Below are some tidbits and shorts from the June 6, 1895, edition of the RANGELEY LAKES newspaper. (Editor’s comments in Italics, otherwise copy has been reprinted just as it appeared in 1895).

In 1895, any news from anywhere else was sought after and newspaper were IT…other than locales that had a telegraph office or that newfangled telephone…

 A single copy of Rangeley Lakes which reached Phillips Wednesday night, was eagerly sought after.

This next item found its origins in the inventive mind of the famous guide, humorist and storyteller par excellence, Ed Grant, to explain the healthful benefits of the fresh air & water and stress-free active life that could be found here in the Rangeleys.

The sage old Rangeley Guide, Ed Grant, enjoys a beverage and cigar as he awaits the next lucky listener fortunate enough to occupy the empty chair beside him.

These Items are Grant-Ed. For years after the first settlement no graveyard was existed in Rangeley, but some of the citizens thought it necessary for the advancement of civilization that land should be set apart for that purpose and it was done. Then came the question of an occupant and the only way it could be arranged was to kill a man to start it. The present healthfulness of Rangeley is emblematical of those days of old, but no more graveyards are wanted. A young miss was asked her age; she replied: “Twelve?” Her mother said: “Why, you are fifteen.” “Yes, I know in reality that is so,” said the miss, “but the three years we lived in Madrid didn’t count.”

Coon cats are ruling at $5 in the local market, at least that’s what Walter Oakes sold one for last week.


Fur of any kind was in high demand as the best solution for staying warm. Other than wool and quilted cotton, fur was it and wearers faced no pressure or harassment by doing so. Raccoon was more plentiful and cheaper and therefore Raccoon coats were not just less expensive, but toasty.

Cycler’s Gossip

Dan Quimby, of Phillips, is regretting the loss of ten miles pedaling. His cyclometer refused to turn properly and when 269 miles should have given way to 270 only the last figure moved, leaving the net total, 260. One of his friends says he’d like to rent that bike and pay so much per mile, according to that cyclometer’s figures. Delicate, and in a place to receive many a hard knock, the cyclometer seems to live a charmed existence and is rarely ever smashed up.

The “wheel” as those large front wheel early bikes where known, were all the rage worldwide…and not easy to ride on the unpaved buggy roads that crisscrossed the landscape. And yet long rides of 20 miles or more a day were undertaken for recreation and even for house calls by the local doctor.  Below it appears that Cyclometer “evidence” was even used to cover the flirtations of courting couples…

The Latest Gossip …A young couple go off for an afternoon’s spin. They were accompanied by no chaperon, as dangerous flirtation and steady wheeling are not supposed to be possible at once. A mile or so out of town the couple found a cool spot by the roadside. The young man hunts up a small boy and hires him to turn the bike wheels round till the cyclometers registered eight or ten miles. In the meantime, the couple sat in the shade, kept an eye on the boy and took things easy. Toward evening they mounted their bikes and traveled leisurely back to town. When the others tell them they look suspiciously fresh after an all-theafternoon’s trip, the couple referred them to the cyclometers and that showed that the bicycles had been run twelve miles each. This worked splendidly till one day the small boy who turned the bike wheels gave it away.

Reminds me of the time my teenage brother paid a friend to bounce a ping pong ball off the table with a paddle to provide the illusion for a mother upstairs that there was an active game going on while he made kissy face with her daughter on the family room couch. Shameful! And here from the same edition a classified you will never see again…


Wanted Loon’s — Egg

I will I pay $2.00 for a Loon’s Egg, if delivered at Maneskootook before June 10th. On finding a nest, leave the other egg, then take me to it. and I will give $2.00 for it. F. S. DICKSON

Maneskootook Island is that large island in the middle of the east end of Rangeley Lake. It first went by that Native American name, then Ram Island and after Dr. Dickson the Loon egg seeker above bought it, Doctor’s Island. It has now reverted back to its original name. Here below another unique classified…

Freedom Notice …. For the sum of five dollars, I have sold my son, Frank P. Philbrick, the remainder of his time. I shall not claim any of his earnings or pay any of his debts after this date. – STEPHEN R. PHILBRICK. Rangeley, Me., May 31, 1895.

(Wow! There is an expectation that has not survived the test of time). And to close…

Them Pesky Bruins!  Alf Whitney of Coplin Plantation killed a calf Friday and left it hanging in his stable. That night a bear came along and carried it into the swamp. Mr. Whitney followed the trail and a few rods from the house found where the bear had torn off the head and eaten it. He has not had time to follow further but will investigate soon.   We live in Bear country and to this writer THAT is cool. Bears are opportunist and their exploits are still newsworthy which is at least one thing that has not changed since the “old days”.  Only now, you learn of them 5 minutes after OR DURING the event on Facebook. Have a great week and be sure to get outside and make some great Rangeley History of your own.

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