NORWAY — Monday brought a sunny, blue-sky day, the perfect welcome for hoards of travelers from across the country and beyond who filled Maine roads north and eastward to view the total solar eclipse. The most recent total eclipse in May occurred 61 years ago and the next one will not happen for another 55.

The Russell family of Minot swung by Roberts Farm Preserve to take in the eclipse. From left: Nickie, little Archer, Josh, Jensen and Anya. Nicole Carter / Advertiser Democrat

The favored path curved from Jackman to Presque Isle, but with a projected 98% totality, the viewing around Oxford Hills was not too shabby.

A few enthusiasts, mostly locals, gathered at the Roberts Farm Preserve to take in the spectacle.

Using household items like paper, tin foil, cardboard, duct tape and even a miter saw stand, people used DIY engineering to safely view the eclipse.

One onlooker brought a pinhole viewer she made at a workshop last week presented by Norway’s Parks and Recreation Department. Using materials provided by the town, she fashioned a conveniently-sized shipping box viewer that she was able to use from different vantage points.

A last minute eclipse planner, Tim Hutchinson of Norway, looked around his shop Monday morning and designed his own viewer. His contraption was decidedly heavier and less mobile than what most people carried, but it was no problem to transport it in the back of his pick-up truck.


“What you’re looking at here is a pinhole camera,” he said. “The light filters through this little hole in tin foil, and the eclipse shows on this sheet of paper. You can see it happening already.

“Normally it [the sun] would show [on paper] as a perfectly round orb, but you can see as it gets obscured. I’d say we’re about a quarter of the way into it.”

Norway resident Tim Hutchinson devised this stationary pinhole camera to view the eclipse so he could time stamp its progress. Nicole Carter / Advertiser Democrat

In addition to paper, foil and tape, Hutchinson used a miter saw base, hand clamps and scrap lumber to build a free standing pinhole camera that he could pivot as the eclipse occurred. Its stationery positioning enabled him to time stamp pictures with his smart phone, creating a photo journal in real time as it happened.

Kumar Keshaban and Cathy McLaughlin of South Paris and Medford, Mass. take in Monday’s solar eclipse at the Roberts Farm Preserve in Norway. Nicole Carter / Advertiser Democrat

Cathy McLaughlin and Kumar Keshaban of South Paris and Medford, Mass. came equipped with their eclipse glasses. The couple had driven up to Maine with a plan to head for Sugarloaf Monday morning to see the eclipse on its path of totality. However, not wishing to become part of a slow moving traffic jam to and from Kingfield, they settled for a shorter drive to the Roberts Farm Preserve.

Although Western Foothills Land Trust had promoted a watch gathering at Roberts Farm, following the heavy snow fall last week a sign was posted at the warming hut asking people to avoid the trails if possible and view the eclipse from other land trust locations like Hawk Mountain or Shepard’s Farm Preserve. Some locals ventured up to Paris or Pike’s hills to watch from roadsides.

Many people spent months planning their eclipse adventure, and most of them also logged hours in vehicles for an event that lasted minutes. Now that the eclipse of 2024 has come and gone, you might wonder what to do with your eclipse glasses.

The City University of New York Queens College has one solution. The Office of Student Development and Leadership has issued a call to upcycle eclipse glasses for the next one, which will cross Chile and Argentina on Oct. 2. Gather leftover glasses and ship them to Eclipse Glasses USA, LLC, PO Box 50571, Provo, UT 84605, by August 1. The equipment will be forwarded to the group’s counterparts in South America and redistributed there.

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.