Dear Sun Spots: Several years ago there was a newspaper published in Augusta and called the Maine Farmer. A description of this newspaper would be most interesting. Thank you kindly. – H. Jones, Wales.

Sun Spots wonders if perhaps you’re referring to the publication for Maine Farm Bureau members. You can contact editor Martha Black at P.O. Box 132, Columbia Falls, ME 04623, 483-2870 or through e-mail at [email protected]

You can reach the Maine Farm Bureau at 4 Gabriel Drive, Suit 1, Augusta, ME 04330, 622-4111/800-639-2126 or via their Web site at

In addition, there appears to have been a Maine Farmer in existence from 1829 to 1830 in Belfast as well as a reference to a Maine Farmer in Winthrop from 1833 to 1852. Sun Spots located some interesting postings online at that made for some interesting reading and appear to be compiled by David C. Young.

You and other readers might get a kick out of these. Sun Spots sure did. According to the online posting, quoting both the Lewiston Journal and the Maine Farmer dated Nov. 2, 1848 referred to the Buckfield Branch Railroad.

The letting for the grading of this Road took place at Buckfield village on Saturday last. We understand the whole grading has been contracted to be done for $40,000 of something like $3,000 per mile. The citizens of Buckfield were highly rejoiced at the result, and testified their joy by the firing of cannon, and more. We congratulate the citizens of Buckfield upon so auspicious a commencement to their noble undertaking, and although the completion of that road will materially diminish the amount of trade centering to this place, we cannot in our hearts desire anything but a favorable termination to the same.

Another dated July 15, 1847, notes:

Over 20,000 person have asecnded Bunker Hill Monument during the present year. This, at ninepence a head will pay for sweeping the stairs very well.

And lastly, the following from the Boston Journal and the Mainer Farmer (dated Feb. 24, 1848):

Fryeburg: On Tuesday, the 11th of Jan., the mercury in the thermometer fell to forty degrees below zero at Fryeburg, in Maine. A quizzical correspondent of New York Tribune gives some resolutions, which are said to have been recently adopted at a public meeting of the inhabitants of this town ­one of which is, to petition the Legislature that the name of the town may be changed to the more appropriate one of Freezeburg – and another, that whenever the inhabitants of any new township produce evidence that the mercury in that district has risen in the shade as high as one hundred & ten, all the right, title interest and possession of the inhabitants of the present town of Fryeburg to that inappropriate name. shall be transferred and set over to them.

Dear Sun Spots: I thought I had read in your column, a while back, that expiration dates on certificates were no longer valid. Am I correct? I have a bunch of dog food coupons that expired last month and the pet store where we go won’t honor them because of the expiration date.Thank you for your help. – L.St.H, No Town.

Answer: Sun Spots was referring to gift certificates from restaurants and stores. Product coupons, such as your dog food coupons as well as grocery store coupons have dates when they expire.

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