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

- 165 men and women enlist in W.W.II from Whitefield.

1941- 153 horses, 497 cows, 27 oxen, 19 tractors, and 139 radios listed as taxable property. 10

         Town spends 25% more, cutting roadside brush ($400) than for textbooks & supplies. ($300) 10

         “ I am asking you as parents and citizens to visit our schools. It seems to me you will be pleased with the good discipline and good progress of the pupils. I am sure both teachers and pupils will be very glad to have you come and show your interest…… …….please try to visit at about 1 in the afternoon so you will have an opportunity to hear the lower grades read. It is surprising how fast they advance.” Lila N. Leavitt Superintendent of schools 10

         Joe Tobin kills a bull by throwing a rock at it as it charged him and George Talbut as they walked along Benner Road, making a news story in the Kennebec Journal.

         “Portland Harbor, looking out from the 7th floor solarium towards ocean – the harbor is gray with ships of all sizes” from the notes of Whitefield’s Mary Tobin (Olsen) who had gone to Portland after the attack on Pearl Harbor to help in the war effort as a nurse. She was soon sent to England. 65

1942 - “ I went to work in the Iron Works. I don’t know of anyone around here who isn’t working. Jobs are plentiful and men scarce.” From a letter written by Francis Burke April 6 to Warren Erskine who wanted Francis, a childhood friend, to work for him on the pipeline in New Jersey.

Martin Potter is operating a small letterpress at his home on Heath Road. 18

1943- Whitefield High School at the Bell School in King’s Mills closes for good. 12

          Wilson's Nursing Home burns and rebuilt in Cooper’s Mills village.

         Businesses listed in Cooper’s Mills: Myrtle V. Colby Beauty Shop, Cleve Colby blacksmith, Glidden Bros. Auto repair, Howe Fur Company, Delbert Brann roofing, Laurice Avery confectionery. In North Whitefield: F.E.Douglas farm equipment, William Turner auto repair, Anna Benson Camps, A.K. Chisam, T.C. Ware and Charles W. Miner carpenters, Henry Morin plumber and Martin Potter printer. In King’s Mills: George S. Graffam apiarist and market gardens , William Eastman auto repair, Roy G. Hapgood excavating and Roland Kennedy electrical contractor.

         * Shoe rationing begins in U.S. followed by meat, cheese, fats and all canned foods.

1944- North Whitefield Fire Dept. established. The first rural fire department in northern Lincoln County and the first east of he Kennebec River. 23 Norman Chase president.

1945-Sunday morning, August 26 at 6 am the Howe Fur Company of Cooper’s Mills was broken into and stolen from its plant were 27 rifles, 8 shotguns valued at $900.00.” 9

1946- Old wood Choate Bridge in King’s Mills, replaced with modern concrete version. 12

Whitefield PTA organized.


          The cessation of war activities, political changes, strike conditions with its obvious unemployment, causes us to realize that many people will be compelled to lower their standards of living. These people, previously working and living in large industrial areas, will be returning to smaller communities. Some will be able to carry out an improved standard of living; others, less wise, a lower standard communicable disease is on the upswing in many places….

From the report of the Public Health nurse 10

         195 radios, 3 portable sawmills and 26 tractors taxed in Whitefield. 10

         * Jackie Robinson becomes first Black to sign a contract with Majors. 7


1947 -

North Whitefield,

Seven elderly people, one  cripple. were assisted to safety by neighbors today when flames starting in the nearby barn, set fire to and destroyed the Clifford Wilson home where they room and board, Wilson, who was attending Windsor fair several miles away when the buildings burned, estimated toss at $10,000, Including valuable farm and kitchen equipment ,Forty head of cattle were at pasture. Fire trucks from Coopers Mills,. Jefferson and North Whitefield responded.  The Lewiston Daily Sun - Sep 2, 1947

1948 - “ About noontime Saturday, April 10, 1948 a fire in the village of North Whitefield threatened destruction of the entire settlement. A small grass fire was fanned by a high wind into conflagration proportions, quickly spreading to a two-story building housing a general store owned and operated by Mrs. Belle Douglass and containing also the North Whitefield post office. In no time the store became a raging inferno of flames, a threat to houses across the road. The store collapsed within a half-hour. Sparks ignited and adjoining house occupied by Calvin Flanders family. This was destroyed. Embers blown by the fifty-mile wind set fire to the home of Mrs. Grace Benson, which was half a mile from the main fire. Firemen battled roof blazes on dwellings owned by Albert Ingraham, Mrs. Emma Hilton and Bert Tarr. The blaze then spread into the woods and burned on a half-mile front toward the Jefferson line. Estimated damage was set at $50,000. Fireman from North Whitefield were assisted by men and equipment from King’s Mills, Cooper’s Mils, Pittston, Gardiner, Augusta, Jefferson and the Maine Forestry Service truck.” From a report by Whitefield historian, Henry C. Waters 23

King’s Mills Fire Dept. organized.

Portland Press 1948
         * Babe Ruth died ...born 1895 "All I Want For Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth" is popular.

1949 -Saint Denis Altar Society formed when Fr. Walter MacFarlane called a meeting of forty one women to form the society. 23

Mrs. Emma Chase (mother of the Chase clan that arrived from New Hampshire via Berwick in the 1920’s) Chosen one of two Outstanding Homemakers of the State. She also served as Chief Homemaker with Congressman Clifford McIntire as Chief Farmer, in 1954 at the State University. 23

         1950- World Heavy Weight boxing champion, Rocky Marciano trains at the Anna Benson (a relative of his wife) farm on Clary Lake. His shadow boxing while jogging along Grand Army road prompts a call to A.M.H.I..

