Over Whitefield  c. 1950's

On a hazy summer day in the 1950's Chet Chase found a new  opportunity to use his 16mm movie camera. Hank Markow * offered to take Chet, Mike McCormick and Hack Olsen up for a spin around the skies of Whitefield. The little, 4 place, single engine plane must have found some "bumpy air" on that summer day, for it seems the camera is somewhat less than steady . Nevertheless, these remarkable images provide a new view of our town at a time when any moving pictures - let alone those from the sky - were rare. The following "stills" were extracted from that wonderful movie .


The little aircraft here is headed toward the village of North Whitefield from the Northeast.. You can see the historic 3 story Clary Water Mill in the center. Mills Road ( # 218) runs diagonally across the millstream. Alden Boynton's home is at the center top


As the plane banks more to the West the orientation of the Mill Pond , the Mill House with its upper dam become clear. Albert Boynton's home is at the top. The Boynton patriarch, Chester had a dairy farm there then . He had owned and operated the watermill earlier in the century. 


As the plane veers still more west, the long storage barns on the property line are clear as are the stacks of "stuck" lumber on the east side of the dam pond. There appears to be a rowboat moored at the dam much as I remember it often was.


The four magnificent elm trees ( Cousin Libby would say they were poised like dancers) on the north side of Mills road are prominent in this view from the right side of the craft as it has now circled and is heading  toward the NE.


Continuing in the same direction, the Boynton farm is at the lower edge with the barn clearly seen. The 3 ponds  - Clary, dam and mill are evident right to left. This water "privilege" dates to the early 19th century when Pleasant Pond's stream to the Sheepscot  was first dammed.




 Here ( l to r ) Mike McCormick , pilot Hank Markow and Hack Olsen stand by the trusty aircraft after the flight so that Chet can record the principals of this historic and thrilling adventure. Thank you Chet !

 * Hank Markow's wife, Louise was a good friend of Mary Olsen, Hack's wife. It was this connection that brought them to Whitefield.

Some of us still remember the day when Hack Olsen called to say that Hank Markow was on his way through Whitefield from Loring  Air Force Base with a B52 bomber and to get outside for the event. 

To this day, I remember standing in Joe Doyon's field  (where Sally Cote now lives) hearing the mighty rumble of the yet unseen bomber as it approached - having buzzed Uncle Chet's house and suddenly now seeing it appear right over the very roof of the Arlington Grange Hall atop Grand Army Hill.

 It seemed the sky darkened as this awful behemoth began its dive to the river valley toward our homes when suddenly the engines exploded into a thunderous  roar as Hank  "floored it" and the huge metal beast tore off into the sky as chickens, dogs and other God's creatures scattered in all directions completely insane with fright. 

To understand the full effect of this event, one must try to remember that theses were the "cold war" days of fallout shelters and school drills where students cowered under the desks in  mock trials of survival. Where Gramp Chase, in his white metal Civil Defense helmet , would stock the firehouses in town with sealed cans of  drinking water and c-rations . These were days of awe .