Retired Game Warden John Ford to speak
John Ford Sr., of Brooks, is having quite a life and he’ll be telling us about it on Thursday, Nov. 15 at 7 p.m. After school, he spent some time in the U.S. Air Force then served 20 years as a Maine game warden. Those years are the inspiration for Ford’s book "Suddenly the Cider Didn’t Taste So Good" and subject of his talk here in Washington. John will speak at a special meeting of the Washington Historical Society at Evening Star Grange Hall at 7 p.m. The event is free although donations are gratefully accepted and everyone is welcome. Light refreshments will be served.
Red Paint People in local lore
A fascinating piece of local ancient history involves the Red Paint People, a nation of people who lived in the coastal areas of New England and Maritime Canada before the European explorers came. A couple of weeks ago, Ann Dean and I attended a presentation by state archivist, Bruce Bourque, whose newest book is "The Swordfish Hunters: The History and Ecology of an Ancient American Sea People." Bourque described findings that suggest the Red Paint People were not hunter-gatherers but deep-sea fishermen. This would make them an unusually bold and audacious group. The whole topic is fascinating and I could go on (and on, and on) but instead I’ll point you to Gibbs Library, which has a copy of this book. Bourque has written several other books about the pre-Columbian times of North America. Of course, you can find out a lot about these people or Dr. Bourque at Google or some other search engine.
Discoveries reveal olden times
At a yard sale in Massachusetts recently, a couple found and bought a business ledger from 1874. Realizing it would surely have historical value, they deduced a location and sent it to the town of Union which then sent it to us here in Washington. Last spring, while perusing the contents of a trunk donated to Hope Historical Society, a copy of Dr. Moses Dakin’s book complete with notes and inscriptions by the author was discovered. This is one of only four known copies in the world and the only one with Dakin’s notations! These kinds of finds are a big deal as historians and local history buffs piece together the world of our past. Washington Historical Society is gradually moving toward acquiring space for storage and display of its many items and documents. This is a long process that requires a lot of time and money, but most of all, the support and encouragement of interested residents is what moves things along. The Washington Historical Society meets regularly and always welcomes visitors. For more information about the WHS you can write to P.O. Box 333 in Washington, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call Charlotte at 845-2661or Wendy at 845-2526.
Confused about charities?
This time of year our mailbox fills with catalogs and earnest letters appealing for money to support a vast array of worthy causes. It’s overwhelming sometimes — they all make a good case for themselves, but supporting them all is impossible. Advisors on money matters often suggest choosing a small number of causes to support — those dearest to your heart — and giving as generously as you can to those few rather than trying to cover them all with smaller sums. A really good source for information about the track record of charitable organizations is charitynavigator.org. Their service is free, although, of course, they will happily accept your donation or membership. We’ve actually found it worthwhile enough to make a donation but it’s really not required. There are more than one million charitable organizations in this country and not every single one is registered with them, but hundreds are, and perusing the pages of Charity Navigator can help. Plus, it’s amazing just to view the list.
Farmers’ market this Saturday
The Washington Grange Farmers’ Market will be open Saturday, Nov. 10 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. inside at Evening Star Grange Hall. This is a chance to support our neighbors who produce un-adulterated healthy and delicious seasonal foods. In addition, hot lunch items and sandwiches will be on sale by Grange members. Plans are being made for a two-Saturday Holiday Market in December — Dec. 8 and 15 — with all the regular vendors plus guests who will bring items by local producers, artists and crafts people. If you’d like to participate in the Holiday Market, please contact Sharon Turner at 845-2140.
Masons’ supper scheduled for Nov. 17
Mt. Olivet Masonic Lodge will hold a roast pork supper on Saturday, Nov. 17 from 5 to 6:30 p.m. at the lodge hall, 44 Liberty Road (Route 220 north). Along with the roast pork, they’ll serve mashed potato, winter vegetables, biscuits, desserts and beverages. The price is $8 for adults and $4 for children.