Dear Sun Spots: This is replying to L. Smith, Farmington, in the Sept. 25 Sun Spots concerning a stock certificate from Franklin Farmers Cooperative company.

The company you are referring to is most likely the Franklin Farmers’ Co-operative Telephone Co. The stock certificates abbreviate Telephone as Tel. and are otherwise not descriptive of the business they represent.

The company has a fascinating history. It was organized on Jan. 16, 1905, with capital stock of $10,000. Each person subscribing to their service was required to buy one share of stock. Ultimately, they provided telephone service to the Farmington, Kingfield, New Sharon, Phillips, Strong, and Wilton areas. This was at a time when the Bell System did not allow all independent phone companies to connect to Bell’s lines. As a result, Franklin Farmers’ aligned with a number of similar mutual rural phone companies in northwestern Maine and created their own long-distance service through this area. If you look at newspapers from the 1920s or 1930s, you will often see “”both phones”” mentioned in ads. This indicated that the business subscribed to both the Farmer’s system as well as the Bell System company (initially Maine Telephone & Telegraph, then New England Tel. & Tel., now Verizon).

The bylaws of the Farmers’ company required two-thirds of the stockholders to be present in person in order to change the bylaws. When conversion to dial telephones became necessary, 1,600 stockholders were suspected but no list was complete and gathering two-thirds was clearly impossible. Thus. they were unable to make changes to borrow money to convert to dial operation. A meeting was called for April 6, 1953, but by 1954 the company was out of business, the last dual service (“”both phones””) company in Maine. Consequently, the stock certificates have no value other than historical interest. –
Stan DeOrsey, Monmouth.

Dear Sun Spots: I have a piano that I would like to donate to a school music department or nursing home. It is in great shape. The front legs need repair but that is all. It is a beautiful piano by Kimball. Anyone interested may call me at (207) 346-6990, in Mechanic Falls. Please ask for Sheila. – Sheila D., Mechanic Falls.

Dear Sun Spots: I am looking for any information on the name Goodwin that originated in Prince Edward Island, Canada. Such as a William Goodwin whose father was Raymond Goodwin and mother Caroline Mooney. Thanks, (905) 639-9186, or via e-mail at [email protected] – Harold Goodwin, Ontario, Canada.

Dear Sun Spots: Love your column. I know you have published in the past names and numbers of those who do invisible mending. I am now in need of that information and would appreciate a repeat of it.

Also, our church has many unused Sunday School materials. They are small amounts for different grade levels because most are samples or materials from over-ordering. These are mostly David C. Cook and Faithweaver materials. If anyone is interested in having these, they may contact me at (207) 645-3317. – No Name, No Town.

Dear Sun Spots: I have an electric organ, Gulbransen Console, double keyboard, 40 stops, foot pedals and bench to give away. It works great but we just don’t need it. It would be great for a small chapel or theater. A donation to the Auburn Middle School music program would be welcomed. Please move it out of our way ASAP. I can be reached at (207) 784-1356. – Liz Rollins, Auburn.

This column is for you, our readers. It is for your questions and comments. There are only two rules: You must write to the column and sign your name (we won’t use it if you ask us not to). Letters will not be returned or answered by mail, and telephone calls will not be accepted. Your letters will appear as quickly as space allows. Address them to Sun Spots, P.O. Box 4400, Lewiston, ME 04243-4400. Inquiries can also be posted at in the Inform Us section under Press Release.

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.