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 * Reference
1961- 176 students in grades 1 - 8 and 68 in high school (total 244). 10
Civil Defense purchased a "large field stove and siren for warning system". 10
9,339 acres of white pine requiring the spraying of 3390 gooseberry and current plants to control pine blister rust here in Whitefield. Local high school students work in the effort. 10
1962- 12 cases of mumps reported among pre and school aged children. 10
Will Turner Cemetery Fund has $3,332.02 10
Civil Defense report: "During 1962 plans have been made to protect the people of Whitefield in case of Fall-Out or other emergencies ...... During the Cuban Crisis there were many alerts and standby calls...." Harry Chase, Whitefield’s Civil Defense Director 10
* "Blowing in the Wind" is a popular song. Rachel Carson wrote "Silent Spring".7
1963 - Zip Codes go into effect.
“During 1962, plans have been made to protect the people of Whitefield in case of Fall-Out and other emergencies. Most people are very apathetic regarding C.D. but despite this, plans have gone ahead to some extent. During the Cuban Crisis there were many alerts and standby calls. …..We have received the latest kits in radiological instruments complete with gas masks etc. There is a kit in each end of town and one being kept at the school…..10
1964- Maine Secretary of State Paul MacDonald of Cooper’s Mills ends his 2nd two year term as the new Democratic Governor is elected. He is being replaced by Kenneth Curtis who will go on to be Governor and Paul will become a judge after working for 20 years in the Secretary’s office. 9( His Model A Ford “tractor” had #1 for its license plate.)
Vigue’s store in North Whitefield was broken into again. During the past 15 years it has been the target of over 30 breaks. Because of this it is impossible to get proper insurance. 9
1965- Whitefield's own Jonathan Young
Scammon is subject in NEW Lincoln letters discovery:
$12.50 porcupine bounties paid. 10
King’s Mills Fire Department answered 12 house fires, 3 woods and grass fires and pumped 3 cellars. With help from the Ladies Auxiliary they purchased a new stove, three lengths of hose and three Indian tanks. 10
“January 22, 5:30am Mattress fire at Neota Grady’s, caused by heating pad.” Excerpt from Whitefield Volunteer Fire Department notebook. Neota’s home was next door to the fire Dept.
* Soft contact lenses are first developed. 45
Die As Fire Levels North Whitefield Home”,
report the bold headlines of the
October 16th Kennebec Journal. Ralph Ferguson and his
eldest son Ralph Jr., 9, were unable to save Ferguson’s wife, Marie
and five of her six children. The fire at the home on the
“Whitefield-Windsor Road” broke out about 2 a.m. from an exploding
pot oil burner.
1968- Whitefield voted Nixon 226, Humphrey 180, Wallace 30. Town debt $53,443. 10
1969- Post office moved from John McCormics on Jefferson Road to Randy Fendersons on Hilton Road.
Whitefield Grange and Arlington Grange merged. 12
Businesses listed in North Whitefield: N.S. Chase Farm Equipment, Chester H. Chase, Alden C. Boynton general contractors, Chester H.Chase lumber and real estate, Fendy’s Lunch. In Cooper’s Mills: Howe Fur Company, Country Manor Nursing Home, Bond Company Educational apparatus , John Morin radio and TV, Leland King lightening rods. In King’s Mills: Roland Kennedy electrical contractor, Joseph Grady painting and decorating, Graffam’s Garden nurserymen.
1970 - Pittston & Whitefield Mutual Fire Insurance Co. dissolved after 75 years.
Town meeting lasted 13˝ hours as arguments on hiring a full time state trooper for protection raged. Pug Chase feared that passage of the article would be a step toward a “police state”. And urged citizens to be “true Americans and vote the article down”. The motion failed. 41
* The “floppy disk” is developed. 45
1971 -“The elementary enrollment shows a decrease of 23 students and the high school enrollment shows a decrease of 7 students over last year.” Benjamin Q. Belonga JR Superintendent of schools. 10
1972- Fire destroys North Whitefield Union (Baptist) Church in the village.
“The red line telephone was installed in seven homes this year. Four in Cooper’s Mills, Two in North Whitefield, one in Windsor. When you dial 549-4801 all seven phones ring and when anyone answers please state your name , the location and type of fire. 10
1973- Wind storm blows down Lipman poultry house on Howe road containing 75,000 chicks.
Whitefield bus driver Joe Noyes gave the 38 students in the 8th grade, a hayride for their graduation. The popular man owns “Duke”, a 14-year-old Belgian gelding and “Goldie” a 10-year-old palomino. 41
1974 - Whitefield passes a shoreline ordinance.
1975- 330 students k-12
1976- New North Whitefield PO opens.
Planning Board is created at March Town Meeting in the wake of development pressures from several sides, and Vernon “Pug” Chase’s agreement to sell 800 acres on Crocker Avenue to a New Jersey developer for use as a county wide landfill.
Town celebrates nations bicentennial. Bells toll all over town/nation.
St. Denis entered into the National Register of Historic Places.
1977- 17 marriages, 29 births, 32 deaths in town. 260 elementary students and 120 secondary. 10
Comprehensive plan presented and accepted at Town Meeting.
“If You’re an Intellectual DON’T COME ANY CLOSER”, read the 1 inch headlines of the March 18 Maine Times .Its cover picture of Whitefield anti-planner and perennial pundit Verdon (Pug) Chase prefaces an interesting feature on the struggles of planning in our town. He often referred to the new people in the area as the “ Volvo Set”.
“Voters of Whitefield, We don’t need any more costly special town meetings on zoning. We want our selectmen to give the natives a fair shake on controversial issues. We’re sick of being talked to death by fast talking minority groups….” Begins a quarter page advertisement in the KJ instructing townspeople where to put their checkmarks to vote against planning and the proposed comprehensive plan. It was “signed Ona Delano , Chairman of Citizens of Whitefield Committee” 41
*Discovery that Uranus is encircled by at least five rings resembling those around Saturn. 7
1978 - Three Whitefield students challenge Wiscasset’s School Committee to be exempt from PE classes on Religious Grounds since the classes are coed (as mandated by Federal Law). 9
1979- 12 marriages, 25 births, 32 deaths in town. 10
Article 11 on the Town Warrant: “To see if the Town of Whitefield will vote to authorize Elmer Wilson to install an electric generating system to be located at the Cooper’s Mills Dam”. 10
1980- Sheepscot Valley Health Center in operation at the reconstructed church in Cooper’s Mills.
29 marriages, 27 births ( 1 at home) , 23 deaths ( 17 of these were residents of Country Manor Nursing Home ) 10
Whitefield Health Committee held the first Men's health clinic for screening cancer in the state. 68 men attended. 15 problems were found. 3 required immediate surgery. The Women's health day held its 4th clinic with 64 women attending. 16 problems being found.3
The Hydroelectric Feasibility Study Committee found the Cooper’s Mills dam could produce between 250 and 500 kilowatts, worth approximately $1,000,000. The cost of developing the site between $850,000 and $1,000,000. 3
* Mount St. Helen’s volcano erupts; a column of debris is sent 12 miles high and explosion is heard 200 miles away. 7