendors, live music, and a few surprises, Thompson Park, Main Street, Cornish. FMI:

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Bethel Art Fair July 7, 9:00am 4:00pm, 29th Annual Fair at the Bethel Town Common. Fireworks at 9:15pm. FMI:, 800.442.5826 Chickadee Quilters July 7 - 8, 10:00am - 4:00 pm, 39th Annual Quilt Show at Stevens Brook Elementary School, 14 Frances Bell Drive, Bridgton. FMI: Find us on Facebook Ossipee Valley Fair July 12 - 15, Country Fair with oodles of livestock events, competitions, demonstrations, and exhibits, Fairgrounds, 291 South Hiram Road, South Hiram. FMI: Norway Music & Arts Festival July 14, 11:00am - 7:00pm, Annual Sidewalk Art Show, Main Street, Norway. FMI: norwayartsfestival. org, 207.713.1515 Waterford World’s Fair July 20 - 22, A celebration of rural and historical culture includes a Day Full of Fiddling, 36 Green Road, North Waterford. FMI:, 207.595.1601 Art in the Park July 21, 9:00am 4:00pm, Gallery 302’s 15th Annual Celebration at Shorey Park, Main Street, Bridgton. FMI: gallery302. com, 207.647.2787 Founder’s Day and Classic Car Exhibit July 21, 9:00am - 5:00pm, Music, vendors, crafts, and car show to benefit Hamlin Memorial Library and Museum, On the Green, Paris Hill. FMI:hamlin.lib. Moore Park Makers Fair July 28, 9:00am- 4:00pm, Celebrating the DIY spirit of western Maine people with demonstrations and workshops, live entertainment and local fare, Moore Park, Route 26, South Paris. FMI:, 207.890.6386 Naples for the Arts August 4, 9:00am - 5:00pm, Fine Arts Show along the Naples Causeway. FMI: or 954.610.1041

Gray Blueberry Festival August 11, 9:30am - 3:00pm, This familyfriendly event is much more than a blueberry festival. Music and food vendors, including local bakers, will be available all day. For those who like a challenge, try the pie-eating contests, jam off, or a one-of-a-kind bean bag toss “golf course.” Vendors/Artisans/Community Expo, wagon rides, live animals, traditional lawn games, and a kids’ activity tent. Admis-

kevin murphy

summer living

sion is free and so are most of the activities. 24 Main Street, Gray. FMI: Find us on Facebook Foothills Food Festival August 11, noon - 8:00pm, A local foods movement with a focus on food and a farmers’ market, speakers and workshops, beer garden, live music and entertainment, Longley Square, Norway. FMI:, 207.739.2101 New England Trappers’ Weekend August 16 - 19, Centered around a cowboy theme, the day will include demos, stories, camping, contests, food, dance, and kids’ stuff, music, auction, 760 East Bethel Road, Bethel. FMI: Lovell Arts & Artisans Fair August 18, 9:00am - 3:00pm, 43nd Annual Fair at New Suncook School will benefit the Charlotte Hobbs Memorial Library, Route 5, Lovell. FMI:, 207.925.3177 Oxford County Fair September 12 - 15, Traditional County Fair featuring livestock, exhibits, competitions, shows, vendors, and a midway, Oxford County Fairgrounds, 67 Pottle Road, Oxford. FMI:, 207.739.2204 Bethel Harvestfest and Chowdah Cookoff September 15, 9:00am - 3:00pm, Arts, crafts, music, farmers’ market, chowder and apple pie cookoff featured at this annual event, Town Common, Bethel. FMI:

old home days

Harrison Old Home Days July 5 - 7, Pancake breakfast, fireworks, parade, BBQ, lobster feed, midway and live entertainment, Crystal Lake Park, Harrison. FMI: Find us on Facebook

Casco Days July 26 - 28, Though advertised as “Always the last Saturday in July,” Casco Days actually begins when the midway opens on Thursday, July 26.

The first Casco Days celebration was held in 1937 and was sponsored by the Casco High School Alumni Association. Today, the Casco Fire Department sponsors the event.

Several weeks prior to Casco Days, members piece together the red wooden framework for the midway games. Volunteers from a number of local organizations work as the “carnies.”

