What follows are some interesting bits and pieces from the August 27, 1896 edition of the RANGELY LAKES.  The edition was packed with the news of the week, helpful information, anecdotes, ads for every manner of useful household, agricultural or sporting product and shared some tasty looking recipes as well. I especially enjoyed the kudos given to the early Rangeley Fire Department and remain grateful for all those that serve in that proud department today. We are so fortunate to have such a modern, well-run and dedicated department still protecting or families and property today. Enjoy what follows from a simpler time and be sure to make some great Rangeley history of your own.

No Antiques in Rangeley

The craze for antique furniture has never reached Rangeley, and it never can; its settlement is too recent, and its first settlers were not too well off in this world’s goods. The fortunes many of them have made, came by hard labor. Old Squire Rangeley brought but little nice furniture with him and that has been scattered, the only articles known to have belonged to him are a pair of handsome brass andirons, now the property of Mrs. N. TJ. Hinkley of Phillips. Relic hunters, for the antique find very little of interest in this locality.

Mrs. Sarah Soule, whose husband was a direct descendent, as well as a namesake of one who came over in the Mayflower, has one of a pair of large pitchers, with Masonic designs, that came over with the original George Soule. It is in a fine state and is prized very highly by Mrs. Soule. She also has a few articles that were given to her grandparents by Gen. Washington after the revolutionary war, her grandfather having been a soldier and her grandmother a nurse, both being very intimate with the Commander-in-chief.

The Steamer Irene

In our last week’s issue, we had only time to make the briefest mention of the fact that the steamer Irene had been burned.

Thursday morning, at about 3 o’clock, Mrs. James Smith, who, with her son, occupies rooms over the latter’s photographic studio, a few rods from the wharf, discovered the steamer Irene to be on fire.

The alarm was quickly given and in a very short time the hand tub was sending a good stream into the blazing boat and the fire was soon under control.

When first discovered the pilothouse was in flames and it is supposed that the fire caught about the boiler and worked up through the partitions.

The loss is difficult to estimate and will be left for the insurance men. The upper part of the boat is ruined. Below the lower dock the fire seems to have done but little damage. The boiler looks all right and the engine may not be a total loss.

There was a $3000 insurance on the boat.

What will be done by Mr. Nile cannot be told till after the insurance is adjusted. The boat will be rebuilt but probably not for use this season. The hand tub saved more in value, twice over, than the cost. All honor to the engine and her “willing workers.”


The sudden death of George D. Wilbur at Rangeley on Thursday morning last was a great shock to the entire community. At about 2 o’clock in the morning the cry of fire rang out through the quiet village of Rangeley. It was discovered that the steamer Irene was on fire. Mr. Wilbur hastened to the scene and with others was working to extinguish the flames when he fell to the ground and expired almost immediately. For some years he had been subject to heart trouble which he undoubtedly inherited from his father Nathaniel, a well-known citizen of Phillips, who also dropped dead five years ago. Mr. Wilbur was born in Madrid, Oct. 22d, 1860.

He was one of eight children, six boys and two girls, four of whom are still living, namely, two brothers who reside in Pennsylvania, one in New Hampshire, and a sister Mrs. John Batchelder of Phillips. In 1S89 July 3d he was happily married to Miss Addie Gile of Rangeley, where for the last five years they have resided. To Mrs. Wilbur the sympathy of the whole community is extended in her great sorrow. For more than six years Mr. Wilbur had been in the employ of the Phillips & Range- ley railroad and was regarded by the company as one of the most competent and reliable engineers.

Destroying Woodchucks

The Maine Farmer of last week gives an item on the above subject taken from the Rural New Yorker. It consisted of enlarging the mouth of the hole and building a small fire and then putting on brimstone and covering up. A simpler and fully as effective way is to take a small quantity of powder, blasting as good as any, place in a paper bag, put in the end of a piece of fuse four feet long, tie the mouth of the bag tightly about the fuse and with the same string tie a stick to the fuse of about the same length; push the bag into the hole and bank it up, leaving the end of the fuse just outside. Touch fire to it and you will have no more trouble from that nest of woodchucks.

The First Mistake of the Sporting Season

Charles Potter, a guide was accidently shot and killed about 6 p. m. last Saturday, by Charles Theodore Russell, of Belmont, Mass.

The shooting was two miles north of Grindstone station on the Bangor & Aroostook Railroad. Mr. Potter had just pitched the tent and stepped into the woods to get boughs for a bed. Young Russell heard a noise and saw an object moving, which his vivid imagination transformed into a bear, he seized his rifle and fired.

Russell is only 16 years old; Potter was 50 and one of the best guides in the section.

It was Russell’s first trip into the woods It should be his last.

TREED BY A MOOSE The Exciting Adventure of a Boy While After the Cows.

Jack Clark, a 14-years-old boy, went out after the cows last Saturday night, as was his custom, and the animals being at the further end of the pasture it was almost dark before he got to them; be started them home with some speed but one of them lagged in the shadows under the trees. Jack threw a rock at the supposed cow and got a very large surprise in return.

He heard the rock strike the animal with a hollow thump on its ribs and expected to see the cow come out from under the tree on a swinging run. Instead a big bull moose bounded out into the opening and made for the youngster with strides that Would put the seven-league boots away out behind the distance flag in a race.

Jack sized up the animal at first sight and made for the nearest tree and slid up the side with small delay. The moose was close at the boy’s heels when he climbed up into the lower branches and he snorted around the foot of the trunk in a way that made the boy shiver and grab the limbs closer. After about an hour the big brute remembered an engagement which he had over in Oxford county that evening, and he went off in rod-long jumps in that direction, and Jack got home safety.

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.