100 Years Ago: 1922

The construction of a new cement sidewalk in front of the Auburn YMCA has added considerably to the appearance of Auburn’s new building. The lawn is soon to be graded and placed in good condition.

50 Years Ago: 1972

Warm, humid weather may have been the reason why downtown Lewiston wasn’t more crowded this morning, as artists from all over New England displayed their work on both sides of Lisbon Street from Main to Pine Streets. It was the Androscoggin Valley Art Association’s fourth annual Sidewalk Festival. Displays ranged in variety from pencil sketches, and watercolors, to oils, ranging from the usual to the very unusual.

25 Years Ago: 1997

She says she is one with the land, that it nurtures, heals and feeds her. It offers the same comfort that it did when she was a child in search of solace and self. And, she says she is very much in love with the fact that underfoot lies something that is both food and medicine. It was her youngest daughter’s illness at 12 and eventual asthma that led Corinne Martin to herbal medicine. Numerous hospital trips, coupled with treatments that were leading nowhere, Martin of Bridgton, said, prompted her to purchase her first herb book.

Soon, mother and daughter were  scouring the earth identifying, harvesting and preparing them. “It was positive and empowering for her,” Martin said of her daughter. “This was the first time she could learn about, physically and make decisions for herself. On the outskirts of town, down a seldom traveled road was a forgotten cemetery, is a place Martin calls home. Around and beside her grow wild herbs, not just one of two varieties but 120 medicinal plants within a three-mile radius,” said Martin.

She picks violets during season and bags then for later use or drying. Violets are quite the rage in New York, where the flowers adorn salads and presentational platters. Their flavor: A lightly peppered fresh-from-the-earth taste. And they’re clean, she said, there are no chemicals here. If she’s sick she opens her cupboard, where bottled tinctures and dried flower heads or leaves wait. Tinctures are made by steeping an herb in alcohol, and teas are made by adding herbs to a cup of hot water and straining. Martin also uses salves made with beeswax. The root of the lady-slipper, once used for nervous or anxiety-based disorders and by midwives for first baby deliveries, is now protected from would-be pickers as it is against the law to pick lady slippers.

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

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