Special events include fireworks, a road race, children’s parade, and Grand Parade, which bring families, friends, and campers together for a homemade, hometown celebration. Casco Days Park, Route 121, Casco. FMI: Lovell Old Home Days July 21, Road race, parade and vendors. FMI: Find us on Facebook Sebago Days July 19 - 21, Music, talent show, parade, rides, games, food, vendors, fireworks and raffles. Sebago Elementary School, Sebago. FMI: Find us on Facebook Molly Ockett Day July 21, Road race, parade, fireworks, live music, kids’ entertainment, wildlife show, food and vendors, Bethel Town Common, Bethel. FMI: Andover Olde Home Day August 4, Parade, antique car displays, exhibits, art and flower shows, crafts, firemen’s muster, horse show, plus plenty of food and music, FMI: Find us on Facebook

was selected to fill the conductor’s position for 2018 and beyond. The final concert of the season will include birthday cake in honor of the band’s 80th year. Bridgton Gazebo, Frances Bell Drive, Bridgton. FMI: bridgtonConcerts in the Park days, June 27 - August 15, 10:30am and 6:00pm, Pack a picnic, Moore Ossipee Valley Music Festival July 26 - 29, A four-day celebration Park, Route 26, South Paris. FMI: of music including Americana, paris Roots, Blues, Bluegrass, Folk, Jazz, Cornish Maine Bandstand Celtic, and more; food and campSeries Tuesdays, July 3 - 31, 7:00 sites available, no dogs allowed, - 8:30pm, Concession stand, The Ossipee Valley Fairgrounds, 291 Bandstand at the Old Cornish South Hiram Road, South Hiram. Fairgrounds, Rte 25, Cornish. FMI: FMI: Find us on Facebook Loon Echo Land Trust’s Acoustic River Rock Music Festival July 6 - Sunset Concert August 8, 6:00 7, Two full days of rockin’ Christian 8:00pm, Vocals and guitar work music in an outdoor setting, Sun- by nationally renowned musician day River, 97 Summit Drive, Bethel. Bruce Marshall atop Hacker’s Hill FMI: with a sunset view of the Lakes Region and White Mountains, this Saco River Jazz Ensemble July is a benefit concert for ongoing August, A community “Big Band” jazz band offers outdoor concerts stewardship of the property. FMI:, various locations including Gorham, Limerick, Buxton and Hollis. 207.647.4352 FMI:, Find us on Facebook Brownfield Old Home Day August 11, Parade, kiddieland, pie-eating contest, cow chip bingo, community tug-of-war, vendors, crafts, and food. FMI:

plein air music

Bridgton Community Band Wednesdays, July 11 -

August 8, 7:30pm, Independence Eve Concert on July 3, 7:30pm. Celebrating its 80th birthday is the Bridgton Community Band. Each summer, local musicians volunteer their time to rehearse and present a lively, free concert at the Gazebo by Stevens Brook Elementary School. Music ranges from classical pieces to rousing marches.

Since its inception, the band has had only seven directors; Dick Albert held office the longest for twenty-eight years and Natasha Proctor for eighteen years. At the end of the 2017 season, Steven Sweetsir, who plays French horn,

farmers’ markets

Waterford Flats On the Common Mondays, 2:00 - 5:00pm Naples, Village Green Thursdays, 9:00am - 1:00pm Casco 940 Meadow Road (Rt. 121) Casco Village Green Thursdays, 10:00am - 2:00pm Norway, Main Street Thursdays, 2:00 - 6:00pm Gray 6 Shaker Road, Behind Town Office Complex Thursdays, 2:30 - 6:00pm Harrison Route 117, Between Depot St. and Tolman Rd. Fridays, 1:00 - 5:00pm

Portland Deering Oaks Park Saturdays, 7:00am - 1:00pm Windham Manchester School 709 Roosevelt Trail Saturdays, 8:00am - noon Bethel 1 Parkway Next to Norway Savings Bank Saturdays, 9:00am - 1:00pm Bridgton Depot Street Green space behind Renys Saturdays, 9:00am - 1:00pm Steep Falls 2 Main Street Village Park Gazebo Saturdays, 9:00am - 2:00pm


Tough Mountain Challenge July 27 - 29, If

you love to get dirty and have fun simultaneously, then the Tough Mountain Change at Sunday River Ski Resort is for you. The adventure obstacle 5K race challenges participants with alpine terrain, plus natural and manmade hurdles to overcome— think snow guns and mud. It is a timed event, but the organizers equally point to the value of celebrating a personal accomplishment by crossing the finish line. To prevent the overcrowded feeling, the number of competitors in each heat is limited.

