Dear local historian

We are going to miss the Christmas get together this year. Last year was so good, and I really appreciated seeing Earnestine’s daughters, meeting Eleanor’s granddaughter, and just all-around having a good time and good food with good company. Your generosity in this regard has been with us over the decades since we came here and is much appreciated. Thank you. Bless! 

I’ve got some questions for you. 

Perhaps you don’t know the answer to this, but R. wonders if there was any difference between the Rail Road code and American Morse code? How was code deciphered by clicks or distinguished? And how and when was telegraph established around here?

And what about the naming of Indian Pond? How did that come about?

Do you find history is always changing? Perhaps new sources come to light?

Are you able to keep working on the history of Greenwood? We have your Early History of Greenwood, Maine, among our Maine history books, which collection includes also the History of Gilead. It’s great to see the image of the Patch Mountain school and look over that list of local country schools. What great names! I wish the Mount Abram Hotel was still around. And the Town Meeting Elm on the Sanborn River. I’m always mystified at how few trees are in these old pictures. Looks like all hilltops are clear cut? And seems there’s more trees now then back then? I’m glad to see the road has been repaired (Willis Mills). These old places just seemx very dear, and so glad you have presented them so with historical accuracy. There are surprising immigrant components to the history. I’ve always loved the Shadagee reference and to know now it’s Greenwood comparatively late coming as a neighborhood, a reference to the Chatagay Battle in the war of 1812. Veterans in that neighborhood fought in that war?

Such a good job over the years preserving the history of this rural town. If I remember right you got your start in publications with Nettie in preserving her turn-of-the-twentieth-century photographs.

There was a handcrank phone in the Bird House on the Gore Road when we moved here. It had been discontinued with local service the year before. Another thing I recall is the yearly sail boating—the North Pond Sailing Association. It made August a delightful time, in our first summer here enjoying that much. We were so tickled when R. won the trophy one summer.

The disputes over pond water levels and damming was kinda fun to read about. Wonder what will happen with Twitchell Pond some of these years?

We first met, as you know, on a question of the naming of Johnny’s Bridge. After I asked Bob Coolidge about this he suggested I see you, and we met for the first time, 37 years ago. You may know that I’ve been interested in all things Maine since moving here, and then I did several local oral histories, getting my start through an independent study and kept going from there. I remember interviewing you for the project, and I still remember how tired and exhausted you looked from working in the mill, and yet I just kept on going, pushing you. That really requires an apology. Now I just want to tell you how much your work means to this area, and the contributions to country life of this community you made.

Best to you both, always,


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