DEAR SUN SPOTS: Regarding your Feb. 18 column, “1905 gift certificate might still be good.” Please have your reader double-check their gift certificates. L.L. Bean (the store, not the man) did not open until 1912. So, logically, what your reader has in hand is not going to be a gift certificate from 1905, since that was seven years before the famous boot-maker opened their doors in Freeport. Just wanted to point out this fact. Thanks! — Tim McMahon, [email protected]

DEAR SUN SPOTS: I think someone may be pulling your leg. Since L.L. Bean was founded in 1912, it is impossible for someone to have gift certificates from 1905 and 1906. Besides, gift certificates as a merchandising concept were not even invented until the second half of the 20th century. — No Name, Lewiston, via e-mail

DEAR SUN SPOTS: No Name from Lewiston was inquiring about L.L. Bean gift certificates from 1905 and 1906. There must be some error. L.L. Bean did not exist until 1912. — [email protected]

ANSWER: Sun Spots checked the letter from No Name, and she clearly wrote 1905 and 1906. Read on for a possible explanation for the discrepancy.

DEAR SUN SPOTS: I am writing in hopes that you can have the woman who has the old L.L. Bean gift certificates contact me, as I am writing a book about the history of L.L. Bean and his company and would like to be able to include photos of them in my book.

L.L. and his brother Ervin operated the Bean Bros. store at 74 Main St. in Auburn in 1904 and 1905. By 1906 L.L. had gone back to Freeport, and the store, which was located about where Gritty’s is, was then run by Bean brothers Ervin and Otho. It remained open, under different ownership until about 1916.

If she is interested in calling me, I’m at 777-7141. Thank you. — Jim Witherell, Lewiston, [email protected]

DEAR SUN SPOTS: My friend read the letter from the person who has the two L.L. Bean gift certificates. No name in Lewiston can call the L.L. Bean archives department at 552-2909 or 552-2315. I’m sure they would like to add these to their collection. Thank you. — No Name from

DEAR SUN SPOTS: How long has Fran’s restaurant, 786-0667 at 1485 Lisbon St., been there and where was it located before? — No Name, Lewiston, via e-mail

ANSWER: According to Susan, who has owned Fran’s Place for about seven years, Fran started in Auburn where the Tin Tin Restaurant is, then moved to another location on Lisbon Street near the tattoo parlor before moving to the current location about 15 years ago. Susan said you can also follow Fran’s on Facebook.

DEAR SUN SPOTS: I am looking for three of my relatives’ obituaries. I don’t see them on the Google archive site. Can you tell me how I would be able to search these dates for the obituaries: March 22, 1995, Sept. 7, 1991, and Jan. 24, 2000? — Julie, [email protected]

ANSWER: Sun Spots thinks you will have to use library microfiche for those dates. Much of the 1990s pre-dates newspapers being available online, and the Google archive only goes into the 1980s. The Lewiston Public Library has most of years of the Sun Journal. You can contact them by visiting their website,, or by calling 513-3004, to be sure they have the date you require before you visit them at 200 Lisbon St.

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). Please include your phone number. 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 e-mailed to [email protected]

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