The fun kicks off on Friday night with early check-in and the Bad Summer Trails Series every Friday Ass Bash featuring live music, night, 5:30pm, Run/walk 5 or 10K food, fireworks and more. The loop, prizes awarded, sponsored Tough Mountain Challenge for by Mahoosuc Pathways, meet at ages 13+ takes place Saturday, tennis courts behind Bethel Inn July 28. On Sunday, the younger Resort. FMI: mahoosucpathways. set, ages 4 - 12, may compete org, 207.200.8240 in a Mini Mountain Challenge. The Longest Day 5K June 21, 7:00 Ultimate challenge event, Sunday - 9:00pm, Run or walk on the lon- River Resort, Newry. FMI: toughgest day of 2018, 1K Kids Fun Run at 7:00pm, Libby Hill Recreation LEA Maine Lakes Open Paddle Area, Libby Hill Road, Gray. Battle July 7, Stand-up Paddle FMI: Board Race on Highland Lake to Four on the Fourth July 4, Road benefit Lakes Environmental Asrace starts at Lower Main Street, sociation, Tarry A While Resort, 17 Bridgton. FMI: fouronthefourth. Tarry A While Road, Bridgton. FMI: com, 207.647.8580 5K Run by the Lake, July 11, Molly Ockett Day Classic Road Evening road race starts at town Race July 21, 5-mile run over office, Harrison. FMI: harrisonParadise Hill, 1-mile sprint for adults and 1-mile for kids, plus a Norway Triathlon July 14, diaper dash, Broad Street, Bethel. Swim, bike, run around Lake FMI: Pennesseewassee, Norway. FMI: Maine State Kids Triathlon August 4, Swim, bike, run, Songo Pond Road (Route 5), Albany. FMI: Fun Run July 21, Toddler 50-yard dash and 2-mile family fun walk/run, Route 11, Sebago. FMI: The Mountain Challenge Race September 15, An 8.4-mile hike and trail run event, on Pleasant Casco Days Country Run Mountain to benefit Loon Echo July 28, Four-mile road race, Land Trust, Shawnee Peak Ski Casco Community Center. FMI: Area, Bridgton. FMI:, 207.647.4352

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Keepin’ It Real in Cornish With its own history richly evident in the architecture up and down Main Street, it seems natural that Cornish would pay homage to the past with so many antique shops. In fact, Cornish has long been an antiquer’s paradise. text by laurie lamountain photos by ethan mcnerney


ornish is one of those quintessential Maine towns that has managed to escape the ravages of commercialization. Sure, there’s a Family Dollar and a Dunkin’ Donuts, but for the most part it has kept its turn-of-the-century charm. Since it was selected as one of sixteen towns on Down East magazine’s 2016 list of Maine’s best places to live, it has experienced a renaissance. The Root & Leaf Tea Shoppe, Local Gear, Coffee Joint, and Trilby and Friend are just a handful of businesses that have recently opened. The Inn at Cornish has new owners, Rick and Lori Rowland, who have completely renovated and redecorated the 200-year-old landmark inn, which is located squarely across the street from Thompson Park and graciously surrounded by a wraparound porch that overlooks the village green. With its own history richly evident in the architecture up and down Main Street, it seems natural that Cornish would pay homage to the past with so many antique shops. In fact, Cornish has long been an antiquer’s paradise. Nan Gurney, who passed away in 2016, was a renowned dealer, show promoter and veritable force in the antiques trade. In 1985, she opened Plain & Fancy in the building that now houses Village Jewelers at One Main Street. Several other antique shops followed her lead, including Cornish Trading Company in the former Masonic Hall at 19 Main, and The Smith Company directly across the street. Nan’s stamp can still be seen in Cornish. Her daughter Kimberly recently opened Trilby and Friend at Plain & Fancy’s second incarnation at 30 Main Street. Instead of antiques, Trilby and Friend offers “unique jewelry, clothing and gifts for the free spirited soul,” but it’s obvious Kimberly inherited her mother’s knack for merchandising. Oddly enough, she also inherited the name of her business and the sign for it from a

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store Nan had in Acton, Massachusetts, before moving to Maine. In keeping with the antique tradition that Cornish has become known for, even Lily’s Fine Flowers sells antiques, and take a good look around Krista’s restaurant and you’ll discover a treasure trove of antiques and ephemera among the decor. Krista’s is another reason that Cornish has become the unspoiled destination that it is today. By setting uncompromising standards that regularly draw people from foodie Portland, owner Krista Lair has created an establishment that is exemplary. Everything—the food, the ambiance, the service—is exceptional. It feels like new businesses are striving to meet the same high standards set by older businesses. Behind the scenes, Cornish Association of Business (CAB) contributes to a vibrant business community by working closely with town government on planning issues that influence positive growth. The law of attraction is working well for Cornish right now. Another thing working in its favor is the number of young entrepreneurs choosing to launch their businesses in this town of fewer than 1,500 people. Haley Pillar, who manages The Coffee Joint, and Stephanie and Kelly Smith, owners of Mind Body Soul Holistic Center and The Root & Leaf Tea Shoppe, are natural promotors who are fully versed in using social media to grow their businesses. They also understand the mutual benefit of working cooperatively. Their Facebook pages read like an interconnected roadmap of Cornish. In fact, community may well be the overarching contributor to Cornish’s current growth. When the Newman family began looking for commercial space to open a bicycle and sporting goods shop in rural Maine, they caught wind of a storefront

