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Contents October, November and December 2011
In This Issue
14 Ride Aroostook
24 Where O u r R a il r oa d L i v e s by herbert pence 30 Richards Tree Farm by Sandy Gauvin 36 Route 161 by Larry Cyr 48 Aroostook County Potato Harvest by Catherine Shaw Bowker 54 Prime Athletes Need Primary Care by Karim Slifka 58 Salmon Brook Lake Trail by Vernon M. Labbe 60 Moose Hunting in Maine by Kevin Pelkey 62 Advances in Veterinary Medicine by Christiana Yule 64 Nature to the Rescue
by Kim Jones
66 Make My HAMBURGER Rare PleASE
by Vickie St. Peter
70 A Fort Kent Landmark
by Charles Cormier
76 Service Above Self
Our Maine Street M a g a z i n e
48 Presque Isle Street, Fort Fairﬁeld, ME 04742 www.ourmainestreet.com 207.472.3464
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Our Maine Street m agaz ine
Publisher Our Maine Street LLC Editor In Chief Craig Cormier Circulation / Advertising Charles Cormier Staff Illustrator Holly Hardwick
Many Thanks to: (in no particular order)
Sandy Gauvin, Kevin Pelkey, Christiana Yule, Vickie St. Peter, Janet Kelle, Kim Jones, Vernon Labbe, Karim Slifka, Catherine Shaw Bowker, Larry Cyr, Herbert Pence, Peter Freeman, Pete Bowmaster, Ken Lamb, Gene Cyr, Janice Bouchard, Matthew Michaud Content and subscription information: email@example.com 207.472.3464 48 Presque Isle Street Fort Fairfield, ME 04742 www.ourmainestreet.com Copyright © 2011 Our Maine Street LCC. Our Maine Street LLC is jointly owned by Charles, Cheryl and Craig Cormier. Proudly printed in the State of Maine, United States of Amerca.
OUR PRINTING IS 100% WIND POWERED
This publication is made possible by the generous support of our advertising partners. Please let them know you saw them in Our Maine Street Magazine and that you appreciate their support of County projects.
2nd Hand Rose, Aroostook Real Estate, Aroostook Technologies Inc., Ben’s Trading Post, Boondock’s Grille, Bouchard Family Farms, Brambleberry Market, Caribou Chamber of Commerce, Caribou Inn & Convention Center, Caribou Trading Post, Central Aroostook Chamber of Commerce, Cary Medical Center, Fort Kent Ski-Doo, Graves’ Shop ‘n Save, Greater Fort Kent Area Chamber of Commerce, Greater Houlton Chamber of Commerce, Greater Madawaska Chamber of Commerce, Greater Van Buren Chamber of Commerce, I Care Pharmacy, Jerry’s Shurfine, John’s Shurfine Food Store, Katahdin Valley Health Center, M.A.C.S. Trading Post, Marden’s, McGillan Inc., Monica’s Scandinavian Imports, Nadeau’s House of Flooring, Nadeau’s House of Furniture, Northern Maine Community College, Northern Prosthetics, Noyes Florist & Greenhouse, Paterson Payroll, Pines Health Services, Pelletier Ford, Power of Prevention, Presque Isle Inn & Convention Center, Professional Home Nursing, Progressive Realty, Quigley’s Building Supply, Red River Camps, Save a Lot, Sitel Corporation, St. John Valley Pharmacy, The County Federal Credit Union, The County Stove Shop, University of Maine at Fort Kent, University of Maine at Presque Isle, Washburn Food Mart Thank You! Opinions expressed in articles or advertisements, unless otherwise noted, do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the publisher, staff or advisory board. Every effort has been made to ensure that all information present in this issue is accurate, and neither Our Maine Street Magazine nor any of its staff are responsible for omissions or information that has been misrepresented to the magazine. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording or any information storage and retrieval system without written permission from the publishers. FALL 2011
Our Thoughts from the desk of the magazine staff
Welcome to the tenth issue of Our Maine Street Magazine. We continue to be thankful for the support of our readers, advertisers and retail locations. Without you we wouldn’t be able to continue to create these issues about Aroostook County. Last issue we had a misprint with our advertiser thank you list, and several advertisers were accidentally omitted. We want to be sure to properly recognize them, so thank you to: Red River Camps, Sitel Corporation, St. John Valley Pharmacy, Tang Palace, The County Federal Credit Union, University of Maine at Fort Kent, University of Maine at Presque Isle, Valley Satellite and Washburn Food Mart. When we started Our Maine Street Magazine back in July of 2009, we had plans to include all Aroostook County pieces and eventually expand to consistently include the neighboring regions and counties as well. Since then things have changed as our core players changed, and we decided that we would really focus on showcasing to the state, the nation and yes even to those in The County, the amazing things that Aroostook has to offer. The observant among you will have noticed some small changes to the cover over the last several issues as we dropped our subtitle to make the words “Aroostook County” more and more prominent with each issue. Why have we been doing this? With more and more
magazines on the stand with the word ‘Maine’ on them we wanted to be sure that everyone knew what made us different. We remember on a consistent basis that Maine doesn’t stop at Bangor. It is with this in mind, and after consulting several of our retail outlets, contributors and subscribers, that we have decided to make a change to the way our cover will look in the future. Instead of the familiar Our Maine Street, Aroostook County our covers will now say Our Maine Street’s Aroostook with the word Aroostook taking the spotlight. We feel this slight change in the title will help us stand out and make it very clear what is important to us. To the left you can see how our current cover styling looks on our current issue and the same issue with the new style titles premiering in January. This issue is jam-packed. From trips down memory lane with “Route 161,” “Aroostook County Potato Harvest,” “AVRR Restoring the Past” and “Richards Tree Farm” to current events such as “Ride Aroostook” and “Prime Athletes;” there’s something for everyone. And don’t forget to check out the rest of the articles as well.
Photo ÂŠ 2011 Ken Lamb, www.kenlamb.com
Fort Kent, Me (207) 834-4545 Presque Isle, Me (207) 762-4001 www.aroostookrealestate.com
�nd hand rose ONE OF THE MOST INTERESTING AND FUN PLACES TO SHOP IN
DORA M. LEAVITT PROPIETRESS 53 HERSCHEL STREET CARIBOU, ME 04736 207-498-2007 CONSIGNMENT SHOP ANTIQUES ✸ COLLECTIBLES GLASSWARE ✸ CLOTHING
45 BENNETT DRIVE CARIBOU, MAINE 04736 OFFICE: 207 498-3848 CELL: 207 227-0878 FAX: 207 498-6714
Caribou Chamber of Commerce 657 Main Street Suite 1 Caribou, Maine 04736 1.800.722.7648 207.498.6156 Fax: 207.492.1362 firstname.lastname@example.org www.cariboumaine.net ww
213 East Main Street Fort Kent, Maine 04743
Steven P. Pelletier
President email@example.com Tel: 207 834-3173 Cell: 207 631-8856 Toll Free: 877 215-1760
BOONDOCK’s BOONDOCK’S ~ ~ GRILLE
Central Aroostook Chamber of Commerce
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Tel: 207 764-6561
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Cocktails, Beer, Wine
OPEN TUESDAY SATURDAY FOR LUNCH AND DINNER DINE IN OR TAKE OUT
Nothing burns like a Quad Gas - Wood - Pellet Stoves, Fireplaces, Furnaces & Boilers Hours: 8-5 Mon-Fri, 8-1 Sat. www.countystoveshop.com
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Photo ÂŠ 2011 Gene Cyr, Washburn, northernmainepictures.com
Ride Aroostook seeing the county for a good cause Photos by Peter Freeman
Ride Aroostook is a new, annual, fundraising, two-day bicycle tour event created to benefit children’s health, specifically to support and expand Camp Adventure, a regional summer camp for children aged 12-17 with Type 1 Diabetes. Ride Aroostook took place this past July on the 16th and 17th on two beautiful rain-free days. Each day consisted of two routes which began and ended in the Star City at the University of Maine at Presque Isle (UMPI). The event was designed like a four-leaf clover with a route looping out in each cardinal direction: north, south, east and west. At the end of the event, riders choosing to participate in each available route traveled approximately 134 miles. Each day was split into two rides with full SAG support, rest areas, first aid, and mechanical services provided to all riders. A small army of over 95 volunteers was also on hand to make sure riders stayed on course and had everything they needed throughout the ride. The roots of Ride Aroostook began in 2009 when Bill Flagg and Karen Boutot met and came up with the idea of a bicycle tour along the lines of (actually scaled somewhere in between) the Trek Across Maine and the NMMC Tour de la Vallee to be used as a fundraiser for Cary’s Camp Adventure. Karen and Bill ran it by local bike enthusiasts, mainly Melanie Stewart, former owner of Mojo in Presque Isle, who helped spread the word among dedicated locals. A small group of dedicated local bikers decided to take the project on and it sprang to life. Bill and Karen both agree that they “could have done nothing without the experience and expertise of this dedicated group.” The newly established Ride Aroostook team traveled together to experience the Trek Across Maine in June of 2010, and upon returning got serious about planning Ride Aroostook, kicking off FALL 2011 Ride Aroostook 17
“This was my first fundraising ride, I was so welcomed and warmed by everyone’s support and friendliness.”
18 Ride Aroostook FALL SUMMER 20112011
the team’s monthly planning meetings. The recipient of the Ride Aroostook team’s hard work is Cary’s Camp Adventure. Camp Adventure is a fun-filled vacation in education; an Aroostook County, Maine-based summer camp for children with Type 1 Diabetes. Diabetes is a growing national health crisis with numbers in the millions and growing every day. Children with Type 1 Diabetes face many challenges of daily living, and it is important for them to know that they can live a normal, healthy, independent life by making the right lifestyle decisions and learning how to manage their diabetes. Camp Adventure is dedicated to empowering these children for everyday living and accepts children from throughout the State of Maine and the Nation. Adolescents between the ages of 12-17 who have Type 1 Diabetes may attend Camp Adventure and participate in activities such as: hiking, camping, canoeing, biking, kayaking, swimming, cooking, all the while monitoring blood sugar levels, and having fun learning that diabetes doesn’t control you; you control diabetes! The camp staff includes an endocrinologist, doctors, nurses, certified diabetes educators, registered & licensed dietitians, EMT/ paramedics, lifeguards, registered Maine guides, and Maine game wardens. The main goal of Camp Adventure is to provide a safe, exciting experience dealing with diabetes while conquering its challenges. Together, youth will be creating opportunities to develop greater independence and accept responsibility for selfmanagement. Riders, volunteers and campers will agree that Ride Aroostook was a success helping to raise funds that will help keep Camp Adventure running and accessible to youth effected by Type 1 Diabetes. Plans are already 20 Ride Aroostook FALL 2011
“I like the “county,” if I could live here I would. I can’t wait to come back.”
â€œI have nothing but wonderful things to share with anyone who bikes about this event and the county.â€?
22 Ride Aroostook FALL SUMMER 20112011
underway for the return of Ride Aroostook in 2012. The images that accompany this article are from the lens of Peter Freeman, of Caribou, who along with other photographers volunteered their time to capture the event. Peterâ€™s images, those on display here and many more on display at his website, capture27. com, are available for sale with the proceeds being added to the Camp Adventure Fund. Images are copyright 2011 to Peter Freeman and may not be used or reproduced without permission.
