“I do an awful lot of thinking and dreaming about things in the past and the future—the timelessness of the rocks and hills—all the people who have existed there…”
250th Celebration Committee
The Machiasport Planning Board recommended to the Board of Selectmen that they appoint a 250th Celebration Committee to propose and develop events that would honor the 250th year of settlement of the Town of Machiasport. The Selectmen agreed. The first order of business for the new committee was to adopt the Town’s Celebration Motto “Machiasport Pride, Then and Now”
The 250th Committee quickly became a dedicated group of volunteers who planned a series of events to occur January through December to celebrate the Settlement of the town. The committee meets on the 3rd Thursday of each month at the Municipal Complex. The public is encouraged to attend the meetings that start at 6:00 p.m.
One of the nice things about anniversaries is that they give us pause to look backward. To note our position in the present against the background of the years; and to reflect on our participation in the events that are the milestones of progress.
Many of the committee members have lived and worked in Machiasport for more than a half a century- sharing in the projects and events of the community’s most progressive years.
Some of the activities produced by the Committee are listed below.
The Machiasport 250th Celebration Committee sponsored a Logo Contest for elementary students residing in Machiasport. Five judges were selected by the committee to judge the entries. Amber Sprague, daughter of Danny and Marlene Sprague was chosen as the winner of the contest. At the January committee meeting the winner was recognized and presented with a Certificate and a Kindle from the committee. She was also presented a Junior Membership in the Machiasport Historical Society by Al Sousa. Thirteen year old Amber Sprague was present with members of her family looking on to receive her award. Amber is a student at Fort O’Brien School, a Girl Scout and an active volunteer at the Machiasport Historical Society. The announcement was made by Rick Bury, Chair of the 250th Committee and Michael Murphy, II, Chair of the Board of Selectmen. The judges selected Amber’s Logo as they thought that it best represented the committees motto “Machiasport Pride, Then and Now”. Amber’s Logo depicted historic buildings, the ocean and Machiasport Pride as a Historic Jewel. The Logo will be used to promote the Town’s year-long list of events.
Recognition for Machiasport’s Oldest Citizen- Cora Proctor Quimby
On March 21, 2013 the 250th Committee voted to recommend to the Board of Selectmen that the 2013 Annual Town Report be dedicated to Cora Proctor Quimby, Machiasports “Eldest Citizen” Cora was born on March 4, 1909 in Larrabee. Her parents had eleven girls – no boys and according to her birth certificate Cora was the number nine child. She and her sisters remained close through the years. When a childhood disease affected Cora’s hearing it didn’t hold her back. She and her sisters walked through the fields to Indian Cove to work stringing herring. She married Norman Quimby in 1932 and had three children Betty, Daniel and Faunce. Cora and Norman were married for 46 years when he passed away in 1980.
Cora celebrated her 104th Birthday at Marshall Manor with family and friends. She said, she “doesn’t eat dessert, as she is getting a little thick around the middle.”
Boston Cane Presentation- July 27th
Cora Proctor Quimby, at the age of 104, is Machiasport’s oldest resident. She will receive the Boston Post Cane at an official ceremony to be held at the Machiasport Historical Society on Machiasport’s Day of Celebration, July 27, 2013.
Cora’s father, James Everett Proctor, also received the Boston Post Cane on March 5, 1953 when he was 88 years of age. James was presented the gold-headed cane by Selectman, Hammond Flynn, and Reverend Roy Trafton. At the time of his honor he and his wife Mary Emma were married for 65 years. James and Mary Emma lived all their married life in Larrabee.
Recycle Grocery Bags
The Celebration Committee released its first edition of a local Business Directory listing over 40 Machiasport Businesses and Entrepreneurs. The Business Directory is available at the Town Office. Local businesses are invited to bring copies of their business cards to the Town Office to be displayed and promote their Machiasport business. A second edition will be printed in the fall. To add a business or make a correction contact the Town Office.
Website for Machiasport
The Machiasport 250th Celebration Committee developed the Town’s first website, www.machiasport.org.
250th Brochure Celebrating the Settlement of 1763
The Celebration Committee developed a 250th Anniversary Brochure celebrating the Settlement of 1763. Volunteers Beverly Taylor, Sandra K. Prescott, Rick Bury and Mary Hinerman prepared the mailing to be sent to town residents.
The 250th Celebration Committee developed a 250th Anniversary Post Card that was used at the Machiasport Historical Society’s Stamp Cancellation on July 27, 2013. Approximately 250 Post Cards receive the special anniversary stamp cancellation on Machiasport’s Day of Celebration!
