BETHEL — A new book of Bethel history
will be unveiled at 2 p.m. Friday by author Stanley R. Howe at the O’Neil Robinson House on Broad
Street.

Howe, executive director of the Bethel
Historical Society, said his book is the fifth history of the town. It’s 160 pages and has 75
photographs.

“Bethel, Maine: A Brief History,”
uses some never-before published photographs and updates the
changes in the town during the last part of the 20th
century, moving from manufacturing to tourism. He said by 2009, only
one mill and a handful of farms remain.

“I’ve tried to make it as
representative as possible,” Howe said.

The previous history, published in 1991
and written by society Assistant Director Randall Bennett,
emphasizes the changes in the town from the 19th to the
early 20th century.

Howe said The History Press of
Charleston and London approached him to write the book. He devoted
more than three months to researching newspapers, the society’s
newsletter, The Courier, and many other primary sources. Some of the new information will
include who were the first to own a television, a computer, a car
and other firsts.

It also talks about aggressive
subdivision development as well as greater diversity among the
population. The book is also meant to be a quick
history of the town for tourists, or others, who are interested in
learning more about the town.

Besides the Bennett history, others
have been written by Eva Bean, 1959, which focused on East Bethel;
William Lapham, 1891; and a newspaper series written by Dr. Nathanial
True in the 1850s and 1860s.

This is Howe’s second book. He also
wrote a history of the Maine State Grange, and has contributed
numerous articles to other books of history.

The book sells for $21.99 with the
proceeds going to the historical society.

One hundred copies will be available Friday. It will also be available at local bookstores as well as in
some of the large chains, such as Barnes and Noble, and online
through Amazon.

[email protected]

Stan R. Howe, executive director of the Bethel Historical Society, holds his new book, “Bethel, Maine: A Brief History,” as well as three other histories written during the past century. A book-signing is scheduled for Friday at the O’Neil Robinson House in Bethel.


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