24 24 Ride Ride Aroostook Aroostook FALLFALL 20112010
Where Our Railroad Lives by Herbert Pence
Once the Aroostook River valley had its own railroad. Creatively named “The Aroostook Valley Railroad,” it meandered 32 miles from Sweden and Caribou south to Washburn and Presque Isle. It was built mainly to haul freight, especially the potato harvest. At the same time, the railroad had an eye on the passenger business. Less known was its plans to extend west to Quebec Province. Fifteen years after the last air brake sigh, in 1996, the railroad is remembered by bits of right-of-way, over which snowmobiles roar, memories of pennies on the rail and trips to “Star City” for doctors’ appointments and school. A few railroad related buildings still stand. But this article is not about what’s dead on the AVRR. Rather what is alive. Three hundred and twentyfive miles south of Presque Isle is Kennebunkport. In what we think of as a town of pink trousers and straw hats, toil a large group of volunteers, maintaining Maine’s and the country’s electric railroad history. The Seashore Trolley Museum is the operating arm of the New England Electric Railroad Historical Society. Seashore has a collection of 250 old rail cars, buses and service equipment and a self imposed obligation to protect these items of transportation history. Besides protecting these historic gems, Seashore 26 Our Railroad Lives FALL 2011
operates a fleet of vintage streetcars and interurban cars. If you want a treat, climb aboard yellow, open car No. 303 from Connecticut. It’s 110 years old and runs sprightly along the tracks, thrilling parents, grandparents and kids. Let’s return to The Valley and its very own railroad. Arthur R. Gould had his hand in ‘most everything being developed locally at the turn of the previous century. It should come as no surprise that his fingerprints are on the AVRR, too. Two enterprises linked to create the AVRR. Mr. Gould owned the Aroostook Lumber Co., which had vast tracts of forest land. In 1887, Gould organized the Presque Isle Light Co. The lumber industry needed a way to get its material to market and electricity was a way to power it. At the time, the Bangor and Aroostook Railroad had a virtual twenty-five year monopoly on freight service in the county. The State of Maine gave the B&A this privilege so it would use its resources to open the vast Northern Maine area to development and commerce. The Canadian Pacific Railroad had already punched a rail line into the U.S. from New Brunswick. It was eager to add to its traffic and the new little railroad was an easy way to do so. Thus, the Aroostook Valley Railroad became a player in the bigger companies’ war for business.
Just over one hundred years ago, on June 20, 1910, the AVRR began service. During the first week, 17,292 passengers were carried, easily the population of the area. Officially the line opened July 1st. With the Independence Day festivities rolled into the line opening activities, it was a grand time in The Valley. In 1913, the AVRR decided it needed two new passenger cars with baggage compartments. Accordingly, it ordered two such cars from the Wason Manufacturing Co., Springfield, MA. Later that year, Nos. 70 and 71 arrived in Presque Isle. They provided the four daily round trips between West Caribou and West Presque Isle. There were shuttle trips between Sweden and Carson. While the level of service was not up to Portland frequency, it was enough for the sparsely populated river valley. The two new cars were 53 feet long, eight-feet, eight-inches wide and were powered by 1,200 volts DC. Most U.S. interurbans and streetcar line FALL 2011
were powered in the 550 to 660 volt range. Doubling the AVRR’s power was intended to provide electric muscle for the dreamed of freight service to Quebec. Most railroads made money on the freight business and lost money on the passenger business. The AVRR was no exception. Having Granville Allen as the all- around passenger employee, reduced platform costs. Granville Allen was the public face of the company. Mr. Allen’s work place was in either car No. 70 or 71. For twenty-five years, he ran the interurban cars. From his post behind the massive controller, he was the motorman. At car stops, as the conductor, he boarded passengers and lifted tickets. When there was express to be handled, he was the baggage man. At switches, he was the switch tender. This work was 28 Our Railroad Lives FALL 2011
performed in his all purpose uniform of overalls and cap. When passenger service ended August 7, 1946, the passenger car’s future looked like a trip to the scrapper. A year later, Nos. 70, 71 and baggage-express car No. 52 were purchased by the Seashore Trolley Museum. They were taken to the Billerica Shops of the Boston & Maine Railroad for storage until 1959. Then they returned to their home state and safety in Kennebunkport. No. 70 has had an exterior restoration and displays a shiny Canadian Pacific Railroad maroon paint job. The interior is a work in progress to say the least. Earlier, No. 70 was used in an annual Ghost Trolley operation, due to the deteriorated interior condition. With the exterior work near completion, attention is being focused on the interior.
Given that money becomes available, No. 70 will carry passengers on Seashore’s three-mile round passenger trip. Generations of Aroostook River valley residents will once again have the experience of riding one of “their” interurban cars in the Pine Tree State. +++ To make a contribution to the restoration of No. 70, please write a check to NEEHRS and mail it to, P.O. Box A, Kennebunkport, ME 04046. On the memo line write: Car 70. +++ Thanks for help is credited to: Bulletin 65, Nov. 1946, Central Electric Railfans’ Assn., Chicago, IL and Aroostook Valley Railroad by C. D. Heseltine and E.B. Robertson., Maine Memory Network, O. R. Cummings and Donald Curry
FALL 2011 Our Railroad Lives 29
Photo ÂŠ 2011 Pete Bowmaster
Richards Christmas Tree Farm by Sandy Gauvin This article is written from a teenager’s viewpoint (her words are in italicized print) as well as from an adult’s perspective (this is written in regular print). The teenager is Madelyn Carson, granddaughter of Gary and Mary Etta Richards, the original owners of the tree farm. She wrote this many years ago as part of a school assignment.
“…All of a sudden, the farmer had a great idea. “Why not grow beautiful trees for everyone to have at Christmas?” he asked his wife. She really liked the idea, so they decided to start a family tree farm. “The Richards Christmas Tree Farm is what we should call it,” declared his wife, and that is what they called it.”
“Once upon a time, there was a farmer that loved Christmas time. His family loved Christmas as well. Every year, they always took special time to decorate and prepare for Christmas. One thing they did every year was to pick out a real Christmas tree. That was their favorite part of Christmas – spending time with family around the Christmas tree….”
32 Tree Farm FALL 2011
Family has always been of the utmost importance to Gary and Mary Etta Richards. That’s why, in 1982, they decided to embark on a new endeavor that is now the popular Richards’ Christmas Tree Farm in Mapleton,
Maine. When Gary retired from Agway, and Mary Etta from a nursing career, they were looking for a retirement job – one that could include the entire family. So they decided to start a tree farm, bought a hayfield from Don Chase, and began lining up buyers. According to Gary, “We always meant for the farm to be a family activity. When the jobs go, the farm is always here.” “So the farmer, his wife, his three children, and two family friends started the Christmas tree farm. With shovels, they planted 2,000 trees! Even though the work was hard, all they could think about was the beautiful Christmas trees that
would grow for everyone to enjoy.” On land that was originally known as the Boone Packard Farm in Mapleton, then the Chase Farm, the Richards family planted their first 500 white pine trees on their knees by hand, using a five-foot stick to measure spacing between the trees. The holes they dug were small, and they worked hard to fit the tree roots into these tiny spaces. The weather that season was very rainy and the soil became too wet for the pines. As a result, the little trees didn’t survive. Undaunted, the Richardses replaced them because, as Mary Etta Richards, matriarch of the Richards family, states. “Evergreens retain their foliage throughout FALL 2011 Tree Farm 33
the year. They bring the hope of spring during the long, cold, snowy winter.” 1990 saw the first harvest of the trees, and in 1991, the famous sleigh rides began, with the help of Chad Putnam and his team of horses, who still assists each year, along with his father, Charlie. Soon, the Richardses added their own team, which had already been trained. They still have one member of their original team and have since added another team. So the Putnam teams and the Richards teams provide winter delight to customers wanting to experience choosing and cutting just the right tree for them. Time is the Master The management of a Christmas tree business is dictated by time. The trees are planted and harvested on a ten-year rotation, for the most part. Smaller trees may be harvested after approximately eight years, some trees after 34 Tree Farm FALL 2011
nine, but most remain in the ground for ten full years. Planting usually begins the first of May. Trees are planted on sod while the frost is still in the ground. Although this sounds incredible, the reasoning is very sound. The sod helps keep the roots moist as the frost melts in the spring, and they don’t dry out as fast in the heat of the summer. The trees are then sprayed with herbicides before they start to grow. Once planted, they are immediately fertilized. Initially the trees are very soft, but soon they grow more rigid, and their tops begin to reach for the sky. Once June has begun, the workers can begin the basal pruning around the bottom of the smaller, three to four-foot high trees. The areas between the trees are mowed, and in July, the trimming begins. The sides of each tree are trimmed into the familiar triangle-shaped Christmas tree. That sounds like a simple task but Gary Richards laughingly reminisces, “You haven’t lived until you have been up on a ladder working with clippers and a knife and you are attacked by wasps!”
Tree harvest usually starts for the wholesale market the weekend of November 11. It cannot begin until there have been several hard frosts to set the needles. It takes a lot of work to handle large, frozen, snow-covered trees. They are counted, graded, tagged, cut, bailed, piled and made ready to be shipped. Buyers want the trees so they will be in place for sales before Thanksgiving. Gary and his son, Frank Richards, follow the trees each year to make sure the customers are satisfied. Also at this time, boughs are collected by the Richards’ workers to be used for the beautiful decorations sold on the farm for Christmas. “The tree farm that was once a small bit of land, with a few trees, has become a huge business that many families are involved in. Many people from the community come to this farm every winter to visit, ride on horse-drawn sleighs, and to find that beautiful tree for a great Christmas.” The first weekend in December is the beginning of the cutting of the “pick and choose trees” season - that is those that have been chosen by families ahead of time. And
the season is off and running! Some wreaths are available around the middle of November. For the past five years, the Richards family has been donating wreaths for the graves of veterans at the Fairmont Cemetery on the Houlton Road in Presque Isle. But the official opening for retail business is usually Thanksgiving weekend. The first two weekends in December, families are treated to sleigh rides out onto the back of the farm. They can choose which tree they would like to have for the holiday, then they can cut the tree themselves, or someone will cut it for them. According to Mary Etta Richards, “There have been people who have cut a Christmas tree for their very first time! Add a little snow, sing a carol – it’s truly Christmas magic! We have many third generation families who make choosing the right Christmas tree great memories.” When they get back to the barn, they can go inside for some delicious apple cider and look over the beautiful centerpieces, wreaths, sprays, garlands, and kissing balls FALL 2011 Tree Farm 35
made by the family and their helpers. “There is something for everyone,” states Gary Richards. “My wife has decided that even a Charlie Brown tree will do. All it needs is a little love….We’ve even had families cut their tree after Christmas. They waited for a loved one to arrive or they have Orthodox beliefs.” Work Details “It has been a few years now since the farmer and his family planted those trees. The farmer’s kids have grown up and have had kids. Even the farmer’s grandchildren have had kids. Still, the family is growing and selling trees for others, although, instead of five family members working, there are over 15. There are now three generations of family members working on the farm. That’s what makes this business so special to the farmer and his wife.” 36 Tree Farm FALL 2011
Since 1998, the tree farm has been run by the next generation, lead by Frank and Gaye Richards. Gaye works on the farm almost year round, with the exception of a brief time in the winter. Since they cannot do all the physical labor by themselves, they hire an average of 8-12 workers each year. Local older school kids, along with family, are the crew. Some of the workers are high-school age children and some are adults. Some of the biggest and strongest workers are used to help pull stumps and rocks. But all are taught the crucial safety procedures before they are allowed to begin work. One reason people like to work on the tree farm is that they know they will get a delicious, nutritious lunch each day. When it is time, the pickup truck with chairs on the back comes out into the field to take them back to the small shack on the front of the lot. There they are fed a healthy lunch made by Gaye Richards and given a
rest from the morning’s work. She smiles as she thinks out loud, “Summers require many hands with big appetites.” Richards Tree Farm has been in existence for nearly 30 years now. Progress has made working on the tree farm much easier over the years since its inception. Gary Richards explains, “A motorized shearing machine, developed by Jim Bouchard, has replaced many days of shearing with shearing knives. Frank built a tractor-driven, hydraulically-operated saw that has replaced the need for a chain saw and has made the cutting of trees much safer and faster.”
