MINOT – The speaker at the June 8 Minot Historical Society meeting was Paul Frederic, professor of geography at the University of Maine at Farmington. He spoke on the corn canning shops of northern New England.

Frederic’s interest in the corn shops began at a young age in Starks where he grew up next door to a shop started by his grandfather. His first 4-H project was raising a quarter acre of sweet corn. At one time, there were 120 corn canning shops in northern New England, he said. Frederic took a sabbatical in 2000 and devoted this time to study and interview people who worked or knew about corn shops. He then wrote a book, “Canning Gold,” which chronicles the sweet corn industry from 1860 to 1960.

Frederic showed slides of the existing corn shop buildings. He also showed handmade tin cans, which were made by tinsmiths. He spoke of the Maine climactic conditions which grew some of the best sweet corn in the United States.

In other business, work has been continuing on the William Ladd Homestead site. Frank and Donna Berry donated a string trimmer to the society. A trimmer with a brush blade is being purchased by the society. Jim Pittman, who was born and brought up in Minot, has offered the use of equipment when the group is ready for it.

The next meeting of the Minot Historical Society will be held at the Auburn Land Lab on Tuesday, July 13. Everyone is welcome to meet at 1:30 p.m. for a tour. Refreshments will be served.


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