MONMOUTH — Larry Cyr feeds logs into a wood splitter with cautious concentration.

Being 93 has slowed down the amount of wood Larry Cyr can cut in a day, but his work ethic and strength are amazing. Most days, he can be found in the woods behind his home in Monmouth, like Oct. 14, when he hauled a log from a tree he just felled and cut. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal

The 93-year-old has cut the wood, lugged it out of the lot by the armload and stacked it in the bed of his pickup.

“He is still felling trees on his own woodlot, topping, cutting to stove length, hauling out of the woods to his splitter, stacking to dry, then stacking his winter supply. He handles about seven-plus cords of wood every year,” according to his son, Jim Cyr of Westbrook.

Jim’s twin, John Cyr, lives with their father on Sand Pond in the Tacoma Lakes region.

“He’s a hard worker,” John said. “I don’t know anybody who’s worked as hard as him.”

The elder Cyr bought 1,200 acres about 50 years ago, subdivided it and sold camp lots along the pond. His house is on two lots on a dirt road called Chipmunk Lane.

Before moving to Monmouth, Larry was a potato farmer in Hamlin, on the Canadian border in Aroostook County.

He moved somewhat south because, “I hate winter with a passion,” he said, holding up arthritic hands.

He established a construction business in 1955 and retired five years ago, leaving the two youngest of his four sons to run the business.

To escape the cold, Larry and his late wife spent 35 winters in Florida, where he worked for a seawall company. His sons ran the business back home.

“He was making less money than he was paying his workers here,” John said.

That’s how much Larry hated winters.

He looks fit and content on this warm autumn day, sawdust on his work clothes, squinting into the sun. He takes no pain medications and rarely sees a doctor, John said.

Larry Cyr, 93, of Monmouth, still harvests firewood on his property in the Tacoma Lakes region. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal

He follows no special diet, other than eating lots of cookies. Any kind, “as long as it’s a cookie,” Larry said.

In response to the question of what keeps him going, Larry replied with a wry smile, “My legs.” He added that he can’t just sit back and do nothing. “I’d go nuts.”

When he’s not cutting and hauling wood, he “putters on his tractor and putters on his own vehicle,” John said. He said his father also shovels snow in the winter to clear a path to his plow.

While running his business, Larry served as chief of police in Monmouth and served as a deputy for the Kennebec County Sheriff’s Department. His wife, Rosalie, was the school nurse.

The couple were engaged with the community and were quick to offer help to those in need, John said.

“We had a great big house, a two-family house, and people would stay with us until they got back on their feet,” he said. “Anytime friends came over, he would push food at them.”

His father also loaned heavy equipment to the town, at times.

Now, when he’s not working in the woods or puttering on vehicles, Larry spends time spoiling his dogs, Maggie and Dixie, rescues from Hurricane Katrina.

He watches old westerns, with “The Lone Ranger” being his favorite, and he loves reading the newspaper “funnies” every day.

But mostly, he wants to work.

“I think I’ve got to do it,” he said.


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.