N OYES F LORIST & G REENHOUSE 11 F R A N K L I N S T R E E T C A R I B O U , M A I N E 0 47 36 2 07 49 8-2 296 www.n oye sf lo wers.com
But, It’s Not All Work Although hard work plays a significant role in the lives of the Richards family, hard play is just as important. During any given weekend, you can find the family getting together for a meal around the well-used family table at the residence of the senior Richardses. They may play board or card games together, or just sit and talk. Conversation is never lacking! On weekends in the winter, you will often see the entire family sliding on the hill near their home. This includes grandparents, children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. They treasure each others’ company and have exciting family times. And they still love spending time around their own Christmas tree together. “Now, that farmer and his wife live on the tree farm. They still love Christmas season best of all, and so does their growing family. Even though their kids have grown up, every year they pick out a real Christmas tree, decorate it, and spend time with their family. Just like the farmer and his wife did years before.” It would appear that Gary and Mary Etta’s dream for a family tree farm worked out perfectly. After all, the third generation of Richardses is now an active part of the operation and the third generation of customers is coming to pick out their Christmas tree here. As Christmases progress, perhaps Gary’s and Mary Etta’s three and a half great-grandchildren (the fourth is due in September, 2011) will be the next generation to work the farm. Please visit them on the Web at www.mainechristmastree.com/farm or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/pages/Richards-Christmas-Tree-Farm
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38 Route 161 FALL 2011
Route 161 And the Caribou Connector by Larry Cyr With the recent news of a new Caribou Connector being built to bypass downtown Caribou and Route 161, I thought I would record my recollections of places and events along Route 161 in Northern Maine’s Aroostook County. Route 161 starts at the Aroostook River Bridge in Fort Fairfield and runs 83 miles to a dead end at the St. John River west of Allagash. Route 161 passes through the communities of Fort Fairfield, Caribou, Woodland, New Sweden, Stockholm, Madawaska Lake, Cross Lake, New Canada, Fort Kent, St. John, St. Francis and Allagash. At the start of the road, the Fort Fairfield Blockhouse stands nearby along the banks of the Aroostook River. This blockhouse was built to defend the town during the Aroostook War in 1839. The town of Fort Fairfield is named for the Governor of Maine (John Fairfield) in 1839. As one leaves Fort Fairfield and heads north, a tree lined residential street is encountered. In the 1960’s the Potato Blossom Festival Parade was observed from this section of the road by our family in July. It was a nice shady location where we could put up some lawn chairs. For the past 63 years the parade has included numerous floats and farm machinery celebrating the beautiful potato blossoms that are present in the potato fields during the month of July. The green potato plants bear beautiful white flowers with yellow stamens. The parade includes a Potato Blossom Festival Queen which is chosen from Aroostook County towns. After this tree lined section, rows of potato houses along the tracks of the Bangor and Aroostook Railroad were seen on the left hand side of the road. Most of these barns are gone along with the Bangor and Aroostook Railroad. The road follows the Aroostook River on its way to Caribou. Along the Aroostook River banks one will find the fiddlehead fern, which is a delicious green vegetable when boiled and served with butter. After crossing the Caribou City line, one will notice the Bubar Family Cemetery. One of Caribou’s earliest settlers (Nathaniel Bubar) is buried here along with three graves of Civil War Veterans. While continuing the drive towards Caribou, one will see four tall transmission towers which is the location of the former LORAN Coast Guard Station in Caribou. This station recently closed as GPS technology has superceded the need for this means of communication and ship tracking. The next stop along the way is Goughan Family Farm where one can pick your own strawberries, visit the petting barn and treat yourselves to farm-made ice cream. In the fall they even have a corn maze. The road now approaches the crest of Fort Hill where the view of the entire community of Caribou and the Aroostook River unfolds. SUMMER FALL 2011 Route 161 39
At the bottom of the hill, the road crosses the Aroostook River Bridge, the Bangor and Aroostook Railroad tracks and then the Route 1 Bypass. Route 1 Bypass was built in 1966-67 to bypass the steep North Main Street Hill in downtown Caribou. Caribou is the most northeastern city in the United States. It became a city in 1968. A sign welcomes visitors to the city “Maine’s Best Home Town”. On the left hand side of the road is the former location of Birdseye Frozen Foods Plant. It was at this location that the first frozen fries were sold in 1947. At the end of the street, Route 161 turns right onto South Main Street into downtown Caribou. Just before the road descends into the valley created by the Caribou Stream, the Nylander Museum appears at the crest of the South Main Hill. The museum was built as a Work Progress Administration (WPA) project and designed to house the collections of Olof O. Nylander, a selftaught naturalist from Sweden. Nylander was a great geologist and was engaged by the U.S. Geological Survey as a field collector. I can recall visiting the museum as a child and seeing a painting of Haystack Mountain in Castle Hill, Maine that showed that the mountain had volcanic origins. Adjacent to the Nylander Museum is Monument Park. In 1917 the town of Caribou erected a Memorial for soldiers who died in World War I. The figure on the pedestal is a replica of a Civil War soldier. Caribou’s War dead are remembered each year with the laying of a wreath on Memorial Day. Opposite of Monument Park is the Caribou Universalist Church which is Caribou’s oldest church. At the top of the church’s cupola containing a bell is a weathervane that has a Caribou figure that points out the wind direction. At the bottom of the hill is the Caribou Stream which flows out of Collins Pond. It is believed that early settlers saw a caribou at Collins Pond. A nice park (Collins Park) has been created next to the stream, depicting a young girl watering flowers. As one crosses the Caribou Stream Bridge, on the back side of the Richie Block is a painting of an early CocaCola® Advertisement. This sign had been covered for a number of years by a billboard. When the State of Maine passed legislation eliminating roadside billboards, the Coca-Cola painting was exposed to the delight of residents of the city. On the other side of the street is a steep embankment that contains the parking lot for the former location of the Caribou Hotel, which has been converted to a professional office building called “One Vaughan Place.” Two former hotels existed on this site prior to this brick structure. They were called the Vaughan House and both were destroyed by fire. The road now starts climbing up Main Street and becomes North Main Street where it intersects 40 Route 161 FALL 2011
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High Street with Caribou’s old Municipal Building on the right. Route 161 used to turn left onto a vibrant downtown area on Sweden Street, but the traffic pattern was altered dramatically in the early 1970’s by a federal program called Urban Renewal. Sweden Street was the core of the downtown area for a good part of the 50’s and 60’s. Stores such as J.C. Penneys, J.J. Newberry’s, F.W. Woolworth, Briggs Hardware, Day’s Jewelry, Powers Theater, Aroostook Trust Company, Havey’s Drug Store, Cyr’s Barber Shop, Victory Restaurant, Habeeb’s Smoke Shop, Lupo’s, L.S. Halls, the U.S. Post Office and others lined this part of the downtown. Businesses located to other parts of town and numerous buildings were demolished. The lower half of Sweden Street was replaced by the Downtown Mall that has an outdoor covered canopy between the newly constructed buildings. Adjacent to the Downtown Mall, the city of Caribou has erected a life-size bronze woodland caribou statue. Across the street from the statue, Caribou’s Public Library has been standing since 1912, which was built from a $10,000 grant provided by Andrew Carnegie. As one climbs the North Main Street hill, the Route 161 signs direct the traveler around the Downtown Mall area onto Herschel Street and then onto Prospect Street, which leads back to Sweden Street bypassing the downtown area. At this intersection the Gray Memorial Methodist Church with its iconic clock tower rises. It was built in 1912 and was placed on the National Historic Register in 1995. Opposite this historic church there used to be a Graves’ Supermarket and a Gulf Filling Station. Leaving the downtown area, a town gathering spot is approached. Reno’s Family Restaurant has been serving American and Italian food since 1965. Reno’s has a great breakfast and is noted for its pizza. I was once snowmobiling in New Brunswick, and I stopped to speak with some other sledders. They spoke French making it difficult to have a conversation. I told them I was from Caribou. Once I said that, they mentioned Reno’s. This section of Sweden Street has sidewalks on both sides of the street making for an enjoyable walk for residents. As I recall the days of my youth, I remember the town sounded a horn signaling to the town at dusk that younger residents were to get off the streets. The Aroostook County Courthouse with its classic brick façade is visible with its cupola rising from Sweden Street. The court house was built in 1895 to ensure that the legal business for a very large county was more equally divided between the northern and southern frontiers of Aroostook. With the county seat in Houlton, a resident in Northern Aroostook would have had to travel a great distance to appear in court. At one time there had been talk of making two counties out of one. With Caribou’s Court House, this idea never became popular. Another culinary establishment is now approached. Burger Boy has been on Sweden Street since the 1970’s. It was built FALL 2011 Route 161 43
