100 Years Ago: 1922

Wassee Cottage named from Lake Pennesseewassee, on the shore of Norway’s beautiful lake, is one of the most popular places along the road, and has now proved a lucky selection. The cottage is a modern tea room, containing three rooms, a kitchenette 7×10, equipped with conveniences for quick service, the store 10×15, where soft drinks, ice cream are served, and has a telephone connection.

The sanitary conditions are well nigh perfect, as all refuse is burned and two chemical closets in secluded spots are on the height of the land across the road. The proprietors of this attraction are Mr. and Mrs. Frank J. McCarthy, and Mrs. Annie Sampson. The latter is a noted cook and does all the cooking for the cottage.

50 Years Ago: 1972

Merton Rowe, of West Minot, proudly displays his prized Pond Lily Cactus which has over 80 blossoms He has had the plant for approximately 15 years but has developed blossoms only in the past three years. This year it is the most abundant. Rowe feels he has found the success formula for his plant productivity; crushed shells and African Violet plant food and — tender, loving care. To the delight of Rowe, he has had numerous callers come to see the plant. He resides with his granddaughter and family, Mr. and Mrs. Paul Lodge at West Minot. Although he will be 90 years of age in the fall, he works out daily on his stationary bicycle exerciser

25 Years Ago: 1997


The hour had arrived Sunday for the hometown favorite to take their place on the stage during the last day of the Festival de Jois.

The C’est Si Bon (it’s so good) Orchestra, led by Ray Chouinard didn’t disappoint.

Speaking in French, Chouinard directed the audience on how to do the de la danse Poule, (the Chicken Reel) a sort of new twist of his (Duck Dance.) As the band played a bouncy farm sounding jig Chouinard stood on the stage waiting for the right moment to wave his folded arms and cluck like a chicken.

Then he pointed at the audience. That was their cue to do the same. They did it while smiling and laughing.

Chouinard laughed back over the clucking, pleased with how his new dance went over.  “They did very good,” he said. “I was surprised.”

That was followed by a spooning contest. A dozen women sat facing the crowd and played the spoons, followed by a dozen men. Even though the men sounded louder, Chouinard secured his popularity with the ladies by declaring them the winners.

Moments later C’est Si Bon fiddler, Don LeBlanc jumped down from the stage onto the dance floor, wearing a train conductors’ hat, complete with a red flashing light on the back. A lively jig began, and the crowd knew what to do: They jumped behind LeBlanc and the persons behind him, forming a human chain. Before long the dance line doubled, then tripled. The mayor was dancing, as was festival celebrity Lionel “Pepsi” Bergeron. All the while Chouinard stood on the stage showing the dancers how to pull an imaginary train whistle in the air.

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

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