and garage at the junction of Routes 25 and 5 in Cornish that was for sale. After years of working out of his own garage and managing other people’s bike shops, it seemed the perfect location and space for the family-owned and operated business that Dave Newman had envisioned. It took more than six months for the family of five to renovate the space, with an intentional effort to reclaim as many materials as they could from the original garage. “Everyone in town knew Jimmy Stewart, and wondered what would become of the garage. We wanted to keep it local,” says Dave. In April of 2017, the legacy building that was Stewart’s Auto Sales opened as The Local Gear, offering bicycle sales and service along with outdoor sporting goods for hiking, camping, fishing, boating and hunting. For their one year anniversary this past April, they held a spring event that was enthusiastically promoted and attended by fellow Cornish business owners. Candace Gooch, owner of At Once All Agog, relocated her toy store from Limerick to Cornish in 2014 because she felt the location would better serve her, and it has. Candace credits the abundance of antique stores and other locally-owned shops for boosting her business, but the extensive inventory of quality toys she offers certainly has a lot to do with it. Shannon Surrette, who owns Full Circle Artisans Gallery and Bead Emporium, has made local the hallmark of her business. The works of over 80 local artisans are consigned in the gallery and the emporium offers jewelry supplies for the artistic beader, as well as a studio for classes in painting, basket weaving and jewelry making. When classes are not in session, artists are welcome to use the worktable and tools at no charge. Next door at BOLT, owner Patty Rowley offers classes for beginning quilters and sewers, as well as an extensive line of fabrics and notions. Cornish Free Art Friday is a relatively new co-creation of Halley Pillar and Shelby Oates, owner of Sowing Oates Tattoo Studio & Art Gallery. Vendors set up along the sidewalks between Trilby and Friend and Bay Haven on the first Friday of each month. There’s no charge for set up, but only original artwork by local artists is allowed. In a continued spirit of cooperation, businesses sponsor the artists, who in turn get people out and about and into the shops. In Cornish, it’s all about keepin’ it real. R

pictured clockwise from top left: The Inn at Cornish, At Once All Agog, The Local Gear, Cornish Trading Company, Krista’s, The Coffee Joint, Trilby and Friend, Full Circle Artisans Gallery, Lily’s Fine Flowers, The Smith Company

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Cornish, Maine

Photo by

“. . . well seasoned Cornish is salted with architectural gems and peppered with antiques and crafts shops.” —Hilary Nangle Maine Travel Maven

Joshua M. Parkhurst Unit Sales Manager | Insurance Agent Gateway Retirement Solutions (207) 831-7909 20 Mussey Rd, Suite 5 Scarborough, ME 04074

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Dolls on Display by leigh macmillen hayes

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hen ninety-three year old Hazel Currier purchased a doll that needed tender loving care almost fifty years ago, she had no idea that the cloth toy with bolted leg joints and a painted face would lead her on a journey that continues to this day. It all began when a niece and nephew came to visit Hazel and her husband Owen in Fryeburg. While the gentlemen went off to hunt, the ladies drove to North Conway and scoured antique shops. It was there that the scruffy 12-inch doll called out to Hazel for it needed a new dress. With lace and material and using a treadle sewing machine, she crafted an outfit. “I dressed her and it was so much fun,” she says. “Since then, any time I see a doll that needs tender loving care, I buy it.” Turns out, this fashion-minded lady has met many dolls that craved her attention. In fact, she had so many in her ranch home and knew that they would all need another place to live eventually, that she reached out to several organizations. Though she no longer lives in town, she was grateful that the Fryeburg Historical Society accepted her offer . . . and more than ten thousand, yes, more than 10,000, of Hazel’s dolls became The Hazel & Owen Currier Doll Museum. Enter the 1847 Fryeburg Town House at 103 Lovell Road (Route 5) and you are in for a treat, whether you like dolls or not. Two years ago, the historical society leased the building from the town. That March, a large U-haul truck arrived filled with boxes upon boxes of dolls, doll furniture, and doll

houses. “I tried to mark each box with what kind of doll was in it,” says Hazel. “They had one helluva job going through all those dolls and arranging them.” For doll lovers, it’s filled to the brim with flashbacks of childhood. For history fanatics or even novices, it’s also a journey down memory lane because along one wall the dolls are set up in vignettes that depict Fryeburg of yesteryear, including Winter in Fryeburg, the 1832 Schoolhouse that now houses the town library, and a Tea Party at the Oxford Hotel that burned to the ground in 1906. And then there are all forms of dolls showcased throughout the rest of the room that served as the town’s voting hall until the 1980s. Even the raised dias at the back center where the town moderator and three selectmen accepted votes, plus the row of ballot boxes added to the right wall at a later date, have become part of the backdrop for the doll arrangements in this building listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The museum is directed by Sally Whitaker. She notes that it took June O’Donal and a group of historical society volunteers from March until August to set up the displays. Terri Tomlin serves as their Martha Stewart as they continue to fine-tune the exhibits. While placards commemorate different sections of the collection, the ladies are eager guides ready and waiting to share the history of the building, town and Hazel’s story. Some of the furniture featured, including a sleigh that was created by local blacksmith