on the site of the town’s former swimming pool as a place for children to have fun during the brief summer months. Before the swimming pool, this was the site of a State of Maine Fish Hatchery. If one looks closely, a remnant of the hatchery and pool can be noticed by a deep gully between Sweden Street and Burger Boy. Across the street from Burger Boy was the home of Emery “Flash” Plourde. Plourde was an outstanding high school athlete who set numerous records in track and field. He was posthumously elected to the State of Maine Sports Hall of Fame. I remember him as the man with the starting gun at our track meets at Caribou High School. Adjacent to Burger Boy was Beaulieus’ Garage. Beaulieus had a towing service. I recall numerous vehicles that had been towed to this location over the years showing the utter devastation of highway collisions. Continuing northbound on Sweden Street, Roy’s IGA (Independent Grocers Alliance) has a place for cars to pull up to obtain a loaf of bread or container of milk. I recall the days when this establishment was called Mike’s Mighty IGA. It was run by Mike Bell of Caribou. His daughter was Miss Caribou in 1969 and she became Miss Maine. Many residents would pull up to the store, go inside and pick up needed items and return to their car while leaving the car running. This was especially done during the cold winter months. Just up the street from the IGA store is County Sports, specializing in snowmobiles. Linwood Willard sold chain saws at this location. In the fall of 1958 Mr. Willard was approached to see if he was interested in selling snowmobiles. He was among the first five individuals in the United States to start selling Polaris® snowmobiles. After County Sports, Sweden Street ends and becomes Sweden Road at a fork in the road. Yogi Berra of the Yankees used to say when you come to a fork in the road, take it. In this case Route 161 continues by bearing to the right. A sign states that it is only 43 more miles to Fort Kent. At the fork is Ouellette’s Variety which is a convenient location for filling up your vehicle and obtaining homemade goods inside Alice’s Bakery. Ouellette’s was founded by Bob Ouellette who started a snow thrower business that specialized in Toro® snow throwers. Ouellette’s is also a handy location for high school students to obtain snacks for school as Caribou High School is across the street from Ouellette’s. Construction of Caribou High School began in 1964. My family and I moved into our home in 1960 nearby on Sweden Road within visual sight distance of the high school. One could see the welding of the gymnasium from our kitchen window. It was in this gym in 1969, that the entire town of Caribou welcomed home Coach Gerry Duffy and the State of Maine Class A Basketball Champions with 44 Route 161 FALL 2011
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the gold ball. The most dramatic shot in Maine basketball history was undoubtedly Mike Thurston’s fabled Bangor Auditorium half court set shot/heave at the buzzer, allowing Caribou to win the State Championship over Westbrook. Living near the high school was convenient for me and my family when going to school or attending sporting events. Some students even took snowmobiles to school. Sidewalks were eventually extended up Sweden Road to our home and beyond. One summer day in 1972, I was mowing our front lawn on Route 161 when I was approached by a person walking up the street. The person was William Cohen, former Mayor of Bangor, who was walking 600 miles across Maine’s Second Congressional District to find out what was on people’s minds. I shook hands with him and wished him well on the remainder of his walk. Bill Cohen went on to become a U.S. Representative, a U.S. Senator and U.S. Defense Secretary. He continued his walk northbound on Route 161. In the winter of 2000, a police and fire department escort was provided for three snowmobilers returning from Alaska on what was called the “Ride of the Millennium.” Mike McCarthy, Kirk St. Peter and Mike Ouellete drove southbound on Route 161 into Caribou with numerous residents lining the street applauding their accomplishment. It was from this same direction that towards the end of each summer, our family would watch the numerous cars returning from Northern Maine’s lakes and camps to get ready to return to school. In Aroostook County in the 60’s and 70’s, hand potato picking was very common and school districts would start the fall school season in the middle of August to support a three to four week break for the potato harvest in September. Just up the road from our house was the Haines Farm where I picked my share of spuds. At the crest of the hill leaving town was another family farmer named Ernest “Bud” Smith. Leaving Caribou the open vistas were created by the clearing of land for potato farming. Back in the 60’s and 70’s, it seemed that wherever there was open space, a potato field would be present. At one time Caribou Maine was known as the “Greatest Potato Shipping Point in the World.” The quantity of potatoes produced in Aroostook County has dropped dramatically from the earlier years. The hand picking crews and family farms have now faded from the landscape. Further up the road is the former location of Earl’s Sno Sled Service and Repair and a Tastee Freeze Restaurant. In the winter, the ITS-83 Snowmobile Trail crosses Route 161 near this location. Holy Rosary Church established a new cemetery out on the Sweden Road, as its old location near the Aroostook River had been intersected by construction of the Caribou Bypass in 1966. I have extended family buried in both cemeteries. The new cemetery is adjacent to a potato field. Some of the potato fields were taken out of cultivation in the late 60’s with the creation of the 9-hole Caribou Country Club. I caddied for one of my uncles while in high school at this location.
I also participated in a cross-country track meet on the golf course. The Caribou Connector is to connect near the golf course across from radio station WFST. The other end of the connector will connect to the 1966 bypass near the Maine DOT maintenance lot in Caribou, bypassing the downtown area completely. At the Caribou – Woodland town line, Route 161 takes an upward left curve on its route northward. Recently a solar powered moose collision warning sign has been erected on Route 161. It is common for moose to cross or wander near the roadway, as they like to ingest road salt as part of their diet. Moose collisions in the State of Maine are part of the reason that there has been a return of a moosehunting season by lottery. It was at the town line in the winter of 1976 that I was on my way to Verner Peterson’s Store at Colby Siding in Woodland to obtain some snow shovels, that I almost had a collision with a tractor trailer on a snow-covered highway. As the truck came barreling southbound around the curve by the Ogren Road, the truck was partially in the northbound lane. I veered to the right into a snow bank and visibility went to zero, as the snow was very powdery. The pickup I was driving was buried deeply off the road with no hope of getting back on the road. The tractor trailer was long gone. After getting out of the pickup unharmed, along came a huge front-end loader from the north. Mr. Iver Soderberg of Caribou (who was the father of one of my classmates) was driving the loader. He had a chain and pulled me out of my predicament. Iver’s son’s construction firm is participating in the building of the Caribou Connector. Route 161 continues a short distance (three-four miles) until New Sweden is reached. New Sweden was created in 1870 by Governor Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain to increase the population of Northern Maine by allowing Swedes to emigrate from Sweden. As one enters New Sweden on Route 161, a flashing yellow light marks the intersection with Station Road and Westmanland Road. At the intersection is the Northstar Variety Store run by a former neighbor Dave Anderson. This location is a moose/ deer tag and weighing station. The road dips after the light and then goes to the crest of a hill that starts perhaps the longest stretch of straight road that exists in the State of Maine. The road stays straight until it reaches the next town of Stockholm. When learning to drive in high school, I was permitted to drive this section of roadway until we reached Everett Larson’s Store in Stockholm. Route 161 bypasses the downtown area of Stockholm which was once a vibrant town that manufactured wooden boxes, shingles and clothes pins. Route 161 descends to the bottom of a long hill where the road crosses abandoned Bangor and Aroostook Railroad tracks and then the Little Madawaska River which flows into Stockholm east of this area. This area is called Axel Siding. Each fall a hunter’s breakfast is held at a log cabin nearby. The snowmobile trail crosses Route 161 in this location. After Axel Siding, on the right FALL 2011 Route 161 47
hand side of the road, it is very common to see numerous deer in the field along the road. Both sides of the road are now wooded for the next several miles of Route 161. There are a couple of openings in the trees that expose the location of Madawaska Lake and the former location of Stan’s which was a local congregating point and post office for Madawaska Lake, Maine. It was the home of 10 cent coffee and the inside of the store contained numerous items that one would find in an old country store of long ago. Stan’s was torn down in 2006, but the latest news from the region is that Stan’s is being rebuilt. After leaving the Madawaska Lake Area, the State of Maine had a couple of rest areas that they maintained for picnics. Our family went to these locations to spend an afternoon under the canopy of a brown-painted log structure over a picnic table with a charcoal grill near the picnic tables. The road continues northbound and emerges into a clearing for a small village of Cross Lake. A Halfway Hotel was located on the Mud Lake to Cross Lake thoroughfare. This was the big place to stop and rest for the night during the days of travel by horse. The hotel fell into a state of disrepair and it eventually collapsed under the weight of snow and was demolished a couple of years ago. Across the road from the hotel is St. Peter’s Store, which has been alongside the road since 1898. The State of Maine used to house horses at the store to be used to pull a snow roller for the roads. After St. Peter’s Store, another Tastee Freeze was located where Route 162 starts on its way to Sinclair and Long Lake. The potato fields of Central Aroostook begin to reappear as one leaves the Cross Lake area. These fields continue all the way through New Canada and onto Fort Kent, but the area now contains more hilly terrain. Route 161 continues until it intersects Route 1 in Fort Kent. At this intersection, the Bangor and Aroostook Railroad Station House is now the home of the Fort Kent Historical Society. Soucy’s Market used to be located at the intersection of Route 1 and 161. Route 161 turns left into downtown Fort Kent. The road crosses the Fish River and the Fort Kent Blockhouse State Historic Site can be found next to the bridge. The Fort Kent Blockhouse was built in 1839 during the “Bloodless Aroostook War.” Fort Kent Blockhouse is located at the confluence of the Fish River and the St. John River in Fort Kent, Maine. The signing of the Webster-Ashburn Treaty in 1842 finally settled the boundary dispute. This two-story structure has walls that are made of square-hewn cedar logs. The road continues into downtown Fort Kent with its numerous small stores lining its Main Street. A huge earthen dike was constructed to abate springtime flooding of the Saint John River into the downtown area. Flooding in this area was so severe in the spring of 2008 that the Saint John River reached the underside of the International Bridge. The International Bridge marks the terminus of Route 1, which is now referred to as America’s First Mile by a newly erected granite sign at this location. Route 161 continues west to the towns of St. 48 Route 161 FALL 2011
John, St. Francis and Allagash. The abandoned Bangor and Aroostook rail bed continues adjacent to Route 161 until it reaches the town of St. Francis. A turntable was erected in St. Francis to permit locomotives to turn around as this was the end of the rail line. Route 161 continues to the town of Allagash where the Allagash River meets the Saint John River. Route 161 crosses the Allagash River and then enters an area called Dickey. This used to be the location of Dickey’s Trading Post which was the last place to buy gas prior to leaving paved roads and the end of Route 161. After the Trading Post the road crosses the Saint John River which used to be the location of a ferry and then a one lane bridge. Today a newly constructed bridge has been erected at the site and Route 161 comes to an end in this area.
