FARMINGTON — Renowned Historian Paul Mills of Mills & Mills Law Firm, is slated to lead a historical tour of Downtown Farmington at Summer Fest this July.

Mills graduated Magna Cum Laude from Harvard University with a degree in History. He went on to study law, and thus was never a practicing academic historian, but says that history has been a primary avocation of his for many years. He is particularly knowledgeable in the history of Maine and his home town, Farmington.

Professor Richard Mallett was a leading influence and mentor to him, claims Mills. Prof. Mallett wrote several books on local history to which Mills made significant contributions in the 1990’s. (Mallett had earlier in the 1970’s written a history of UMF.)

Mills has written a number of historical articles for the Town Report over the years. One of these was titled, “Farmington’s Musical Greats” in which he wrote about Lillian Nordica, Supply Belcher, Wheeler’s Band, the Old Crow Indian Band, Bob Underwood, our local bagpipe player, and several other, more current, teachers and performers who continue to make Farmington a very musically enthusiastic community.

More than 80 percent of Mills’ colorful life has been spent in the town of Farmington. At one time he was the Vice President of the Historical Society in Farmington. Throughout the years, he has amassed a great collection of memorabilia – posters, photos and documents of times past. In his conference room there are a number of interesting photos and maps displayed on the walls. There is a large detailed map of Farmington as it was in 1861.

Next to the map is a large photo taken in 1931 of 40 civic leaders from different parts of Maine, each one numbered and their names implanted in Mills’ extensive memory bank. He points out the distinct fashion trends of the women in the photo, who were dressed in the current ‘30s styles of brimmed hats worn at an angle, long, sleek dresses, and gloves; while the men’s styles were much as they are today.

Mills now writes a monthly column on Maine history for several publications, and answers the call of “historian” for many community occasions.

The Horse-and-Wagon Historical Tour for Summer Fest

On Saturday, July 25th, Mills will be conducting a historical tour around the downtown area of Farmington, aboard an apt vehicle for the historical theme: a horse and wagon driven by Kenric Charles. The wagon will make several trips around town between 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., starting at the Better Living Center parking lot. Mr. Mills will be available for historical commentary from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Anyone may ride on the wagon at no charge.

The wagon, with its load of children and adults, will be pulled by two Belgian Draft horses, weighing 2,350 pounds each, named Tim and Prince, ages 14 and 8 respectively. According to Mr. Charles, the horses eat six gallons of grain per day and all the fresh hay and water they want.

Mr. Charles uses them in the winter for hauling wood and competes in the horse-pulling events at fairs during the summer. Wagon and sleigh rides are available all year round.

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