How Do You Move A Barn?

Western Maine is blessed to have so many skilled craft people living and working here and that they earn enough to make a living. Some of these crafts are not your everyday type of jobs. As many know, whenever I see a ‘Fox & Sons’ sign on the road, I like to pull over and be a ‘sidewalk supervisor’. To see just a handful of people work at lifting a building off of its foundation and moving it to a temporary spot (usually for the construction of a new foundation) is just fascinating. Here’s an example of a current job:

It was also an eye-opener to learn that a number of buildings around town were once in a different spot. So, it was not uncommon for a barn, a house or a section of a home to be moved across the field, across the street or across town. And often without the assistance of mechanical equipment. Just using strength, brains and animals. Which leads me to the Old Fox Barn on Slab City Road. After the passing of Fred Fox, the barn and farmhouse were slated for demolition. I am not certain of the exact sequence which resulted in the saving of the barn but along came J. Scott Campbell, owner of the Maine Mountain Post & Beam in Fryeburg, to purchase the building from the family. Along the way, he connected with a local resident looking to build a new residence. Over the years, I have seen some of Scott’s work around the area. He just built a beautiful barn in my neighborhood but this is a special project and it brings new life to a structure that for a time was going to be torn down. Here are a few pictures of the frame before it was dismantled and a few pictures of it resurrected at its new location. In some of the pictures, you can see the simple system that is used to mark each piece.

Can’t wait until the transformation of the old Fox Barn is complete. Until then, here are some photos.

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Down East Magazine Reviews Maine’s Best Burgers

The new issue of ‘Down East’ Magazine arrived in the mailbox the other day and I finally got around to looking through it last night. Unless you are a vegetarian, who wouldn’t have an interest in reading about some of the best burgers in Maine. My only problem would be that I would not recognize any of the restaurants. Well, how surprised and pleased I was when I got to page 76 where not one, but two, local spots made the top 30! Ebenezer’s Restaurant in Lovell where they are used to getting all kinds of Best Beer Bar Awards and Melby’s Market and Eatery in Waterford.

Thank you ‘Down East’ for traveling out to western Maine and recognizing some great food spots!

 

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A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, I MEAN LOVELL

Lovell’s Minuteman sits in a prominent spot in the middle of the Village park, right next to the flagpole. Eric Gulbrandsen and Lynn Hurd do a wonderful job every year maintaining the flower bed right in front of him. For the most part, he sees people coming and going into the library, kids running and laughing on the playground and hears the sound of the tennis balls going back and forth over the nets. As ‘they’ say, a pretty good gig!

Until today, when dump trucks suddenly arrived and left a pile of crushed gravel and a second pile of rocks. Not long after that, a tree arrived strapped into the bucket of a tractor. What the heck was happening? As you can see from the pictures below, a foundation was created by the town crew of Larry Fox, Steve Fox and Scott Gardiner.  The tree was lifted onto the top of the pile and the rocks were put into place to hold everything together.

How, and why, the tree is in the park is an interesting story to be told at another time. Right now, our Minuteman has asked me to solicit everyone’s opinion of the tree. Even though he carries a rifle, he is a friendly guy but is still wondering about the new addition. Through my office window, I am looking at it right now and I am sure that over time, I will get used to it. So, next time you are in the Village, take a walk around the tree and let us know what you think.

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David W. Mason, 1917-2017

Dave Mason passed away this past week. Always had many enthusiastic and encouraging words for young and old and took the time to thank people for their contributions. I still have a voice mail on my office phone from Dave thanking me for the “Great” Old Home Days parade and related festivities. He also mentioned that I should make sure to acknowledge everyone who contributed. You can see Dave in the picture above. For many years, he was the official starter for the Lovell OHD 5k and he always received a strong round of applause. On his hat was the word “STARTER” in black magic marker.  Dave Mason was a special person.

Please take a moment to read about his life here.

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Boston Red Sox and Apple Watch

Some days my ride to the office is consumed by what I should put on the sign. People often stop and ask me to announce a local event or to honor someone’s passing and I am more than happy to post it. Over the years, the sign has evolved into my own form of local social media.

However, some days the writing is easier than others; especially after hearing yesterday’s press release from Major League Baseball.

Perhaps a little unfair, but who could resist?

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The VERY LAST Stoneham Rescue Service Breakfast

Here’s a real bit of sad news. For so many years, every Memorial Day Sunday and every Labor Day Sunday, the place to go was the Stoneham Rescue Service Breakfast. Upon entering the room, the smiling crew greeted you and the servers always heaped generous portions of scrambled eggs, french toast, bacon or sausage. Plus, delicious donuts, coffee and orange juice were at the tables. All for just $5!

It takes a lot of time and energy to put on such a successful event twice a year and that may be why the decision was made to end the breakfast. The men and women of the Rescue Service already devote a lot of time to the community and the holiday weekend meal takes several days of preparation and hours before and after. So, this Sunday from 7-10 am, come on out to the Stoneham Rescue Barn and thank the crew for the great emergency service they provide and also for all their years of giving the local community a great place to gather, see the neighbors and fill our bellies!

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2017 New England Patriots’ Magnetic Schedule

To date, the perennial Super Bowl favorite, the New England Patriots, have played three pre-season games. As we know, the record doesn’t mean a thing until the real games start in early September. But their biggest loss so far this year may be the season-ending injury suffered by star receiver Julian Edelman. But I am sure that the Head Coach Bill Belichick is already scheming on adjustments. That’s why they play the games as teams look quite different in December and January than they do in September.

The 2017 New England Patriots’ Magnetic Football Schedule has arrived at Kezar Realty. As always, the schedules will be available in local stores. If you can’t make it to Lovell, feel free to drop me an email at stan@fairpoint.net and I will send one your way.

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