| BRIEF HISTORY OF THE
ALEXANDER – CRAWFORD HISTORICAL SOCIETY
Sometime during 1975, the bicentennial of the start of the Revolution, Alexander selectmen including Carleton Davis asked Ruth Dwelley to write a history of our town. She did that. She was also a member of the University of Maine Extension group here and the ladies often talked about the old days at their meetings. Soon Jane Dudley was heading a local history committee of the extension.
In May 1980 Jane typed a one-page newsletter that was passed out to locals with an interest in local history. With her husband John M. Dudley helping with collecting facts, Jane’s newsletters grew in size and membership grew in numbers to include people from many states. Shortly after Jack Dudley’s death in January 1988, Jane stopped doing the newsletter. She had written sixty issues.
Also during the days that Jack and Jane leadership, many meetings were held. Many of the programs were taped and transcripts may be read on the A-CHS web site (Community - Voices).
Pliney E. Frost and John H. Dudley picked up the challenge. Pliney was a great source of local history, both oral and written. After a few years of depending on others for typing, A-CHS acquired a computer that has allowed John to put the stories of our communities into the newsletters. By the early 1990s our research included Alexander, Crawford, Cooper and South Princeton. By the time of Pliney’s passing in 1997, we had published 34 more issues of the newsletter.
Also during these years A-CHS sponsored a Genealogy Fair at AES. These events were popular prior to the popularity of the Internet for family research.
John Dudley picked up Pliney’s role of historian. With much help John has written 53 issues of the newsletter plus seventeen special issues. That help has been in many forms including labeling and stamping newsletters, writing articles, providing family histories and copies of historic documents and the list goes on. An important activity was locating cellars, dam sites, wells and rock walls with the help of interested members. These places now have GPS co-ordinates for future historians.
It was during the early years of the twenty-first century that A-CHS conducted history clubs at AES with the hope of sparking interest in our youth about their own history. We also had history hikes and cemetery walks.
The history of our towns belongs to us all.
The 164 newsletters are only part of the story. A-CHS files have been moved to
the archives at the Alexander Municipal Building. They await the next historian
to pick up the challenge.
The Alexander-Crawford Historical Society exists (1) to collect information of historical and genealogical value of these two towns and the area, to organize this information, and to disseminate it to those interested through our newsletter and web site; (2) to create an awareness of local history through outreach programs at the school, grange hall, and local libraries; and (3) to collect a record of current community activities for future historians.