Looking Back

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The Mechanic Street Fire Station was built in 1890 to house the Valentine Hose Company, which was the first organized volunteer fire company in Westbrook. The company was named in honor of Leander Valentine, first mayor of Westbrook and serving as such at the time. In the mid 1970s it was determined that station building was becoming structurally unstable and it was closed and demolished. A modern one-floor station was built on the site.  Later, it was converted to a Public Safety repair facility for Westbrook Fire, Police and Medical Service vehicles. 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.

Nov. 4, 1992

When two inmates were captured six days after escaping from the Maine Correctional Center in Windham, they were in clothes they stole from Sgt. Wayne Coffin of the Gorham Police Department. No one was more surprised than the officer, who was called to assist with the apprehension. “You couldn’t print what I was thinking at first,” he said. “And it went downhill from there.” To add insult to injury, Coffin also discovered that the two possessed a wallet taken from his home. And after the place was searched, police found that other items were lifted including money, lighters, a screwdriver, flashlight and a watch. “I’ve never heard of anything like this happening before,” Coffin said.

Scott Paper Co. has told workers it intends to invest $35 million in its S.D. Warren paper mill in Westbrook, but its actions show something different, its biggest union said Monday. A Scott spokesman refused to comment on the $35 million. The report comes from William Carver, who spoke for Local 1069, United Papermakers and Paperworkers International Union, as chairman of the committee that tried to buy the mill for its employees. Scott refused the workers’ offer of $147 million Oct. 9. Scott is in a gradual process of stripping away machines, products and operations that would, if left, enable a buyer to compete with it, Carver charged.

Some 151 Gorham homeowners with private septic systems pay sewer rates nearly double those of sewer users – and they’re not happy about it. “We are paying $110-$120 (a year) more than the base rate. And for what?” fumed George Ayers. “Just to have a pipe run by our house!” A public hearing will be held during the Town Council meeting Nov. 10 to discuss the issue.

Four-year-old Nicole Waterhouse, daughter of Robert L. and Carol Waycott Waterhouse, Bridgton Road in Westbrook, is the girl in the picture on the box of Big Blocks in toy stores all over the country. People told the Waterhouses that Nicole’s hair looks so much like Shirley Temple’s that she should be a model. They made contact with Little Angels Modeling, Boston, and Nicole was accepted. On a day this summer at Paradise Park, Framingham, Mass., with temperatures in the high 80s, she had to change into a winter outfit and pose for the color photos. For the future, Nicole may be an Oshkosh girl and get still more opportunities.

Nov. 6, 2002

Unofficial election results showed that voters upheld the Westbrook Human Rights Ordinance in a close vote, rejecting a referendum to repeal it, 3,316-3,126. The Westbrook City Council adopted the ordinance in July. The council first began considering it earlier this year after the Rev. Susan Gilpin raised the idea. She said she got interested in gay rights after a gay couple was chased out of their home in her neighborhood because of harassment.

Westbrook’s animal control officer, Carolyn Ross, has a plan to quiet some of the barking dogs in the city – a dog park. Ross is trying to rally some dog owners and city officials to start planning for a dog park, a large, fenced-in area where dogs can run without a leash. She’s already gotten some support from city officials and local dog owners who are currently driving to Portland to use the park there. “Finding a location is going to be the hardest part of the process,” said City Planner Brooks More. Westbrook has about 1,025 licensed dogs, and Ross estimates another 300-500 unlicensed dogs.

Thousands of Maine hunters braved a frigid pre-dawn morning to be in the woods right after sunrise on Saturday, the state’s residents-only start of this year’s deer hunting season. Among them were Gary Verrill, 36, and Joe Williams, 25, both of Gorham, who brought in the day’s first deer to Sawyer’s Variety in Little Falls, one of the area’s official game registration stations.

Joseph H.H. Francoeur shot a bull moose on Sept. 25. He shot the moose, which field dressed at 875 pounds, on the west side of Lake St. Froid on the back road leading to the old gate to the Maine North Woods. The antlers were 40 inches wide.

The Mechanic Street Fire Station was built in 1890 to house the Valentine Hose Company, which was the first organized volunteer fire company in Westbrook. The company was named in honor of Leander Valentine, first mayor of Westbrook and serving as such at the time. In the mid 1970s it was determined that station building was becoming structurally unstable and it was closed and demolished. A modern one-floor station was built on the site.  Later, it was converted to a Public Safety repair facility for Westbrook Fire, Police and Medical Service vehicles. 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.