The Bethel Journals

Bethel Maine History

January 13, 2019








2018 Highlights of Bethel Journals Weekly News


 Bethel Beverage is the newest business at 284 Mayville Road. It is owned by Brent and Jessica Bardone who also own the adjoining business, Pine Tree Glass Art. The new business focuses on craft beer and wine.



The newly opened Bethel House of Pizza is operated by Charlie and Beth. They have a very extensive menu of choices which is on line.

At the Veterans Park the perimeter fence was extended, a Duty, Honor, Country obelisk erected and five new flag poles display flags of the five armed services 

The Little Red Hen opened on the Parkway, the Farmers Market opened for the season with 13 vendors , At Gould announcement made that Christopher Gorycki who has served as Interim Head of School at Cambridge Friends School in Cambridge, Mass., will take over at Gould on July 1 as the academy’s Interim Head of School.



Sunday River Gems new sign reads “Its now legal to get stoned”. Saturday morning the Bethel Garden Group were busily at work with new plants for the garden triangle were Main, Church and Broad Streets come together.  Gould’s  commencement speaker this year, Mr. David Barstow, winner of three Pulitzer prizes, presented the best message to the audience of graduates, parents and friends that have ever heard. One of his comments to grads is that you can learn from many sources. You can learn from Charles Dickens and you can also learn from Vince Lombardi. 
















203 voters attended Bethel's Town Meeting Wed. night . Bethel Community Forest and the subject of “pot” stores seemingly were the big attractions. In 2013, 188 voters attended; this was the year of the No vote for a dog park and Yes for a basketball courts; in 2014, it was 70; 2015, 72; 2016, 68; 2017, 108. Voting on article Ordinance Establishing a Moratorium on Registered Caregiver Retail Stores required paper ballot vote — result --86 yes; 83 no. BETHEL COMMUNITY FOREST: The Town Meeting approved authorizing the Board of Select-men to accept executor interest in the Bethel Community Forest property which is to be acquired by Mahoosuc Pathways, Inc.

On Summer Street Peter Southam is restoring and will remodel the home and barn that have a special place in Bethel history having once been the property of Fritz Tyler, then his daughter, Esther Tyler and for many years later, John Harrington. Mr. Southam said that he plans to create two apartments within the barn building and will restore the house with a number of improvements.



Gordon Research Conferences are in their fifth year of summer meetings at the Summit Hotel in Sunday River.  Conferences cover a range of research topics in the fields of chemistry, biology, physics and general technology fields.  Starting with seminars in 1931, conferences developed from them in a wide range of technical fields.

Citizen’s new reporter is Sam Wheeler –will be the principal reporter and Alison Aloisio be the part time reporter.  Coming from Locke Mills, Mr. Wheeler is, therefore, familiar with the area.

At the Bethel Rotary Auction:  The item that received the largest bid was a pair of lift tickets for Sunday River.  They went for $95.00. 

 Bethel Citizen staff held a retirement party in the Bethel town office meeting room for retiring Editor Alison Aloisio. Mrs. Aloisio first started reporting at the Citizen in February 1995. .  Randy Bennett presented Alison with an Honorary Membership in the Bethel Historical Society

 Frenchman’s Hole on the Bull Branch— It was pleasing to see that the pool area has survived human visiting – no litter, the picnic areas were in good shape and only three small parties of people were making what seemed to be their first visit - a beautiful day for a visit.

Wednesday afternoon’s Portland Brass concert on the Historical Society lawn drew a large crowd as usual who could enjoy fine musical entertainment and a very comfortable afternoon - overall a great way to observe the 4th.

This year Art Show Weekend was given a new type of art for visitors and residents – a new post and beam building rising on the Historical Society grounds. In this case it was for creating a replica of Dr. Moses Mason office and supply room building. Being next to the Common it gave the art show visitors something handy and different to watch.

Walls went up for the new Dunkin Donuts building on Lincoln Street; fun for kids item was added to the weekly Farmers Market layout; retailer for this week is Bethel Auto Sales; plus weekend visits to Step Falls, Screw Auger Falls and the AT crossing of Route 26 above Moose Cave.

 Molly Ockett Day was geared to observing/celebrating the 50th anniversary of Telstar opening. The parade on Thursday focused on Telstar and students with one float that was I guess a Molly Ockett float. As all the parade watchers saw the head of the parade was a group of horseback riders following a banner reading Horseback across Maine.