Loren J. Olney, came from the historical society’s vast collection. Above the actual sleigh and other sleds adorned with dolls outfitted in winter attire, an enlarged black and white photograph depicts Mr. Olney sitting in his creation. There’s something for everyone, from Shirley Temples, to American Girl Dolls, Cabbage Patch Kids, Jesters and Clowns, Anna Lee, Raggedy Anns, plus storybook and cartoon characters. International dolls, celebrity figures, wind-up musical dolls, homemade dolls and collector dolls like James Dean, Michael Jordan, GI Joe, Betty Boop and Orphan Annie, all in their original boxes, are showcased in their own sections. But my favorites are the Barbie dolls because of their dazzling outfits. Most of these are arranged via color and looking at them reminds me of opening a new box of crayons. I should add that there are some Kens as well, usually decked out in crocheted tuxedos, with bow ties and boutonnieres—ever ready to lead Barbie onto the dance floor. While I recognize doily patterns in some of the crocheted gowns, I’m equally impressed by the beads and other accessories that adorn them. “I string all the beads onto crochet cotton,” explains Hazel. “It’s a tedious task that takes forever. Some are seed beads and I use a wire to string those on as a needle won’t go through them.” Another find that appeals to me is Midge in her wedding dress. I still have my Midge, Barbie’s not-so-popular best friend. Like Hazel, my mother knit most of Midge’s clothes, but she looks like a country girl compared to the museum-worthy dolls Hazel has dressed. It’s not just the dresses that are exquisite. Hazel turns old earrings into brooches, adds ribbons, rings, tiaras, and any other adornment that captures her whimsy, most of which she purchases at the Boutique, as she fondly refers to a local thrift shop she frequents. For every doll that she crochets a purse, she also adds a penny. Styling hair is another important feature, though sometimes a hat is necessary to hide any missing locks. Her knack for creating stylish outfits dates back to childhood. She recalls turning grain bags with pretty prints into broomstick skirts, a free-flowing design that was deliberately wrinkled. If two bags had the same print, she’d cut her own pattern and fashion a bolero to wear with the skirt. And then she taught herself to knit, making a sweater

with some yarn she describes as an awful color. “I thought it was beautiful,” says Hazel. “We had no money to buy anything extra. I learned to do stuff on my own.” She never sits with idle hands and that is obvious not only with the magnitude of dolls at the museum but also in every nook and cranny of her home. And yet, Hazel has displayed the dolls in such a way that it doesn’t feel overwhelming. I say that, of course, for I visited two years after she’d presented the Fryeburg Historical Society with ten thousand.

The Curriers moved to Fryeburg in 1945. Hazel was a clerk at the A&P, while Owen worked for Farnsworth Brothers. They belonged to a camping club where people often put hand-crafted items out on tables to sell. One day she gathered some of her Barbie dolls on the dining room table and Owen asked what she was doing. When she told him she planned to sell them the next time they went camping, he suggested that she bring them to display, but not sell. “He liked them just as well as I did,” she says. After Owen passed away in 1992, Hazel moved closer to relatives. Her heart, however, has remained in Fryeburg all these years and she continues to make the hour plus drive periodically. “When I moved away from Fryeburg, I kept collecting,” Hazel explains. “It has kept me entertained. When I start crocheting I don’t know where I’m going, but if it doesn’t look right I rip it out and start again. No two gowns are alike. And each one begins as a guess. I start with nothing and it all comes into my head. It’s fascinating and it all comes out quite attractive.” To say I’m in awe would be an understatement—of the extensive collection of antique, collectible and modern dolls, as well as the spry little lady who dresses them. For me, a visit to The Hazel & Owen Currier Doll Museum feels like entering a library filled with my favorite childhood stories where the books are actually dolls on display. R The Hazel & Owen Currier Doll Museum sponsored by the Fryeburg Historical Society 103 Lovell Road, Fryeburg, May - October Wednesday: 10 am - 2 pm, Thursday: 10 am - 2 pm, or by appointment. Contact: to set up a tour. Suggested donation: $5. Children under 12 must be accompanied by a responsible adult.

