Houlton area From our Files – Week of July 3, 2024

Compiled by Breanna Maples, Special to The County
2 weeks ago

75 Years Ago – July 7, 1949

Research On Rare Trout In Aroostook Being Conducted — Two rare species of trout are making history in Maine, a Development Commission source said here today. Scotch Sea trout, painted two decades ago, are being caught in Alamoosook Lake, Orland, and Bluebacks (Salvelinus Oquassa) have excited zoologists to form a scientific expedition to Pushineer Pond in the Deboullie region of Aroostook County, the source added.

50 Years Ago – July 3, 1974

Fine Weather Greets Annual Potato Feast — The 15th annual Houlton Potato Feast, sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce was held Tuesday, featuring beautiful weather and a day of festivities starting at 9 a.m., at Houlton Community Park with games and activities for the youth of the town. The local stores moved merchandise out on the sidewalk and the salespeople dressed with a farmer motif were busy with the crowds who browsed through the sidewalk sales as they waited for the parade to come through the Market Square area. The parade featured several Aroostook Queens, including Miss Anne Dubay, Maine Potato Blossom Queen of Fort Fairfield, our own Houlton Junior Miss, Barbara Burton and Miss Houlton 1973, Deborah Worster. Other Queens represented Presque Isle, Mars Hill, Bridgewater, Limestone, Mapleton, Caribou, Easton, Fort Fairfield, Washburn, and Miss Katahdin representing the Island Falls area.

Marie Battiste Receives Masters From Harvard — Marie Battiste, a Mic Mac Indian from Houlton and daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John Battiste of Dorchester, Mass., formerly of Houlton, received a master’s degree from Harvard University in its 323rd commencement exercises on June 13. In the traditional graduation ceremonies held in the open air Tercentenary Theater in Harvard Yard, Miss Battiste was conferred a master’s degree in  education after completing a comprehensive program at the Graduate School of Education.

25 Years Ago – July 7, 1999

BlackHawk show draws thousands — Country music was alive and well in Houlton last Saturday night as more than 7,500 fans attended the BlackHawk concert in Community Park. The concert was the featured event during the Houlton Agricultural Fair. According to Paul Cleary, member of the Houlton Fair Association, the concert was the most successful one in the history of the fair. “For the concert, we had 7,574 in paid attendance. With promotional events, like concert ticket giveaways, the final total was a little over 8,000 people,” said Cleary. “It was the biggest non-firework day the fair has ever had. “Prior to this year, the biggest concert we ever had was the Kentucky Headhunters four years ago where we had 5,600 people,” Cleary said. “We beat that by close to 2,400.” Cleary said he was very pleased with the success of the concert. “Things went very well. We had great security, the crowd was excellent and the band was tremendous,” he said. BlackHawk, who took to the stage at about 7:45 p.m., performed for one hour-and-a-half. After arriving in Houlton earlier in the day, the band was shuttled to Woodstock, New Brunswick where they played golf. Fans from throughout Aroostook County, downstate, New Hampshire, Vermont and Massachusetts attended the July 3 concert. BlackHawk fans from California even made the cross-country trip to see the group perform.

King of the Road — Everybody has a dream but very few ever get the chance to ever live it out. For David Boyd, originally from California, the opportunity never seemed to come either, so he made his own and struck out three years ago to fulfill a teenage dream. Boyd is trekking his way across the country, seeing the 50 states by bicycle and making a stop in Houlton for the holiday weekend. “When I was 17-years-old I said, ‘Gee, I would like to bicycle through all 50 states,’” said Boyd. To that end, he began riding bicycles, hoping to get a sponsorship to continue his cross-country trek. He never did get the initial sponsorship, so he took a regular job. “When I turned 35 I decided that I had better do this before I get too old and can’t do it anymore,” said Boyd. In 1990, his journey led him to Jacksonville, FL. Once in Florida, he began a window cleaning business and after operating the business for a while, Boyd began to prepare for the next leg of his trip: the East Coast. With his Ryan Recumbent bicycle, equipped with solar cells, two-way radios, ham radios, global positioning system and nearly 700 pounds of equipment, Boyd began the journey north last July. Boyd averages about 10 to 12 miles per hour but loses some time if he enters a hilly region. Fifty miles per day is pretty good as far as Boyd is concerned, considering the weight he pulls along with him. He makes all his own repairs from the materials that he carries with him and is also an avid Ham Radio operator so that no matter where he might find himself, he is never really alone. When the time comes to stop for the day, Boyd pitches camp at local campgrounds or is frequently asked to stay with people he meets along the way. When Boyd runs a little short on cash, he sets up shop for a while with all of his window cleaning equipment which he carries with him on his trailer. He also collects cans along the way if he gets bored on the road. No matter how many people he meets or where he goes, Boyd is still faced with a plethora of questions regarding his trek. After he completes his tour of the 50 states and Canada, Boyd plans on heading to Europe and later to Australia. “The trip has really been enjoyable but what makes it the most enjoyable is relating to people along the way and sharing Ideas,” said Boyd. “I thought that I would be able to do this alo