Larry Cyr in Caribou
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Aroostook County Potato Harvest by Catherine Shaw Bowker
As I look across the road at the potato field slowly nearing time for its harvest, I am reminded of its stages as it moved from seeds this spring to the beautiful blossoms in July and now to its current state. I also recall this year’s Maine Potato Blossom Festival week, an exciting time for Fort Fairfield. As a kid I loved this week with its activities and the giant parade. Many years Dad designed and built a wonderful float for the parade and all of the kids in the family (and sometimes the neighborhood) were part of it. The entire family worked on the float in some way. Dad was the designer and carpenter, Mom and my aunt made the costumes, and the kids helped glue, paper mâché, and paint. We actually won a couple of trophies for the floats, but the goal was having fun. The floats always had a theme – a message to distill to the parade watchers. One year the theme was the importance of reading and its ability to build children’s imaginations. Dad covered our Plymouth station wagon with strong brown paper, leaving only a small hole in the windshield so he could see as he drove the parade route. On the roof of the car was the Mad Tea Party from Alice in Wonderland. My cousin, Chris, was the Mad Hatter, his sister, Shelley, was Alice, and I was the Red Queen (Dad took a few liberties). My little sister, Judy, sat on the hood of the car reading a giant book, Alice in Wonderland, naturally. On the side of the float were placards with the message, “Enjoy the Magic of Reading.” Another year Dad made a giant fish. It had a paper mâché head and was at least ten feet long. My little brother, Joe, who was about five at the time, carried a fishing rod with the fish hooked to it. Around his neck was a sign, “You should have seen the one that got away.” The rest of us, Chris, Shelley, Judy, and I were supposed to be under the fish to walk it down the route. We hit a snag when we realized none of us was tall enough to hold up the head. Of course, we discovered this about two hours before the parade. Larry, a neighborhood kid, was walking down the street during our discovery so Dad called him over and asked if he wanted to be in the parade. He said yes, and we had our fish head. I’ll always remember our sidestepping the horse pooh as we walked the parade route (no one had to follow behind and shovel in those days). Thinking back
on it, our sidestepping probably made the fish look like it was wriggling to get away. So, what does all of this have to do with potato harvest? The Potato Blossom Festival celebrates potatoes – the Industry Dinner, mashed potato wrestling, potato picking contests, the Farm Family of the Year, and the potato queen pageants. But how many people who come to celebrate the blossoming of the potato actually understand what it is like to get those potatoes out of the ground and to the market? Of course, those directly involved in the industry know, but sadly, few others really understand anymore. When I was a kid celebrating during the festival, I understood the hard work it takes to harvest those potatoes. For most kids today, the festival is just another annual summer event in The County. Sadly, even many of us who did work during the harvest have forgotten the real reason for the celebration. Technology can be a wonderful thing, but sometimes we lose a lot to gain a little. In this case, we have lost the lessons kids learned by working in the fields for three weeks every fall. As I look at the field across the road, I am reminded of those days of harvest and the hard, but satisfying work. When I was a kid in the early sixties, nearly every school-aged kid worked during the fall recess from school. Harvest wasn’t a three-week vacation; it was three weeks of hard work, dirty, tired bodies, and for many of us, money to buy winter clothes. While some of today’s students work during harvest, it is still not the same. For one thing, the kids working are likely working to buy a new electronic device, a car, or perhaps money for college. Few are working to ensure they have warm clothes for winter. While they may be learning about manual labor and work ethic, they aren’t working to survive which brings a whole new perspective. My family, my entire family Dad, Mom, siblings, and cousins, worked each year during the harvest. Dad took three weeks of his four weeks of yearly vacation and drove truck. Mom, my siblings, my cousins and I picked. My Aunt Tess took care of meals for us. How many people today would give up three weeks of vacation so they could work? How many mothers would take their kids into the fields at six a.m. to work all day? Younger readers are probably thinking “child abuse, how could a mother do that,” but I FALL 2011
am thankful for the experience and wish my own daughter had had that same opportunity. You really appreciate every nickel when you work hard for it. Our day began at four a.m. when the alarm clock resounded its angry call, and Wayne Knight’s voice blared on the radio, “It’s a beautiful day and all farmers are going right on time!” followed by Dick Curless singing “Tater, tater, tater, tater; tater raising man. Pick em up, pick ‘em up, put ‘em in the barrel…” I came to hate Wayne’s voice and Dick’s singing. We kids often prayed for rain, just as kids today pray for a snowstorm big enough to cancel school for the day. So, we dragged our weary bodies out of bed, put on our “picking clothes,” ate breakfast, grabbed our lunches and headed out. Did I mention that it was still dark when we got up? Arriving at the field at the break of dawn, Dad headed off to his truck while Mom and the kids went to their sections to get set for the day. Sections were established in each field with sticks. The field boss measured out your section with paces and drove your sticks into the ground at the beginning and end of your section. The kids, except my brother Joe, always wanted small sections, and Mom, whose daily goal was 100 barrels, wanted a large section. While we knew we would be paid for our work, only the adults and my brother Joe really thought about the correlation between a large section and the pay at the end. The adults were very protective of their sections and berated any picking neighbor who dared to encroach by moving the stick too much to their advantage. The kids sometimes “gave away” some of their sections so they would not have to pick as many potatoes. So, the day began. We picked the potatoes up, put them in our baskets, dumped them in our barrels and when the barrel was full, we placed our ticket on it. The truck then picked up the barrels with its grapple hook. Dad either drove the truck or ran the grapple. The ticket placed on the barrel identified the picker; at the end of each day the field boss counted the tickets and credited us for each one. At that time we were paid 25 cents for each barrel we picked. I was happy if I could get 25 barrels a day. If you picked up your section fast enough, you had time to rest before the tractor came by again. Sometimes you had to help a fellow picker who had fallen behind and had six or eight rows of potatoes still on the ground. If you were really lucky, you had time to take a bathroom break. Where was the bathroom? The woods of course! There was no such thing as a port-a-potty in the fields in those days. Unless you brought your own, leaves were your Charmin. At noon we stopped for lunch. The bologna sandwich on white bread, crisp fall apple, steaming hot chocolate from the thermos, and Drake’s Coffee Cake or 52
Ring Ding are like a five-star dinner when you are starved. We didn’t even care that potato dirt usually got in the food. We were hungry and tired. We usually sat on the ground and ate; sometimes we sat in the car. If we finished on time, we could play a bit before it was time to go back to work. After lunch we continued picking until 6 p.m. when the day ended. We gathered our baskets, put them on a barrel and loaded into the car to head home for baths and a hot dinner. Tess always had a home-cooked meal ready for us when we got home – chicken pie with her flaky homemade crust, meatloaf and baked potatoes, chop suey. Whatever she made was delicious! After dinner and baths it was off to bed for the kids. But the day was not over for Mom and Dad as they still had to wash our picking clothes and make lunches so everything was ready for the next day. This was our routine six days a week for three weeks. We were paid on Saturdays and gave our checks to Mom and Dad. At the end of the three weeks we were given one quarter of our earnings to spend as we wanted. The rest went toward our winter clothes. My sister and I always spent our money on toys. Joe put his in savings. So what did we learn? We learned that money has to be earned and that earning it can be very hard. We learned that the farmers depended on us to get their crops out of the ground. We learned what parents will do to take care of their children. Most of all, we learned that hard work is rewarded and family is the most important part of your life. I suppose we can instill these lessons today, but it is much more difficult. Face it, our lives and our children’s lives are easier today than they were 40 years ago, although we don’t always think so. And while the farmers’ physical labor may be easier, their lives are not necessarily so. Think about this as you enjoy the rewards of Aroostook County potato farmers’ hard work and dedication to the Maine potato.
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Welly Ramsey, athlete at Maine Winter Sports Center, with Carl Flynn, MD, of Pines Health Services
Need Primary Care by Karim Slifka
Winning takes ability. It takes focus and discipline to develop that ability. Most importantly, it takes the desire to win. The aspiring Olympic athletes who train at Maine Winter Sports Center live this formula every day. For them to be successful, it takes an equally skilled and dedicated team to care for them during their training. The latest addition to this team is Carl Flynn, MD. In 2002 Will Sweetser, Community Program Director at the Maine Winter Sports Center (MWSC), began a dialogue with Bill Flagg at Cary Medical Center to explore ways they could collaborate to 56 Prime Athletes FALL 2011
support the athletes. Training for a biathlon or the Olympics is grueling work. The demands are extreme and the risks for injury or illness are very real. At the same time, these Olympic hopefuls have little income and often no health insurance. Cary took the first bold step by inaugurating a program to provide health care coverage for the athletes. The next question was how to secure a reliable provider to ensure continuity of care for them. When they need a doctor, where could they go? Who would know their health history? The answer became clear: Dr. Carl Flynn at Pines Health Services.
MWSC has looked forward to this matchup with Dr. Flynn for some time. Though Dr. Flynn has helped when he could amid his busy family practice over the years, he wasn’t the designated provider for all athletes. And while MWSC has partnered with various Pines providers, they wanted a consistent primary care provider. This intermittent relationship has since solidified into an arrangement for the young athletes who come here, for the positioning of MWSC as a training facility of choice, and for Pines to fulfill another dimension of the health center’s mission. Dr. Flynn gives each athlete a physical to establish a complete picture of his or her health and fitness level. From there the athletes are monitored for any signs of illness, fatigue, or physical trauma related to training. Although these individuals are in peak condition, maintaining their health is a serious task. They train upwards of 20 hours a week and need an equal measure of refueling and recovery. At this level of performance, the body is put through tremendous stress and the stakes are high: One injury or illness can derail months or even years of dedicated training. The earlier a condition such as exhaustion is identified, the faster and more likely the athlete can get back to 100%. Sweetser emphasized, “A competent medical staff needs to be there for these athletes to stay ahead and be successful.” These young athletes are also treated like any other patient of Dr. Flynn’s. If they have a cold, a headache, an ear infection—anything at all—they are quickly seen. Sweetser refers to Dr. Flynn as the “medical team on the ground” who monitors
the athletes’ health and sees that they receive appropriate treatment. Thanks to a robust safety net—including Cary Medical Center, a dietician, a sports psychologist, and the physiology lab at UMPI, among others—athletes can receive comprehensive primary and specialty care right here in the community. Sweetser said of the newest addition, “It’s great to have Dr. Flynn as part of our comprehensive safety network for the athletes.” Dr. Flynn and Sweetser share a passion for sports and a profound respect for the athletes. Sweetser has lived and breathed competitive winter sports since he skied for his Maine high school and Dartmouth College. He went on to coach at Bates College and several nationally known ski clubs. At MWSC, Sweetser always seeks new ways to promote skiing as a positive lifestyle for Mainers. Likewise, Dr. Flynn is a proponent of competitive sports not only as a benefit to physical and mental health, but also as a program to keep kids focused, busy, and out of trouble. He practices this sports philosophy when he’s not practicing medicine. Dr. Flynn has coached Caribou Little League for several years and Presque Isle High School Varsity Ice Hockey. He also participates in the Recreational Men’s Hockey League. One of Dr. Flynn’s most personally fulfilling accomplishments came in 2009, when he coached the Presque Isle High School Varsity Ice Hockey Team to the Class B Eastern Maine Championship and was recognized as the Gene Fadrigan Coach of the Year. Working with these elite athletes is an honor and a thrill for Dr. Flynn: “It’s amazing to be involved in this program. These are Nordic skiers or biathletes
“A competent medical staff needs to be there for these athletes to stay ahead and be successful.”
FALL 2011 Prime Athletes 57
in prime physical condition. Many graduated from Ivy League schools. I enjoy hearing about where they came from and where they are headed, which is often around the world. You could say it’s a chance to ‘live vicariously’ through their travels and triumphs. It’s pretty cool.” Sweetser and Dr. Flynn also share a conviction that a premier winter sports program, complemented by comprehensive health services, is healthy for the local culture and economy. The attractiveness of the 58 Prime Athletes FALL 2011
program brings athletes, spectators, and media to the County, and firmly places northern Maine on the map as a destination for outdoor sports enthusiasts. Not only does the program help recruit athletes to the area; it may inspire Maine athletes to stay here to train, live, and thrive. The next generation of Olympic hopefuls could come from our backyard, receiving care from our neighborhood providers. That sounds like just the kind of thing MWSC and Dr. Flynn would welcome.
