Text Box: Outlook Recording Studio—Reuben Bartlett—Bartlett Island
North Bethel—October 2006

 

October 23rd, 2006, I  visited the Outlook Studio to talk with the St. Pierres about the Outlook’s history.

Connie St. Pierre had compiled a paper called “The History of the Outlook, Bethel, Maine - Originally the Reuben Bartlett Homestead, Sudbury Canada.”  Connie has researched titles and land transfers back to a 1789 land sale from Joseph Twitchell to Jonathan Bartlett (Reuben’s uncle?).

Part of the discussion about Outlook history involved the prospects of having the island which they own jointly with David and Nancy Murphy named Bartlett Island.

 In William Lapham’s History of Bethel, Maine he devoted one section to abstracts of town meeting minutes.

For 1827, there is an entry that says “Voted to quitclaim to Reuben Bartlett an island which was sold to the town by Isaac Frost, on condition that Bartlett take care of Frost for one year.” 

One reason for the St. Pierres wanting to get the island named now is due to the increased boating on the Androscoggin.  They feel that with today’s 911 system, if an emergency occurs on the river, having a place name would help responders find the emergency site more quickly.

(USGS did not print name of the island on 1968 map but the 2011 Town of Bethel tax map does name the island as Bartlett Island.)

According to Connie’s Outlook History, the name Outlook first appeared when a Delbert Smith sold the property to Carl Godwin in 1901. At that time, from her research and old photos, she says the valley fields were cleared all the way to Bethel Hill providing a wonderful view from the house to the town center.

 Going back further in the building’s history, the St. Pierre’s found ancient pine boards that they believe were used in the first structure built there. They are the widest pine boards that I have ever seen – some measuring over 30 inches wide. 

Here is where the Outlook Studio shows off a real mix of old and new. The old Bartlett pine boards now make up the most visible, acoustical lining of the vocalist recording chamber. Next to this room Ted has his complex of audio engineering equipment that shows off the newest of the new in electronics.

 

Rare original signatures  by the earliest settlers.

This document, unearthed by Connie St. Pierre in her research, was a service contract (like an indentured servant) concerning a man named Beatty to Eli Twitchell.   Writer of the document is Luke Reilly, the man for who Riley Plantation was named and his signature appears on the last line along with Eli Twitchell.

 

 

Ted St. Pierre seated at his recording control station—adjacent to the artist’s recording room.  A third larger room that is sound insulated from the control room and oral recording room is used for instrumental recording of musical groups.  The St. Pierre’s moved their recording business to Bethel from Boston in 1980.

At the Outlook Recording Studio, 2006, the special acoustically designed chamber where singers/speakers record.  NOTE the wall panels - recycled pine boards used in the very first house built at this site.

Portion of document—a service contract—signed by Luke Reilly on the left and  Eli Twitchell on the right. 

Webpage by

PO Box 763

Bethel, Maine 04217

www.thebetheljournals.info

This information was originally printed as weekly Bethel news in the Bethel Citizen, November 2,  2006

Oval Callout: The Outlook