by Christie Cochran
The town of Washburn will hold their municipal elections on Monday, March 21, with the polls open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
There are two seats for three-year terms open on the Town Council with candidates running being incumbent Fred Thomas, as well as Daren Churchill and Joseph Lemieux. There are three seats for three-year terms open on the SAD 45 School Board, with incumbent Barb Caron running.
Washburn’s annual Town Meeting will be held on Tuesday, March 22, at the high school starting at 7 p.m.
The next scheduled meeting of the Washburn August Festival will be held on Wednesday, March 30, at the Washburn Civic Center starting at 6:30 p.m.
The Washburn Trail Runners Clubhouse is open for breakfast and lunch on Fridays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturdays from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m., and Sundays from 7 a.m. to noon. You can check out their schedules and events on the Web at www.washburntrailrunners.org, or contact them at 455-8439.
Those celebrating birthdays this week include: Samantha White, Zachary Whitten, Taylor Dobson, Lewis Tarbox, Hollie Umphrey, Mick Myshrall, Beverly Knowles, Terry Forbes, Jeremy Hartsgrove, Lorraine Theriault, Robert Cole, Jill Regan, Ryan Theriault, Timothy Stitham, Angela Farley, Ashley Churchill, David Tarr, Gerald Easler, Graydon E. Buckingham, Mindy Bragg, Shelly Gresham, Alexis Enman, Carrie Hanna, Meagan Undergust, Davina Conroy, Kristopher Rouse, Karen Flewelling, Wayne Howlett Jr., Lisa Ecenarro, Sandi Cunningham, Chris Dobson, Daryl Sperrey, Kathy Drost, Penny Scott, Shelia Burtt, Ashley Dahlgren, Dale Lavway, Abbie Currier, and Roger Crouse.
A special anniversary wish goes out to Bill and Leasha Fitzherbert.
Project Graduation update
There will be a stew night held at the Trailrunners’ clubhouse in Washburn on Friday, March 25, starting at 5 p.m. The meal will include stews, soups, chowders, rolls, drinks and dessert. The cost for this fundraiser will be $6 for adults and $3 for ages 12 and under.
The team would also like to remind residents that the Washburn Redemption Center is still accepting bottle donations for Project Graduation.
Rec Center schedule
There will be cross country skiing on Wednesday, March 16, from 2:45 to 4:30 p.m.
On Thursday, March 17, there will be indoor soccer for grades 7-8 held at the elementary school from 6:30-7:30 p.m.
On Saturday, March 19, there will be a grade 4-6 girls’ basketball County Tournament at Fort Fairfield.
On Monday, March 21, Zumba will be held at the elementary school gym from 6 to 7 p.m., followed by men’s basketball from 7 to 9 p.m.
On Tuesday, March 22, there will be indoor soccer for grades K-1 at the elementary school from 6:30 to 7:15 p.m.
On Tuesday, March 22, there will be a basketball game vs. Mars Hill for the grade 4-6 girls’ team at 4:30 p.m.
On Tuesday, March 8, a group of ladies in the Rec Center’s senior citizen group took a trip to Presque Isle for lunch at the Wintergreen Arts Center. They enjoyed their lunch with a variety of choices including soup and salad or sandwich and vegetable tray.
After their lunch, they took a short trip to check out the New Salvation Army Thrift Store located on Main Street. Those going on the trip included: Wilda Goodall, Barb Churchill, Gwen Bragg, Bern Rossignol, Barb McLaughlin, Audrey Pavlick and Sylvia Wardwell.
Avery Jane Doffing made her arrival on Tuesday, Jan. 11, in San Diego, Calif. She is the first child of Ryan and Kathleen (Hitchcock) Doffing and the granddaughter of Michael Hitchcock and Hill Griffin. She is the first great-grandchild of Norma and the late Penny Hitchcock.
Avery weighed 8 pounds 4 ounces and was 20 1/2 inches long. She is truly a “cutie,” as her new shirt says, and will be a special addition to the entire family.
March Student of the Month
Kelsey Churchill, a member of the Junior Class, has been chosen as the WDHS Student of the Month for March. Kelsey is a top honor student and a member of the National Honor Society, also volunteering many hours helping with NHS projects.
She was a tremendous asset to the girls’ soccer team this past season. Kelsey is also an avid reader and a member of the Mainely Girls Book Club. Her work in the library this year has been very much appreciated! She has learned how to process materials and take care of everything behind the circulation desk.
Dean’s list recognition
Felicia Cochran, of Perham, who died unexpectedly in December 2010, was among 325 students at the University of Maine at Presque Isle to have been named to the dean’s list for the fall 2010 semester, according to Dr. Michael Sonntag, vice president for academic affairs. Dean’s list students must attain a grade point average of 3.3 or higher.
