Looking Back


May 19, 1993

Despite spending $8 million in preparation work, building a regional recycling center and accessory landfill in Gorham is no sure thing. Some officials connected with the Regional Waste Systems project from the beginning are now openly questioning whether the complex is needed, and saying less costly options should be explored. Others say the state is leaning on Greater Portland for expensive solutions while ignoring trash disposal concerns in other areas of Maine. Regional Waste Systems directors could vote May 20 to accept or reject the Gorham proposal, though Gary Lorfano, board chairman, will recommend that the decision be postponed until next month to allow more time for debate.

Westbrook Mayor Fred Wescott and the City Council continued their budget standoff this week. The council wants Wescott to cut his $12.6 million budget for city and county services, and the mayor wants the council to tell him where to cut. A 2 percent cut asked by the Finance Committee May 3 would mean slicing $250,000.

A small animal caused some big headaches May 3 when it ran across Brook Street in Westbrook and the car that stopped for it was hit by the one behind. The first car was driven by Robert Lord, 42, of Falmouth. His 1986 Subaru had $900 damage. The car behind it was driven by Kelly Irving, 29, of Cumberland. It had $1,200 damage. No one was hurt.

By the time Gorham students finish eighth grade at Shaw School, they will know about running a small business, and may even decide on what career to pursue. As a project, the students have been running Shaw Enterprises Inc. from their classrooms. In doing so, they have developed, produced and begun marketing a small range of products, including clay and wooden beads, retailing from 10 cents to $1.50, wooden boxes for $4, key chains for $1 and locker organizers for $3. Teacher Martha LaViolet says the students started out with a $550 loan from the school. “It’s gone really well, especially for the first year,” said Thea Tibbets, company president.

Mr. and Mrs. Earl Chadbourne (Catherine Rice) were married 50 years ago, on May 17, 1943. They were honored with a surprise party May 9, given by their seven children, 13 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. The Chadbournes thought they were going to join the family for dinner at Valle’s that day. But a horse and carriage drove up to their home and took them in style to the Saccarappa Grange Hall, where friends and family waited to greet them. Both Earl, a retired carpenter, and Catherine are former masters of the Grange.

May 21, 2003

Hundreds of police officers, town officials and friends turned out last week to bid sad farewells to John Reed, the Gorham police officer who died in his home May 9 at 52. As dozens of police officers and firefighters from neighboring communities stood in formation outside the South Gorham Baptist Church on County Road, the Rev. Phillip Shearman spoke about his and other people’s memories of the well-known and respected officer of 29 years.

A few hours before Michael O’Brian had hoped to get approval for a couple of condos he planned to build in Westbrook, his engineer called to tell him the Planning Board meeting had been called off and the zoning on which he based his project had been voided. O’Brian is one of many whose projects have gotten entangled in the controversy over the city’s new zoning ordinance, adopted March 17 but reversed by the City Council two weeks ago. The ordinance was crafted in part by Mathew Eddy, the director of economic and community development, who has said he wouldn’t mind starting fresh. The council will take up the ordinance once again at its first regular meeting in June.

Westbrook EMS had its sixth annual open house Sunday, showing off its new $150,000 rescue unit and barbecuing burgers and hot dogs for visitors. EMS Capt. John Leighton said the event recognized the national EMS Week May 18-24. Westbrook Fire Chief Gary Littlefield said Fire/EMS gets 3,600 calls a year citywide.

Both Westbrook and Gorham are hosting Memorial Day events. On Sunday, May 25, a citywide roll call memorial service will be held at the Westbrook Warren Congregational Church. The parade Monday starts at 10 a.m., following a ceremony at 8 a.m. at Woodlawn Cemetery. A parade in Gorham on Monday starts at 9 a.m. at Robie Gym, stopping at Eastern Cemetery for a ceremony and continuing to the Veterans Memorial for the placing of a wreath. At 11, the parade musters again in South Windham, marching to Hillside Cemetery on Houston Road for a ceremony after stopping at the bridge on Route 202 to throw a wreath into the Presumpscot River.

The American Legion is planning a dinner and auction to raise money to purchase a new elevator for their building on Dunn Street in Westbrook. The building, home to both the American Legion and the Westbrook Historical Society, has no elevator now, making access to the second floor difficult for seniors. The event is June 22 at the Holiday Inn by the Bay.

The Highland Lake School on Duck Pond Road (behind the current-day Duck Pond Variety store) was built in 1874 for $2,700. Classes were held on the first floor and the second floor was used as a community hall. Students in the Prides Corner area attended this school until Prides Corner Elementary opened in 1951. The old building was demolished in 1969 after a fire. 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.