Houlton area From our Files – Week of January 11, 2023

75 Years Ago – Jan. 8, 1948

Fire at Sherman mill – A planing mill connected with the plant of the Sherman Lumber Company here was destroyed by fire of undetermined origin New Year’s Day causing a loss estimated by co-owner Walter Robinson at $100,000 and throwing 20 men out of employment.

Firefighters from Sherman and Patten battled the flames for almost six hours in near zero-degree weather to bring them under control and were able to save the sawmill itself, a hardwood flooring mill and a large dry kiln as well as considerable lumber stored in the yard.

Picked to train with UMT group – Pvt. Roger C. Marley, son of Mr. and Mrs. Donald C. Marley of Smyrna has been selected from a large group of enlistees at Fort Dix, New Jersey,, to train in the UMT experimental group at Fort Knox, Kentucky. Sgt. Hugh Stearns at the local recruiting office said that this is a credit to Marley as the selection depends largely on the ranks made on entrance examinations and the physical condition and bearing of the soldier. Only a small percentage of enlistees are picked for this experimental group which is trying out the Universal Military Training plan.

50 Years Ago – Jan. 10, 1973

Ivey plans 84-unit motel on Route 1 – Henry Ivey, owner of Ivey’s Motel on Bangor Street, announced plans this week to construct a new 84-unit motel, complete with restaurant and lounge, and an indoor, heated swimming pool. The new motel, also known as Ivey’s Motel and Restaurant, will be located on Route 1, just above the intersection with Interstate 95. The lot is located on the east side of Route 1, and is between the interstate and the Mobil Service Station. Mr. Ivey, who has been in the motel business locally for the past 15 years, said he is currently seeking cost estimates for his new motel- restaurant complex. Preliminary planning is complete, and he said he is in hopes of starting construction this spring. 

Bruins, Rangers tie 1-1 – The Bruins and the Rangers, of the Squirts division of the Houlton hockey program, battled to a 1-to-1 tie in a game played Saturday morning at Community Park in sub-zero weather. Bruce Tracy scored the goal for the Rangers, with an assist by John Buran, while Allen Benn got the equalizer for the Bruins.

25 Years Ago – Jan. 21, 1998

Aroostook County spared, HWC helps downstate – While many Maine residents experienced widespread power outages after the recent ice storms, Aroostook County was blessed to have no reports of power loss. “We were spared,” said Steve Socoby, line superintendent for Houlton Water Company (HWC). Socoby recalled the ice storm that hit the HOulton area about seven years ago. “We worked for 36 hours straight to get power restored,” Socoby said. HWC provides electrical service to approximately 5,000 customers in Houlton, Hodgdon, New Limerick, and Linneus.  According to HWC General Manager John Clark, HWC takes special precautions every year to prepare for winter to help prevent power loss. 

“Gotcha” awards reward for good deeds – One of the most successful awards given out at Houlton High School is the “Gotcha” award, which was developed a couple of years ago. When the Business/Education Partnership first started asking area businesses if they would help sponsor such a program to award academic excellence, the late John Fitzpatrick, of Smith and Wesson, immediately drew out his checkbook. While he was writing, Fitzpatrick discussed the importance of showing one’s appreciation for even the small things that people do that make life more pleasant. He went on to describe a program he had started at his business that rewarded those caught in the act of being good! The idea was so wonderful that the Business/Education Program in Houlton grabbed it and started rewarding students and teachers who showed that they were making an extra classroom effort, contributing to a positive school climate, performing an outstanding service to the school or community, contributing to school activities, or being “just plain nice.”

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