Ludlow experiences positive outlook

9 years ago

It has been two weeks since the town of Ludlow celebrated its 150th anniversary. But, the forward progress that town officials feel is happening goes without words.
“The 150th celebration required a few weeks of preparation,” said Diane Hines, Ludlow town manager. “I collected and spread out all the town’s history to be documented by the Houlton Pioneer Times, as a notification article of the event. Many framed historic photos have been on display in the meeting room for several years.”
The Pioneer Times used various town history accounts written by interested residents or descendants of the first settlers of Belfast Academy otherwise known as Ludlow. Those accounts are filed at the town hall.
The day of the celebration was a bit dreary and damp, but the spirits of those in attendance shined brightly. Neighbors were together, talking to one another and revisiting old stories of the town.
But, the selectmen were also on hand talking about the town’s future and the give-and-take at town meetings where every selectman has a chance to voice his/her opinion, regardless if all agree. The selectmen treat each other with respect and sometimes, agree to disagree. But, the town and its leaders want to continue to proceed in a positive manner in the best interest of each taxpayer.
After Election Day and the November Selectmen’s meeting, the space for the 150th celebration was cleared and a Hodgdon Elementary School student, Joel Bond, 12, volunteered to sweep, mop and wax the floors at the town office.
“The town officials want to thank Joel for taking two Tuesday afternoons to help prepare for the gathering,” said Hines. “He did very good work.”
Meanwhile, requests for food donations were made by Hines and the selectmen and their families were signed up for refreshments. The Court Yard Café, the Shamrock Café, the County Co-op and Farm Store, County Yankee and Marden’s all contributed to the Open House refreshment table. And The Antique Emporium lent “hall trees” to receive coats and jackets at the door.
When entering the room, buffet tables were arranged, with other tables allowing room for seating. Each table had a festive tablecloth of a harvest theme, as well as centerpieces of pumpkins and gourds, candles and dishes of candy.
The buffet table was 16 feet in length and held hot cider, punch, coffee, carrot cake, cookies, roll-up sandwiches, barbecued meatballs, filo dough wrapped asparagus spears, a meat and cheese platter, blueberry lemon cake squares, chocolate mocha squares, cinnamon rolls, raspberry/oatmeal squares, and a gourmet cheese plate with crackers.
Each person had a smile on his/her face as they visited with their neighbors, catching up with each other and having a laugh or two.
Guests signed in at a small table covered with a black linen tablecloth. The list of 45 people who signed the guest book will be added to a Time Capsule with other current data.
“The Time Capsule will be sealed at the first selectmen’s meeting in January,” said Hines.
In describing the event, one word could sum up the feelings in the room … positive. Without a doubt, those in attendance were encouraged and optimistic for their town’s outlook just as General John Comings  (original spelling) thought when he forged his way through the woods from Houlton to Ludlow in October 1825.
“As one woman described her experience in glowing terms, the party took her back to her childhood in a small town in New Brunswick when the town would celebrate the graduations of their youth from middle school and high school with gatherings at the Town Hall and scholarships presented. This resident brought her whole family to the 150th birthday party of Ludlow just expecting to stay for a minute or two, but she was so pleased with the atmosphere that they stayed for over an hour enjoying visiting with their neighbors and meeting new residents,” said Hines.
Outside of neighbors, new friends were met during the party and everyone enjoyed themselves in the casual setting.
“A very nice touch to the party was the attendance by neighbors to Ludlow,” said Hines. “Folks that live in Houlton and Hodgdon came to show their support to me, the selectmen and the citizens of Ludlow.”
About an hour into the gathering, the birthday cake was lit and cut. At the same table, printouts of the history of Ludlow was curtained with a photo of the original bell for the Moose Brook School and the Nov. 12th front page of the Houlton Pioneer Times, which featured the town’s celebration.
Anyone wanting to add information to the Time Capsule is invited to bring in their items to the town office.
“Repeating the word positive, the feelings in the room all during the party were of community and sharing in the best sense of the word with good fellowship and neighborliness,” said Hines. “General Cummings (later version) would have enjoyed himself as the first settler of Ludlow as he strived in his lifetime to achieve a good community and great place to live.
“Thank you to everyone who made this event so successful and we look forward to future town events that celebrate the residents and scholars of Ludlow,” she added.