FALL 2011 Prime Athletes 59
Salmon Brook Lake Trail by Vernon M. Labbe, Regional Lands Manager Bureau of Parks and Lands Folks living in Aroostook County no longer have to travel to Bangor to experience a bog walk trail. Over the past three years a trail construction project involving the Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands, the Town of Perham, local volunteers and the Maine Conservation Corps has resulted in the development of the Salmon Brook Lake Trail. The trail is a unique opportunity to experience forested and grassed wetlands without having to tread water, and the hike is much less strenuous than mountain peak trails. The combination of multi-use trail, hiking trail, day-use picnic area, hand-carry boat launch, bog bridging, boardwalks and a viewing platform located in the open grassland around the lake makes this trail a must-see destination. The Salmon Brook Lake Bog Unit is located in the center of Perham, situated between the Woodland Center Road (Rte. 228) and the High Meadow Road to the south and the Tangle Ridge Road to the north. This 1,857-acre Unit was acquired from The Nature Conservancy in 1993 through The Land For Maine’s Future Program. The Unit is managed by the Bureau of Parks and Lands, in consultation 60 FALL 2011
with The Nature Conservancy. Maintenance of the trail is a partnership between the Bureau and the Town of Perham. This Unit is truly a special place with nearly 700 acres of extensive wetlands, six exemplary natural communities, and six rare plant populations within the 1,055 acre Ecological Reserve. Situated near the center of Aroostook County, this trail is an outdoor classroom waiting to be experienced both summer and winter. To “get there from here” take Rte. 228 out of Caribou, after a requisite stop at Alice’s Bakery, or Rte. 228 out of Washburn. Follow Rte. 228 to the High Meadow Road, take the High Meadow Road, cross the Bangor and Aroostook Trail to the Perham Town Office which is immediately on the left. The parking lot at the town office currently serves as the trailhead for the Salmon Brook Lake Trail. The Bureau has plans to develop additional trailhead parking with a connector trail at the north end of the Unit. There are signs at both ends of the Salmon Brook Lake Trail and the hiking trail is marked with blue paint. From the town office parking lot trailhead walk a
short distance down the High Meadow Road and turn left (north) onto the Bangor and Aroostook Trail for 1.25 miles to the Salmon Brook Lake Trail. CAUTION: the Bangor and Aroostook Trail is a multi-use trail so you may encounter atvâ€™s, horses and bikes in the summer and snowsleds in the winter. The Salmon Brook Lake Trail starts with a long 480foot boardwalk through a beautiful northern white cedar forest. The beginning 0.2 mile of trail to the day-use picnic area is also a multi-use trail. Enjoy lunch under the picnic table shelter which overlooks Salmon Brook Lake. The hand-carry boat launch next to the day-use area provides the only public access to Salmon Brook Lake. The launch is at the old dam site on Salmon Brook. In 2011 the trail was dedicated to Calvin Wardwell who was instrumental in the development of the public access to the lake. The hiking trail leaves the multi-use trail at the day-use area, heading in a northerly direction. Look for the hiking trail sign. The first section of hiking trail has a long series of bog bridging so step carefully. The moose are having a difficult time negotiating the bog bridging, but they prefer mucking in the mud anyway. Follow the hiking trail for 0.5 mile through mixed-wood forest and softwood forest to a boardwalk to the right (east) of the trail. This boardwalk takes you out to the viewing platform in the grassed wetland surrounding the lake. Please remain on the boardwalk to preserve the wetland. Be careful, the boardwalks can be slippery when wet. Have a seat and take in the views of the surrounding landscape. Most days a breeze across the grassland provides relief from the infamous County black flies. From the viewing platform head back to the hiking trail and turn right (north) to continue on the trail loop. The last section of hiking trail meanders through several different types of forests for 0.5 mile. A footbridge and four more sections of bog bridging test your balance but keep your feet dry. Along the trail a keen eye will be able to identify several animal tracks and maybe one of the rare plants. Some of the trees along the trail are 18 - 24 feet in diameter and some trees are over 200 years old. The hiking trail then ends at the Bangor and Aroostook Trail near an old beaver flowage. There are two options for returning to the trailhead parking area. The loop option is to travel down (south) the Bangor and Aroostook Trail for 2.15 miles back to the trailhead. The long sight distance makes it seem like the trail goes on forever. Or retrace your steps back down the 1.2-mile Salmon Brook Lake Trail and 1.25-mile Bangor and Aroostook Trail back to the trailhead at the Perham Town Office. You should plan on two to three hours for this outdoor adventure.
P.O. Box 430 291 West Main Street Fort Kent, Maine 04743 Tel: 207.834.5354 firstname.lastname@example.org www.fortkentchamber.com
357 Main Street P.O. Box 144 Madawaska, Maine 04756 Tel: 207.728-7000 Fax: 207.728.4696
Moose Hunting In Maine by Warden Kevin Pelkey
Since 1980 the one thing that seems to be the most coveted by a Maine hunter is the Maine moose hunting permit. During the early 1900â€™s moose populations in Maine had dropped to only a couple thousand due to changes in habitat, uncontrolled hunting pressure and market hunting. In 1935 all legal moose hunting in Maine was closed. In 1980, forty-five years later, moose hunting in Maine again became legal through a permit system. Only seven hundred permits were issued in this first hunt. After thirty-one years of hunting, the moose population has continued to rebound, and this year 3,862 permits have been issued throughout the state. The moose hunt is now a successful management tool, allocating set numbers of permits in specific areas to better control the balance between the desire of Maine residents to view moose and the public safety concerns of car moose collisions. The permits are issued through a lottery type system and are specific to the dates, geographical area of the state, and the gender of the moose that may be hunted. Much thought and effort should be put into a 62 FALL 2011
moose hunt, but the result could easily be memories that last a lifetime and enough meat to feed a household. As the season approaches there are many sportsmen anxiously planning their upcoming hunt. Whether it be booking with a guide, scouting locations, sighting in their rifles, or practicing their moose calling skills. The moose hunt occurs through different phases of the moose rut or breeding time. During this time moose can be very vocal and on the move looking for a mate. With proper scouting, calling to moose can be a very exciting and productive experience. The hunter in search of a bull or male moose makes calls resembling the sound a female moose makes when looking to mate. If conditions are right, this can lure in a bull moose. There are also many reputable guides in the state that can be booked for the hunt. Many offer good accommodations and a local knowledge of the area moose herd. Moose are large animals and can present a daunting task once it comes time for field dressing and removing the animal from the field. Being properly equipped, with both knowledge and equipment, can make this task go much
easier. One of the things that need to be considered by the hunter is proper handling of the moose once it has been harvested. Adequate cooling of the meat is an important consideration. Allowing the animal to cool and be iced down as soon as possible is an important step in preventing the spoilage of the meat. Black pepper placed on exposed meat also helps prevent flies from being drawn to the moose and allowed to lay eggs. If the hunter decides not to butcher the moose themselves, it is advisable to reserve a spot with a local meat cutter. Maine game wardens also look forward to moose season. This is generally a busy time of year for them with many people taking to the woods. Game wardens are there to help insure that everyone has a safe hunt and abide by Maine hunting laws. Many a sportsmen has been able to successfully end their hunt after a conversation with a game warden, who pointed them in the direction where moose had just recently been seen. Game wardens are also kept busy by addressing violations they encounter. Safety concerns of loaded guns in motor vehicles, not wearing adequate hunter’s orange, shooting from a roadway, and others are addressed annually. Other violations encountered are killing more than one moose, killing a moose of the wrong gender for their permit, and hunting moose without a permit. Small bulls are sometimes mistaken for cows and shot. When it is discovered that the moose shot was not the proper sex, the shooter may leave the moose there to rot. Some people get excited and end up shooting more then one moose, registering one and again leaving the other to rot. These criminal acts are taken very seriously by Maine game wardens and great effort is put forth to bring the responsible people to justice. These violators face loss of hunting privileges, loss of firearm, thousands of dollars in fines, and imprisonment. If you are in the fields or woods of Maine this year and see any of these, or other violations, please help protect Maine’s resources and call Operation Game Thief at 1-800253-7887 (1-800-ALERT-US). This is a tip line to report poaching in Maine. The caller can remain anonymous and does not need to give their name. If you are one of the lucky ones to be selected for a Maine moose hunting permit, congratulations! Remember to think safety first, enjoy every part of your hunt because you are creating memories, and do not be afraid to say hello to the local game warden, they may just point you in the direction of what you are looking for.
A Tradition of Excellence in Community Healthcare. 163 Van Buren Rd. · Caribou, ME 04736 498-3111 · www.carymedicalcenter.org Cary is an equal opportunity provider
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P.O. Box 189 Presque Isle, Me 04769-0189 Tel: (207) 764-6945 Fax: (207) 433-1099
Maine’s Platinum Trollbeads Dealer Clogs, Jewelry, Table Linens, Swedish Specialty Foods Scandinavian Sweaters, Crystal, Dinnerware, Bridal Registry www.monicasimports.com 176 Sweden Street, Caribou, Me 04736 Tel / Fax: (207) 493-4600
Advances In Veterinary Medicine by Christiana Yule, DVM
fort kent animal hospital
Photo by Matthew Michaud When most people think of veterinary medicine, they picture James Herriot driving across the English countryside and stopping at various farms to deliver a calf here, stitch up a horse there and popping into the widow Bartlett’s cottage to gently chastise her for feeding her little dog until he was too fat to walk. It’s easy to imagine that times are still so simple, especially given that the peaceful Maine countryside is so reminiscent of the farms in Herriot’s books. But things have changed quite a bit in the field of veterinary medicine over the past 80 years or so. These days, each veterinary hospital is an independent state-of-the-art medical center equipped to deliver top-notch diagnostics and treatment for your animals. Most hospitals specialize in either pets or large animals; many are starting to narrow their focus to a single species. It is not uncommon in larger cities to see a feline animal 64
hospital, an avian animal hospital, or a reptile animal hospital within a few blocks of each other. And it’s no wonder; the more medical information that becomes available about each species, the harder it is for a single veterinarian to learn everything about each species and keep on top of the latest advances every year! Some veterinarians specialize in pets and some in horses or farm animals, while some pick and choose select species that they enjoy working with. For an additional year of internship and several years of residency, some veterinarians choose to become board-certified specialists in certain body systems like cardiology, ophthalmology, internal medicine or orthopedics. Referrals to such specialists are common for problems like heart defects, glaucoma, and hip dysplasia. For a price unheard of in the days of James Herriot, your pet can receive treatments including a total hip replacement, cataract removal, a heart valve replacement, a pacemaker, and even a
kidney transplant. Your everyday animal hospital now contains amazing technologies to provide fast and accurate diagnosis and treatment for cats, dogs and other animals. Full in-house laboratories can give your veterinarian an assessment of your pet’s liver function, kidney function, pancreatic function, hydration, and check for signs of anemia and infection all in less than 20 minutes. Digital x-rays can provide images less than a minute after putting your pet on the x-ray table, with the ability to enlarge and enhance parts of that image for a closer look, email it to a radiologist for consult, or send it to a colleague in advance for referral. Lasers are replacing scalpels for blood-free, faster healing surgeries and drug-free therapeutic treatments. Endoscopes are becoming more common for less invasive surgical procedures. Medications and special diets are becoming more advanced to target specific conditions, and the terms “physical therapy” and “sports medicine” no longer apply just to humans. These technological changes are very important because pets have become more important. Dogs no longer sleep on the porch to sound the alarm; now they’re in bed with the kids. Cats are much more than just rodent catchers in the barn; some often live entirely indoors, happy to play and purr and be loved as family members. Obviously, those families want them to have a long, good quality life and that means the best medical care possible. In fact, the lifespan of the average dog has more than doubled since Herriot’s time. The lifespan of the average cat has tripled. Sure, there is no doubt that somewhere a veterinarian is delivering a calf and somewhere a veterinarian is stitching up a horse. Undoubtedly, there are several veterinarians in cities across the country chastising old ladies for over-feeding their plump dogs. Some things never change; after all, veterinary medicine will always be a field focused on the compassionate care of animals. But the tools of the trade are ever changing and growing!
