Looking Back

11

Jan. 5, 1994

Westbrook Mayor Fred C. Wescott, 61, died of cancer Dec. 29, 10 weeks after he first became aware of his illness. In the meantime, he had been elected to his third two-year term as mayor. His inaugural would have been Monday. Funeral services were held New Year’s Day at St. Hyacinth Roman Catholic Church. “He is inaugurated today as a permanent citizen of Heaven,” said the Rt. Rev. Robert C. Lavoie at the funeral. “He really didn’t miss his inauguration.” Wescott had been a School Committee member for 10 years, an alderman for six years and mayor for four years. Kenneth Lefebvre was confirmed Monday as City Council president and acting mayor. He said he is considering seeking election as mayor when voters pick the successor to Wescott.

City Clerk William L. Clarke gave the oath of office Monday to the seven members of the new Westbrook City Council and three members of the School Committee, and then to Barbara Hawkes, his own successor, ending his 38 years as clerk.

Pine Crest Bed & Breakfast, 91 South St., Gorham, announced its grand opening Jan. 15. It features five rooms all with private bath and a complimentary continental breakfast. “Come enjoy the charm of our 19th-century inn in the heart of historic Gorham,” reads the ad.

In Gorham, Harold and Beverly Chadburn, Heather and Jonathan, 1 Field Stream Way, entertained at Christmas dinner all their families. On South Street, Bob and Marjorie Minor had their entire family for a Christmas party Dec. 25. On Orchard Road, Mary Anne and Lew McGouldrick, Jessica, Justin and Jerod, hosted a family roast beef dinner on Christmas Day at their home.

Jan. 7, 2004

Concerned local farmers are watching the situation in Washington state, where a case of mad cow disease has quarantined three herds, but they say there hasn’t been any lasting negative impact on their beef prices here. Cattle dealer Leroy Wormell of Westbrook said beef prices initially fell 10 to 20 cents a pound after the disease was reported just before Christmas. But prices soon rebounded, he said. Matt Randall, of the Randall Farm on Stroudwater Street in Westbrook, wondered about the long-term consequences. “We’re not currently impacted, but that’s not to say we won’t be impacted in the future,” he said.

Mayor Bruce Chuluda spoke about his plans to take a fresh look at economic development in the city in his inaugural address Monday night. Chuluda said he planned to form two committees comprised of residents and members of the business community. One would re-evaluate the plans to revitalize the downtown and another would work on a comprehensive economic plan for the city. “This is a perfect opportunity to step back and assess just what the downtown business community, as well as you, the residents of our city, would like to see happen,” he said.

Gorham town councilors were expected to take up a proposal on Tuesday night to consider altering the town charter regarding the school budget. Proposed by Councilor Matthew Robinson, the amendment would change the way the council approves the school budget, from a bottom-line format to a line-item format. “The school budget season is a difficult process,” he said. If we could read it and approve it like we do with the municipal side, it would probably be easier.”

A convoy of 20 Company B Army vehicles rolled out of its Westbrook base yesterday for Fort Drum, New York, the first leg of an 18-month deployment that sends 500 members of the Maine National Guard 133rd Engineer Battalion to help rebuild Iraq. Embracing their soldiers in the early morning chill, families cried in tearful farewells before Army trucks – tooting horns – chugged onto Stroudwater Street, heading for the turnpike, while those they’re leaving waved flags. The unit will undergo final training at Fort Drum before shipping out.

These Cumberland Street buildings were purchased and demolished in 1964 by the Westbrook Trust Company for a Cumberland Mills Branch of the bank. The building on the left was a duplex apartment house. The building on the right, 5 and 7 Cumberland St., was occupied by Frank’s Variety Store (Frank Duffney) and Stanley’s Barber Shop (Earl F. Stanley). J. Warren Laffin owned both buildings.
The building is now occupied by BreaLu Café. 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.