A New Town Sign designed and painted by Jim Wells
The 250th Celebration Committee is proud to present the Board of Selectmen with a new town sign made and donated by Jim Wells, a Machiasport resident and professional sign carver. Jim expressed his town pride by designing, carving and painting with gold leaf lettering the new sign for the towns Quartimilennial Celebration. Many hours of labor and love went into making this beautiful sign for the citizens of Machiasport to enjoy for many years to come.
The Machiasport Volunteer Fire Department helped to install the sign on Saturday April 6, 2013 in front of the Municipal Complex on Port Road.
Other town signs will be made and painted by the inmates at the Downeast Correctional Facility under the direction of JJ Tibbetts, their supervisor.
Town Bulletin Boards
The Town’s Bulletin Boards will be “spruced up” and a new one placed on the East Side Road. The Bulletin Boards were prepared by the inmates at the Downeast Correctional Facility under the direction of J.J. Tibbetts.
Four Bulletin Boards can be found in front of the Municipal Complex, on the East Side Road, at the Bucks Harbor Pier and Starboard Fire Station.
Discovering Maine’s Down East Heritage Trail
By Resident Jim Harnedy
Just off the beaten path at the foot of the University of Maine at Machias College Hill where Routes 1 and 92 intersect an amazing 11 mile trek steeped in history, culture and exciting natural wonders awaits the adventurous. Click here to read more….
Lobster Buoy Showcase
The Machiasport 250th Celebration Committee proposed making a Lobster Buoy Showcase to honor the lobster fishermen. The cabinet was made and donated by Jim Miner, of the East Side, the buoys were made by Bill Prescott, Jr. of Bucks Harbor and the plaques were made and donated by Jim Wells.
Bill Prescott, Jr. from the West Side of Machiasport and James Miner representing the East Side of the Port worked together and volunteered their time and materials to make the buoys and the cabinet. Each lobster fisherman painted their own buoy to match their colors. The Lobster Buoy Showcase an idea presented to the Board of Selectmen who endorsed the project. The showcase was made to honor each lobster fishermen who was licensed in 2012 and who fishes out of Machiasport. The cabinet will be on display at the Machiasport Municipal Complex.
Russell Wright, a local businessman provided and donated a Time Capsule for the 250th Anniversary Celebration. A Time Capsule Committee was formed and decided what items would be placed in the Time Capsule. It was decided that the Time Capsule would be officially e presented to the Town on December 8, 2013 at 3:00 p.m. at the Annual Christmas Party held at the Machiasport Historical Society. The Time Capsule will be opened in 50 years (2063.)
250th Celebration Committee hosted a Community Salmon Dinner Dinner on May 18th
On May 18, 2013 at 5:00 p.m. the 250th Celebration Committee hosted a Community Celebration Dinner at the Fort O’Brien School. 200 Families attend with their children and neighbors. In the past the five Districts of Machiasport often held dinners at Liberty Hall and local churches. In the past dinners brought the community residents together to socialize before doing business at town meetings, social events at Liberty Hall and after church services. Many residents have said they miss these gatherings so the Committee decided to hold a Celebration Dinner. Cooke’s Aquaculture donated salmon fillets for the dinner.
Penobscot Marine Museum Exhibit at Fort O’Brien School
The Grand Opening for the Historic Traveling Exhibit was held on May 10, 2013 at Fort O’Brien School. Kevin Johnston, Curator and Archivist, was present to explain the Exhibit. Other dates for the public to view the Exhibit were held on:
- May 16, 17 (1-3 p.m.)
- May 18th (1-6 p.m.)
- May 21, 22, 23 (1-3 p.m.)
Machiasport Day of Celebration
July 27, 2013 was designated as Machiasport’s Day of Celebration. There were Open Houses at the Mic Mac Farm & Cottages, Captain Cates, B & B, Liberty Hall and the Gates House. The Volunteer Fire Department hosted train rides for the Children The Congregational Church on the Hill held a yard sale and provided entertainment in an effort to raise funds for a new steeple. The Little Red School House in Starboard held a reenactment of a classroom of days gone by. Volunteers brought the old desks and texts from the Historical Society. Visitors were wowed when they saw the children seated in the classroom and their teacher providing a lesson.
The 250th Celebration Committee announced that a Time Capsule will not be opened for 50 years! Hopefully children who participated and attended the 250th Celebrations will be present when the Time Capsule is opened on 2063.
