Looking Back on December 31

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100 years ago, 1914
The cold wave of last week was not felt so severely here as in the valley settlements as our elevation of nearly 700 feet helped us out greatly, as the air is dryer and not as frosty as in the locations near ponds and rivers. This brings up our normal temperature much higher for the winter than other localities not so favorably situated. S. C. Prince, H. W. Schopper and E. E. Crafts loaded a car of apples Monday for export to Liverpool to go on the steamer Norsemen, sailing from Portland.

50 years ago, 1964
A coin-operated self-service car wash will be constructed at the rear of the Fantastic Fair at the Center Street Shopping Plaza in Auburn. It will be the first car washing plant of its type in this locality and one of the first three to be located in Maine.

25 years ago, 1989
Seven families at Durham were evacuated from their homes Friday as firefighters worked quickly to avert a potentially dangerous propane spill that occurred at a garage on Route 136. No one was injured in the spill, which garage owner John Thurlow discovered while working on a propane delivery truck. Thurlow found that the truck’s pump was leaking after smelling the extremely flammable gas. The volunteer fireman called local authorities at 6:43 p.m., who arrived just in time to see propane vapors rolling across the garage’s floor and moving north to within 75 yards of a nearby store, Durham Variety. After pinpointing the leak, firefighters wet a cloth and wrapped it around the leak, which quickly froze and sealed due to the night’s frigid temperatures. As a precautionary measure, they also used a small water line to create a fog, which under pressure created a vacuum to suck out the remainder of the gas in the garage. The leak, had it gone unnoticed, was big enough to cause a large explosion.

The material in Looking Back is reproduced exactly as it originally appeared, although misspellings and errors made at that time may be edited.

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