DEAR SUN SPOTS: I read your column every day and find myself in need of your expertise. I found some old stocks that belonged to my grandfather dated 1944. I searched online and couldn’t find any information. Could you please steer me in the right direction? They are two shares of Capital Stock for Riverside Cemetery Company in Lewiston. Thank you very much for all your help.

— No name, no town

ANSWER: To figure this out on your own, you will need the name of the corporation and the transfer agent which should be on the stock certificates. You need “corporate changes directories.” These are reasonably-priced databases and they could also be at your local library in the reference section. I spoke with a reference librarian at Lewiston Public Library and they are looking to see if they have these records. You can give them a call to follow up at 207-513-3004 or contact your closest library to see what they can do for you.

The resources you’re looking for are The Directory of Obsolete Securities, Robert D. Fisher Manual of Valuable and Worthless Securities, Survey of Predecessor and Defunct Companies, The Financial Post or The Capital Changes Reporter published by Commerce Clearing House. Any one of these reference books is sufficient.

To find the value of the certificates, simply follow the corporation name found on your stock certificate through these directories. This will take only a few hours of your time if you’re lucky. You may have to spend more time tracking the history of the stocks depending on whether the company changed hands, was liquidated, etc. Since you mention that you have searched online, you may want to visit this very informative website: It walks you through all the steps to do your own research.

Readers, if you have ever done this type of research for old stocks and want to give us your advice, now is the time. I also want to take this opportunity to thank all librarians everywhere! They are everyday heroes who oftentimes will stop at nothing to get the answers.

DEAR SUN SPOTS: The Lake Auburn Community Center (LACC) is located at 115 North Auburn Road at the barn originally owned by the Thornes. We would like to raise funds to restore the old barn currently owned by the Lake Auburn Watershed Neighborhood Association. Currently the land around the barn is open for free use. It has access to groomed trails for multi-purpose use. Although some work has been done on the barn, we would like to obtain a grant and/or sponsors to repair the barn so it can be used by the community as well.

LACC is a gem in this area. If anyone has any pictures, stories, or any other information, we would love to have it all. Currently, the only information we have here is mainly from the West Auburn Historical book “Looking Back.” To donate, a check can be made payable to Lake Auburn Watershed Neighborhood Association or simply LAWNA, PO Box 1493, Auburn, ME 04211-1493. Please indicate on check “Donation for LACC.”  For more information, go to or call 207-650-2398. 

— Pam, no town

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 emailed to [email protected]

Lake Auburn Community Center

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