July 17 – 23, 2020Vol. 22, No. 6

This architect's rendering shows the Health and Wellness Center to be built at the Travis Mills Foundation in Mount Vernon. Construction is expected to start this fall. More

On the Cover

Never Give Up, Never Quit

If you drive by the Travis Mills Foundation this summer, you'll see lots of construction. Currently, the Foundation is rejuvenating its tennis court for tennis and basketball as well for skating/sled hockey in the winter. The retreat's Lakeside Cottage has been winterized, and soon, the foundation will break ground for a new Health and Wellness Center, which will have an in-ground pool and fitness center to promote health and wellness year-round for veterans and their families. More

Community Update

One Veteran's Experience

Late one afternoon, we helped put the dock in order. Kayaks were pulled out of the water, and totes with life jackets, supplies and water bottles were put away. As we headed uphill to the cabin, a couple in a golf cart motioned for us to come over. The vet had an amputated leg, very high on the thigh with some metal protruding from the stump. He introduced himself and his wife and thanked us for being volunteers, explaining that we couldn't possibly know how great it was to be here. More


From Arden Estate to Travis Mills Foundation

Located on the Castle Island Road near where Belgrade, Rome, and Mount Vernon meet, the mansion on the hill overlooking Long Pond was familiar to generations of residents and vacationers first as elegant and elite, later as grandly fading and unused. Almost everyone who drove by knew it was the Arden Estate. More

The Luckiest Boy

Belgrade Hotel Memories

During the first half of the last century, articles and ads featuring the Belgrade Hotel were prevalent. Here are several that were researched by Belgrade Historical Society member Sandra Lewis, and some memories of my own from the early and mid 1950s. These short articles speak to "The Belgrade" being planned, the spring opening in 1905, a visitor's memory in 1934, the proposed auction sale in 1942 and lastly an article announcing summer opening in 1956, only four months before it burned to the ground. More

Conservation Too

Let's Get Blueberries: Conservation Practices

Wild blueberries have become part of the culture of Maine. It seems like they have been around forever, and every year people are more and more encouraged to consume this fruit fresh for its health benefits (antioxidant, anticarcinogenic, etc.) Maine is the top producer of wild blueberries in the country, consisting of around 44,000 acres of production. More

Dams Report

The Drought Is Broken

Well it looks like we may have finally broken out of that long term drought forecast which we have only been living with for the past five years! They had been forecasting 26% less precipitation through the end of 2020 but that has all been changed. They are now forecasting just 21% less precipitation for this coming August and September, BUT now a 21% INCREASE in precipitation for October. More

Book Review

Wildness Within, Wildness Without

Wildness Within Wildness Without: Exploring Maine's Thoreau-Wabanaki Trail is a huge photo coffee table size paperback that holds center stage in our living room here on Great Pond and in SC as well. Bridget Besaw is the gifted photographer and Bill McKibben writes the foreword in this very exquisite publication. More

Take It Outside

Paddling, Pedaling, and Hiking

We had a bit more rain and a lot of hot weather last week. For the 4th of July, my younger daughter drove up from Brunswick with our newest grandson, while her husband pedaled his bicycle. We went for a short cruise to cool off and then headed to the top of The Mountain for a hike to burn some calories and get our grandson ready for a nap. It reminded me of hiking with my own kids three or four decades ago. More