A number of people helped to make the events produced by the Town’s 250th Celebration Committee successful. The committee worked hard month after month during the year to develop community events that would involve as many members of the community possible, and promote and support the Committee’s Motto: Machiasport Pride, Then and Now.
The following individuals, groups and businesses provided in-kind, cash and many volunteered their time to support the projects produced by the 250th Celebration Committee and Town. It is for these efforts that the committee and the Town would like to publically thank everyone who helped out with the Celebration.
Fort O’Brien Cannon to be returned to the Fort O’Brien Historical Park
In the middle of the earthworks of the Civil War era battery is a bronze cannon known as a “Napoleon” or 12-pounder. It fired 12 pound cannonballs, spherical case shot, or canister, the latter being made up of numerous small pieces of iron that tore through infantry formations or a ship’s rigging at close range. This cannon tube weighs 1216 pounds and was made at the Ames Manufacturing Company of Chicopee, Massachusetts in 1862. It originally sat on a wooden carriage that weighed an additional 1128 pounds. In optimal conditions, this gun could fire a ball 1600 yards, just enough to reach across the mouth of the Machias River. The cannon was “lost” for many years. Once the cannon was relocated the 250th Committee, partnering with the Downeast Correctional Facility, Machiasport Historical Society developed a plan to return the cannon to the Fort O’Brien Historical site in July 2013 for the public to enjoy once again.
Ray Foster reads a Proclamation then presents it to Selectman Michael Murphy,II and Selectman Charles Ingalls on the Steps or Liberty Hall. Click here to view the proclamation.
Fireworks Display in Bucks Harbor
The 250th Celebration Committee is proud to announce that a group of citizens coordinated by Betsy Fitzgerald, town resident, and supported by donations to the 250th Celebration Committee hosted a fireworks display in Bucks Harbor in August 17th. Thank you everyone for the wonderful fireworks!
What A Year It Was!
Unlike many towns that celebrated their Settlement for a few days this year, Machiasport celebrated all year long. The 250th Celebration Committee met for the final time in November. Speaking to volunteers, veterans and guests Sandra K. Prescott and Rick Bury, co-chairs thanked everyone for their many contributions. Sandra introduced the committee officers, guests, and veterans. Beverly Taylor, Secretary, provided copies of a Memory Book full of the many committee accomplishments, while Russell Wright, creator of the Time Capsule shared a list of contents to be placed in the time Capsule to be opened in 2063.
William A. Prescott, Jr., Treasurer reported that the committee had raised $10,930 and expended $8,995, leaving a balance to be returned to the Town of $1935. He recommended that $200 be donated to the Machiasport Historical Society for storm windows, $500 be used to help replace the roof of the Starboard School, a sign be purchased for the East Side and a sum be provided to set a heavy duty base for the town sign at the entrance to the Municipal Complex. Any remaining balance should be used to fund a community dinner of the type hosted by the committee this year. Selectman, Ingalls supported the committee recommendation.
Six Machiasport Veterans joined in to celebrate 92 year old Frank Foster as the towns elder veteran. Doug “Johnny” Coffin presented a plaque on behalf of the Committee to Frank. Two families introduced their youngest citizens Jackson Sidney Wright and Jaxon Robert-Paul Verburgt . Dennis Moody, III. who was born premature is still in the hospital. The Committee will place a 50th birthday card in the Time Capsule for each of the children. Barbara Maloy and Lois Sprague presented a plaque to Selectmen, Charles Ingalls to honor all previous and present Boston Post Cane recipients. In July the Committee honored Cora Crocker Quimby, age 104 and presented her with the Boston Post Cane. Cora’s great grandson and many nieces and nephews were present to celebrate. Cake and ice cream was served. The cake made by Kirby Murphy said it all “Wow! What a year it was !
Three (3) Youngest Machiasport Citizens
On November 21, 2013 at the Appreciation Reception, three (3) families celebrated the birth of our youngest citizens as of the date the 2013 Time Capsule was closed (November 23, 2013).
It is hoped that the three children, along with their relatives will attend the 300th Celebration of the Town’s Settlement of the Town in 2063. Three birthday cards were placed in the Time Capsule the cards were signed by those present at the Appreciation Reception held on November 18, 2013. It is hoped the town will bring these three (3) families together in 2063 and present the children/adults with their 50th birthday card!
