AUBURN — Planning for the city’s 150th anniversary in 2019 has begun, with Mayor Jason Levesque leading the way.

Since his inaugural address in December, Levesque has been focused on making the anniversary celebration special.

A sesquicentennial committee, led by former Mayor Jonathan LaBonte, held its first public meeting Jan. 31, and Levesque recently spruced up his office at Auburn Hall with historical pieces from the Androscoggin Historical Society. 

A city news release this week said Levesque has “given direction and helped facilitate a makeover of his work space on the second floor that will honor Auburn’s past and celebrate its future through collaboration with private business and community groups.”

The historically significant pieces arrived last week after local historians David Chittim, a member of the historical society board, and Douglas Hodgkin, the society’s treasurer, selected pieces to loan to the mayor.

“I am honored to display these important pieces of Auburn’s history,” Levesque said. “As we ramp up our efforts to celebrate Auburn’s 150th year as a city, I am grateful for our partnership with the Androscoggin Historical Society and for their wealth of knowledge and artifacts.”

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The items include framed antique postcards, old maps and artifacts from Auburn’s shoe-manufacturing era. One photo shows Levesque holding a container of lard. 

LaBonte said this week that “lots of great ideas and positive energy” came out of the two meetings he’s held so far to begin planning the celebration. (The other was with city staff.) 

As the newly formed committee spends 2018 planning for next year’s celebration, the city is encouraging residents to visit the Androscoggin Historical Society at 2 Turner St., on the third floor of the county building. It is open Wednesdays and Thursdays from 1 to 4:30 p.m. and Fridays from 1 to 4 p.m.

Mayor Jason Levesque, left, and local historians Douglas Hodgkin and David Chittim look at historical items in the mayor’s office last week. (City of Auburn photo)

Local historian David Chittim, left, Mayor Jason Levesque and local historian Douglas Hodgkin present items that will be on loan from the Androscoggin Historical Society and displayed at the mayor’s office at Auburn Hall. (City of Auburn photo)


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