Felicia, the daughter of Terry and Theresa (Pickard) Cochran, was a high honors graduate of Washburn District High School in 2010.
Wade selectmen notes
The Wade selectmen met on Tuesday, Feb. 22. Included in the agenda was a review of the budgets, both for this year coming and last year’s. The selectmen are considering lowering certain appropriations and they discussed the possible availability for some road work from FEMA.
Acting in their capacity as assessors, the selectmen denied a request by a citizen for four abatements.
Remembering Washburn’s history
When Salmon Brook/Washburn was beginning to emerge as a community, the families who had children had educational “readers,” and mothers began teaching the young ones. It was noted that the first schools were in the homes of interested parents and nearby neighbors. The “teacher” was usually one of the better-prepared mothers, who taught reading, writing and basic arithmetic, as well as fine penmanship.
The first local schoolhouses were built near the ferry at Shaw Siding around 1848, and in East Washburn near the end of the Cross Road about 1865. Both these buildings were destroyed by fire, and the Wilder School was built in 1872. The town paid a fee to the Wilder family of $10 per year until the building was no longer used as a school.
In 1885, Miss Mattie Crouse taught students in a one-room schoolhouse. Interest in a high school was growing and, in 1887, students in the upper grades were taught in classrooms at the Town Hall. The high school at first contained only two terms a year, with one or two teachers. In 1902, a budget was earmarked for all schools other than the free high school whose budget was a mere $254 .90. In 1903, the entire upper story of the Town Hall was converted into a high school room, and the first graduating class at the high school was in 1907. Students included: Mary Duncan, Bessie Duncan, Beatrice Simpson, Faye Abilgard, Maude Goggin, Adelbert Clark and Marcella Hines.
1907 was also the year that the first school paper yearbook of sorts, Das Nordland, was published. It was dedicated to the first principal, Ethan L. Allen, who served as chaplain in WW I and died in France.
In 1910, two railroads coming to town meant more students being able to travel to school in Washburn. Mr. and Mrs. Grant, along with Marcella Hines, were teachers to students arriving from Woodland, Wade and Perham, along with New Sweden. Crouseville students also arrive by electric car. Teacher salaries ranged from $12 weekly in the grade school level and the principal receiving $20 per week.
The first school bus, referred to as the “school team,” consisted of long sleds with a cabin built on them. It was even heated by a small box wood stove.
School played a prominent role in the community, not only as a center for learning which was considered valuable by Washburn residents but as a place to meet and socialize, as well as see to the education of area youth.
A new high school and grade school building was completed in 1911-12 and included a first-time agricultural course. This was considered a Grade A school with 11 tuition students, three teachers, two assistants; and the entire school population in April of 1911 was 477.
The schools were closed for a long period of time in 1918 due to an influenza epidemic; and over the years, teachers and students alike were lost in several wars. The town and school department suffered the pains of the Great Depression and the loss of money to pay teachers.
A forerunner of “consolidation” took effect in Washburn during the Depression and onset of WW II, with students of several area country schools being transported to Washburn. These included: Crouseville; the Tuttle, Shaw and Everett schools; as well as small outlying ones in Wade and Perham.
In 1941, the first actual school bus was purchased. It carried up to 48 students, and those from Washburn paid 5 cents, Wade 10 cents and Perham 15 cents per day.
During the aftermath of the 1937 Christmas vacation schoolhouse fire, at the structure which was located at the site of the current high school, the second grade was held in the home of Mrs. Herman Bell on Main Street, the site of the current residence of Dwight and Leila Carey. Some of the other classes were held in rooms over the old Town Hall and the Baptist church, as well as the third grade taking their lessons at what is now the Umphrey Potato Company as well as in the electric company which is now the bank. These classes were all reunited when the Foster building was constructed on School Street.
The schools in Washburn endured much over the history of the town. Fires took several buildings, including the first schoolhouse and elementary school in 1937, and the major loss of the elementary building on June 28, 1988. This was an early-morning fire, occurring just after school had closed for the summer. Classes the next fall were held in mobile (portable) classrooms for two years, with the current elementary school opening for classes in the fall of 1990.
Over all, the school history for Washburn proves to be of a hardy nature and will continue to produce highly-education students to go forth into the local and national fields of endeavor.
Thanks for supplied information for this item go out to Dwight Carey, Cheryl Wark, Warrena Forbes and gleanings from Ray Carter’s history book, the Washburn Centennial booklet and Communities of Western Aroostook.
Christie Cochran is the correspondent for Washburn, Wade and Perham. She can be reached at 455-8034 or firstname.lastname@example.org