So, you think writing a city slogan is easy

As Lewiston-Auburn searches for a new slogan, it is worth noting that the Lewiston Chamber of Commerce was doing exactly the same thing back in February of 1913.

According to our "Looking Back" column, in January of 1913 the process was simple. The Chamber offered a $20 gold coin to "the man, woman or child who shall, before March 10, send to the secretary the 'slogan' that in the opinion of the Chamber best serves the purpose of advertising the city."

The Chamber hoped the magic few words, whenever spoken, would at once remind the hearer of Lewiston and, perhaps, lead that person to develop some commercial enterprise here.

A few days later, the Chamber reported that a few possibilities had been received:

Don't Boast, Boost,

Hub of Maine,

Larger, Livelier Lewiston,

Lewiston For Satisfaction,

Lewiston Leads,

Lift Together for Lewiston,

Live Wire City, and

(our favorite) Humming City, which conjures images of happy people humming songs and whistling while they work.

One hundreds years later, the Androscoggin County Chamber of Commerce and the Lewiston-Auburn Economic Growth Council are, coincidentally, hunting for a new slogan.

The process is considerably more complex these days.

Work started about a year ago when some began to suspect the current slogan, "It's happening here," had grown a wee bit tired. What's more, the same slogan was being used by dozens of communities here and in Canada, all copycats we suspect.

So, the Regional Image Committee was asked to find a replacement. The group started by doing a survey which found, among other things, people here are fairly satisfied with their community.

However, only 6 percent of L-A residents think people in other Maine communities have a good image of the Twin Cities.

L-A has been struggling with this perception problem for decades. As a man from Greene suggested in the survey, "A lot of positive things are happening in L-A, but decades of negativity are a hard pattern to break."

Ain't that the truth.

And that, of course, is why communities go in search of snappy new slogans — to send a different signal about themselves to the world.

The 100-year-old suggestions might seem a little dated today, but the sentiments behind them are as fresh as ever.

We want others to know we are large, lively and important, even central, to economic activity in Maine. We want others to believe we are industrious, that we show leadership and produce a high quality of life for all our residents. And we would love it if they started a big business here paying outrageously high wages.

Coming up with a strong slogan isn't easy. Two organizations. Two cities. Dozens of public and private individuals with their own opinions and agendas.

Right now, the Image Committee is working on a RFP, or request for proposals, to hire a marketing firm to help out.

So, this may take awhile.

While we wait, the Sun Journal is re-creating the century old idea of a slogan contest.

The U.S. Treasury stopped issuing $20 gold coins in 1933, and the prices on Ebay (between about $3,000 and $90,000) are slightly out of our range.

But are offering a $20 bill, delivered within a genuine gold-colored envelope, to the person with the best slogan.

Slogans must be a few words in length, positive, vivid and unforgettable. Email your idea(s) to, call him (207-689-2846) or mail them to Scott Taylor, Sun Journal, 104 Park St., Lewiston, Maine, 04243-4400. Include your name and phone number.

Here's an initial idea, just to prime the old brain pump:

"Best two cities by a dam site!"

Now top that.

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CRYSTAL WARD's picture


L/A-- Building the Future--Remembering the Past

RONALD RIML's picture


It's the 'Norm'

Steve  Dosh's picture

l o l ?  Monday morn in

l o l ?  Monday morn in Hawai'i • 
" Guns & no shirts , no shoes , no service " ?
Jus' brain stormin' with Norman • 
Aloha from Pahoa , /s Steve and ohana
ref :

Michael Hobbs's picture

Lewiston-Auburn "Proud Past,

Lewiston-Auburn "Proud Past, Bright Future"

Regardless L/A (yes, Auburn too) has a bad image around the state, doesn't matter the slogan you come up with. Both cities need to work on the appearance of their city, whether it is Auburn with helping to make the appearance of apartment buildings look better or Lewiston cleaning up the streets of trash (particularly in downtown). They could each use work on trash, appearance of apartments/properties and upgrading/cleaning their parks. Those three things right there will not only make the area look better, but will help encourage people to move to the area as well. The people that should be on the forefront of clean ups within the cities are the elected officials. Instead you have the Mayors of Auburn and Lewiston continually trying to put his name in some shape or form in newspapers and news station. As a Mayor you are put in a position to lead and both are failing to do so, in my opinion. Neither one has much pull to do anything because both cities have strong council and weak mayor type of government, so what else do they have to do? Stop throwing yourselves into the press, continue to cut ribbons and get out in the community and do something productive, such as what I stated above.

Steve  Dosh's picture

" Take the train to Loystone-

" Take the train to Loystone- Auburn the L \ A of the East " ? 
the G T A ref :

RONALD RIML's picture

Lew-ees-ton - Oh, Lew-ees-ton

Doesn't have a Clue-ees-ton......

I forgot who told me that.

Steve  Dosh's picture

Ron, You'll have to verify

Ron, You'll have to verify these for us : 18:00 Tuesday
Short Maine Jokes
Q. What's the difference between a University of Maine sorority sister and a scarecrow?
A. One lives in a field and is stuffed with hay. The other frightens birds and small animals.
Q: Why do University of Maine grads keep their diplomas on their dashboards?
A: So they can park in handicap spaces.
Q: What do you call a good looking girl on the University of Maine campus?
A: A visitor.
. . Sorry , Mainers ,
W A a a A a y off - topic
We love you , Maine girls . We do . Seriously . .U M P G ? Ayuh . 'member it well . .
:) /s, Steve

RONALD RIML's picture

Those were Gurls????

I thought I was back at the Seminary

Jason Theriault's picture

Lewiston Auburn, you very

Lewiston Auburn, you very nice place.

The problem is that we do have a bad image. So any slogan is either going to seem like rah rah BS or will sound depressing. I mean, there needs to be something to brag about....What can you really brag about in LA?

Lewiston Auburn, Good enough for Wal Mart

Ohh, I got one:

LA - Gateway to the Oxford Casino!

The only thing I can think of is youth. Lewiston Auburn is the youngest community in Maine.

"Lewiston/Auburn - Young and growing"

Steve  Dosh's picture

. ..Good enough for wally

. ..Good enough for wally world and other non unionized firms like Hannaford ® ? :)

AL PELLETIER's picture

Too funny Jason

I've got one too: Drive the scenic L-A bypass.
Trying to come up with a Norway-So. Paris slogan is difficult enough, never mind L-A. Also "We're open for business" is a hard act to follow. LOL!
But the "Dam Site" slogan is pretty clever.

Steve  Dosh's picture

AL , 10:10 am ish We kinda

AL , 10:10 am ish
We kinda liked " Keep the Mexican out of Sweden , Denmark & Paris " but keep deCoster in Turner bent •
Shaka Steve in Hawai'i • 

Steve  Dosh's picture

So, you think writing a city slogan is easy ?

Rex , †hursday night 19:40 ?
No one said it was E Z , Scott
Howzabout , " The L\A of the East without the smog , " or , " The L/A on the right coast . Check your guns at the door ." Ya' gotta' say something about the - b e a u t i f u l - Great Falls that do not smell n e more ..
Hmmm . .
" Last stop on the Greyhound ® bus from Atlanta , Georgia " ? No • 
" Last stop for Atlantic salmon ." heh - heh •  i like that one . A river runs through it
" The city that time and the GTA railroad forgot " " L/A : Where English is second language and the street signs are in ƒrench " ? No , no . non . .
Mark ? Gimme some suggestions . . . .
As a member of the LSJ ®  staff you can not enter :)
laegc sounds like phlem or sputum something . .
/s , Steve


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