BREWER HISTORICAL SOCIETY NEWSLETTER
“Today’s news is tomorrow’s history”
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T.C. Hanna , editor (989-2245)
The Brewer Historical Society would like to thank the following corporate sponsors and supporters
City of Brewer
Brewer Federal Credit Union
Brewer High School Air Force Junior ROTC
Brewer Parks and Recreation
Eastern Maine Development Corporation
Eastern Maine Healthcare Systems
Joseph Ferris, esq.
Gold Star Cleaners
Green Thumb Lawn Service
Rand / Rand Dentistry
Scotts Lawn Service
TradeWinds Convenience Store
| FRIENDS OF CHAMBERLAIN FREEDOM PARKAtlantic Designs
Allen / Freeman / McDonnell Insurance
Machias Savings Bank
(Thank you for your support of Chamberlain Freedom Park and the Brewer Historical Society)
(The Brewer Historical Society newsletter is copied using the facilities at Eastern Maine Healthcare Systems. Thank you to EMHS and their staff)
“Kings of the Mountain”
Alan King entertained an appreciative audience at the monthly June membership meeting. Alan provided a history of the King family as documented by his sister, Phyllis Scribner, in her book “Kings of the Mountain”. Phyllis’ book was made available this winter through the Orrington Historical Society.
Alan is a 6th generation member of the King family, born in Brewer when his father moved from Kings Mountain to South Brewer. His father was employed at Eastern Fine Manufacturing and the commute from Kings Mountain was excessive.
Samuel and Mary King came to this country from Ireland around 1800. They landed in New York, eventually finding their way to Castine and then to Orrington. Over the next decades, the King family members obtained land and farms on what was originally Swetts Hill, but became Kings Mountain around 1900. Alan noted that the area was originally Franklin County, then Hancock County before it became part of Penobscot County. Alan told many interesting stories about Samuel and his family and life on the mountain through the 19th and 20th century.
One member of the family, Amos King, was born in 1840 and fought with the First Maine Artillery during the Civil War. He eventually opened a store at the corner of Main and Wilson Streets in Brewer called A H King and Company. The store sold groceries, feed and ships provisions among other items. Amos was a devout man and attended the Methodist Episcopal Church. A stained glass window in the church, the “angel window”, recognized Amos’ contribution to the church.
Alan has been a member of the Historical Society for many years and is currently Vice President.
You can borrow a copy of “Kings of the Mountain” from the Resource Center at the Clewley Museum
Clayton Rogers Recalls His Teaching Career at Brewer High School
Clayton Rogers, a member of the Brewer Historical Society, taught music, bookkeeping, typing and shorthand at Brewer High School from 1982 to 1998. Many of the citizens of Brewer will remember taking a class from Clayton. He spoke and presented a slide show at the July membership meeting from those years. Clayton is well known to Brewer and was “citizen of the year” a few years ago. He is an accomplished organist who constantly provides music at many local functions. His talk and slide show brought back memories to those members who had once taken his classes. T.C. Hanna introduced him with an appreciative story of how his typing class provided her with the skills necessary to accept a job in Health Information Systems at Acadia Hospital many years after graduation. Clayton began the program with a rousing rendition of the “Brewer High School Cheering Song” followed by showing slides of his teaching classes. Since Clayton’s hobby is photography, he also showed early photos of Brewer High School as it was being built and expanded. He also presented Brewer scenes including early photos of the Brewer Historical Society Clewley museum. The enthusiastic audience was very appreciative of remembering their high school experience.
Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain Golf Classic
The Brewer Historical Society was represented in the annual Joshua Chamberlain Golf Classic at Rocky Knoll Golf Course on July 25th. Thanks to the contribution of City Councilor and Historical Society City Liaison Matthew Vachon, the Historical Society was able to sponsor a hole and be recognized for supporting this popular event. The event supports the Maine Infantry Foundation at the Brewer Amory. A special thank you goes out to Councilor Vachon for his continued support of the Historical Society.
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Mayor Jerry Goss Reviews the Clewley Museum Upgrades
On July 24th, Brewer Mayor Jerry Goss visited the Clewley Museum to observe the recent changes in the operation. The barn (or carriage house) was in very poor shape and was poorly supported. Thanks to Bill Hayes and the Historical Society Board, the barn was jacked up and put on frost piers. This straightened the building and ensured that it would be usable for years to come. Barney Thompson painted the building and Mayor Goss was impressed with the entire museum complex which now includes the museum, barn and resource center. Future plans include using the barn as a gallery to showcase Brewer’s industries as well as other exhibits. With the new siding, refurbished barn and remodeled resource center, the Historical Society is making an impact on Brewer.
A Recap of Summer Events
The Ways and Means Committee has a new Chairman, Bill Higgins. The spring Bake
Sale at Marden’s Store was successful and will be followed by an October Bake Sale. These are successful because of the donation of goodies from the members of the organization. Thank you for your continued support. The Bird and Garden Club held its annual plant sale at the museum. Museum staff opened up the building for coffee and baked goods. The committee also worked on “Brewer Days”, the major fund raising event of the year. On September 7th there was a spaghetti supper and silent auction at the Brewer Auditorium.
The barn attached to the museum was straightened and placed on frost piers. Barney Thompson painted it and Jeff Hamadey installed gutters. This major project along with the siding installed last year and the Resource Center building the year before, has made a tremendous improvement in the presentation of the museum grounds. A special thank you goes to Bill Hayes for his vision and all the Historical Society members who have helped out in making this vision become a reality; including Barney Thompson, Bob Daigle and Lee Mathews.
