Looking Back

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The Sebago Moc Shoe Company was built in 1952 at 39 Mechanic St. Quimby Avenue ran along the left side of the building with railroad tracks on the right side (now William Clarke Drive). The company expanded into two other Westbrook locations at 98-Rear Bridge Street (Old Haskell Silk Mill) and on a portion of the second floor in the Dana Warp Mill. The company also had a plant in Bridgton and in later years moved from the Dana Warp Mill to the Gorham Industrial Park. The company went out of business several years ago and this building was sold. The new owners extensively renovated it into several commercial spaces and it is now known as Sebago Commons. 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

May 6, 1992

Photo caption: Cub Scout Troop 73, Gorham, and Boy Scout Troop 73 collaborated on a tree-planting project at Narragansett School Saturday. The Cubs planted 25 pine trees along the school driveway, while the Boy Scouts cut and cleared dead trees and brush adjacent to the site. Shown are Cub Scouts Jason Brown, Darren Wall, Aaron Chadbourne and Nicky Palmer.

A proposal to create a third lane on Gorham’s Main Street to improve the flow of traffic is meeting a cool reception from downtown businesspeople. The concept was presented at a meeting of town officials and the Gorham Chamber of Commerce April 1. It calls for re-striping Main Street to create a third lane – a center turning lane – that would “allow traffic to continue in a flow,” according to Town Planner Jay Grande. Left turns would be prohibited at intersections, meaning merchants would see access to their buildings restricted. Another drawback for merchants is the loss of on-street parking – as many as 50 spaces. “It would go from bad to worse” if the third lane becomes a reality, said Steego Auto Parts manager Mark Clark.

Harland M. Bean apparently passed out at the wheel of Westbrook’s Rescue Unit No. 2 on April 20 and it hit the corner of the Rescue Unit station, injuring him and doing $6,000 damage to the ambulance. Police Dispatcher Laurie St. Jack, who saw it happen, estimated that the ambulance was going 5 to 10 miles an hour. Police said that Bean, 41, “is believed to have passed out,” and gave illness as a cause of the accident.

The Westbrook City Council voted itself into executive session Monday night for city lawyers Michael Cooper and Richard Sullivan to “update us on ongoing litigation.” Alderman Paul LeConte added to the motion a note that the talks would deal with S.D. Warren paper mill taxes.

Led by Finance Committee Chairman Don Richards, the Westbrook City Council voted Monday to restore part of the 1992 tree-planting program. He said he did not intend to block all tree planting when he moved last week to defeat forester Wesley McKague’s request to spend $6,362. In the council’s new action, McKague can spend $2,786 for tree planting.

The Westbrook Woman’s Club Community Improvement Committee has been busy with the continued two-year project of placing 17 new “sitting pretty” benches in several locations throughout Westbrook. All benches are engraved with W.W.C.’91. The benches were built and installed by the Park and Recreation Department.

Christa Murphy, daughter of Bernita and John Murphy of Gorham, recently received the Girl Scout Medal of Honor for saving the life of a 7-year-old boy from the cold waters of Sebago Lake last year. The boy, Nicholas Cole, and his parents, Beverly and Ralph Cole, also of Gorham, attended the ceremonies when Christa, a Junior Girls Scout in Troop 1171, was honored at the Scout annual meeting in Augusta.

May 8, 2002

Allyn and Alyson Caruso, Standish, believe they had the right to build an airstrip on their land on Fort Hill, Gorham, and fly to and from it. The town’s code officer says no, and Bill Rust says the airstrip blocks the path of trucks that would haul timber from some of his land, using the old Rust Road between Fort Hill Road and the Little River. Now, the Town Council has the job of deciding who and what is right. The council was to have a public hearing last night on “whether an airstrip constructed across the public easement on Roust Road obstructs the public easement.”

“There’s going to be a battle between the call companies and the full-timers if it happens,” one longtime call company member of the Westbrook Fire Department predicted, concerning funding in the present budget for a full-time deputy fire chief. Fire Chief Gary Littlefield said there was “a little discussion” of the proposals when the City Council’s Finance Committee reviewed the public safety requests in Mayor Donald Esty’s proposed 2002-03 budget April 30, but he didn’t sense strong opposition. Pay for the job is budgeted at $39,998. One of the main responsibilities of the job would be developing a homeland security plan for the city, Littlefield said.

Wally Hayes, Westbrook High School math teacher, is a regional finalist for selection as Maine Teacher of the Year. Accepting congratulations from the School Committee, Hayes said the selection team that came to interview him said they were impressed with the school’s students. “It’s nice to have somebody from outside come in and see what our students are doing and the pride they take in Westbrook High School,” Hayes said.

Gorham Savings Bank will demolish the former post office at 64 Main St., next to the bank, it told the Gorham Planning Board Monday. The bank plans a 400-square foot addition to its building, parking expanded from 40 spaces to 61, and a relocated drive-through. The board will hold a hearing on the plans May 30.

A new 55-foot aluminum flag pole has replaced a rusted one at Phinney Park, next to the old burial yard at Gorham Village on South Street at the corner of Green Street. Public Works Director Gary Lorfano said the $3,000 cost came from the Phinney Park trust fund.

Andrew Gray, son of Daniel and Brenda Gray, 11 Huntress Ave., and a 1997 graduate of Westbrook High School, recently graduated from the University of Chicago with a degree in biological sciences. He has been recognized by the National Geographic Society for his work preparing a 6-foot crocodile skull from Africa. As an undergrad, he was the youngest member of a Chinese-American expedition that dug up dinosaur bones in the Gobi Desert.

The Sebago Moc Shoe Company was built in 1952 at 39 Mechanic St. Quimby Avenue ran along the left side of the building with railroad tracks on the right side (now William Clarke Drive). The company expanded into two other Westbrook locations at 98-Rear Bridge Street (Old Haskell Silk Mill) and on a portion of the second floor in the Dana Warp Mill. The company also had a plant in Bridgton and in later years moved from the Dana Warp Mill to the Gorham Industrial Park. The company went out of business several years ago and this building was sold. The new owners extensively renovated it into several commercial spaces and it is now known as Sebago Commons. 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