DEAR SUN SPOTS: Regarding the spring on Townsend Brook Road (April 3 Sun Spots), it is still damp on the ground where the spring was. There is also some of the foundation of the old hotel that was there between the path and the lake. There was a boat that would take people across the lake to the hotel. The boat went from East Auburn and was very popular in the day.

You are amazing to us all!

— Barbara, Turner

ANSWER: Thank you for this information, Barbara! In the previous column, Dave had asked about Whitman Spring Road in Auburn. Hopefully, this answers his question!

I don’t really feel that I am amazing. I just really like my job that includes researching, writing, and getting to talk to and write about so many different kinds of people and so many subjects. I really am just learning along with the rest of you! My readers are just the best. How I love Sun Spots Land!

DEAR SUN SPOTS: I read your column every day and I don’t recall ever seeing this subject covered. My granddaughter wants a pet turtle and the local pet stores either don’t carry them or charge over $150 for them. Searching online the affordable ones cost $30 and up for shipping for a $20 turtle. I was hoping you may have somebody local in your magical Rolodex who has turtles for sale at a reasonable price.

Thank you for the service that you provide.

— No name, Poland

ANSWER: I wasn’t able to find anyone in Maine who sells turtles so once again, I’m asking for help from my readers.

The best varieties for beginners are male painted turtles, and U.S. mud and musk turtles. Turtles require more maintenance and space than people realize, and they can live for decades so your granddaughter really needs to be ready to make the commitment. You also need to be aware that turtles may carry bacteria such as salmonella.

When we were kids we had the little bitty ones that we bought with our allowance at the local five and dime store. The poor things never lasted long. We also lived near a creek and often had “pet” snapping turtles that appeared in our yard and we would coax them back into the creek by prodding them along (gently) with a stick.

Do you know about Lewiston’s Mr. Drew ( He may be able to help answer your questions and guide you as you search for a pet for your granddaughter. His contact information is [email protected] and 576-1034.

Be sure to check out the summary of laws regarding turtles in Maine at For example, red-eared sliders, which are available for sale on the internet, are illegal to own in our state.

I have to say one more thing … I’m not a fan of holding turtles in captivity. I wonder if your granddaughter would consider finding a way to “adopt” a turtle somehow, perhaps by observing and caring for a local habitat where turtles are living in the wild and she can watch them, but not own them. I don’t want to throw a wet blanket on things, but in good conscience, I really wanted to suggest this to you.

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].


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