LEWISTON – The Lewiston-Auburn Rotary Club, in collaboration with other Maine clubs and several area businesses, is honoring Hiram E. Shorey, formerly of Litchfield, by helping to construct the Hiram E. Shorey Family History Center on the first floor of the Litchfield Town Office. The Lewiston-Auburn club is also funding the installation of a bronze plaque at the Town Office commemorating the event and recognizing the participating clubs.

Shorey, a tailor, met in Chicago, Ill., in 1905 with Paul P. Harris, Sylvester Schiele and Gus Loehr and chartered the world’s first Rotary Club. Although Shorey’s service to the club was short-lived, the organization grew under the leadership of Paul Harris to become the largest service club organization in the world, with more than 36,600 clubs in 166 countries and membership of more than 1.2 million members.

Shorey’s family home on the Plains Road in Litchfield still stands and today is home to the Black Crow Bakery. Shorey’s remains are interred in the Litchfield Plains Cemetery where his monument bears the etching “One of the four founders or Rotary Club Feb. 1905, First Sec.”

Construction of the history center is headed by Dan Mooers, a Rotarian from South Portland and a former district governor, with volunteer labor from the Lewiston-Auburn club and others throughout the region. Rotarians George Rice of Oxford Hills and Lee Hansen of Wells provide construction supervision.

Cost of the project is estimated between $50,000 and $75,000 and is intended as a gift to the town of Litchfield. The center will house town records and provide a place for residents and others to do historical research about the town and their personal roots.

Glenn E. Estess Sr., centennial president of Rotary International, will dedicate the center in ceremonies on July 23 and 24 and will conduct a memorial service at the cemetery. A gathering of Rotarians and families at the Litchfield Fairgrounds for a Family Day will conclude the activities. The project and related events is part of the worldwide celebrations for Rotary International’s 100th anniversary.

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