“Veterinary medicine will always be a field focused on the compassionate care of animals.”
Nature to the Rescue! by Kim Jones, Cary Medical Center
There have been countless medical and •Research by the Collaborative on Health and the pharmaceutical advancements that can be credited with Environment has revealed that 180 diseases can be directly improving the quality of human life and greatly extended linked to the use of chemical contaminants. our lifespan. The innovative pioneers responsible for these Note: Studies often link disease risk to the concentration and developments are, in my humble opinion, simply amazing. It amount of chemical exposure. takes a special person to spend thousands of hours hunched If you want to minimize your exposure to toxins over a microscope studying cells, particles, and other matter and potentially hazardous chemicals, one significant way that, for most of us, are too mysterious and complex to is by taking a natural approach to health and beauty. “You understand. Despite my lack of comprehension, I certainly probably have organic items right in your home that you appreciate the scientists, pharmacists, physicians, medical didn’t know could be used for healing,” said Miller. “For inventors, and others who work hard to instance, the enzymes in a banana can keep us healthy. draw out splinters, peppermint tea “There is a theory that we However, at the root of practically have a human instinct to can ease an upset stomach, Arnica (a every “man-made” medical and conserve nature – it’s known mountain plant) is excellent at relieving pharmaceutical advancement is something as biophilia. But more often muscle pain and bruises, and tea tree even more astonishing that no human can than not, it is nature that oil can combat acne and other skin take credit for - Mother Nature. Since the conserves us.” infections.” Olive oil, white willow bark, beginning of recorded history, images and From the film “The Healing Power of honey, and ginger are just a few other words have been used to show how the Nature” by Mafisa Media natural elements that Miller noted are earth provides, sustains, and nurtures all very useful in skin and hair care, first forms of life. The healing power of nature aid, and disease prevention. has been well-documented. In Indian and Chinese cultures, Want to learn more? Cary Medical Center’s Healthy for example, there is more than 4,000 years of written account You team will be hosting a workshop titled “Natural First Aid & detailing the use of plants, trees, herbs, minerals, and other Body Care” in Caribou, Presque Isle, Fort Fairfield, Washburn, naturally occurring substances to cure and prevent disease Van Buren, and Limestone throughout the fall and winter. and injury. This program is free and open to the general public. For the In modern society, there is a growing interest in getting current Healthy You calendar, go to www.carymedicalcenter. back to natural (also known as alternative and homeopathic) org or call 498-1361. remedies. “Many common first aid and beauty products today are actually made with chemicals that have been linked DISCLAIMER: Before you make any changes to your health to causing cancer and other diseases,” said Cara Miller, Cary routine, including taking or using natural products, you should Medical Center’s Wellness Coordinator and Natural Health check with your healthcare provider to make sure it is safe for Consultant. “The more we learn about these risks, the more you. demand there is for safer products made with ingredients that come directly from nature.” Sources: Consider this: •Coal tar, a thick black liquid, is used in driveway sealer and industrial paving, but also in “health” products such as anti-itch cream, dandruff control shampoo, and soap. Numerous studies have shown that some of the chemicals found in coal tar are carcinogenic (cancer-causing). •The average woman is exposed to a staggering 515 synthetic chemicals before she leaves the house in the morning if she uses even a modest amount of make-up and hair products. •Of the 84,000 chemicals on the market today -- many of which are in objects that people come into contact with every day -- only about 1 percent of them have been studied for safety.
www.healingpowerofnature.co.za (Mafisa Media) www.psoriasis.org (National Psoriasis Foundation) www.dailymail.co.uk (Women Exposed to 515 Chemicals a Day) www.sixwise.com (185 Diseases Caused by Chemicals)
Healthy You is a free community program from Cary Medical Center that addresses your overall well-being including physical, mental, emotional, social, and spiritual health. For program information or calendar of events, log on to www. carymedicalcenter.org or call Cary Medical Center’s Public Relations Department at 498-1361.
Photo Copyright ÂŠ 2011 Pete Bowmaster, Caribou FALL 2011 67
Make My Hamburger Rare Please
Presented by Professional Home Nursing by Vickie St. Peter
Salmonella and Escherichia coli (E. coli) are respon- sible for multi food illnesses caused by improper handling and cooking of foods, especially meats. What is Salmonella? Salmonella is a bacteria found in or on unrefrigerated or undercooked eggs and meats, and unclean prep and cooking surfaces. Many animals and reptiles are natural carriers of salmonella, especially if they are egg laying. What is E. coli? E. coli is an intestinal bacteria found in humans and most animals. Inside of the intestinal tract, E. coli helps with the breakdown and digestion of food. Outside of the intestinal tract, E. coli can multiply rapidly and contaminate whatever surface or food it comes in contact with causing serious illness. What are the signs and symptoms I may have, if I have been exposed to Salmonella or E. coli? Signs and symptoms of exposure to Salmonella or E. coli can range from mild to life threatening. As with many illnesses, the young and elderly are at higher risk of becoming sicker when exposed to these two bacteria. Signs and symptoms are: •Cramps •Vomiting •Mild to severe diarrhea •Headache / body aches •Weakness •Weight loss 68
•Rapid loss of body fluid (dehydration) •In severe cases – kidney failure, brain damage death
How do I prevent becoming sick from Salmonella or E. coli? Things to do to help keep you from becoming sick from Salmonella and E. coli are: •Wash your hands with hot soapy water after going to the bathroom •Thaw meats in the refrigerator or microwave - never on the countertop •Keep eggs and dairy foods stored at 40 degrees or less at all times •Cook all meats to an internal temperature of 160 degrees – do not use color as your guide, use a meat thermometer •Cook eggs well – no runny yokes •Wash all prep dishes or surfaces in HOT soapy water, a dishwasher or a mild bleach water •Wash your hands before eating or preparing foods especially if you have been working in the soil, cleaning pet waste or playing with animals or birds •Dispose of all meat wrappers properly in the garbage •Never store thawed meat in the refrigerator for more than 24 hours •Wash all fruits and vegetables before eating •NEVER EAT UNDER COOKED MEATS OR EGGS – Sorry, no medium rare!
Need a Physician?
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Nadeau’s House of Flooring “A New Era in Customer Satisfaction”
HOUSE OF Commercial & Residential Flooring Professionally Installed
Pat Labbe & Phil Labbe co-owners 191 West Main Street, Suite 101 Fort Kent, ME 04743 207-834-5700
Greater Van Buren Chamber of Commerce
We are a 4-season vacation destination oﬀering snowmobiling, snowshoeing, x-country skiing, hiking, ATVing & other outdoor activities
Owner & Sales Rep.
189 West Main Street Fort Kent, Maine 04743 Phone: (207) 834-7113 Home: (207) 834-5514
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207-868-5059 51 Main Street Ste 101 Van Buren, ME 04875 firstname.lastname@example.org www.vanburenmaine.com
33 Edgemont Drive l Presque Isle, ME 04769 (207) 768-2785 l www.nmcc.edu
Photo Copyright ÂŠ 2011 Matthew Michaud, www.michaudphotography.com
A Fort Kent Landmark For nearly 130 years Nadeau’s House of Furniture has been a landmark on Fort Kent’s Main Street. Samuel Stevens originally built it in 1882 as a general store. Over the years, it has operated under several different names and is one of Fort Kent’s oldest businesses.
to expand the business to include hardware, lumber, appliances, sporting goods and propane. In 1953, Alphee sold the business to Roland. In 1970, Roland’s son Barnard, also a licensed embalmer, joined the business making this the third generation of Nadeaus in the funeral business.
The Nadeau Years
The Labbe Years
In 1892, Cleophas and Esdras Nadeau acquired the store. They were carpenters and furniture makers by trade who immigrated to the Fort Kent area from Quebec province. After Esdras’ death in 1896, Cleophas operated the business as a general store under the name “C. Nadeau.” As was the custom with most furniture makers of their day, they also made coffins, This lead to the expansion into the funeral and undertaking business. Esdras’ son Alphee joined his uncle in 1914 as a licensed funeral director and embalmer and eventually purchased the business in 1928. In the mid forties Alphee’s son Roland, also a licensed embalmer, joined the business. At that time it was know as “Alphee J. Nadeau & Sons.” Together they continued
In 1968, Ellery “Arms” Labbe started working for the Nadeau family. In the early 70’s, Ellery successfully introduced furniture and flooring lines to the business. During this period of time, Ellery’s three sons David, Pat and Phil became Nadeau employees. In 1976, Ellery acquired the business from Roland’s wife Loretta, and at that time the business became known as “Nadeau’s House of Furniture.” In 1995, David bought out the flooring portion of the business and began operating as “Nadeau’s House of Flooring.” Many of his manufacturers date back 30 plus years. They include Congoleum®, Mannington®, Armstrong, Formica® and Quick-Step®.
Fort Kent Landmark FALL 2011
In 1997, Pat and Phil bought out the furniture portion of the business and continue to carry brand names such as La-Z-Boy®, Ashley®, Simmons® Beautyrest and Tempur-Pedic® that where acquired by their father Ellery. Both businesses attribute their success to “Service Before And After The Sale.” Due to the longevity of the relationships they’ve developed with their vendors, they have the ability to resolve any warranty issue that may arise in a timely fashion. They both offer a wide variety of products at competitive prices. Their delivery truck is a familiar sight seen throughout the St. John Valley and Central Aroostook County. Service in the flooring business is more involved due to the installation aspect of the business. A major advantage that David has over his competition is that he has first-hand experience with both the retail and installation aspects of the business. As an installer for over 20 years, he knows the importance of following a manufacturer’s specification to assure a good installation. No corners are cut; only the manufacturer’s specified underlayments, adhesives, seam sealers and floor patches are used to honor the manufacturer’s warranty. David sits down personally with each customer and goes over the scope of the job insuring that the job is completed in an orderly and timely fashion. The customer is made aware of all aspect of the installation including baseboard removal, cutting door jams or removing doors. David also spells out what his expectations of the customer’s responsibility are, in this way there are no surprises, which could lead to increased cost. Nadeau’s House of Flooring also holds the distinction of being the first to sign on as a member of “The Flooring Network.” This organization of over 70 independent and locally owned floor-covering retailers located throughout the Northeast gives them unsurpassed buying power. The advantage of networking also gives them the ability to aid each other with day-to-day inventory and technical support. The Labbes truly know the meaning of running a family-owned business, even though their name isn’t on the door. Hours: Monday – Friday 8:00 a.m.– 5:00 p.m.; Saturday 8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Nadeau’s House of Furniture - 191 West Main St, Ste 101, Fort Kent, ME 04743 (207) 834-5700 Nadeau’s House of Flooring – 189 West Main St, Fort Kent, ME 04743 (207) 834-7113 Fort Kent Landmark FALL 2011
Photo ÂŠ 2011 Ken Lamb, www.kenlamb.com
Illustrated cards available! Check out Hollys Crayons on facebook for more details. Freelance Artist Portraits Personal Greeting Cards Hand Painted Items Character Drawings T-shirt Designs Coloring Books
Holly M. Hardwick
UMPI Begins 2011-2012 Academic Year with Major Projects and Events
Officials unveiled a new plaque at the Houlton Higher Education Center during its 10th anniversary celebration on Sept. 1. Taking part in the unveiling are, from left, U.S. Congressman Michael H. Michaud, UMPI President Don Zillman, Philip Bosse of U.S. Senator Susan M. Collins’ office, and Jackie White, an NMCC and UMPI alumni who took most of her classes at the Houlton Center. 76 UMPI FALL 2011
Renewable energy, an educational milestone, and a focus on alums made for a busy start to the 2011-2012 academic year at the University of Maine at Presque Isle.
