100 Years Ago: 1922

Mrs. V. P. DeCoster has hatched 7,000 baby chicks this spring. Of this number she has kept 1,400. The others were sold for day-old chicks. For many years she has specialized in Barred Rocks.

50 Years Ago: 1972

(From a Journal photo) There are no more dull moments in prospect for Cinnamon Spice, pedigree golden retriever, who gave birth Thursday to a litter of eleven (count ’em!) pups, seven female and four male. The pet of Mr. and Mrs Steven Pollard of 37 Loring Ave, Auburn, Spice, for who is a year and a half old, it’s the very first litter. The proud father of the pups is Prince Shawn, owned by Mr. and Mrs. Francis Buchanan of Cleveland Ave., Auburn. According to Pollard, the pups won’t be Maine residents long. The Pollards, along with Spice and the litter, left today for Virginia, where Pollard, a recent graduate of the University of Maine, will work with the US Patent office.

25 Years Ago: 1997

With the finesse of a veteran guide, Chip Morrison of the Androscoggin County Chamber of Commerce led eight citizens hither and yon on a shake-down tour to officially unveil the Lewiston-Auburn Historic Walking Tour. It took two and a half hours to cover six miles and visit 80 historic buildings. The journey began after lunch at Auburn City Hall and wound in and around historic sites including Horace Monroe House (1899), Packard Shoe Factory 1864), Engine House (1879), Androscoggin County Court House (1857) and the YMCA (1922). Viewing the Great Falls from West Pitch Park, Morrison followed a script in a self-guiding tour book to explain the Twin Cities’ early dependence on waterpower from the Androscoggin to power manufacturing — chiefly in textile, cotton and woolen mills. Auburn’s industry derived little electricity from the area’s water power until 1905, he said, when the Libbey-Dingley Dam went into operation at Deer Rips, three miles up-river from the falls. That is when Auburn’s shoe shops came on par with other industries in the area. The tour leader’s words were but lost amid the dust, jack-hammering and confusion of crossing the James B. Longley Bridge (1982), but he said something about the river rising to within two inches of the underpinnings during the Flood of 1987. Auburn Mayor Lee Young walked and chatted with the group of gawkers. She was as familiar with the Lewiston side of the river as Morrison was knowledgeable with Auburn’s points of interest. Their comparisons of historic understanding prompted Morrison to note changes in the tour book. The mayor provided several anecdotes along the way. For instance, she knew a vacant stone chapel on Main Street in front of Central Maine Medical Center would soon be torn down. Before this is done, however, all of the stones around the arched entrance will be reassembled inside another church. The stone chapel was not mentioned in the tour guide. Historic highlights in Lewiston included Peck’s Building (1898), Kora Shrine Temple (1908), Central Maine Medical Center incorporated in 1888, and many elaborate brick and wooden Victorian mansions that have been converted into professional office spaces and housing. The tour meandered through the manicured campus of Bates College (1855), and  past St Mary’s Hospital (1888).

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

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