DEAR SUN SPOTS: Where can I rent a rug shampooer in the Lewiston area? I can’t afford a professional service. — Colette, Lewiston

ANSWER: According to my Rolodex, you can rent a Bissell shampooer for $29.99 for 24 hours, or for $39.99 for 48 hours at these locations:

  • Lowe’s, 650 Turner St., Auburn, 207-514-2300.
  • Aubuchon, 572 Lisbon St., Lisbon, 207-353-6912.
  • Stevens Hardware and Rent, 186 Sabattus Road, Sabattus, 207-375-6253.

Types of machines vary by location, so you might want to call ahead.

DEAR SUN SPOTS: My family always climbs that hill by Bates College, but we always fight about its name. I say it’s Davis Mountain. My husband says it’s Mount David. My brother-in-law says its Bates Bulge. Can you help us out, Ms. Sun Spots? — No name, Greene

ANSWER: I would love to help. Alas, your husband is correct. The tall granite outcropping on the edge of the Bates College campus is called Mount David. The wooded hill is on private property but is open to the public and pets are allowed. The 0.2-mile round trip is listed as moderate difficulty by Ms. Sun Spots enjoys the scenic views of Lewiston and the surrounding countryside from the hilltop.

DEAR SUN SPOTS: I hunt with my son and uncle. We were talking about the upcoming deer season and he told me they used to hunt carrier pigeons in Lewiston. Is that true? Are there any still around? Are they worth eating? — Bucky, No town

ANSWER: Actually, not carrier pigeons. According to the Maine State Museum website, Mainers and hunters around the country shot so many passenger pigeons to sell for food in the 19th century that the birds became extinct in the wild. A pigeon-shooting tournament was held in Lewiston in 1878, when 800 birds were shot over two days. According to lore, the last wild passenger pigeon was shot from the sky in 1904 in Bar Harbor. I’m sorry to report that we’ll never know whether they were worth eating, though they apparently were a popular meal savored by many. Sun Journal reporter Steve Collins wrote a comprehensive story about these pigeons in August 2020.

DEAR SUN SPOTS: I like to study the seals of Maine towns. Do you know what building is depicted in the Farmington town seal and why it was used in the seal? — No name, Eustis

ANSWER: The building on the seal is the Franklin County Courthouse, built in 1885 and designed by George M. Coombs, with an addition in 1917 by Coombs’ son, Harry. It is considered a “sophisticated” design. The building, the county’s first purpose-built courthouse, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1983.

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 will not 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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