100 Years Ago: 1922

A building is being erected on Pioneer Street by the Village Corporation at West Paris for the purpose of housing the fire apparatus and will also have rooms for the Boy Scouts. The building lot was given W.W. Whittin before he moved to South Paris.

50 Years Ago: 1972

Rap Place Inc., Lewiston’s youth-oriented assistance Center, will be holding an open house from 6 to 10 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday. The open house, according to Owen Larrabee, a Rap Place staff member, “is designed to give the general public a better understanding of what Rap Place is trying to do.” The open house will include tours of the facilities at 145 Park St.

25 Years Ago: 1997

Uriah Balkam asked his wife to send him ink, papers and envelopes at the Union Army camp near Petersburg, Va., in February 1864. Balkam also described a horse he had recently bought and said he was thankful to have a mount with “strength and toughness” that would carry him to his next battlefield. He had no way of knowing that his letter would come to light 133 years later, when workers renovating his former home at 32 Frye St., Lewiston would find it and several others which apparently fell behind a second-floor wall sometime after his death in 1874.


“I was opening a wall in a room on the second floor and saw the letters,” said Jerry Lajoie of Sabattus, an employee of Ouellet Associates of Brunswick, which is renovating the house for Bates College. “They were just lying there in a neat stack.”

He also found newspapers dating to 1874 and correspondence between Annie Balkam and George Getchell of Waterville, conducting negotiations for the sale of the house in 1877, three years after the death of her husband.

Lajoie and construction-site supervisor Marcel Cyr tried to read the letters to determine just what they were, but had little success. “We couldn’t read them,” Lajoie said. “The words were pretty faded and the handwriting was very fancy, not like handwriting now.”

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

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