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JUSTIN’S LIST It’s hard to believe we are celebrating our store’s 25th anniversary! It seems like only yesterday we pulled into Bridgton on our way to look at other prospective towns to possibly open a bookstore, and fell in love with the area. We rented a small space across from Renys, had a bookshelf building party with friends, ordered as much inventory as we could afford, and kept our fingers crossed. It was a bit contrarian to open a bookshop at the height of the superstore era. Barnes and Noble and Borders were putting small stores like ours out of business every day. But for every naysayer who told us we were crazy, there was another customer quietly making a purchase, and thanks to those wonderful people, it has worked. Nowadays, like every other retail business, Amazon is the biggest competitor, and consumers have to decide whether they want to support and keep their local physical stores open who pay local taxes and sponsor/donate to local organizations, or risk losing them. Nationwide, independent bookstores have been making a comeback over the last 3-4 years, and e-book sales appear to have plateaued while print books sales have been making small percentage gains each year. What does the future hold? Your guess is as good as mine, and Pam and I will be taking it one year at a time, thankful to be doing what we love to do. Only Killers and Thieves by Paul Howarth is a novel set in the Australian Outback during the 1880s, and is reminiscent of our own American West. Two teen brothers are helping their family scratch out a hardscrabble living when a horrible calamity occurs. Left to fend for themselves, and thirsting for revenge, they are forced to rely on a nearby, wealthy landowner, Tom Sullivan. He takes the boys under his wing, but his motives are questionable. Told through the eyes of the younger brother, Tommy, the two brothers take remarkably different paths to their redemption. If you like Cormac McCarthy, you will enjoy this remarkable debut; and his depiction of Aboriginal Australians tragically parallels the plight of the American Indian. While on the subject of the Wild West, I’d also like to mention Dodge City by Tom Clavin. This is a non-fictional account of

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the fabled western city of legend and lore, and the author carefully separates fact from fiction to give an accurate portrayal of this tumultuous town. After the Civil War, Dodge City became the destination point for thousands of Texas Longhorns and the cowboys that drove them to the city’s railroad yards. After many weeks on the trail, cowboys would let loose once there, and it soon became the most violent town in the United States. This is also the story of the people who eventually tamed the city, such as Wyatt Earp and Bat Masterson, along with other big names like Doc Holliday, Wild Bill Hickok, and Buffalo Bill Cody. Clavin is a born storyteller, and he bombards you with colorful anecdotes about the way it really was back then. Sorry to include yet another World War II novel, but it can’t be helped. Beneath A Scarlet Sky is just too exceptional! What makes it even better is that this is the story of a real person. Pino Lella was just a teenager when he began smuggling Jews over the Italian Alps to the safety of Switzerland under the noses of the Nazis. When he approached eighteen years of age, he unwittingly helped another man fix a jeep and was commandeered into serving as driver for General Leyers, one of the highest ranking German generals in the Italian theater. This opened up a perfect opportunity to spy, and Pino’s story is a remarkable tale of suspense, love, tragedy and resilience. The author, Mark Sullivan, was able to interview 79-year-old Pino for several weeks to get his story, and since Sullivan added dialogue to make the

story more readable, it is classified as a novel, even though the events did occur. The late Ken Haruf’s last novel, Our Souls at Night, stayed with me for a long time after reading. After their respective spouses have passed on, a widow and widower find solace and companionship with each other in a small midwestern town. Unfortunately, not everyone approves of these elderly people having a relationship, including one of their adult children. When a grandson enters the equation, there are no easy answers. This simple but powerful book broke my heart, and even though it is sad, it should be read by everyone. You may remember Haruf from his breakout novel Plainsong, which was equally good, and his pure, uncomplicated style of prose is often compared to Hemingway. Homesteading in Alaska has always been a dream of mine. There is, however, a big difference between dreaming and actually doing. In The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah, a former Vietnam veteran and POW takes his wife and daughter to Alaska for a new start. Ernt has anger and PTSD issues, and his daughter, Leni, narrates his downward spiral as they try to forge new lives there. They arrive unprepared, and the townspeople take them under their wing, but is that enough? Is Ernt damaged beyond repair? This sweeping saga has many highs and even more lows, full of love and sadness, and is well worth your time. Hannah does a wonderful job using the backdrop of the beauty and harshness of the Alaskan wilderness to tell her story.


Amos by Stanley Gordon West is a story of love, friendship and sacrifice. After a brutal car accident, in which his wife was killed, 78-year-old Amos Lasher is moved to the county rest home to recuperate from his injuries. The facility appears to be a pleasant enough place for the elderly and infirm, but as you read along you learn otherwise. It’s amazing what the residents endure and how one individual can make a difference. Have you ever been drawn into a story by the first sentence? When I read “I have been to hangings before, but never my own,” I had to continue reading The Life and Time of Persimmon Wilson by Nancy Peacock. This is a wonderful historical novel about the slave, Persimmon Wilson, and how his undying love for Chloe, a domestic slave and concubine to Master Wilson, took him from a Louisiana sugar plantation to freedom in Texas, only to be captured by the Comanche. Radium Girls by Kate Moore is an amazing account of the women dial-painters working at the watch dial factories in the early 1900s. It was originally thought that radium would cure cancer, so how could the small amounts used in the paints be poisoning the dial-painters? Unfortunately, it took years for the medical community to diagnose the true cause of their ailments and determine that the cumulative effect of small doses of radium is fatal. In the meantime, realizing that something was terribly wrong, these women devoted much of their lives and savings to fighting the watch dial companies and

their false reports that the paints were safe. Thankfully, their efforts helped change laws, introduce regulations and safety standards and, most importantly, save lives.

