Houlton area From our Files – Week of June 19, 2024

Compiled by Breanna Maples, Special to The County
1 month ago

75 Years Ago – June 23, 1949

Eleven to Compete For Miss Aroostook LEgion July 4th – Some of the many highlights of the annual July 4th celebration, sponsored by the American Legion Chester Briggs Post, will be a beauty contest to select Miss Aroostook Legion, a street parade with a variety of decorated floats and a $1,000 fireworks display, Myles Conkite, secretary of the post announced today. Winners of the local contest in the following towns, who will compete here, were announced today. The winner of the local contest will compete for the “Miss Maine” title at the Skowhegan fair. Contestants named were the Misses Alice Lilley of Bridgewater; Rella Caron, Madawaska; Marion Smith, Mars Hill; Lona Howe, Oakfield; Marline Mushrall, Caribou; Donna Jacobson, Stockholm; Margaret Hanson, Presque Isle; Frances Plourde, Houlton; Carol Ambrose, Sherman Mills; Patricia Ward, Limestone and Martha Palmer, Smyrna Mills.

Aroostook Riding Club Elects Two Local Women — Mrs. Merle Rideout was elected secretary and treasurer and Miss Ruth Mooers appointed to the executive committee of the Aroostook Riding Club at a meeting held Wednesday of last week at the Aroostook Park in Presque Isle. Forty-seven members were present and plans for summer activities were discussed.

50 Years Ago – June 19, 1974

Catherine Bell Is Elected By State BPW — Mrs. Catherine B. Bell of Houlton was installed as State President  of the Maine Federation of Business and Professional Women’s Clubs, at its 53rd Annual Convention June 7-9 at Shawmut Inn in Kennebunkport. She will serve for a one-year term and succeeds Mrs. Mae D. Plourse of Orono. As state president, she is also a member of the board of directors of the National Federation and will be representing the Maine Federation at the National Convention from July 18-25 in Chicago.

Southern Aroostook High Has Its First Graduation – The first graduation exercises for the Southern Aroostook Community High School were held at the Island Falls gym Friday evening. Class Marshal was Carl Smith, ushers were Waldo McMannus, Billy Boulier, Wayne McGrary, and Chris Bates, and usherettes were Laurie Rioux and Vicki Curry. Pianist was Carolyn Hersey. The prelude and processional were by Carolyn Hersey; invocation, the Rev. Donald Davenport; salutatory address, Becky Drew; first honor essay, Christine Lawler; second honor essay, David York; valedictory address, Kathy Edwards; musical selections, Carolyn Hersey accompanied by Mrs. Lawrence; presentation of diplomas, Supt. John K. Taylor. Members of the graduating class were: Alice Allen, Carla Berry, Sally Botting, Everett Boutilier, Kevin Brannen, Randy Browne, Melody Bustard, Debra Carr, Sheila Carr, Kristi Curry, Becky Drew, Kathy Edwards. Also, Becky Fisher, Rogan Goodall, Dwayne Hartin, Glen Hersey, Timothy Hersey, Dale Ireland, Christine Lawler, Sterling Lawrence, Ruby White and David York. Advisor is Murry Putnam.

25 Years Ago – June 23, 1999

Cemetery Receives Gift — Houlton’s oldest remaining cemetery now looks a little newer. Soldiers Cemetery, located at the intersection of the old Woodstock Road and the White Settlement Road, now features a sign donated by Monument Lodge No. 96 of Houlton. The sign, which includes the name of the cemetery and a brief history of the site, is part of the Mason’s effort to improve the community. “For the second consecutive year, Monument Lodge has taken part in a community betterment grant program through the Grand Lodge of Masons in Maine which has matched up to $500 expended by local lodges,” said Danny Milton, master of Monument Lodge No. 96. According to local historian and Mason Richard Rhoda, Soldiers Cemetery was established by the town in 1835 when a parcel of land was given by Joseph Houlton to the town. The most prominent person buried in the cemetery is Benjamin Ames. Ames, one of the founding fathers of the state of Maine in 1820, was elected first Speaker of the Maine House of Representatives.Swimming Lessons Rescued Through Community Efforts — The Houlton Parks and Recreation Department’s swimming program was on the verge of drowning, but it has been revived by local agencies. The Maine Adoption Placement Service (MAPS), Southern Aroostook Vocational Education (SAVE) and a host of local businesses joined together to ensure that swimming lessons will be provided to Houlton youth. For several years, the Houlton Parks and Recreation Department utilized homeowners’ pools to run its swimming program. “Both of our homeowners were informed by their insurance companies that they could no longer do that,” said Houlton Parks and Recreation Superintendent, Gary Edwards. “That left us without a pool and the program was in jeopardy.” Knowing that a pool was located on MAPS’ grounds on Pleasant Street, Edwards contacted personnel and explained his dilemma. “When he first called we said no because the pool was unsafe,” said Dawn Degenhardt, director of MAPS. “The decking was rotting out and the pool was beginning to collapse. We didn’t have the money to fix it.” In a coactive manner, Edwards and Degenhardt began the task of lining up sponsors for the project so swimming lessons could be offered. The Houlton Parks and Recreation Department’s swimming program enrolls more than 100 students each summer. With the MAPS’ pool in operation, Edwards said, “Hopefully this will solve our swimming lessons site problem for many years.”