Town of Upton to celebrate 150 years

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UPTON — The Upton sesquicentennial celebration will be held from 7 a.m. to midnight Saturday, Aug. 21. The town marked the 150th year of existence on Feb. 9.

The incorporation petition, dated Nov. 21, 1859, was signed by Simeon F. Frost, William Abbott, James S. Douglass, M.C. Hamblin, David Brooks, Stephen P Richards, Otis Abbott, Rufus S. Godwin, James Godwin, Horatio Godwin, John H. Douglass, Philip Richardson, Joseph W. Ballard, William H. Swan, Benjamin Bailey, M. Coolidge, Stephen E. Morse, James F. Bragg, Thomas Bragg, Martin W. Eastman, Abel M. Flagg, David C. Brooks, John C. West, Hiram F. West, Samuel Grover and Joseph Chase.

The community will celebrate that anniversary with a daylong lineup of events and activities. Sponsored by the town of Upton, Upton Ladies Aid Society and the newly formed Upton Historical Society, the public is invited and welcome to come for any part of the day’s events.

Contest entries are due at the Ladies Aid Building on Mill Road at 8:30 a.m. that day. The contests are for both adult and child categories and entrants may bake a pie; arrange cut, fresh flowers or naturally dried flowers; or take pictures (must be 8 by 10 inches or smaller and be matted and framed). Any and all entries will be accepted as long as they fit the requirements, including being on time for the judging portion of the contest.

A continental breakfast will be available from 7 to 9 a.m. at the Ladies Aid Building. Parade entries will line up at 9:30 a.m. at the junction of Route 26 and East B Hill Road. The theme is “Life in Upton 150 Years Ago.” No one will be turned away from participating in the parade. Classic Latin-style guitarist and composer Philip Kane, currently living in Rumford, will play two sets of his own original compositions from 11 a.m. to noon in the church and from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. at the schoolhouse on Mill Road.

A spaghetti supper will be served from 4:30 to 6 p.m. in the Ladies Aid Building, followed by a street square dance with caller John Thompson from 6 to 8 p.m. To top the night off, DJ Scott of DJLiquid, with music available from most of the various eras, will set up shop from 8 p.m. to midnight.

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Famed writer, radio show host and storyteller John McDonald will be at the schoolhouse from 3 to 4 p.m. for anyone wishing to hear some of his particular Maine humor. His books include “A Moose and a Lobster walk into a Bar: Tales From Maine” and “Nothin’ But Puffins and Other Silly Observations.”

The Upton Historical Society will sponsor a display in the schoolhouse about Louise Dickinson Rich and the Forest Lodge, where she wrote many of her books. The display was put together by Aldro French, who currently owns the lodge and surrounding land and buildings. He has preserved the buildings and the things left by Rich in her home, including her typewriter and desk.

Other activities will include a horseshoe contest at Charlie Felt and Carol Norman’s place on Barnett Road and a skillet throwing contest from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. Signs will be posted with locations and times.

Activities for all ages in the area surrounding the Upper Mill Road and Route 26 intersection will include booths with a variety of arts and crafts and other items for sale, children’s games and activities, barbecue meats and sides and ice cold drinks for sale. Inside the Ladies Aid Building, raffle tickets for handmade quilts will be for sale, there will be a weaving demonstration by Adele Harvey and homemade ice cream and baked goods will be for sale. Inside the church, quilts made by a nearby quilt makers club will be displayed and there will be a demonstration of wool yarn spinning on a spinning wheel as it was done 150 years ago.

Bingo will be played from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. inside the schoolhouse. Open houses will be held from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. at the Upton House, formerly known as the Douglass House, and also at the Rector’s House on East B Hill, which is the oldest continuously occupied homestead in Upton. The library, which was once Silas Peaslee’s office, will also be open and will have a book sale.

For more information, contact Deborah Judkins at 533-2331 or e-mail djsweet@megalink.net.

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