At the Bethel Airport two special airplanes made the news – a Rutan Long-EZ and a old Piper Cub; Friday was Hit Parade night at the Bethel Inn with Gerry & the Schaks; all week long was Iron Adventure Motorcycle Rally, and at Bethel Outdoor Adventure Kids Canoe & Kayak Adventure week.

Harvestfest and Hancock mill tours probably ranked as the top items for the week; but the new sign on the Victoria Inn should also be noted. The Hancock mill tour I went on had seven guests and the tour was conducted by a mill supervisor—we went through the sawmill and then the planer mill so it was from logs to finished, packaged boards. 25 percent of the boards went to Lowe’s stores.



 Historical Society guest speaker David Govatski had a very interesting presentation on the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) and the White Mountains; more work continued on the new Historical Society building by Dan Gibbs and company; Gibson Orchard opened for apple picking and cider; Go Gold turnout brought a lot of people into town; a new mineral discovery at the Birch Woods newest home site development; passing by Edible Bethel’s “store front”; Saturday an enterprising Telstar student had a sidewalk sale going on to raise money for her class’s trip to Florida in the spring.  At the Bethel Inn, the special golf week to raise money for the development of the Veterans Park resulted in an initial count of 76 golfers participating in the campaign. More information and the amount of cash donations will be available for next week’s news.

At the Grover Hill Orchard, probably known to most as Lyon’s Orchard, opened for apple picking. Earlier this year, Aaron Hughes and Shelley Bowen began managing what was formerly Lyon’s Orchard, a 400-tree orchard, with the goal of transitioning the orchard away from conventional spraying practices. Aaron and Shelley both attended Gould Academy; Shelley is a member of Sunday River’s marketing office.

 The Hancock mill tour I went on had seven guests and the tour was conducted by a mill supervisor—we went through the sawmill and then the planer mill so it was from logs to finished, packaged boards. Our tour guide noted that about 25 percent of the boards went to Lowe’s stores. Generally the tour showed us how the logs are cut into useable lumber in an assembly line fashion much like a car is assembled. Harvest fest on the Common enjoyed excellent weather and it seemed like more than the available seating was needed for the variety of chowders to be lunched on. I thought one of the really nice additions to this years event was the petting “zoo” for youngsters.

On Main Street the recently new sign at the Victoria now the Grand Victorian Inn refers to its original owner, John Philbrook.

 Gould Academy’s Alumni Weekend and the parade of alumni on Saturday from the Bingham Hall to Ordway Hall for lunch carrying their respective class signs had excellent weather. Two from the class of 1948 lead the parade to lunch, New house is being constructed in the Birch Wood subdivision. The Mahoosuc Land Trust opened its fall art show at the Valentine Conservation Center.



Week’s biggest event was the parade and celebration of Telstar’s 50th year. Saturday’s parade up Main Street had a float from classes 2019 to 2022. Appropriately the class floats were led by a school bus. It is harvest time in the Bethel area now particularly along the Androscoggin intervals. John Carter cut the corn in our field this week and he has started harvesting corn he has in the Thurston field. This corn is cut for cattle feed in his case. At the Swain Farm it is definitely pumpkin harvest season.  Of course the big seasonal event is the Jeep Jamboree weekend centered at the Bethel Inn. The jeep own-ers arrive and have the vehicles inspected at a station set up next to the Gem Theater and then there is registration point at the Inn’s Event Center

 At Sunday River held the Fall Festival Arts and Crafts Fair and the annual wife carrying contest. At the Arts and Crafts vendor stands Sara Hemeon, Elements Art, had a table in her usual spot which catches the crowd as they enter from the parking area and she gave me a job which is to put together a mini biography of the Philbrook Place’s original owner who was a major actor in Bethel history, Samuel Philbrook. Samuel Philbrook (1838-1898) had prominent Bethel builder Edmund Merrill, Jr. build the house and barn after the original house burned in 1878. The week’s other very active topic was the North Newry Community Church

Weekly news report begins with the Oxford County Commissioners inviting the County town members who had been recognized as 2018 Spirit of American individuals to a special Oxford County ceremony in the Commissioners Courtroom . I was honored to be one of them and on arriving at the Court House even more

Alan Fleet of Newry was also one of the those being recognized. Those who had been invited and were able to attend were presented with 2018 Spirit of America County of Oxford plaques.

