An Illustrated Timeline of Whitefield, Maine
another Friends Of Whitefield project
by David Chase
Prehistoric * Historic-1700 * 1701-1800 * 1801 to 1850 * 1851-1900 * 1901-1920 * 1921-1940
* 1941-1960 * 1961-1980 * 1981-2000 * 2001-2010 * Gazetteer * References
1921- “ ….Isn’t there anyone living within three-fourths of a mile of the (King’s Mills high school) school building, who can and will let one or more rooms to those who desire to board themselves? If so, kindly notify he superintendent early in he summer. These rooms may be furnished or not by the owners. Quite often pupils can furnish what they need. Two of our pupils are now driving ten miles a day, another eight, and besides driving have to go on the train from North Whitefield. This makes a long hard day for them and it would be so much easier if they could hire rooms and stay for the five school days( in the village) . 10
Chester Boynton buys the Clary Mill and its privileges.
1922- Sheepscot floods.
Burning of the Whitefield Convent
“The Convent in Whitefield was destroyed by fire Sunday morning December 31. Not much help was available account of the impassable condition of the roads. The building was a great loss, as all the social functions of the parish were held there.” “Kennebec Journal,” Wednesday, January 3, 1923, Page 10.
Old Whitefield Convent is Burned
“The question whether the old Convent which was burned at Whitefield Sunday would be rebuilt has not been decided as yet. Rev. Fr. D. A. McCabe, of the Whitefield Church, stated Wednesday. This matter will have to await the action of the insurance commissioner and will be decided by Bishop Walsh. The three-story building was burned Sunday morning, the fire evidently catching in one corner where there has not been any heat for some time. The four walls left, but the interior of the building was badly gutted. The Convent was built about 60 years ago and was used used for that purpose until about 30 years ago. Within the last few years it has been used for a hall for entertainment, fairs, and other social gatherings. About a year ago the building underwent extensive repairs and was placed in excellent condition.” Kennebec Journal,: Thursday, January 4, 1923, Page 11
Fire destroys St. Denis Academy, only walls left standing. Third story was not replaced. 11
1923-. Kate Morse began operation of the "Cottage hospital" a.k.a. “Memorial Hospital” (see 1941 U.S. topographical map) on Townhouse Road. It housed 22 newborns at one time. 10
John Snow murders 5 in spree starting in King’s Mills- Becoming the legendary “Great Snow Murder Case” 2
* Willa Cather writes "A Lost Lady" - the pop song, "Yes, We Have No Bananas" is a hit.
Whitefields First 4H clubs organized.
1925 - J.S.Beckwith pays $10.00 to the town for a pool room license. 10
“ Dr. J.E.Odiorne had a narrow escape from fire in his coupe snowmobile when it ignited fire last Friday at the foot of Pleasant Pond (Clary Lake) as he was on his way home. By prompt use of a snow shovel which he had with him , he put the fire out but not until it had burned the wires off all the connections and scorched the paint on the hood and cowl.” 9 ..a “coupe snowmobile” in those days meant a model “A” Ford with skis on the front axle and caterpillar tracks on the rear wheels. These were commonly used by mail carriers and people who provided services.
Mrs. Sara H. Weeks counts 252 cars, 3 teams of horses and 1 bicycle passing a given point in the village of Cooper’s Mills in the afternoon of Sunday, July 16 between 4:30 and 5:30 P.M. to illustrate the heavy Sunday traffic through her village. 9
Jan 9 …………….. # 4 broke R. piston at Prebles on train # 11”
1927- Capt. Charles Tobin began duties in the lightship service. Many Whitefield boys (among them Joe Tobin, Norman Chase, ) served in his ships that aided navigation in dangerous waters. 12
Whitefield’s Simon Jones Murphy’s sons break ground in Detroit for the Greater Penobscot building that will rise 47 stories to 565 feet “…. from the sidewalk in an architectural effect which seems to rise toward and disappear into the heavens. Its unique design is based on the absorption of Indian motifs Simon must have known among his Penobscot friends…” 59
1928- Dr. J.E. Odiorne of Cooper’s Mills appointed highest state office, Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of I.O.O.F
1929- Electric power comes to East River Road. 25 customers contract $4 a month for five years. 12
1930- Population 908, Polls 247, $458,734 in Estates. 10
“The baseball game between North Whitefield and the West End Shamrocks which was scheduled at Preble’s field Sunday at 2 O’clock was postponed until a later date, on account of the weather.” 9
“The quarantine will be lifted from the home of B.F.Fowles this week where there has been a case of Scarlet Fever.” 9
* Human species
hits 2 billion.