The museum was open this summer at specific times and for special events. Everyone who tours the museum is impressed with the work that has been done. The Resource Center has received several requests for research projects this summer and has worked with Katie Conner, new Director of the Brewer Library, in a cooperative effort to provide information to the community.
The Education / Display Committee has prepared a fall change in the display case at the Brewer Community School. The subject will be famous and important people of Brewer and will include John Brewer, Manly Hardy, Fannie Hardy Eckstorm, Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain and Charles E. Tefft. In addition there will be a section on the Brewer City Government with photos of the City Council, Mayor, School Committee and Brewer High School Board of Trustees.
Chamberlain Freedom Park was maintained by the Brewer High School Air Force Junior ROTC and by Brewer Historical Society volunteers. Lee Mathews, Bob Daigle, Joanne Black, T.C. Hanna, David Hanna and Lola Bullion contributed their talents to the project. There were many visitors and the annual “Juneteenth” event, which celebrates the end of slavery, was held at the “North to Freedom” statue. The park, and its part in the “Underground Railroad”, was also part of a novel written by Maine author Mark Leslie.
| Golden Years
By Doris Lyford
( February 16, 1983 / Bangor Daily News)
Whenever I go over the Joshua Chamberlain bridge I always notice the red house on the right as you enter the bridge on the Brewer side, as it brings back pleasant memories of my early childhood.
As I have written in one of my earlier columns, my paternal grandmother took over the management of the Dirigo Mill boarding house in order to pay off the mortgage on a small woodlot adjoining our farm in North Bangor, which my grandfather had bought just before his death. I was six years old at the time and started school in the building on South Main Street which later became the high school. My teacher was Miss Alma Higgins. I also started Sunday school in the old wooden Methodist church which, by coincidence, when I finally came to Brewer to live, became a member of the new stone church on the same site.
The aforementioned red house at that point in time was owned by another relative by the name of Will Richardson, relative of Zenas and Mary Richardson who lived on Maple Street in Brewer. Will and his wife had a variety store in the ell part of the house. I loved visiting Aunt Annie, as I called her, which I guess would be about right as Will was my father’s uncle once removed.
Aunt Annie was a petite little lady and I always remember her finding time for a young country girl who liked to visit. If there were customers when I came to call, she would leave them to her husband to wait on them and invite me into the main part of the house and serve me cambric tea and a cookie. What I did not realize was the fact that Aunt Annie was going blind. I had heard Gramma and mother talking about “Annie’s troubles.”
When I was six years old, diabetes meant nothing to me. Later, when as a teenager I came to Brewer to visit Aunt Annie and she’d become totally blind, I understood what a devastating illness it was; especially in those long-ago days when they did not have the treatments they have today.
As I have said before, I liked to call, and in Brewer I had quite a few relatives to visit. Aunt Emily, Zenas and Mary, and the Will Richardsons, with a large room of interesting things, especially the dolls and toys. I do not think that Aunt Roseann, Gramma’s sister, she of the Larkin product, could have been living in Brewer at this time as I have no recollection of visiting her.
However, looking back over the years with a much clearer perspective, I think the relatives were happy to see me as they could question me on how things were going at the boarding house and I think that I sensed that. There were a few relatives (but not all), who expected Gramma and Father to fall on their respective faces, as board in those days was at a minimum and to raise five hundred dollars was an impossibility.
All of our Brewer relatives knew why Gramma had taken the boarding house, as one of them had secured the job for her. So, when a young cousin repeated to me what she had heard her parents talking over, loyalty to my family got the better of me and I told he were going back to the farm with the mortgage money the following week. I was about six months premature and Gramma looked a bit puzzled when it was mentioned to her. I think she knew by the look on my face who the informant was. The day they really paid off the mortgage and went to wherever they were supposed to pay it, I was strangely silent. This was in the springtime and I was delighted to be going back to the farm. The two girls, Annie and Sadie Hanlon, who had waited tables promised to wheel out to see us which they did and often spent the weekend with us.
Evidently my sister Mae and I had been exposed to the measles and we had only been home a week when we both came down with them. Beds were brought down into the back parlor, our infirmary. Mother fully expected my brother and the new baby Alice (who was born in Brewer) would come down with the disease, but thankfully they did not.
In calling on aunt Annie Richardson at her shop in Brewer, I naturally had noticed the lovely dolls she had for sale and possibly, just possibly, dropped a hint that I would be overjoyed to be a mother to one. Surprise, surprise! When Mae and I were convalescing, Gramma Sarah brought us two big dolls from Aunt Annie’s shop which compensated for all the pennyroyal tea we had been obliged to swallow.
Doris Lyford’s “Golden Years” column appeared in the Bangor Daily News in the early 1980’s. A selection of those articles is available at the Resource Center, thanks to the contribution of Susan Xirinachs.)
| WE NEED YOUR PHOTOGRAPHS!!!!!
The Resource Center is developing a photographic history of Brewer for the last 40 years. We need to get photos of life in Brewer and you can help!
Please help us by providing photos that we can scan and place into our collection. Many people are asking for Brewer history since the 1950s and while we have an excellent gallery of early photos we need your generation
Please look through your photographs for those that show how Brewer has changed. Do you have pictures of schools, churches, buildings, street scenes, businesses, people, transportation, etc………. YOUR HISTORY IS THE HISTORY OF BREWER.
Please call David Hanna and he will scan your photographs. There is no need to give them up, we just need to borrow them. (989-2245 or firstname.lastname@example.org)