100 Years Ago: 1921

The president, Mrs. William H. Newell and directors of the Lewiston Children’s Home, Upper Main Street, wish to express their thanks thru the Journal columns to all who so generously aided In providing the Home and 80 needy families with a real Christmas. Children who had never had a pair of skates, a doll or sled are now happy in the possession of their hearts’ desires. Warm woolen mittens and stockings protect these children from the zero weather, and they have known what it means to sit down to a Christmas dinner with all the “fixings.” At the Children’s Home there was a well-laden tree and the turkey dinner and all that goes with it was donated by A.L. Sweet of the Lunn and Sweet Co.

50 Years Ago: 1971

ALAS, AN EARLY RETIREMENT! As early as Monday, Christmas trees by the hundreds were stripped of their glitter and colorful lighting in the Twin Cities, and tossed out to the streetsides  to be carried away by the city trash collector. While many keep their trees in place through New Year’s Day, most perhaps do not. There’s one obvious thought: Anyone who could come up with a profitable use for discarded Christmas trees could retire early himself.

25 Years Ago: 1996

The couple hosting an upcoming PBS series has its own roots in this area. Jim Willard and his wife Terry, who is from Greene, will host “Ancestors,” a 10-part national television series starting Jan.12 that focuses on the impact of connecting with ancestors. The Willards’ fascination with genealogy goes back to their college days at the University of Maine when they traced their own family histories. Their interest heightened in the ’70s and ’80s while both were teaching at Leavitt High School. The couple made frequent trips to Quebec and France, where Terry traced her ancestors, and England, where Jim connected with his. In 1986, the couple started a company called PC Ancestry, which sold computer software for genealogists. “It was just sort of a hobby and then it turned into a business,” said Terry. “Basically. we looked at PC Ancestry as our retirement jobs.” The Williards retired from teaching in 1995 after 25 years of teaching, five years earlier than they had originally planned. They hoped to devote more time to their business and writing about genealogy.  Yet fate intervened that summer at a celebration at the New England Historical and Genealogical Society Sesquicentennial  in Boston. “It was perfect timing for us,” she said, “Everything was happening at the same time. It was kind of scary and exciting. Then ‘Ancestors’ became a reality for us. We were very lucky to be chosen to co host the series.”

The material used in Looking Back is produced exactly as it originally appeared although misspellings and errors may be corrected.


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