100 years ago, 1915
In the naturalists’ history of Lewiston and Auburn, Saturday long will be a red-letter day. The phenomenon, altho observed by few people, was strange enough to arouse the utmost curiosity and no small excitement. The first observer was Mrs. Emilie Brewster Coates, who, from her home on the river bank not far south of Riverside cemetery, noticed birds of unusual size hovering over the river, and in the water a peculiar disturbance. She soon saw that scores of fish or animals were swimming up river, their heads just out of the water. Then, as the procession came nearer, with her powerful bird-glasses she could detect the brown bodies of muskrats. They were about 20 foot from the Lewiston shore and swimming as rapidly as possible against the rather swift spring current. “I am sure there were at least a hundred—perhaps hundreds,” said Mrs. Coates. “Over 20 minutes were consumed in passing this point on the river. They disappeared up river and out of sight at Boxers’ island.” The animals were followed by two very large eagles, and by two smaller birds, probably ospreys, and by two sea-gulls. These birds plainly were seeking their morning meal out of the river.

50 years ago, 1965
Zippy the Chimp of television and movie fame will be one of the major attractions when the annual Shrine Circus opens Friday, April 23, for two days at Lewiston Memorial Armory The trained chimp has appeared on many network TV shows, including Ed Sullivan, Jack Paar, Garry Moore, Steve Allen, the Howdy Doody Show, the Captain Kangaroo Show, and with Paul Winchell and Jerry Mahoney.

25 years ago, 1990
Deshaies Market at Jay closed its doors on April 3 after doing business in the area since the early 1900s. Owner Bill Deshaies said one of the reasons for closing is due to bigger stores in the area. He said the strike at International Paper Co. also had some effect on his business. “This has always been a family oriented business. This store was started in 1908 by my grandfather, Alphonse Deshaies. Prior to that, he had a small store on Bridge Street in Livermore Falls.”

The material in Looking Back is reproduced exactly as it originally appeared, although misspellings and errors made at that time may be edited.

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