Jackson Sidney Wright
East Side, Machiasport
Born: October 16, 2013
Weight: 6 pounds , 2 oz
Height: Parents: Brooke Kilton-Hayes and Sasha Wright
Sibling: (brother) Jared Wright
Grandparents: Nan and Jeff Wright and Holly Kilton and Dan Hayes
Great Grandparents: Allen and Roberta Hall and Donna and Alan Kilton
Dennis Moody, III.
Born: November 9, 2013
Weight: 3 pounds
Parents: Dennis and Michelle Moody
Grandparents: Dennis and Rita Moody
Jaxon Robert-Paul Verburgt
Born: November 27, 2013
Weight: 7 pounds 12 oz
Height: 21 ”
Parents: Benjamin Paul & Erin Verburgt
Siblings: (brother) Xander McKhale Verburgt, (sister) Alexis Jayne Verburgt
Grandparents: Mark & Reba Verburgt Robert Fortier (deceased 12/23/12, Brunswick, ME) Hilda Christi & Thomas Moss (Pittsfield, ME)
Note: According to the Ultrasound Jaxon , a boy was scheduled to be born on November 27, 2013
List of 250th Committee Accomplishments
- 250th Committee Meetings. Broad participation/ Monthly meetings since November 2012
- Solicited and received Cash Donations from Business/citizens to support 250th Celebration
- Donations for Auction Fundraiser for 250th Celebration Events
- Created a Logo Contest and Amber Sprague wins- Logo used for the 250th Celebration Events
- Recycle Bags created/sold to promote recycling and 250th Events
- May Community Clean- Up Month- Show Community Pride, Student volunteers from Washington Academy clean up Beaches and roadsides, elementary students help town elders
- Town Website created: www.machiasport.org
- 250th Brochure created & mailed to all residents
- Created 2 Editions of first Machiasport Business Directory
- New Town Sign erected at Town Office
- 3 other Town Signs erected
- Town Sign locations spruced up
- New/Improved Town signs installed
- 4 Bulletin Boards repaired/ improved
- 4 Town Maps posted to identify public facilities and shore access
- Celebration Dinner at Fort O’Brien School 50th Year
- Penobscot Museum Travelling Exhibit of Historical Photographs visits Fort O’Brien School
- 250th Post Card created and mailed on July 27th
- Town Stamp cancellation on July 27th
- Lobster Buoy Showcase/Lobster fishermen/women recognized
- Clam Diggers recognized
- Community Salmon Dinner- 150 Salmon dinners donated by Cook Aquaculture
- Community Display of Pride – at Community Dinner
- Machiasport Day of Celebration including but not limited to Open House at Historical Society, Liberty Hall, Captain Cates B & B, Mic Mac Farm. Volunteer Fire Department fundraiser, vendors, Lion Train, Dunk Tank, Congregational Church Yard Sale & Steeple Fundraiser, Proclamation read to Return of the Fort O’Brien Cannon to the Park, Little Red School House classroom reenactment
- Recognition of Machiasport Senior Citizen Cora Quimby , age 104, and Boston Post Cane Ceremony presenting her Boston Post Cane & Plaque
- Plaque created for the Town recognizing all recipients of Boston Post Cane to be displayed in the Town Office
- Town adopts Policy for distributing the Boston Post Cane
- Legislative Sentiment presented by Representative, Katherine Cassidy to Cora Quimby
- Legislative Sentiment presented to Selectmen Michael Murphy, II and Charles Ingalls recognizing the Towns 250th Celebration
- FIRST EVER Fireworks Display in Bucks Harbor at Blueberry Festival
- Historical Society Float entered in Machias Margaretta Day Parade & 4th of July Parade winning 1st PLACE BOTH TIMES!
- Machiasport family (Gerald Wood) enters 2 floats in Machias Parade
- Carolyn Johnson representing Machiasport rides in Machias Parade
- September Community Clean-Up Month- Show Community Pride
- Time Capsule created and “buried” for 50 years – TO BE OPENED in 2063
- September Clean-up Month- Show Community Pride
- Recognizing Machiasport’s youngest citizen as of November 21st- with Photo in Time Capsule
- 250th Committee recognizes Machiasport’s oldest Veteran
- Fort O’Brien School recognizes Machiasport Veterans
- Creating a Town sign for the East Side
- Final Committee meeting/ Thank You Reception – November 21st
- Updating Website
- Time Capsule “Sealing Ceremony”- Historical Society Christmas Party- December
- Christmas Tree Lighting with Deb Nielsen Bucks Harbor – December