CRYSTAL, Maine — The Town of Crystal recently honored its oldest citizen, Darrell Boone, at the Crystal Wesleyan Church with a gathering of family and friends.
Boone was presented with a special cane that represents the Boston Post Cane.
The Boston Post newspaper began the longtime cane tradition in 1909. More than 700 special canes were presented to the select boards in small New England towns, Crystal being one of them.
The original canes were made of 14K gold with an inscription that read, “Presented by the Boston Post to the oldest citizen of (name of town).” The Selectmen were to be the trustees of the cane and were asked to present it as an honor to their town’s oldest citizen. The person would hold the honor as long as they lived and upon the person’s death, the Cane would be awarded to the next oldest citizen.
Many of the original canes have been lost, destroyed, stolen or possibly even buried with the holders. Many New England towns have recently investigated the whereabouts of their canes, and many have been found.
The Town of Crystal has lost its cane. The board decided a few months ago that it was time to bring back this wonderful tradition, town officials said. Even though the cane couldn’t be recovered, they wanted to honor the town’s oldest citizen, Boone, who will turn 100 this month.
Boone was born June 11, 1923, in Davidson, the son of Simon and Ethel Boone. He has four brothers; Alton, Joe and Frank (all deceased) and Royce. He attended school until the eighth grade, at which time he went on to do many jobs as they were available. Whatever job he held, he always returned to his happy place, which was working in the woods.
Boone was drafted into the Army on Feb. 11, 1943. He served in World War II and was discharged on Dec. 3, 1945. He was wounded twice. He returned to Stacyville after the war, working at Summit Farms for A.R. Gould.
He met and married Madeline Chambers of Crystal in 1946. They built their home in Crystal and resided there throughout their lives. They raised three children: Dennis of Crystal; Donnie of Patten (deceased), and Darlene of Littleton.
Madeline died in July 2019.
During the cane presentation and celebration, family from close and far joined in, neighbors visited and Rep. Tracy L. Quint presented a framed letter to Boone.