Looking Back

95
A suspicious fire destroyed the vacant C.E. Noyes Tire Company at 59 Dana Court early on Oct. 18, 1992. The building was constructed in the 1850s as a warehouse for the adjacent Westbrook Manufacturing Company, which went out of business after the flood of 1896. S.D. Warren Co. and then Woodbury K. Dana bought the buildings and they became part of the Dana Warp mill, which closed in 1956. The buildings were once again sold and the 59 Dana Court building became the C.E. Noyes Tire Retreating Co. After that business closed in the 1980s, new owners of the building planned to remodel it into apartments, but that didn't come about and the building went on the market again. After the fire, the lot was cleared and eventually was purchased, along with the Stultz Electric building, for the site of Riverfront Plaza and parking garage. To see more historical photos and artifacts, visit the Westbrook Historical Society at the Fred C. Wescott Building, 426 Bridge St. It is open Tuesdays and Saturdays, 9 a.m.-noon, and the first Wednesday of each month at 1:30 p.m., September-June. Inquiries can be emailed to westhistorical@myfairpoint.net. The website is www.westbrookhistoricalsociety.org.

April 22, 1992

An innovative answer to Gorham’s traffic problems and the designation of neighborhoods that would bear the brunt of residential and commercial development highlight the town’s newly completed Comprehensive Plan. To resolve traffic issues, the plan proposes to “develop a direct arterial route across Gorham land area, uninterrupted by traffic signals, recognizable as the primary highway between Portland, the Sebago Lake region, central and northern New Hampshire and points beyond.” The committee’s vision is a two-lane, limited-access road similar in scale to Narragansett Street, intended primarily for commuter traffic. The suggested route runs roughly west to east, from Route 237 and across Route 202, following the active and inactive portions of Queen Street. The plan, 2½ years in the making, faces a public hearing and then to the Town Council for approval.

The American Journal moved its offices Wednesday about a quarter of a mile. You’ll find the AJ now, and for a long time to come (we trust), at 4 Dana St. in Westbrook. The building is the former home of Knowlton Machine Co., which moved to a big new plant in Gorham in 1990. The move gets us back to the ground floor, a change that will be welcome to many who have navigated the 18 steps up to our offices at 820 Main St. It’s the fourth time the newspaper has moved its offices in 42 years.

Gorham dentist Ted Morgan and his dental hygienist, Debbie Simpson, are back from Mexico, where they provided dental services to peasants. The 10-day trip took 52 medical, dental and construction personnel into the barrios where quality medical care is non-existent, said Morgan. The trip was organized by members and friends of local Seventh-day Adventist churches.

John Marcellino Jr., 46, a 21-year employee of the city of Westbrook, was appointed last week by Mayor Fred Wescott as the city’s director of parks and recreation. The City Council confirmed the appointment, 7-0. He succeeds Michael Nash, who held the job five months and resigned to work for the University of Southern Maine. Previously, Richard Dunbar held the job for 22 years. Marcellino will be paid $25,000 a year.

Eleanor Emery, 70 South St., Gorham, was honored for more than 30 years of “dedicated service to the Republican Party” with the presentation of a plaque by Clark M. Neily, North Road, chairman of the Republican Town Committee, at a meeting of the committee. She also received a corsage and a letter from Gov. John McKernan. “As one of my longtime town chairs and earliest supporters, you hold a very special place in my heart,” McKernan wrote.

Show Me Video Service Co. owner Lionel Dumond said he’s warning consumers that low-wattage “compact fluorescent” light bulbs, sold as an energy conserving alternative to incandescent bulbs, will likely interfere with proper operation of wireless remote-controlled televisions, VCRs and stereo equipment. The compact fluorescent bulbs emit infrared waves that interfere with remote-control functions on certain VCR models.

April 24, 2002

Alice Arsenault, of 44 Dana Court, had been stocking up on groceries Saturday, and then stopped at the automated teller machine at Fleet Bank in Westbrook on the way home to check her balance. When she put her car in gear to leave, “it just revved up and I went off,” she said, and she was unable to stop it as it went over the curb, through some bushes and down the deep bank, then out into the Presumpscot River. Hitting the water set the airbag off, and that temporarily disoriented Arsenault. But she had the presence of mind to hold her breath as cold water flooded the car and it sank. Luckily, her window was still cranked down and she floated up and out. “It seemed like it took forever to get to the top so I could start swimming” to shore, she said. There to help her were two citizens and, very quickly, firefighters from the Mechanic Street station.

The laptop computers the state is giving Westbrook seventh-graders will spend the nights and weekends in the cooler. Each homeroom “has to have a cart” with refrigeration, Wescott Junior High School Prinicpal Sue Lolley explained to the School Committee. Each cart will have a slot for each laptop. The laptops will be with the students through the school day, and then placed in the carts when students go home. The carts are a $22,500 item the school budget for the year beginning July 1.

Janice Breton has been hired as Westbrook schools’ director of curriculum, assessment and instruction, the department’s third highest job. She’ll be paid $71,249 for a 50-week year. Breton’s career has been entirely in the schools of Dexter, a Penobscot County town with a population of 3,890.

The Gorham School Committee sent its proposed $21,859,370 budget for the year starting July 1 to the Town Council last week. It’s up 11 percent over this year’s $19,691,597 budget. It calls for $1.42 more in taxes for each $1,000 in property valuation, said Town Manager David Cole.

Toddle Inn Day Care Inc. plans a 1,200-square-foot expansion of its building at 79 Libby Ave., Gorham. It has applied to the town for a site plan amendment.

Mr. and Mrs. Llewellyn M. McGouldrick Jr., Orchard Road, Gorham, were hosts for an Easter egg hunt April 7, a tradition for at least 30 years. This year there were 60 children ranging in age from 4 months to 17 years. More than 500 plastic eggs were filled with candy.

A suspicious fire destroyed the vacant C.E. Noyes Tire Company at 59 Dana Court early on Oct. 18, 1992. The building was constructed in the 1850s as a warehouse for the adjacent Westbrook Manufacturing Company, which went out of business after the flood of 1896. S.D. Warren Co. and then Woodbury K. Dana bought the buildings and they became part of the Dana Warp mill, which closed in 1956. The buildings were once again sold and the 59 Dana Court building became the C.E. Noyes Tire Retreating Co. After that business closed in the 1980s, new owners of the building planned to remodel it into apartments, but that didn’t come about and the building went on the market again. After the fire, the lot was cleared and eventually was purchased, along with the Stultz Electric building, for the site of Riverfront Plaza and parking garage. To see more historical photos and artifacts, visit the Westbrook Historical Society at the Fred C. Wescott Building, 426 Bridge St. It is open Tuesdays and Saturdays, 9 a.m.-noon, and the first Wednesday of each month at 1:30 p.m., September-June. Inquiries can be emailed to westhistorical@myfairpoint.net. The website is www.westbrookhistoricalsociety.org.