1930-40’s- Levi Brann and his family has an active business harvesting cranberries from his bog on Howe road and delivering them by wagon to area stores. His farm was on Vigue Road (then Northey Road) before its intersection with Devine Road.
“Arlington Grange is holding dances every Thursday night with good music, Pierces Orchestra from Augusta, and good times.” June 19 9
1931 - “ To make it fair to all the high school pupils we should make an allowance, equal to the cost of transportation on the train, to those who are obliged to room at King’s Mills” 10
1932-The W.W.&F. is being referred to as the “ Weak, Weary & Feeble” and “ Wait ,Worry & Freeze” by its detractors . 15
The power has been extended from King’s Mills onto the #7 district (route 194, Head Tide Road) to the residence of Clinton Jewett. 9
* First radio installed in a car.. 45
1933-“ On June 15, 1933, Train No. 8, the morning mixed, left Albion shortly after 5 A.M. . Engine No. 8, recently acquired from the Kennebec Central, with Earl Keef at the throttle and Merle Glidden firing, was on the head end. Immediately behind the engine was a flat car on which was lashed the original gasoline-powered railcar, due into the shop for repairs. Next came one of the Turner Centre’s refrigerated milk cars, followed by box car 72.Bringing up the rear was the old reliable “Little Combination,” housing the last two - foot RPO (Railroad Post Office) in the country. Presiding, as usual over the mails was Orvis Bonney, the mail clerk, while Everett Baker doubled in brass as conductor and brakeman. These were the only four operating personnel left on the WW&F.”
“ Train No. 8 made its way down the valley of the Sheepscot, pausing at the little weather-beaten stations and whistling for the crossings. Keef left the Whitefield (King’s Mills) depot about fifteen minutes behind schedule, and he let the train run coming down the steep pitch to the riverbank. It was all downgrade now to Head Tide and he needed little throttle. As they clattered along, the engine crew felt the jolting as the drivers struck uneven joints and the lurching as the engine hunted and crowded her flanges against the rails.”
“Suddenly, about a hundred yards above the Iron Bridge on a gentle curve to the left, the engine lurched toward the river and started down the bank. Her drivers and ash pan dug deeply into the soft gravel, and she stopped short. Merle Glidden was standing in the gangway and jumped as he felt her leave the iron, landing unhurt on the embankment away from the river. But Earl Keef, wedged in between the boiler butt and the side of the cab, had no chance to move. When the engine wallowed to a stop, he instinctively pulled his watch. It was 7:33 .” 4 The Railroad was finished for good !
* First concentration camps built by Nazis in Germany.....First all-star baseball game played
1934- Original Wilson's Nursing Home on Cookson road opened.
1935- ” ..We have purchased a stove for the Church School this year and need one very much at the Keyes Corner School. The fence around the schoolhouse at North Whitefield is in poor condition and should be rebuilt. It is next to a pasture and we have been asked several time to put up a strong fence there.” Lila N. Leavitt Superintendent of Schools 10
Jesse Bailey on North Hunts Meadow has a 35 tree orchard….in 1946 he set out 50 more. 41 7/8/75. Cover story
1936- Carleton bridge (a “queen post” bridge) spanning the river between East River Road and Philbrick Lane at Townhouse Road intersection via what was called Carleton Road, washes out in the big spring flood, never to be replaced. 3
1937- Over 500 books in the Preble Public Library. 12
Howe Fur Company in Cooper’s Mills lists the following in their 140 page catalog : 15 foot canoe $48.85, Hudson Bay “point” blankets $14.95, Wolf traps $9.45, 22 caliber revolver $8.95, Penobscot Indian made 10” work basket 95 cents, 2 for $1.70,
“Article 39. To see if the town will vote to limit the taxes at
$50.00 a year for a period of five years, if Mr. J.L. Tarr buys the
Chester Boynton Mill and operates it. “10
1939- “ Miss Neota Fowles, teacher at the Church School has taken up her duties as representative to the Legislature now being held in Augusta. Her vacancy is being filled by Mrs. Violet McCormick.” 9
Petition of William Ford to discontinue road at Townhouse running westerly to Kelley’s Corner at Rt. 126. Discontinued. 37
1940- Population 962 Whitefield voted Wilkie (R) 210, Roosevelt (D)148, Browder (Com) 10