Text Box: The History Club
Text Box: The Bethel Journals

William Fuller


April 18, 2012


Margaret Herrick Oakes* wrote: Mr. William Fuller lived at the (Bethel) Inn. He had a bedroom with a fireplace in it and after that he bought the  Wright Cottage. He married one of Dr. Gehring’s patients. He was living at the Inn in 1917 and had his own valet. This valet was an Englishman and he went off to war and was killed. The Fullers left; they  wanted something gayer and more fashion able, and then (in 1922) Mr. Bingham bought the Wright Cottage.

Who was William Fuller? We don’t know why he first came to Bethel. Perhaps he came for a summer vacation in the mountains and met one of Dr. Gehring’s patients while on vacation. He was in his 50s when he first came to Bethel. He became a member of the Dr. Gehring social group and his contribution to the Gehring story came from his camp which was a retreat from village life for both the Gehrings and their friends. Margaret Herrick Oakes wrote about him in her article Memories of Broad Street published in The Bethel Courier of June 1977.  The group photo taken at Fuller’s camp is labeled in the album: “Afternoon Tea at Mr. Fuller’s camp, 1915-1916”. 

In Bethel’s 1920 Census, Broad Street residents near Mr. Fuller are listed in this order : the Herricks; : Melissa A. Tuell; William Bingham with Maria Pease, Housekeeper; Montague Ayers, Butler; and Adelaide Ayers, Cook.  William Fuller and his wife Adelaide. William Fuller is 60 and his wife’s age is listed as unknown. John G. Gehring, 62 and wife, Marian T. ,65; Frank Durkee, Gardiner; Gertrude Durkee, Housekeeper; Lena Burgess, Servant.

This census shows that Mr. Fuller was 60 years old and was married at that time; William Bingham was his neighbor.










Click to enlarge photo



* In the early 1980’s Mrs. Oakes lived in Augusta just off Western Avenue

Read more about Margaret Herrick Oakes in the Bethel Historical Society Courier


Explorers and Huskies

October 26, 2010


In October 2010, the Western Maine Senior College hosted a talk and book signing by Mary Morton Cowan.  Ms. Cowan spoke about the preparation and writing of her new book which covers the research and Arctic exploration of Commander Donald Baxter MacMillan


To follow up on this event and add more information, the BHS archives had a photograph of one of Bethel’s early doctors, Robert G. Wiley, standing with his daughter and sister. Dr. Wiley’s sister was Mary Wiley Peary, mother of Arctic and Antarctic explorer Admiral Robert E. Peary.  And in another very local connection, one of the volunteers at the Historical Society, Barbara Hastings Honkala’s husband, Rudi Honkala, also made three trips to Antarctica having the job of weather man at the U.S. station there. 


For the record, we also have a copy of an interview Mr. Honkala had in 1999 describing his experiences at Antarctica— Antarctic Deep Freeze Oral History Project Interview with Rudolf A. Honkala conducted on

August 4, 1999, by historian and writer Dian O. Belanger.


Many important figures from history had the opportunity to speak to a Bethel audience at Odeon Hall.  Commander MacMillan was one of them. 

John Greenleaf’s father and Danna Nickerson’s grandfather, Dr. Sherman S. Greenleaf, held the appointment of Veterinary Surgeon for Admiral Richard E. Byrd’s second Antarctic expedition in 1933. Dr. Greenleaf had charge of 150 sled dogs.  He held the same position again in 1939 for Byrd’s third expedition to the Antarctic.  The dogs were housed at the Chinook Kennels in Wonalancet, New Hampshire. 

In the 1943 to 1945 school years at Gould, a girl from the Crane family who were part of the Chinook Kennels family enrolled at Gould.  She apparently got permission to bring some of the Huskies with her. The dog’s kennels were set up in back of the girls’ dorm, Gehring Hall, and Miss Crane took care of them.

Gould Academy adopted the Husky as a school mascot (circa 1945).  Thereafter Gould athletic teams were known as the Huskies.  A Husky profile was the academy’s logo on its sweatshirts sold through the school bookstore in the 1940s and 50s. 


Left to right: A Gehring party at William Fuller’s camp (the Gehrings stand at the right of the middle row), William Fuller, the Wright Cottage where Fuller was living in 1920 and  in 2008 , “The Bingham House”. No one is this party appears to be the future Mrs. Fuller.

Dr. Robert G. Wiley, right, with his sister who is standing and his daughter seated. Their home still stands in Skillingston.

Dr. S.S. Greenleaf—1931 photo

The History Club


The History Club pages are a collection of news items with additional details from Bethel history resources added to round out the story.

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