DEAR SUN SPOTS: Excelsior Grange at 446 Harris Hill Road in Poland is sponsoring a takeout supper from 4 to 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 24. Make a reservation by phone at 998-2301 and drive by and pick  up a meal of baked ham, mashed potatoes, butternut squash, cole slaw, rolls and apple crisp. We are asking for a donation of $7 per person. — Claire, Poland

ANSWER: I hope this fundraiser is a success for you. The meal sounds delicious!

DEAR SUN SPOTS: I have a great idea for Halloween that I want to share as I know some parents have concerns about their children going door to door for trick-or-treating during COVID-19. A neighbor of mine is hiding candy around her house and yard, similar to what parents do for an Easter Egg Hunt. That way, children can still enjoy the holiday and stay safe. — No name, no town

ANSWER: I love it. I think this idea would work especially well for little ones on any Halloween and gives parents a bit more say about sugar intake and bedtime. I have a little granddaughter who is frightened by the scarier costumes, too, so this is a good way for her to still take part in the fun and be comfortable.

DEAR SUN SPOTS: As a member of my local historical society, I am often called upon to perform research on historical events. One resource that I use frequently is the Library of Congress historic newspaper database known as “Chronicling America.” This online tool contains an indexed (searchable) database for many historic newspapers dating to the early 17th century, including dozens of Maine newspapers. However, any of the publications associated with the Lewiston-Auburn area, e.g. the Lewiston Daily Sun, are conspicuously absent from the database.

I am aware that some older issues of the Lewiston papers can be found online as a remnant of the now-defunct Google Newspaper project; but these documents are not searchable, and issues prior to 1910 are very sparsely represented.

Can you tell me whether these historic newspapers from the Lewiston area still exist, and whether they are available to the public for research purposes? If so, where can they be found, and how would I go about obtaining access? I suspect these newspapers may have been lost in a fire or other calamity, but I’d like to get an official confirmation on whether or not that’s the case. — Pat, Poland

ANSWER: Executive Editor Judy Meyer answered this question for us. “The Sun Journal has not kept a collection of historic newspapers, but the Lewiston Public Library and Bates College each have a complete set of all Lewiston Daily Sun, Evening Journal and Sun Journal newspapers on microfiche.

“That means they’re not searchable, but if a person knows exactly what they’re looking for and when it occurred, they can access those pages.

I don’t believe Bates College opens access to the public, but the library certainly does.

I hope this helps! I wasn’t aware of the Library of Congress catalog, but you are right. The Google archives are spotty.”

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