On My Way to Canaan Land

She came out of nowhere. She was an unexpected visitor with a story she wanted to tell me. When this happens, it's a writer's job to sit down with a cup of tea and listen. She told me her name was Mathilde. I asked, "Is it Mathilde or Mathilda?" She insisted it was Mathilde. Who... Continue Reading →

In the Outhouse

When the "new" South Bridgton Congregational Church was built in 1870, it was built with no interior bathroom. This was by no means an oversight. Indoor plumbing in rural areas was slow to catch on. It was an expensive luxury. And running water only came from streams, or by sending the small fry to fetch... Continue Reading →

Taming the Wilderness

What was it like to have cabin fever in the late 1700s? Before Netflix and binge-watching and indoor plumbing? Walk back into the past with author and historian, Caroline Grimm as she guides us through life in a little cabin in the Maine woods. Episode One of the Close to Home series given at Harrison... Continue Reading →

The Little Drummer Boy

It was August of 1970 when I first heard it. I was eight years old and attending Vacation Bible School for the first time. Mrs. Musgrave was our teacher. She was what we’d call today an outlier, a bit of a character, and the salt of the earth. The book we were using for our... Continue Reading →

Beware, O My Child

In 1812, sixteen year old Phebe Beach was in Fryeburg, Maine, far from her family in Canaan, Vermont. She lived with an aunt and uncle while she attended school at Fryeburg Academy. In later years, she married Joseph Palmer Fessenden of Fryeburg, and she lived her life as a pastor’s wife.   Her father, Samuel... Continue Reading →

Ghostly Whispers of Another Time

All history is personal. Some history is grandly dramatic like the day World War II ended. Or it is heartbreakingly traumatic like the week that fire swept through Maine towns laying waste to the landscape. But most history is small, made up of fleeting moments of joy or sorrow or everyday shared life. History is... Continue Reading →

Colonel Perley’s Pig Palace

It's rare that the addition of a new building on a homestead or farm should raise the level of talk in the neighborhood to anything more than a passing interest. But, between the years of 1863 and 1871, the building of a "pig pen" caused a stir worthy of inclusion in the history books and... Continue Reading →

Narramissic Summer

It was an unlikely thing to do, foolish, really. An accountant with workaholic tendencies and an iron-clad hyper-responsibility clause in my contract with life, I’d spent thirty years in one office or another managing finances and administration for both my own company and those of my clients. Thirty years of pressure and stress. Thirty years... Continue Reading →

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