PERRI’S PREFERENCES Initially, it was the feathers and Sherman Alexie’s comment on the bright orange cover of There There by Tommy Orange that attracted my attention. Alexie wrote, “A beautiful, dangerous, sad, poetic, and hilarious revelation . . . Native American literature will never be the same.” And then, the Bertolt Brecht quote that starts the prologue really hooked me. The author’s high caliber writing effortlessly developed the “urban Indian” characters and their intersecting story lines right up to the disturbing, chaotic ending, which I don’t think I understood. It has, however, stuck in my mind and I will certainly read future books by Mr. Orange. The quality of the writing alone makes this worth reading and should promote interesting discussions in book groups. I had heard about Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders from friends who were perplexed as to what to think about it. The book won the Man Booker Prize, which is usually an indication of quality, but I still wasn’t sure what to expect from a “historical/experimental novel.” It turned out, however, to be an intriguing, slightly morbid, but often funny story. Mr. Saunders cleverly incorporated historical facts, excerpts from period diaries and journals, and topped it all off with a bit of magical realism. In order to

understand this book, the reader must first know what “bardo” means. Look it up (I had to). Once understood, the novel and its characters made more sense. My favorites were the flying bachelors who rain hats. If that intrigues you, approach this book like you would Murakami—suspend your perception of “reality” and enter unreservedly into its world. Sting-Ray Afternoons: A Memoir by award-winning Sports Illustrated writer Steve Rushin, will ring true for those of “a certain age” who experienced a childhood influenced by The Brady Bunch, Little League, and the Sears Christmas “Wish Book.” This coming-of-age memoir evokes the days when Sting-Ray bikes, eight track tapes, and wood-paneled station wagons were ubiquitous; “Perma-Prest, double-knit flare-leg slacks” and “Texturalized Ban-Lon shirts” were de rigueur; and TV remotes were the latest hi-tech gadget. In addition to the nutty things kids always do, especially in a family with four boys and one girl, sports fans will also love the tales of famous games and teams followed by the author and his siblings. A big-hearted book filled with lots of laughs and lots of love that is sure to please those of us old enough to be “in the know.” History professor and Bates College alumna Amy Bass returned to Lewiston, Maine, to research the nationally-ranked Lewiston High School Blue Devils soccer team and reveals what she discovered in One Goal: A Coach, a Team, and the Game that Brought a Divided Town Together. Part sports story, part sociology, this book follows the Blue Devils, their coaches, and their supporters as they negotiate a massive settlement of Somalian refugees in white, predominantly French-Canadian Lewiston, disrupting the status quo and changing the local culture, yet ultimately coming out on top. This is an all-American success story with the added bonus of being local. For Bridgton Books’ 25th anniversary I will list (in no particular order) some books that, as the “Book Nazi,” I think everyone should read: Invisible Cities Italo Calvino; Einstein’s Dreams Alan Lightman; The Martian Chronicles Ray Bradbury; Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy Douglas Adams Good Scent from a Strange Mountain Robert Olen Butler; Breakfast of Champions Kurt Vonnegut; The Housekeeper and the Professor Yoko Ogawa; The Wind-up Bird Chronicle Haruki Murakami; Waiting for the Barbarians J.M. Coetzee; The Buddha in the Attic Julie Otsuka Happy summer reading!

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Red push pins dotted the Maine map that Justin and I used when we were first looking for a small Maine town in which to open an independent book store. Hands down, Bridgton won our hearts and twenty-five years later we are thankful for the support and kindness from all our customers near and far. Since we opened the doors of Bridgton Books, children and young adult books have endured and evolved. Darker messages may have quietly underscored nursery rhymes in the past, but today’s books reveal hardships and openly disclose turbulent issues relevant to kids now. My reviews will reflect the change in time, pushing sensitive subjects to the foreground. And for the first time, I’ve included a graphic novel. Awesome Is Everywhere By Neil Pasricha Ages birth + Free active young minds from distractions and allow them to unwind before bed with this non-traditional, interactive board book that gently guides listeners into a slumberous state. Aerial photos of Earth paired with soothing text teach kids the art of breathing and relaxing. Stars By Mary Lyn Ray, Ages 2 + Summer is the perfect season to head outside at night fall and watch the shimmering stars emerge against the black backdrop of the sky. Delighted readers will discover stars are not only found twinkling in the night sky above, but can be found as close as one’s own pocket. The Prince and the Dressmaker (a graphic novel) By Jen Wang, Ages 10+ Frances dreams of designing and sewing extravagant stage costumes. In the meantime, her job at a local dress shop pays the bills. One day, a frantic woman and her daughter enter the shop and demand a gown be made overnight for the ball being held by Prince Sebastian of Belgium. Although the mother orders a traditional gown, the girl furtively requests one for a wench. Frances is given free range to design according to the girl’s instructions. Audible gasps are heard when the girl enters the ball, but Prince Sebastian is mesmerized by the fashion-forward, avantgarde dress and orders his servants to find the seamstress who created it. Frances is