This fall, the University completed its Pullen Hall Renovation Project, celebrated the 10th anniversary of its Houlton Higher Education Center, and welcomed alums back for its annual Homecoming festivities. The University is putting brand new renewable energy systems to work this semester with
the successful completion in late August of its Pullen Hall Renovation project. The $2.3 million project for one of the University’s two major classroom buildings included the installation of 99 solar panels on the roof and a biomass boiler system in the basement. University officials received a $750,000 Department of Conservation Maine Forest Service wood-to-energy grant for the biomass boiler system, and $800,000 from the U.S. Department of Energy as part of the Fiscal Year 2010 Energy and Water Appropriations Bill for its solar project. The new systems are helping to reduce the University’s carbon footprint and annual electric bill. Work is being done now to finalize an automated weather station that collects information on solar radiation levels. This information is being provided to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colorado, as baseline data for the study of the future use of solar energy. The University’s Houlton Higher Education Center marked its 10th anniversary with a celebration event on Thursday, Sept. 1. The event included a keynote address by U.S. Congressman Michael Michaud, as well as a Native blessing and the unveiling of a new granite installation at the building’s entrance. The Houlton
Center has worked for 10 years to provide students with the best in educational experiences and services. The center brings a wide variety of educational programs under one roof, giving local residents a chance to prepare for college, earn their associate’s and bachelor’s degrees, or take refresher courses. UMPI’s partners at the center include University College, Northern Maine Community College, Houlton/Hodgdon Adult Education, Carleton Project, TRiO Upward Bound, and Maine Educational Opportunity Center. UMPI also celebrated its annual Homecoming activities on Sept. 23-25. The weekend-long event included the President’s State of the University Address; presentations to Leeann Ward, ’04, as Educator of the Year, and Dr. Bernard Grenway, ’95, as recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award; an Alumni Brunch where the classes of 2001, 1986, and 1961 were honored; and the annual Hall of Fame dinner where Evan Graves, ’03, Gail Fitzmaurice, ’85, and Chris Smith, ’83, were inducted. As part of the festivities, the band Too Far North – which performed regularly in Presque Isle from 1994 to 2008 and included several UMPI alums – reunited to deliver a Saturday night concert. Band members included Melissa Hall, Sherri
Calhoun, Kevin Huston, Joel Hall, and Ben Lothrop. More projects and events for Fall 2011 are underway now, including Distinguished Lecture Series visits from Dr. David Hart, Director of the Senator George J. Mitchell Center for Environmental and Watershed Research, at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 4, and Bob Crowley, the former Physics teacher who won the reality TV show Survivor: Gabon, at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 10. To learn more about these and other exciting things happening at UMPI, visit www.umpi.edu.
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Rotary International Service Above Self
We’ve all seen the signs in our community – “Scoreboard donated by the Rotary Club,” “Playground built by Rotary Club” or heard “Rotary Scholarship presented to,” but do you know what it means to be a member of the Rotary? The official description from the Rotary International Website is: “Rotary is a worldwide organization of more than 1.2 million business, professional, and community leaders. Members of Rotary clubs, known as Rotarians, provide humanitarian service, encourage high ethical standards in all vocations, and help build goodwill and peace in the world. There are 33,000 Rotary clubs in more than 200 countries and geographical areas. Clubs are nonpolitical, nonreligious, and open to all cultures, races, and creeds. As signified by the motto Service Above Self, Rotary’s main objective is service — in the community, in the workplace, and throughout the world.” As a member of the Fort Fairfield Rotary Club what my membership means to me is being a part of an organization whose primary focus is to do good works in our local community as well as being a part of some great international projects. I like having the peace of mind with the knowledge that the money raised actually does get to the people in need and not lining the pockets of some unknown administrator. All Rotarians are held to high ethical standards and utilize the Rotary 4 Way Test in the things we think, say, or do to guide us: First: Is it the truth? Second: Is it fair to all concerned? Third: Will it build goodwill and better friendships? Fourth: Is it beneficial to all concerned? The 4 Way Test is recited at every Rotary Clubs weekly meeting. These are our guiding principles in not only club decisions but how each Rotarian conducts our daily lives. Currently there are 8 Rotary Clubs in Aroostook County: Caribou Doug Hunter, President email@example.com Meet: 12 noon on Wednesdays at the Caribou Inn & Convention Center 78 Service Above Self FALL 2011
Fort Fairfield Incoming President Janet Kelle with Outgoing President Stephanie Beaulieu
Fort Fairfield Janet Kelle, President firstname.lastname@example.org Meet: 7 a.m. on Wednesdays at the St. Denis Church Houlton Scott Dionne, President email@example.com Meet: 12 noon on Mondays at the Church of Good Shepherd, Watson Hall Limestone David King, President firstname.lastname@example.org Meet: 7 a.m. Thursdays at the Loring Commerce Center Mars Hill Tomi Henderson, President email@example.com Meet: 6:30 a.m. on Tuesdays at the Aroostook Health Center
a strong focus on the youth with college scholarships and support for students wishing to attend leadership, development and sports camps. Each year our club co-sponsors an Annual Community Thanksgiving Dinner, November 24th at the Washburn VFW. Co-sponsors are the VFW Paul-Lockhart Post and Steve Body, President Knights of Columbus. This dinner is open to the public firstname.lastname@example.org to bring people together to celebrate all that we have to be Meet: 6:30 p.m. on Wednesdays at the Civic Center thankful for. Our club wraps up the year with our annual Some of the good works from your local Rotary Clubs Christmas Food Basket Distribution for those who might include: otherwise not have a very Merry Christmas. College scholarships Camp sponsorships Presque Isle Club Food baskets at Thanksgiving and Christmas Since it was organized on April 25, 1923, the Presque Community dinners Isle Rotary Club has worked hard to make life better for Food pantry donations people here in the community and around the world. For Special community projects nearly a century, the club has raised money that is used to Building local parks and playgrounds support projects on the local as well as the international Community festival support level, from a community youth hockey program to the Literacy projects world eradication of polio. Support for the Nordic Heritage Club The Presque Isle Rotary Clubâ€™s major fund raiser Dental clinics is the annual Radio/TV Auction, which has been held International projects: safe well projects, water for since 1958. The club typically raises about $20,000 from schools, shelter boxes to Haiti and Japan, auction items that supports various charities and non-profit polio eradication organizations. Club members also take on a special project Many more! that generally raises about $20,000 each year and has raised as much as $220,000 in the case of the County Dialysis Fort Fairfield Club The Fort Fairfield Club was recently recognized by the District Governor for the largest increase in membership for the district for the 20102011 year by inducting seven new members! The club hosted a co-annual meeting on June 30th at the Aroostook Valley Country Club with the Perth-Andover, N.B. Club. The event was well attended by members from both clubs and the presidential gavels were passed on to the incoming presidents. Our Annual Travel Draw Banquet is scheduled for October 22nd at the Fort Fairfield Community Center. Tickets are $100 and include a fabulous dinner and dance! This is our clubâ€™s largest fundraiser, and proceeds are used to fund our many community projects. To purchase a ticket contact Janet Kelle email@example.com or 764-7018. Fort Fairfield New Members: Front: Becky Hersy, Josie Lopez-Aragon, Some of our community projects include Nancy Fletcher, Kate Dunleavy Back: Kevin Murchie, Terry Greenier, Paul major donations to the Community Swimming Pool, Towle, Mike Bosse Riverside Park and most recently to the Community Center Refurbishment Project. We also maintain Presque Isle Jeff Pangburn, President firstname.lastname@example.org Meet: 12 noon on Mondays at the Northeastland Hotel
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Center. Last year, the club’s special project was raising funds tournament on July 3rd. We would like to thank the sponsors to repair the roof on the Catholic Charities of Maine food and participants who made this tournament possible. storage warehouse. The club “kicked off” their second annual The auction brings together Presque Isle Rotary backpacks for kids program. Boxes were placed in locations Club members for three busy nights. Club members do in Limestone and Caswell to receive donations of new everything from taking in auction bids by phone to serving or gently used backpacks and were collected through the as auctioneers to filming the activity for local broadcast. end of August. The collected backpacks were distributed In addition to the many regular to children at the Limestone auction items, the event has Community School and The expanded to include an art Dawn Barnes Community auction with original art work School in Caswell. Seventy created on location during the backpacks were distributed in auction. 2010. During the Presque The club is currently Isle Rotary Club’s 64th annual preparing for a live auction Radio/TV Auction – which on Friday, November 4th at will be held on Nov. 29, Nov. the Limestone Community 30, and Dec. 1 – the club will School. As with the golf raise funds to support several tournament, funds realized area non-profits, including from the auction will be used the Homeless Shelter of to support Limestone Rotary Aroostook, Central Aroostook projects. Humane Society, Presque Isle The Limestone Rotary Garden Club, Wintergreen Club continues to work on Arts Center, Northern Maine the establishment of a park Fair Association, Atlantic and the erection of a clock in Salmon for Northern Maine, the Town of Limestone. The and GIFT: Grace Interfaith park and clock will be located Food Table. on Main Street directly across This year’s special from Al Bears sub/pizza shop. project goal is $25,000, Work is currently being done earmarked for the establishment to fully fund this clock/park Presque Isle Rotary Auction of a non-profit dental clinic to project. The initial ground serve the needs of disadvantage work is well underway and children in the area. The proposed St. Apollonia Dental will include planting of shrubs and small trees. The park Clinic is intended to fill an overwhelming need in Aroostook will contain a gazebo and benches as well as space for other County, where an estimated 30 percent of residents have uses such as a farmer’s market. The clock will be situated on not had a dental visit in the last two years. Currently, there the street directly in front of the park so that anyone riding is only one dental clinic for qualifying persons in Aroostook or walking down Main Street will be able to see the time. County and it is located in Eagle Lake. The club wraps up the year with the distribution of “Every year, local business owners and members Christmas baskets on the Saturday before Christmas. of the community step up to donate items and volunteer I encourage you to support your local Rotary Club their time to help make our annual auction a success. We by purchasing those raffle tickets, playing in those golf couldn’t do it without their continued support,” Presque Isle tournaments or even better by joining your local club! It Rotary Club President Jeff Pangburn said. “We’re so pleased is only by your support that these clubs can continue to do to be able to give back to our community every year, and to their good works by giving back to the communities they support projects that have a real impact on improving the represent and offer assistance to those communities in need lives of the people who live here.” throughout the world. For more information about Rotary you can contact any of the presidents listed above, contact Limestone Club Nancy Fletcher, Assistant District Governor at nancy. The Limestone Club had a very successful golf email@example.com, or visit www.rotary.org. 80 Service Above Self FALL 2011
Faces of Fall by Janice Bouchard
Photo Copyright © 2011 Gene Cyr, Washburn, www.northernmainepictures.com
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