On Thursday the 18th first snow fall. Saturday the Farmers Market opened in its “winter” location at the Methodist Church which is an ideal spot as far as attracting shoppers and convenience for village residents.

C N Brown Energy sign went up on the Bearhaven Crossing building. Paul Legault told me that CN Brown plans to open its office there as soon as furniture is delivered. The big winter sale of the year was held by the Bethel Outing Club in Gould Academy’s field house.



At  Telstar the fall craft fair : Sally Smith’s  Whoopie Pie table was positioned to capture all arrivals attention. Just to the right of the Pie table the Greenleaf sisters, Christine and Joan, had a table layout of dolls and dolls clothes 

About a dozen Forest Service personnel being trained in the use of a helicopter to transport supplies to fire fighting zones. from the helicopter. At the Riverside Cemetery Top Notch Tree Service, Brady Chapman, was working to remove the last four huge old pines from the old section of the cemetery. Bethel’s voting attracted a very large number of voters  The new C N Brown Energy office in Mayville has not yet been occupied as furniture for the office has not arrived in Bethel yet.

Corn harvesting at the McCrum Sunday River Farm. Skiing at Sunday River—South Ridge parking lots were full.  At Bob and Terry’s Ski Shop at Swans Corner the store was open and Travis Brooks is the man in charge there .

 Craft Fair at the Bethel Inn Event Center, Black Friday at the Sport Thoma and Cross Country skiing at the Carter’s Ski Center and Ski Shop. At the Craft Fair the building was packed with displays and crafters as it has been in the past few years. One of the feature attractions is the table of Goats Milk Soap. he meant that he would find a pottery artist but the pottery display by 22 Road Less Traveled attracted lots of attention at the Fair. I discovered later after looking it up that there is a road in Woodstock named Road Less Traveled.

 At the Carter’s ski shop and ski center, they have a large arrangement of both rental and for sale skis, poles and boots. One of the unique features of the ski shop is that it may be the only one around here that has a wood stove for heat

 The Carter’s ski trails feature four “off-grid cabins”. A ski party of 6 or 8 people can rent a cabin for the weekend and the owners will start the wood fire before you arrive. The cabins have gas lights and cooking stove, dishes, pots and pans etc. Carter’s ski trails extend over 55 kilometers



 At Robert Lowell’s Saw Shop yard in the “Telstar Valley” the Lowell’s were hard at work on Friday clearing snow from their stock of Christmas trees they had recently acquired. Mr. Lowell told me they had 375 trees which they bought in Colebrook, NH.

If you stop at NABO’s with Christmas shopping in mind, you will find a nice display of jewelry items just inside the entrance.

Further down Main Street at the Philbrook Place find lots of shopping attractions for making a merry Christmas for kids and adults too. With a quick look around I saw snowboards for kids and locally made Susan Wight hats plus the store keeper’s son had some leg warmers displayed that he had made.

 As far as shopping for a Bethel image gift, the Whitney’s Maine Made Gifts store has a number of items. At their Main Street store you cannot go wrong or go broke if you buy some Bethel weather sticks for gifts. But what made me laugh when I saw them – keeping up with the times they also have “Texting Gloves”. Their store window has a really beautiful old time village snowy winter scene – it even includes a Salvation Army bell ringer. The other Maine Made item that is a great gift is their fudge.

On Saturday Martha Grover and Joshua Rysted had an open house at their Pottery Studio in West Bethel. On display, some very eye-catching pottery for decoration, practical use and complete meal settings. One of the items that stood out is their very imaginatively created butter domes and other similar table setting pottery creations.

Headlines for 2018

Dunkin Donuts opens new building ; Bethel Historical Society constructs reproduction of the Dr. Moses Mason office ;  Telstar celebrates 50th Anniversary; Town Manager Christine Landes resigned; Loretta Powers appointed  Bethel Town Manager ; Alison Aloisio retired as Editor of the Bethel Citizen

Alison’s Retirement Party

November voting

Rutan Long-EZ

First snow October 18

Christmas Trees at Robert Lowell’s—November 29

Alan Fleet receives Spirit of America award

Telstar 50th Anniversary Parade

September 29, 2018

Loretta Powers

Bethel Town Manager

Dec 31 2018

Veterans Honor Roll Park

Bethel Village Gardeners

Christine and Joan Greenleaf

Former Harrington/Tyler house

The Bethel Journals

PO Box 763

Bethel, Maine 04217

Bethel Town Meeting—Board of Selectmen