Gone. . . not forgotten
The historic building locally remembered as Ludwig’s Store was demolished last week after being condemned by the town as a safety hazard and eyesore. A large crawler excavator leveled the structure at 7 Liberty Road and the debris was hauled away in just a couple of days. The old building has been empty for many years but, for some, was a reminder of the “old days” when Ed Ludwig, a pillar of the community years ago, ran the store. The Washington Post Office and the telephone switchboard were housed there at different times, as well. Holly Stone recalls that, as a young girl, she and her friends at Medomak Camp would walk to Ludwig’s store for penny candy and other items. When she wanted to call her family long-distance, the camp phone first had to connect to the operator at the store who put the call through. She thinks the camp number was “ring-3.” Many people have favorite recollections of the store and the building. If you’d like to share them, please send your thoughts in an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or jot them down and postal mail to Washington Historical Society, P.O. Box 333, Washington, ME 04574.
Selectmen — what do they do?
Selectmen are elected by their towns to manage the town’s business. They are accountable for the town’s finances, contracting, appointing other officials, and resolving conflicts. Selectmen represent the town in dealings with outside boards and agencies. It’s a lot of responsibility but also a rewarding service to the community. Residents who are interested in running for the open select board seat must file nomination papers in order to have their names on the ballot this March. Nomination papers are available at the town office and require at least 25 (and not more than 50) signatures of registered Washington voters. The deadline for filing nomination papers is Tuesday, Feb. 4 — 45 days before the election. The term for each of the three elected seats is three years. One term expires each year and we vote to fill that seat annually on the Friday before town meeting. This year it’ll be Friday, March 21. Town meeting is the next day.
Weather, safety and cooperative spirit
Our town is well prepared to cope with serious weather events. Washington’s Emergency Management Team, consisting of our fire department, snowmobile club, road crews, select board, other town officials and volunteers participate in community and county training for meeting urgent situations. Still, when there’s a bad storm or other local crisis, each of us can do something for the good of the whole community. One important thing is to check up on your neighbors. Especially, if you or someone you know or worry about, are particularly vulnerable — people who live alone, frail elderly, disabled, or families with young children — establish a brief contact arrangement you so you know they’re OK. This isn’t being nosy. A smart tactic we learned last week is, if you have a cellphone, keep it charged up and take it with you wherever you go. Then, if you need help you can get it.
Warming Center at Gibbs Library
Last month the selectmen met with Tom Johnston, fire chief and EMA director, to discuss storm-related concerns. They announced that there is a local warming center available at Gibbs Library. This is for people without power or, for whatever reason, have no heat in their homes. Those folks can go to there to get warmed up and have a hot beverage. For information about this resource, call 211 or contact the town office.
Free snowmobile weekend
Snowmobilers in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont can visit new trails for free during the annual Reciprocal Snowmobile Weekend, Friday, Jan. 31 through Sunday, Feb. 2. This special weekend allows registered Maine snowmobiles to be operated in New Hampshire and Vermont without being registered in those states and for them to ride in Maine. Maine has 14,000 miles of trails. This is a good time to invite friends and relatives for a visit.
SnowFest coming up soon
Washington’s own Hill & Gully Riders Snowmobile Club will hold its annual SnowFest and Fishing Derby Saturday, Feb. 8. The event begins early when the fish are just waking up (6:30 to 7-ish a.m.) and lasts until mid-afternoon. There’s a cook shack with hot food and beverages available all day, a bonfire for hand and bottom warming, chance to guess ice-out date, and, of course, big fish prize awards. This is a bunch of fun folks enjoying the Maine outdoors in winter. Come check it out if you can.