DEAR SUN SPOTS: When I read the Mar. 25 Sun Spots from Joe about the brickyard, I wanted to share some facts. The brickyard was off Libby Avenue which is in the general vicinity of Bearce St. I always appreciate any efforts to not let our history die! I can only surmise that Libby Ave. derives its name from Horace Libby’s brickyard operation. — David, no town

ANSWER: Below is the content of the two emails that David attached. I wasn’t able to print the photos as they are too small. However, I really appreciate David’s efforts to share this information.

Feb. 10, 2004

Subject: Horace Libby Lewiston Brick Maker – Turn of the century

Mr. Gudas, my story is a long tale but I will keep it short. In California visiting my in-laws several years ago, I came across a box that contained old photos and letters from Maine. Being an old Mainer, I was intrigued by the content. As I sorted out the photos and letters it became clear that these were from one man in Maine, Horace Libby, a turn of the century brick maker. His kiln was located by the RR tracks off Libby Road. (We discovered it a few years ago and also tracked down where Horace was buried along with his family in Riverside Cemetery. We have since moved back to Maine and reside in Kennebunk.)

The photos and letters he mailed to his cousin in Gridley, California are extensive and cover Lewiston and Horace’s hometown of Litchfield, Maine.

I can scan some of the photos and letters to you if you are interested. The Libby’s must have been fairly prominent in the community at the time. Not only was Libby Road named after him, but up the street, his wife (the former Amanda Pettengill) has a street named after her family.

I am especially excited as I have been looking for someone like yourself that may have an outlet for these photos and letters…Here is a sample attachment.

top photo-Horace standing on his last kiln of bricks before retirement. Notice the train racing behind him!

middle photo-Horace took this photo around 1908 with obviously no death date for him.

bottom photo-A few years ago we visited Lewiston to see if we could find the Libby family plot. We discovered Horace died on Apr. 17, 1924. The spooky thing was it was the first cemetery we looked at and we just walked up to the stone as if guided to the site. Anyway let me know if any of this interests you.

Another e-mail from Bruce was received 2/11/2004: Scan 1: Here is the Kiln of brick. This was off Libby Road just north of Riverside Cemetery. Notice the train running past behind them.

Scan 2: These guys had some serious brick going. Notice the two men in the foreground.

I’ll be out of town for a week but stay in touch.

The interesting story to this whole thing is that I was in the right place at the right time to be from Maine, living in Oregon, visiting in California, and coming across this random box and catching these photos and letters from a Maine man to his cousin in Gridley, CA. After sitting nearly century in obscurity in California, the photos and letters are back in Maine.

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