          Olive Metcalf, wife of Dr. Roger Metcalf of Cooper’s Mills has an exhibit of paintings in the Art gallery at Kennebunkport. 9

         * Republican Senator Joseph McCarthy advises President Truman that State Dept. is ”…. riddled with Communists”.7

1951- Bell installed in Whitefield Union Church a gift of Mr. & Mrs. Corllis Potter.

1952- First of many annual Class B Horse Show and Gymkhana with English and Western classes held at the Whitefield Union Hall Field, sponsored by the Whitefield Fish and Game Club. 23

         Rocky Marciano Ko’s Jersey Joe Walcott to become “Heavy Weight Boxing Champion of the World” as Whitefield sports fans gather around the single TV at Chester Chase’s to witness the crowning achievements of the greatest fighter ever to train in Whitefield. The TV reception was so poor that only the audio and our imaginations could provide the images that would be seen the next day in the Kennebec Journal.

         “…roads are awful dusty….now in the Yukon….3 or 4 more nights before we get to Anchorage”  From the diary of Harry and Emma Chase who left their home in Whitefield with $1200 on April 8th for a driving adventure that would take them across this country to the Alaskan territory and back with $26 left over after the 50 day journey.

          Whitefield taxes 12 portable mills, 20 boats, 26 musical instruments, 252 radios and 41 tractors. 10

          “New electric clocks have been installed in each of the classrooms”. 10

1953- Cooper’s Mills Volunteer Fire Dept. established.

         August 17th, the Mormons copy Whitefield’s Vital Records; for storage in their national archives in Salt Lake City: 1810-1874 births and deaths, 1842-1892 marriages, 1827-1893 births, 1855-1891 deaths, 1749-1848 births, 1748-1848 town officers, town meeting warrants, 1790-1891 town meeting warrants, 1825-1891 marriage intentions.

         Whitefield Lions Club formed with 15 charter members. Important projects have been the Boy’s and Girl’s State program and the formation of what became the Sheepscot Valley Health Center.

         The K of C hall is built below Saint-Denis. Providing a much-needed place for community recreation. There will be countless dances, talent shows, beano games, minstrel shows and community meetings over its 45-year life before it moves “uptown “ to start its new role as a restaurant.

         * Smog in New York City is blamed for 200 deaths. 45

 1954-Hurricane Carol Aug 31st and Hurricane Edna Sept 7th beat at the town. Ford Mill at the " Great Falls” in King’s Mills and 1 barn lost in hurricane flood. 2 barns badly damaged. 12

         “ The 4-H Club Fair, held in September was the biggest yet. There were 68 exhibits and displays this year , compared to 55 for the previous year. This year there were 10 displays by individuals, families or organizations and only 5 last year.

        “The Whitefield 4-H Fair held at the Arlington Grange Hall, was a grand success…..There were 68 boys and girls enrolled …10

1955- We have noticed that there is a tendency on the part of some pupils to disregard the teacher assignment and waste time in school. The child must be taught to work, because labor is the very foundation of future success……Unless there is training in home responsibility, school responsibility cannot have a true and lasting effect. We now need a different preparation than was required a generation ago.” 10

1956- Taxable livestock and fowl in Whitefield town: 76 horses, mules and ponies, 7 steers, oxen, bulls etc., 461 milk cows, 96 heifers over two years, 2,470 domestic fowl. 10

1957- Article 32 “ To see what sum of money the Town will raise or appropriate for the lease or purchase of a Town Dump, and for necessary maintenance of same.” 10 Before this time people dumped their refuse anywhere they could find space - on dead-end roads, alongside riverbanks, anywhere in the woods. There are dump sites all along roads that boarder our river and brooks .On of the largest is along the river side of “the Old County Road” that leads from the intersection of Philbrick and Townhouse and crossed the Sheepscot on Carleton Bridge to the East River Road. It has been "mined" to a depth of 3 feet in the 1970's by bottle diggers.

June 21 ..State of Maine vs Norman (Mac) McKinnon State Supreme Court case concerning Mac’s carrying a gun on the Game Preserve which encompassed his land on Carleton Road (now Hollywood Blvd.). The preserve was created without his consent. And he argued that the creation of the preserve also took away some of his rights .

         * Sputnik 1, the first artificial satellite is launched by the Soviet Union.. 45

1958- In earlier days moral and religious training were adequately handled by the church and the home. People led a more simple life producing most of the food and clothing on the farm and in the home. The long hours of labor which was needed to provide the family with the necessary commodities of life left young people with little time for leisure. However, today’s society is much more complex. Increased production on the farm resulting from labor saving machines has given more leisure time for all. The closely knitted family life has in most instances disappeared and with it has gone the moral and religious training that young people should have…..More and more the public schools have begun to assume the role….” Aubrey Snow, Superintendent of Schools 10

          $96.50 paid in porcupine bounties. 10 The porcupine’s feet were to be cut off and presented to the Town Clerk to receive the 50 cent bounty.

1959- Giant sesquicentennial celebration marks our 150th birthday. Marching Bands, bugle corps and colorful, creative floats help make the parade the largest ever in our town. A commemorative booklet is published containing a signature map of the town and brief historical sketches. 23 committees with 70 members promoted the celebration.

          New fishway installed at Cooper’s Mills dam.

          Whitefield’s population 1030

          * USSR launches rocket with two monkeys aboard.  7

1960- Whitefield has 2111 voters..$1,065,747 valuation. 10

          New Consolidated school finished replacing 5 district schools (173 pupils)