Dear Sun Spots: I do enjoy reading your column so much every day. Now I’d like to request some help.

As a teenager in 1952, I graduated from Livermore Falls High School and went to work in the Priscilla Turner Rug Factory in Turner. We made hand-hooked rugs for the Priscilla Turner Rug Guild.

Recently one of my nephews, who is incidentally an auctioneer, began asking me questions about the factory, and I found I couldn’t answer all of them

This has spurred my curiosity, and I hope you can please find some answers for me. I would be most interested in knowing when it began operation? Who started it? How long was it in existence? I think I do remember that it moved to Lewiston at some point and then went out of business there. Perhaps if Turner has a historical society it might have some information.

You might be interested to know that for Christmas this year, I was presented with a 3-by-5 oval rug that was made there and labels as they all were and signed by the maker. He found it on eBay! Quite a surprise!

Thanks for any and all help. Looking forward to your response. – No Name, Jay.

Answer: Sun Spots checked in with the Turner Museum & Historical Association, P.O. Box 502, Turner, ME 04282, (207) 225-2629 which advised that the company appears to have started sometime in the early 1920s.

According to a brochure from the association, Harvey DeFrost, Muriel Morrell, Merle Morrell, Dr. Wallace Webber and Major George E. Webber owned a grist mill below the dam on the Nezinscott River in Turner Village. DeFrost and Muriel Morrell started getting the mill ready for rug making around Oct. 1922. The company appears to have been first named DeFrost Products Co., later DeFrost Association and finally the Priscilla Turner Rug Company. The downhill slide appears to have begun when several lots of wool yarn were spun with too much oil. It seems the company went out of business after 12 years but others tried to get the business going again.

Sun Spots also checked the archives here at the Sun Journal and has learned that a Lewiston Daily Journal article dated March 15, 1946, noted then President William V. Wallace denied a reported sale of the company. The company planned to open a branch in Auburn while the Turner plant remained in operation.

In addition, a June 28, 1941, article in the Lewiston Daily Sun notes Walter Wallace, a resident of Tientein, China, for 15 years, was to operate the rug guild. Wallace and his wife and daughter came to Lewiston two days prior from California. The article noted that a certificate of incorporation was filed at the registry of deeds in Auburn on June 20 and listed H.L. Cochrane of Hallowell as president and Atwood C. Nelson of Augusta and John E. Wilson of Hallowell, treasurer and clerk, respectively. The corporation manufactured and sold carpets, rugs and similar fabrics.

The Turner Museum & Historical Association is open Tuesdays and Thursdays from noon to 5 p.m. and Saturday’s from 9:30 a.m. to noon. The people there would be happy to help you research this history and would have more details than provided here.

Dear Sun Spots: I was watching the Titanic movie and I was wondering where I would be able to buy the DVD of the movie. How much would it be? Thanks for the help. – No Name, No Town.

Answer: Unfortunately, you didn’t specify the particular movie, or year of release you were seeking. However, Sun Spots located several versions listed online at www.amazon.com. Just search on its Web site for the one you are seeking. They vary in price from $19.99 to $26.99. You may also want to contact your local Blockbuster store, 1035 Lisbon St., Lewiston, (207) 784-8909 or 27 East Ave., Lewiston, (207) 786-0326 or Bull Moose Music, Lewiston Mall Lewiston, (207) 784-6463, for a listing of any they might have.

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 www.sunjournal.com in the Advice section under Opinion on the left-hand corner of your computer screen. In addition, you can e-mail your inquiries to [email protected]


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