Mapleton journeys back in time

Terry Sandusky, Special to The County
9 months ago

For a short while last Thursday, Mapleton turned the calendar back nearly 100 years as the Maine Antique Automobile Club of America Aroostook County Tour visited Mapleton Elementary School for a special presentation of Dena Winslow on the only lynching in New England. Winslow spoke of her most recent research on the lynching of Jim Cullen. She attempted to separate factual information from the folklore tail frequently told about his lynching.

Mapleton Elementary School went back into time last Thursday as the Maine Antique Automobile Club of America made a tour stop at the school for a presentation by Dena Winslow on her recent research on the lynching of Jim Cullen. (Courtesy of Terry Sandusky)

After the presentation, the group journeyed on to Portage for lunch and a visit to the Portage Historical Museum. On the way back to Presque Isle, the group stopped for ice cream and then traveled on to the Presque Isle International Airport where they visited Presque Isle Air Museum. This was the second day of their 3-day tour of Aroostook County.  Rick Watson, Maine Chapter president of the Antique Automobile Club of America, commented, “The Aroostook County visit has been enjoyable and very pleasant and they would like to return again in the future.” Traveling along with the tour group was Fred Trusty, National President of the AACA, who echoed the same sentiment of the enjoyable visit he has here in the County.

The Maine Antique Automobile Club toured Central Aroostook County from Presque Isle to Mapleton, Ashland and Portage. Here at Portage the tour lined up their cars in front of Dean’s Motor Lodge and Restaurant where they had lunch. (Courtesy of Terry Sandusky)

Mapleton Lions sponsor Balloon Fest

The Mapleton Lions Club continues to sponsor and underwrite this week’s 20th annual Crown of Maine Balloon Fest. The cub has been a major sponsor of the balloon fest since 2010, when members partnered with the Central Aroostook Chamber of Commerce to financially stabilize the event. As the new host sponsor, the Balloon Fest was able to continue until the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Of the 12 years of club sponsorship, only the 2020 COMBF was canceled. The Mapleton Lions Club has enjoyed being a significant organization supporter of the festival. Because of this support, the COMBF has been able to avoid charging gate fees to spectators, keeping it free to all who attend.  

Just before the pandemic, the COMBF steering committee was in the process of reorganization. New members were volunteering to serve on the committee and the committee expanded. The Mapleton Lions Club was able to move from being the host sponsor to being one of the COMBF Gold Sponsors. The future looks positive for COMBF as the additional sponsors have joined in the ongoing support of this community event.

The Crown of Maine Balloon Fest opens tomorrow evening. Here Mapleton Lion Dennis Hoffses, Mapleton Lions Food Booth Chair, indicates he is ready to start serving the finest Poutine Fries at the Balloon fest. Fll the favorite fair food is available at COMBF Mapleton Lions Den Food Booth. COMBF is open to everyone with no admission fee. Come and visit the Mapleton Lions for good fair food. (Courtesy of Terry Sandusky)

Also over these years of COMBF involvement, food vendors were needed for the balloon fest food court. The Mapleton Lions Club decided to provide a food booth to help spectators and volunteers better enjoy the COMBF. This food booth became the smallest of the club’s three annual fundraising projects, but one that helped make the COMBF more fun for those attending the event. Members hauled grills and deep fryers to prepare and serve hot fair food. 

Then two years ago the Northern Maine Fair Association offered the Mapleton Lions Club the number-one permanent food booth at the fairgrounds. The club accepted their offer and created the Mapleton Lions Den at the Northern Maine Fair and the Crown of Maine Balloon Fest, which allowed the club to expand their cooking capacity and ease of food preparation.

 So for readers who are missing the club’s delicious fair food, you will have the opportunity to visit the Mapleton Lions Food Booth this week during the Crown of Maine Balloon Fest on Thursday and Friday evenings and Saturday from noon to balloon glow that evening.  The Balloon Fest will be held at the Northern Maine Fair Ground starting Aug. 24th and ending on the 27th. Everyone is encouraged to come out and enjoy another burger, hot dog, sausage sandwich with a big serving of fries. Funds raised will be used for Mapleton Lions Club charities and community projects. The Mapleton Lions Club is pleased to continue as a COMBF Gold Sponsor and food vendor.

43rd Kenney family reunion held

The Iva and Bernard Kenney recently held the 43rd Kenney reunion at the Chapman Ridge Runners clubhouse. Russell Kenney offered the blessing before the potluck lunch that was enjoyed by all. 

Many family members made donations which were given to the House of Comfort. These donations were made in memory of Beryl Kenney, Wayne Humphrey, Vaughn Littlefield, Preston Kenney, Dorilla Bagley, Alex Kenney, and Dawn Kenney. Additionally a memorial stone will be placed in the memorial garden at the House of Comfort in memory of Iva & and Bernard Kenney from the family. 

New family members attending the reunion were Aubrey Henderson, Maren Perrault, Charlotte Kenney, Vivienne Kenney, Calvin Kenney, Virginia Kenney, Benjamin Hopkins, and Violette and Brody (twins) White. There was one marriage of Mark and Nicole Kenney. The family scrapbook and secretary’s minutes notebook will be kept by Elaine Littlefield.

Terry Sandusky is the Star-Herald correspondent for Mapleton, Chapman and Castle Hill and can be reached at 764-4916 or at