Lisbon man marks 100th birthday

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LEWISTON — One hundred years ago, Woodrow Wilson began his second term as president, the United States entered into World War I and the first Pulitzer Prizes were awarded.

Eugene Dackmine was born 100 years ago on Nov. 11, 1917, on Blake Street in Lewiston.

He remembers working at the Bates Mill and riding to town in a horse-drawn wagon.

Eugene Dackmine of Lisbon holds the Boston Post Cane presented by Lisbon Town Manager Diane Barnes on Saturday.  (Twila Lycette photo)

On Saturday, Dackmine celebrated his 100th birthday with friends and family at Marco’s Italian Restaurant in Lewiston.

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Dackmine lives in Lisbon with his partner, Eva Croteau.

He was presented with the Boston Post Cane from Lisbon Town Manager Diane Barnes for being the oldest resident of the town.

For over 100 years, the Boston Post Cane has been awarded to the oldest residents of 700 small New England towns. When that resident dies, the cane is passed on to the next oldest resident while remaining in the town’s possession. It was only awarded to men until 1930, when, amid great controversy, women became eligible to receive it.

Dackmine was also presented with a Legislative Sentiment from the State House in Augusta.

Dackmine, who gave up hunting last year to care for Croteau, said it’s not easy being 100.

“I’ve had my downfalls, but I came out of it. I’ve had a lot of help,” he said.

Dackmine has two children, two stepchildren, three grandchildren, six great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren.

His family looks up to him, and are protective.

“They don’t want me to cut the lawn and I like to cut the lawn,” he said. “They don’t let me use the snowblower and I love that.”

Yet, Dackmine has proven that he is not slowing down.

At 91, Dackmine shot a 750-pound moose, making the front page of a newspaper.

Last week, he passed his driver’s license test.

“They told me I passed with flying colors,” Dackmine said.

And he is committed to making it to 107 to see his great-granddaughter’s high school graduation.

Dackmine is private about his childhood, but also humble.

His mother passed away when he was young and his father abandoned him. He was homeless, but he made it, he said.

He worked for Sears for 27 years as the manager of the hardware department and then became the housing inspector for the city of Lewiston.

Dackmine bought his first car, a Model A Ford convertible, for $7.

“Every Saturday morning I’d look at cars. I only had $7, only made $13 per week,” he said. But he promised the salesman that he would pay him $3 per week and he got his dream car.

Years later, Dackmine has embraced the grandfather role and says he wakes up happy everyday.

“I couldn’t ask for a better grandfather,” Scott Dackmine said.

“He is very nurturing and full of life,” said Stephanie Stetson, his other grandchild. “He is 100 years old and you wouldn’t know it.”

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