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swiftly found, and meets the prince but soon discovers his secret. Nevermoor By Jessica Townsend, Ages 12+ Morrigan Crow is cursed. Due to an inauspicious birthday, anyone in her presence who experiences misfortune or disastrous consequences lays blame on her. Although her father tries to absolve her, her fate is sealed until she meets Jupiter North. To escape her demise, Morrigan is whisked away to Nevermoor; a secret, magical place. Upon arrival, Morrigan learns she has been entered in a competetive trial against hundreds of children. If she wins all four dangerous challenges, she earns the privilege to call Nevermoor home. If she loses, she will have to return and face certain death. Harry Potter fans will inhale Townsend’s debut novel filled with action, adventure and, of course, magic! In 27 Days By Alison Gervais, Ages 15+ Following a classmate’s funeral, Death approaches Hadley on the cathedral steps. His black eyes bore deep into her soul as he proposes a deal. The strange man dressed in a black leather jacket and jeans offers to take her back twenty-seven days to try and persuade Archer not to commit suicide. Shaken by what she has seen and heard, Death then prompts Hadley to “sign here.” Orphan Monster Spy By Matt Killeen Ages 15+ Sarah witnesses her mother’s death from gunshot fired by a Nazi soldier at a checkpoint. She has seconds to flee before

she becomes the next casualty. On the run, Sarah unexpectedly meets a mysterious British spy. She needs him to survive and he needs her to carry out a deadly mission, to befriend the daughter of a top Nazi scientist so they can diffuse and sabotage the works of a nuclear bomb intended for Western Europe. Nobody suspects this innocent-seeming, blond, blue-eyed, Jewish girl would be among the girls in a school for top brass Nazi children, but Sarah is no ordinary girl. It Devours! By Joseph Fink & Jeffrey Cranor Ages 16+, Reviewed by Charity Bell In the town of Night Vale, massive holes suddenly appear and swallow large buildings whole. Carlos, a scientist, has a theory that the buildings and people in them are going to a place the people of Night Vale have named the Otherworld. Nilanjana, Carlos’ assistant, researches where this might all lead. Carlos and Nilanjana investigate the Joyous Congregation of the Smiling God, which is a small community of people who believe the god will come to devour them all. While Nilanjana plans her infiltration, she meets a member, Daryl, who has been raised in the church. He is a firm believer in his god until Nilanjana shares her findings with him. His faith is tested when the head priest reveals what the Smiling God really is. Nilanjana and Darryl must then figure out how to stop the Smiling God from devouring the people of the church and the whole town along with it. R

Bridgton Books All-Time Best Sellers

Fiction 1 Under The Dome, Stephen King 2 The Kite Runner, Khaled Hosseini 3 Finders Keepers, Stephen King 4 To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee 5 The Secret Life of Bees, Sue Monk Kidd 6 Catcher In The Rye, JD Salinger 7 The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, Steig Larsson 8 The Help, Kathryn Stockett 9 A Man Called Ove, Fredrik Backman 10 The Samurai’s Garden, Gail Tsukiyama Non-fiction 1 Hikes & Woodland Walks in and around Maine’s Lake Region, Marita Wiser 2 An Arrow Through The Heart, Deborah Heffernan 3 Long Way Gone, Ishmael Beah 4 The Birds of Maine, Stan Tekiela 5 Bridgton, Ned Allen 6 A Walk in the Woods, Bill Bryson 7 Into the Wild, Jon Krakauer 8 The Glass Castle, Jeannette Walls 9 Endurance, Alfred Lansing 10 Boys on the Boat, Daniel James Brown Childrens 1 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, J. K. Rowling 2 The Giver, Lois Lowry 3 Blueberries For Sal, Robert Mcclosky 4 Frindle, Andrew Clements 5 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, J.K.Rowling 6 Goodnight Maine, Adam Gamble 7 Twilight, Stephanie Meyer 8 Hunger Games, Collins 9 Lost on a Mountain in Maine, Don Fendler 10 Goodnight Moon, Margaret Wise Brown

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